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  1. #1
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    Female cyclist, Lauren Ward, killed by Big Rig on Alpine near 280

    I hope it was quick, may she rest in peace

    A woman riding a bicycle was struck and killed by a big-rig near Portola Valley this afternoon, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

    The accident was reported at 3:39 p.m. on Alpine Road near the on-ramp to northbound Interstate Highway 280.

    Initial reports indicated the bicyclist had been hit by an 18-wheeler and was underneath the big-rig. The San Mateo County coroner's office has been called to the scene.

    CHP Officer Art Montiel said the bicyclist appears to be a woman in her 40s or early 50s.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stori...nclick_check=1
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  2. #2
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    I heard on the radio about a fatality there and instantly had a bad feeling before I even knew a cyclist was involved - there are a lot of cyclists on that road mixing with some heavy traffic. Rest in peace, and condolences to her family.
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  3. #3
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    OMG, my condolences to her family. That is tragic. I lost a dear friend years ago to a similar encounter with a big rig with the same results.

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  4. #4
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    Lets all remember how this works

    The cars and big rigs have right of WEIGHT!!!

    Stay safe out there
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

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    Story just aired on KTVU News. They had a live anchor at the spot for the broadcast. Looks like it happened before the southbound on-ramp (under 280 overpass), not northbound as the print story indicates. Condolences to the family and friends.

    I ride that stretch often when going to Arastradero and points beyond. Almost every bike rider I see takes the lane at that spot (as she did). That puts the rider out in the middle of the road, under a dark bridge, with cars changing lanes and whizzing by you on both sides. While that's what a car should do, I never ever do that on my bikes - way to friggin' dangerous IMHO. I always hug the curb in that stretch. Better safe than sorry...

  6. #6
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    I ride that section of road 2 or 3 times per week. I recently changed my routine when riding it. I no longer put myself "out in the middle of nowhere" and instead, stay as close to the right shoulder as possible, crossing the ramp lane at the last second in order to minimize my exposure. Like you, I recommend that other folks do the same. The shadows/speed of traffic in that underpass is a volatile mix.

    May she rest in peace.
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  7. #7
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    I ride that stretch of road often and will now change my riding habits to hug the right shoulder.

  8. #8
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    I just check the intersection to see what it was like on google maps and that does look dangerous for a bike to be out there in the straight lane. Even if you put some kind of bike lane through there like on Sand Hill Rd, it would still be dangerous.

    Ironically, on google maps, there is a big rig sitting right there.

    Condolences to the family
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  9. #9
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    Here's the best story so far and a photo of the truck. It is huge flatbed carrying a cherry picker vehicle.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_165281...e=most_emailed

  10. #10
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    My heart goes out to the family.

  11. #11
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    condolances to her family. This is very disheartening.


    About how to ride, Ive read the article, and not totally sure what happened, but taking the lane seems like the right thing to do.

    Hugging the curb/shoulder would have a right-turning vehicle next to you, and puts you in the right-hook situation, which sounds like what happened here. None of the stories specifically say what happened, but they all imply the truck was turning right and hooked the rider along the curb. Taking the lane, the vehicle would have to run directly into you, which although sounds scary, is a lot less common than the right hook collision.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmil4901
    I ride that stretch of road often and will now change my riding habits to hug the right shoulder.
    So do I and I go back and forth on the "right" way to ride the intersection. Hugging the right shoulder makes you invisible and ultimately the only way to be safe on the road is for drivers to see you in intersections. I find that it also tends to freak out some drivers because they are expecting you to change lanes in front of them, or they don't see you until the last minute. Crossing over just before the on-ramp can also be quite sticky.

    Probably the only really "safe" way is to get off and walk.

    I'm seeing more and more people on the loop using blinking tail lights during the day and that's one place where it really makes a lot of sense.

    _ Booker C. Bense

  13. #13
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    We have a name from the SJ Merc article:

    -------
    A 47-year-old woman was killed when her bike was hit by a big-rig on Alpine Road near Portola Valley on Thursday afternoon, and investigators said they are looking for witnesses to the "tragic accident."

    The bicyclist, Lauren Perdriau Ward, and a 26-wheel truck were both going west on Alpine Road and approaching Interstate 280 when they collided at about 3:40 p.m, said California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel.
    -------

    We believe her husband is Bob Ward, bike author and manager of REI in SF. They have two kids. Some of our friends and board members here know them. This is all preliminary as we'll find out more today.

    fc

  14. #14
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    Condolences to the family.

