From Carole Sykes via the Alto Velo Mailing list.
The accident involved Rene Baker from LGBRC who was hit in the bike lane by a Mercedes.
I was riding ahead of Rene on Foothill heading to Edith. A car heading the same direction went into the bike lane. Rene was well to the right in the bike lane. The car hit her from behind going between 40 to 45 mph. The driver claimed (to me) that he never saw her. She was hit so hard that she came out of her shoes, was thrown into the air and initially came down onto the car's windshield shattering it. There were two eye witnesses who were behind Rene taking this all in. The Police were on the scene within minutes. The driver did stop and seemed genuinely concerned but I'm not sure he was processing much of anything. He was cited for being in the wrong place on the roadway and released. I just don't know why he was driving in the bike lane as there are no roads or driveways to the right on that stretch of road. There were so many cyclists out on Foothill because of the nice weather he was destined to take someone out.
She is in Stanford Hospital and had surgery today for a compression fracture of L1 – the vertebra was broken all the way through making it a very unstable fracture that had to be fused. She is recovering this evening having been very lucky after being very unlucky…. She has some nasty road rash and a questionable broken elbow (waiting for x-rays). She will be a Stanford for 2 to 3 days and right now is as comfortable as can be expected. Pain control will be the next challenge over the next several days. She is expected to make a full recovery.
There just seems to be something wrong with a driver that almost made a paraplegic out of a mother of two and he walks away with a moving violation. I thought that to have a driver’s license you had the responsibility to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. There have been too many of these kinds of ‘accidents’ that have really hurt or kill people. And there is nothing more than “oh, it was an accident” which strikes me as a completely “of no consequence” event so that there is NO imperative to operate motor vehicles in a safe manner. Oh yes, I know that you can bring a civil case but that is a different thing compared to a criminal system that judges something as wrong and/or illegal.
There is something wrong with the law around this – mainly because there is no law.