    To everyone saying the best way is to hug the shoulder...Isn't there a Bike path that completely avoids all of this on the south side [for those going east]? I've always wondered why so many bikers take the more dangerous option staying with cars rather than use the bike path just to save a few seconds. Granted I'm always going east, so that may not be feasible going the other direction.

  15. #15
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    Sad. That little section right there is horribly dangerous.

    Given there are so many cyclists in that area the infrastructure is not very compliant.

  16. #16
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    Sincerest condolences to her family. Please be extra-extra careful on the road folks! (whether driving or riding...).
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  17. #17
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    First off, my deepest condolences to her family and friends.

    I live just on the other side of I-280 so fortunately do not have to use that interchange on my normal ride routes, but occasionally I commute to work via Caltrain and end up coming back through that intersection on the way home. Both the Page Mill and Sand Hill freeway crossings have bike lanes and signage. Alpine warrants them as well, IMO. As someone else mentioned, there are tons of cyclists who move through that interchange.

    There are two lanes of traffic coming up to that stop sign. The right lane leads onto the southbound freeway onramp and the left lane goes straight towards PV. At times of high traffic, the stop sign causes westbound Alpine to back up and a majority of drivers who want to get on the freeway will come up to the stop sign in the left lane and then cut over to the right underneath the overpass (where it's dark).

    Most cyclists come up to the stop sign on the shoulder, first having to negotiate the vehicle crossing for those cars headed onto northbound I-280. After going through the stop sign, most cyclists (myself included) will move over in between the two lanes of traffic so as to avoid trying to cross in front of vehicles accelerating as they head onto the southbound freeway onramp. It's a tough call but if you're going to stay on that side of the road, you either do that or you hug the shoulder up until the start of the cloverleaf and try and cross then.

    The article in the Merc states that the driver was in the right hand lane but that the collision was on the left hand side of the truck. My guess is that the rider had taken the center between the two lanes and the truck driver was either changing lanes from left to right to get onto the freeway onramp or from right to left to head straight into PV.

    Just a bad situation all around.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neela
    Condolences to the family.

    To everyone saying the best way is to hug the shoulder...Isn't there a Bike path that completely avoids all of this on the south side [for those going east]? I've always wondered why so many bikers take the more dangerous option staying with cars rather than use the bike path just to save a few seconds. Granted I'm always going east, so that may not be feasible going the other direction.
    The bike path that you are supposed to get off and walk most of due to a very low clearance and blind corner. And you still get dumped out into traffic on the other side.
    Personally, I think it's actually safer to just keep up the speed and get through there
    as fast as possible, rather than attempting to remerge back into traffic. Riding on the road in that direction at least feels much safer than the other way. The only real danger spot
    is crossing the on ramp entrance and if there isn't traffic there's no reason to avoid it.

    There is no bike path on the west direction and a much longer exposure to lane changing traffic. As much as it unnerves me having done both ways many times, I really think pretending there is a marked bike lane like on Sandhill going west is the safest way short of getting off and walking. Bikes and cars using different rules for getting through an intersection is generally the wrong answer. The safest way is to be seen and to go where the driver expects you to go.

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  19. #19
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    I commute home using that intersection twice a week. I found the Sandhill on / off ramps to unnerving for me. In the past two weeks out of the four times I have used that intersection, I have had 3 incidents where it was a contest on who had right a way. I'm considering giving up on bicycle commuting. It is just not worth the drama everytime I ride.

  20. #20
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    Several years ago wifey and I were car traveling a two lane highway in CO. The highway went under a bridge, making it dark in there. When we got to the bridge I saw, to my total shock, three road bikes traveling near the right shoulder.

    I about sh*t because I totally could not see them ahead of time.

    They were out of the way and I was only going maybe 55 or less, but the experience still lives with me to this day.

    Every time I approach a bridge I look extra hard for bikes in the "car lane."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by elder_mtber
    Several years ago wifey and I were car traveling a two lane highway in CO. The highway went under a bridge, making it dark in there. When we got to the bridge I saw, to my total shock, three road bikes traveling near the right shoulder.

    I about sh*t because I totally could not see them ahead of time.

    They were out of the way and I was only going maybe 55 or less, but the experience still lives with me to this day.

    Every time I approach a bridge I look extra hard for bikes in the "car lane."
    This is good insight. In these underpasses, it goes from light to dark and it is very hard to see a cyclist.

    My guess is the driver didn't see her and moved over and hit the cylist on the non-freeway entry lane. Then she perished as she got entangled with the 26 tires.

    Simply unbelievable there are no witnesses...
    fc

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonala
    I commute home using that intersection twice a week. I found the Sandhill on / off ramps to unnerving for me. In the past two weeks out of the four times I have used that intersection, I have had 3 incidents where it was a contest on who had right a way. I'm considering giving up on bicycle commuting. It is just not worth the drama everytime I ride.
    I try really hard to avoid those crossings during commute hours. There are much nicer ways
    under 280 off of Purissma in Los Altos, but that's the long way round. As ugly as it is perhaps 84 is the best way, at least there are stoplights. Although I recall that there was a fatality there not too long ago.

    If you're willing to ride up Farm hill, you can get to Canada Rd by going through Canada College campus roads.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    We have a name from the SJ Merc article:

    ------
    The bicyclist, Lauren Perdriau Ward, and a 26-wheel truck were both going west on Alpine Road and approaching Interstate 280 when they collided at about 3:40 p.m, said California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel.
    -------

    We believe her husband is Bob Ward, bike author and manager of REI in SF. They have two kids. Some of our friends and board members here know them. This is all preliminary as we'll find out more today.

    fc
    Just to update FC's post. I don't believe the bicyclist killed is the wife of Bob Ward. Bob's wife is Annie Ward and they both now reside in New Mexico. Bob manages, last I heard when I talked with Annie earlier this year, the Albuquerque REI store. The left CA a few years ago.

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  24. #24
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    The first letter to the editor here is written by Lauren Ward,

    http://www.losaltosonline.com/index....6580&Itemid=55

    -------


    Letters to the Editor
    Written by Los Altos Town Crier
    WEDNESDAY, 21 JANUARY 2009

    RULES OF THE ROAD: RESPECT, UNDERSTANDING

    Wow. It sounds like there is some real resentful, bitter, maybe even hateful feelings from the two ladies in Los Altos Hills who seem to feel cyclists are all rule-breakers and do not deserve to ride on the same roads with cars (Town Crier, Letters to the Editor, Dec. 31 and Jan. 7).

    I also live in Los Altos Hills. I drive and ride a bike. I have children who ride, and one is about to learn how to drive on roads where unpredictability is in fashion. I have lived here for more than 40 years. I, too, have seen the changes in people’s attitudes on the road. However, I see it in all walks of travel.

    Just so these ladies understand, not all cyclists are bad. I happen to take great pleasure in chasing someone down, on my bike, when I see him or her run a light or stop sign. When I catch them, I ask them to please follow the rules of the road and not endanger others.

    However, it’s not just a few cyclists that seem to flagrantly disobey the laws. Have you noticed that even after all the new flashing crosswalk lights that have been installed on San Antonio Road, pedestrians still cross between them?

    Unfortunately, I see way more infractions with autos than I do with cyclists or pedestrians. The police should be heavily enforcing laws to ensure that automobile drivers obey, and there should be greater fees and penalties for broken rules. I would suggest a starting penalty of $200 for driving while on a cell phone and have it escalate from there.

    Remember what it may be like to ride a bike alongside cars. Most people are not out there to ruin your day by getting in your way. A bicyclist is very vulnerable, like a pedestrian, to any sort of accident.Why some of these people choose to disregard laws of safety is beyond me. Maybe it’s Darwin’s theory of natural selection in action?

    If we could all have more respect and understanding toward others, life might get a little bit nicer.

    Lauren Ward

    Los Altos Hills
    .............

  25. #25
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    Oh Maan...
    R.I.P

  26. #26
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    http://www.ktvu.com/video/25641335/index.html

    video report from the scene

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    Good find fc... thanks for posting. This is just horrible.

    I'm always so leary of that section of road. Driving and riding that intersection weekly, I do find it infinitely safer to hug the shoulder both before and after the stop sign. On my mtb bike I often ride in the gutter or hop up onto the sidewalk (yes there is a sidewalk on that little stretch). No way you get run over doing that. If I have to stop and wait for an opening before crossing the on-ramp, I do that too (but it's usually not a problem).

    RIP...

  28. #28
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    Is it me or does it seem like cyclists participate in one of the most deadliest sports? I don't know any other sport that causes so many deaths a year.

  29. #29
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    Lauren Ward worked with my wife, she was always upbeat and positive. It was a real shocker to get the news this morning, She left behind a husband, Bob, and two kids. I only know what was printed in the Palo Alto Times online.

    Dantley
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  30. #30
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    What a loss to our community. RIP

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfast
    Is it me or does it seem like cyclists participate in one of the most deadliest sports? I don't know any other sport that causes so many deaths a year.
    But there are so many bikers... I'd guess there's easily 400-500 bikers a day going through that intersection.

    I've seen studies that say per hour/per person biking is safer than driving a car. It's impossible to get real numbers, but I think cycling is fairly low on the risk per hour per person scale.

    Any sport that routinely involves going faster than 20 mph is going to have fatalities. Skiing has them, even something that seems as tame as windsurfing has them. I think what differentiates biking from driving your car is that it's much easier to identify with a fellow biker than with a fellow motorist. And biking deaths are rare enough that they get reported in the news, but car deaths only get mentioned on the traffic report.

    FWIW, there's this statistic site

    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departm...ounty_2008.HTM

    As the man said, there's lies, damn lies, and statistics, but anytime you look at numbers like these biking always is at the bottom.

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  32. #32
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    http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_16910167

    A crash that killed a 47-year-old bicyclist from Los Altos Hills last month was caused by an unsafe turn she made as she headed down Alpine Road alongside a 26-wheel truck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    The Nov. 4 collision with the big rig claimed the life of Lauren Ward, a mother of two and an active community member who friends and family have described as an avid bicyclist. The crash was the third fatal collision for the big rig's driver, Gabriel Manzur Vera.

    In each of the crashes, Vera was determined not to be at fault.

    According to a redacted CHP report released Monday night, Vera was driving his truck west on Alpine Road in the right lane between 10 and 15 mph at about 3:40 p.m. and Ward was to the immediate left of the vehicle sharing the lane. Ward, who was riding at an unknown speed, "unsafely turned" her Trek bicycle and fell to her right side, the report states.

    The big rig continued and its tires struck Ward, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The 33-page report shows that Ward caused the crash by making the turn, said CHP spokesman Art Montiel, but investigators were unable to determine why she turned.

    "We know it was caused by an unsafe turn," he said. "We don't know and we may never know what actually caused her to make that unsafe turn."

    The report included a summary of the investigation and statements Vera made to authorities.

    The trucker told the CHP the collision happened as he was moving from the right westbound lane into a lane that turned right onto southbound Interstate Highway 280. Vera told the CHP he had his right blinker on and was looking at his right rear view mirror, but when he looked forward he heard a "bump."

    Vera realized he had collided with Ward, pulled over and called 911.

    He told the CHP he thought another vehicle passed his truck on the left shortly after he pulled away from the stop sign at the northbound Highway 280 on-ramp. But he couldn't recall how much time passed between the point the vehicle drove past and when he felt the bump.

    Montiel said investigators never found any eye witnesses to the crash and couldn't rule out the possibility that another vehicle may have been indirectly involved in the collision.

    The redacted report didn't include sections titled "cause" and "recommendations," which Montiel said were withheld for legal reasons.

    However, the investigation shows that Vera was not at fault, he said.

    "We can conclude there was nothing that the truck driver did that caused her to fall into the pathway of the moving truck," Montiel said.

    Vera was also involved in a fatal crash in 2007 in Santa Cruz. In that collision, his 26-wheel truck struck a popular Pacific Collegiate School teacher named John Myslin at the intersection of Mission and Bay streets. Vera was making a right turn when Myslin tried to pass him on the right.

    Police determined Vera wasn't at fault in that crash.

    Myslin's parents, however, sued and in March, Vera and Randazzo Enterprises settled the wrongful death suit for $1.5 million.

    Vera's first fatal crash happened Dec. 31, 2003, on Highway 1 in Monterey County, according to CHP records. He was driving on Highway 1 through Moss Landing when another vehicle driven by Annette McDaniel, 53, reportedly crossed into oncoming lanes and struck his truck head-on. The Monterey County Coroner's Office reported at the time McDaniel had been weaving in and out of her lane and crossed the center line before colliding with the 26-wheeler. She was killed in the crash.

    Ward's family has hired an attorney, John Feder, to conduct a separate investigation into the latest crash. Prior to the release of the CHP report Monday, Feder said he believed the agency's Multidisciplinary Accident Investigations Teams was also possibly investigating the collision.

    Ward's husband, Bob, declined to speak with a reporter when reached by phone Monday.

    E-mail Jesse Dungan at jdungan@dailynewsgroup.com.


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  33. #33
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    They are clearing the truck driver, but I find it hard to believe.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09
    They are clearing the truck driver, but I find it hard to believe.
    Complete crap, who falls in front of a 26 wheeler?
    "Do or do not, there is no try." Yoda

  35. #35
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    I bet Randazzo enterprises paid off the CHP investigators.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantley
    Complete crap, who falls in front of a 26 wheeler?

    I was not there, but it is completely possible that another car "forced" her into the truck.

    Lets just assume this truck driver is innocent in ALL three accidents, maybe highly unlikely but the first two on the surface do seem to be on his side. I mean some people have good luck and win the lottery multiple times and some people just have bad luck.

    I can't imagine living with killing 3 people, whether by his fault or not, it does not seem like this guy is trying to kill people. Although my spidey sense tells me to be very skeptical with this last one.

  37. #37
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    If CHP wants to portray this as "clearly" not the fault of the driver, they are not really doing a great job. This story doesn't hold water. Not at all. He was the only witness, and he claims that he did not see Lauren until he heard the "bump", so according to this alibi, no one saw her. Yet despite the fact that there were no other witnesses, he (or the CHP) was somehow able to ascertain that the cyclist made an "unsafe" turn? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  38. #38
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    Lets just assume this truck driver is innocent in ALL three accidents, maybe highly unlikely but the first two on the surface do seem to be on his side. I mean some people have good luck and win the lottery multiple times and some people just have bad luck.

    I can't imagine living with killing 3 people, whether by his fault or not, it does not seem like this guy is trying to kill people. Although my spidey sense tells me to be very skeptical with this last one.[/QUOTE]

    Maybe a car did force her into the truck. If that happened and I was driving the truck I would be sure to tell the CHP about it.
    "Do or do not, there is no try." Yoda

  39. #39
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    So strange, pretty crappy all around.

    It's imaginable that a car would want to pass the truck in the left hand lane, ends up cutting off the cyclist who is riding in the lane, causing her to move to the right and coming in contact with the truck. But then again, the guy could have made up the "I thought I saw another car" story

    I do not like freeway on-ramps, people are just not looking for cyclists there.

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    Wow, I predicted the future. All 3 incidents and it wasn't his fault. And the worst part, in the next month or two, the company he works for will be sued and has to pay $$$$$$$.$$. WTF is that!

    And people here were starting a lynch mob before the facts were out!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunGuy
    And the worst part, in the next month or two, the company he works for will be sued and has to pay $$$$$$$.$$.
    That's really all you see as being the worst part in this whole incident??
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  42. #42
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    I still cannot believe what I am reading about this truck driver in the news. Maybe he just “has bad luck” Dunno man, my uncle has been driving big rigs since the early 1970s and has had only one incident that I can remember hearing about (not involving cyclists, rather, a drunk person running into his truck). Seems these days they will give anyone a heavy equipment and/or big rig operating license if the person is willing enough to do it for less pay than the average person who was born here and has driven here all their life. I see these young punks driving trucks all the time who clearly aren’t very safe or sane. Cutting people off without turnsignals, cutting across three lanes to their exit at the last minute while on the cellphone (without a turnsignal), speeding through residential zones, etc. etc. Clearly doing away with the rail-based shipping industry has screwed everything up.

    OK, OK, rant off.
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  43. #43
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic
    That's really all you see as being the worst part in this whole incident??
    Yes, because what's done has been done! Is it his fault? No! Do they really need to go and sue the company? No! Will it bring back their family member? No! Willing getting $1,500,000 dollar make the situation any better? No!

    But they will sue because of some ******** reason like it will cause the company to hire better drivers! WTF, it was the driver's fault!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantley
    Complete crap, who falls in front of a 26 wheeler?
    Oh, no, no, no. Didn't you read? She didn't fall. She deliberately made an "unsafe turn" to put herself under the wheels of the truck.

    We really need to read the report and evidence to get facts rather than speculation. But from the summary above, I agree with Daniel Lord on the Mercury News comments:

    This is complete BS. A cyclist going straight past the on-ramp (and a car doing the same) has to cross the mouth of the on-ramp. She was there first and crossing and the trucker didn't look and ran her over. She was ahead of him and had the right of way and he ran her down. I have bicycled that route many times and this report and conclusion are bogus.

    From what I read so far, I'm more likely to believe the trucker just didn't see her on the left side as he was checking his right mirrors, and he ran her down.

    A big rig like this truck is prone to have more accidents than others. But it's also why the driver needs to be way better than other drivers, with more awareness and defensive reaction to other's mistakes on the road. And it's not clear to me that Ms. Ward made any mistake. We need to get the whole report.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by majl
    First off, my deepest condolences to her family and friends.

    I live just on the other side of I-280 so fortunately do not have to use that interchange on my normal ride routes, but occasionally I commute to work via Caltrain and end up coming back through that intersection on the way home. Both the Page Mill and Sand Hill freeway crossings have bike lanes and signage. Alpine warrants them as well, IMO. As someone else mentioned, there are tons of cyclists who move through that interchange.

    There are two lanes of traffic coming up to that stop sign. The right lane leads onto the southbound freeway onramp and the left lane goes straight towards PV. At times of high traffic, the stop sign causes westbound Alpine to back up and a majority of drivers who want to get on the freeway will come up to the stop sign in the left lane and then cut over to the right underneath the overpass (where it's dark).

    Most cyclists come up to the stop sign on the shoulder, first having to negotiate the vehicle crossing for those cars headed onto northbound I-280. After going through the stop sign, most cyclists (myself included) will move over in between the two lanes of traffic so as to avoid trying to cross in front of vehicles accelerating as they head onto the southbound freeway onramp. It's a tough call but if you're going to stay on that side of the road, you either do that or you hug the shoulder up until the start of the cloverleaf and try and cross then.

    The article in the Merc states that the driver was in the right hand lane but that the collision was on the left hand side of the truck. My guess is that the rider had taken the center between the two lanes and the truck driver was either changing lanes from left to right to get onto the freeway onramp or from right to left to head straight into PV.

    Just a bad situation all around.
    Cars always scare me way more than rocks and trees do. It's terrible how often we hear of cyclists being hit by cars, whether intentionally or not.

    But after seeing that intersection, can't you, instead of riding between lanes, merge all the way over until you're hugging the left shoulder? There are a few intersections like that around my house, where the right lane exits and the left continues forward. I usually straddle the lanes, because it's an undivided road and I can sprint up the hill, keeping up more or less with the 25 MPH speed limit. But it looks like Alpine Road has a divider between the two sides; wouldn't the far left be much safer/ more visible than the far right or straddling lanes?
    Last edited by Bro; 12-21-2010 at 09:16 PM.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic
    If CHP wants to portray this as "clearly" not the fault of the driver, they are not really doing a great job. This story doesn't hold water. Not at all. He was the only witness, and he claims that he did not see Lauren until he heard the "bump", so according to this alibi, no one saw her. Yet despite the fact that there were no other witnesses, he (or the CHP) was somehow able to ascertain that the cyclist made an "unsafe" turn? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
    Shredchic: Your analysis makes the most sense....... supporting the fact the CHP report makes no sense whatsoever. I don't profess to know all the details of the loss; however, I don't see how the conclusion can be drawen she made an unsafe turn into the semi.....

  48. #48
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    If the truck had just slowed down enough before entering the ramp and stayed behind the bike rider, then Lauren would still be alive. What big rig driver passes a bike rider on the right? Seems totally unsafe and irresponsible to me.
    An unsafe turn by the bike rider? What about the load sticking out on the truck hitting her? I hope the investigators the family hired will find some better evidence of wrong doing.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    Oh, no, no, no. Didn't you read? She didn't fall. She deliberately made an "unsafe turn" to put herself under the wheels of the truck.

    We really need to read the report and evidence to get facts rather than speculation. But from the summary above, I agree with Daniel Lord on the Mercury News comments:

    This is complete BS. A cyclist going straight past the on-ramp (and a car doing the same) has to cross the mouth of the on-ramp. She was there first and crossing and the trucker didn't look and ran her over. She was ahead of him and had the right of way and he ran her down. I have bicycled that route many times and this report and conclusion are bogus.

    From what I read so far, I'm more likely to believe the trucker just didn't see her on the left side as he was checking his right mirrors, and he ran her down.

    A big rig like this truck is prone to have more accidents than others. But it's also why the driver needs to be way better than other drivers, with more awareness and defensive reaction to other's mistakes on the road. And it's not clear to me that Ms. Ward made any mistake. We need to get the whole report.
    I would not be so quick as to call CHP idiots. I guess they could figure out what particular wheel did run her over.

    Now, the theory that there could have been another car involved, that does make more sense.

  50. #50
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    It was bound to happen. In this case I have no problem with people suing. Maybe because I am a cyclist.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-...nclick_check=1
    The family of a 47-year-old Los Altos Hills woman killed when her bicycle collided with a big rig last month has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck's driver and his employer.

    The complaint was filed in San Mateo County Superior Court on Monday, the same day the California Highway Patrol released a report that concluded trucker Gabriel Manzur Vera was not at fault in the crash that killed Lauren Perdriau Ward.


    OT:
    I also just read a headline where the family of a Rutgers student who killed himself are suing the school. Seems this happens too often. The lawsuits that is.

  51. #51
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    CHP -Los Altos Hills bicyclist not at fault

    Los Altos Hills bicyclist not at fault in collision that killed her

    By Jason Green

    Daily News Staff Writer
    Posted: 09/16/2011 05:53:46 AM PDT
    Updated: 09/16/2011 06:03:25 AM PDT
    http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_18906858

    Following an investigation that spanned 10 months, the California Highway Patrol said Thursday it no longer believes bicyclist Lauren Ward, of Los Altos Hills, was at fault for the Alpine Road collision that killed her late last year.

    A CHP Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team concluded through additional forensic testing and a reconstruction of the Nov. 4 crash that the left front end of Gabriel Mansur Vera's 26-wheel rig struck the right rear portion of Ward's upright Trek bike, CHP Officer Art Montiel announced.

    Investigators initially cleared Vera and blamed Ward, 47, for the crash, saying she "unsafely turned" and fell into the left front wheels of the mammoth truck as it turned right from westbound Alpine Road onto southbound Interstate Highway 280.

    But with no eyewitnesses to the crash, the team was unable to establish fault in light of the new findings, Montiel said

    "It just ends up being a tragic accident," Montiel told The Daily News.

    Meanwhile, a wrongful death suit Ward's family has filed against Vera and his employer, Randazzo Enterprises, is proceeding. A trial date has been set for June 4, 2012.

    Defense attorney Daniel Friedenthal said the revised findings likely won't change his argument that Ward was riding so close to the truck that Vera couldn't see her as she moved from right to left to keep going up the road.

    "Primarily we think the bicyclist is at fault," Friedenthal said. "That's what we
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    think the fight is about."

    The Ward family's attorney, John Feder, did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday afternoon, but the suit filed last December alleges Vera negligently drove into the path of Ward's bike.

    San Mateo County and California have also been named as cross defendants and defendants in the suit. The Alpine Road and Highway 280 intersection, which was designed by the state and is maintained by the county, is inherently dangerous to bicyclists, Friedenthal said.

    "It somewhat creates a trap for bicyclists. They have to get over to the left, while vehicles turn to the right to get to the freeway," he said.

    The San Mateo County Counsel's Office could not be reached for comment.

    Vera, who was previously involved in a pair of fatal collisions but not found at fault, is still employed by Randazzo, Friedenthal said.

    Lauren Ward- Top Left in Photo
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  52. #52
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    Absolutely amazing

    This just never happens. Since the cyclist is no longer around, and there are no witnesses, the investigators just go on what the truck driver says. I guess it is when the family really pushes that the investigators finally see marks on the bike where the truck bumper initially made contact. Job well done.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssulljm View Post
    Vera, who was previously involved in a pair of fatal collisions but not found at fault, is still employed by Randazzo, Friedenthal said.
    That company has balls of steel. I wonder if he's actually driving?

    RIP

  54. #54
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    Cyclists are tolerated on road and dirt. In so many similar situations we are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Think about that the next time you see a bunch of roadies "claiming the road" and not budging. One man's asswipe is another man's safer rider.
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