Whocares …. You ask others not to talk about things they don’t know the facts on & yet isn’t that precisely what you have done? Everyone is allowed an opinion … but today yours gave me a total melt down almost a year out from that day of horror. I apologise in advance if you know the driver & or if you have had circumstances of your own to deal with.
The Facts (from my perception, everyone is different & I have to accept that)
27th February 2010, time 8.10am
Involved in the accident, 6 members of the Trikings club & car.
One rider was training for competitive reasons, 5 others riding for fun, fitness & social reasons only. Average speed of runs 23km only; distance average 80k … NO COWBOYS!
Driver of the car had no previous convictions; not even a speeding fine.
Cyclists were riding along Regency Road heading towards the beach approaching the traffic lights at Prospect Road in Prospect. They had a green light to go straight on. When I say Green I mean turned green upon our approach, no thoughts of “will be have time” required. We were riding at a speed of 40 kph downhill. There were no cars parked in the way & we were 2x2 plus 1 & 1 at the back.
I was watching a combination of the lights, the approaching car heading up the hill towards us & as well as our leader. I was watching the leaders hands to see if he was braking to stop, I could tell he was watching the approaching car that had almost stopped, I saw our leader release the brakes thinking the car was coming to a full stop. At that moment I made eye contact with the driver of the car, & saw in his eyes that he was going to whip a right hand turn in front of us.
My eyeballing the driver saved my life on that day (not a fact, but I’m sure of it)
I saw our leader hit the front left side of the car, then hit the windscreen and then fly up into the air and disappear down behind the car. I didn’t see my other riding friends hit the car as I had been so focused on our leader, but I heard a thud knowing my other friend was near the car & recognised his voice as he called out in agonizing pain. I braked heavily to avoid hitting the other two riders who were not down yet. I couldn’t stop and had to swerve quickly around the back of the car and ended up on the wrong side of the road. I only just managed to keep my balance. I stopped, got off bike and immediately rang triple zero.
From my recall & from what I saw that day, at no time did the driver of the car offer assistance or call emergency services. A witness & I were the people who called emergency services (who by the way were fantastic). The driver stood there & did nothing …. which I understand, because shock will do that. He couldn’t have driven away even if he wanted too, his car was un-drivable from the impact of my dear friends.
Out of respect for the privacy of my friends I have not used names & will not go into the horror & details that followed.
I do however NEED to say:
The driver DID see us without one single doubt. I was looking into his eyes when he made that stupid error in judgement. Six bikes grouped with 4 of the 6 still having their lights on flashing & all riders in bright colours … he saw us. I questioned myself after a friend asked me if I have been at that intersection coming from the driver direct at that time of day. I went there three weekends in a row for my own piece of mind … HE SAW us!
Do I blame him for saying he didn’t … no, but it still upsets me. Who of us has not adjusted reality within our own minds so we can live with the mistakes we have made? Not many of us, if we are totally honest.
All road users, foot path users …EVERYONE needs to abide by the laws that are there to protect EVERYONE.
That day the driver wanted to save 5 seconds of his time … the result via his error in judgement will now haunt him for the rest of his life & has effect countless people. Affected him, the cyclists, the witnesses not to mention everyone’s friends & family.
Life is not a rehearsal …. Take care one & all.
Whocares …. Part of me feels nasty, petty & rude for the above, but the other part of me NEEDED to vent my upset as a step to heal. I hope you understand.
Thank you Robert. It helped reading that you don't think it's weak to have PTSD. I thought I was OK, but a couple of things have set me back recently.
Yes I ride, but it is alone these days as the Trikings "slow" group isn't there now. It's not the same without my buddies.
On a positive note, we are all still here & I am very grateful for that.
Thanks again ... Di
Dianne, I am truly sorry for your haunting experience.
Cyclists on this forum understand venting -- we do it frequently after negligent drivers, another near miss, poorly designed facilities, etc. Another way that this forum helps us to keep on calmly cycling.
I have been injured thrice by negligent drivers. Three of my cycling friends are dead as a result of negligent drivers. I am now a cycling advocate, as shown by my posts. I use the word collisions because I believe that few are accidents. Mainly speeding, errors in judgement, not following Australian Road Rules, etc.
The media emphasises road deaths, yet it overlooks the number of seriously injured people. The latter numbers are much greater and might be sobering for drivers. It sounds like your cycling friends on the day may not have physically recovered to be back cycling. I am sorry.
Oh Heather, I’m really sorry about your friends. I can't imagine what you go through & to have the strength to keep cycling.... you must be an amazing person.
I do have to count us as being lucky, we are all still alive. The worst hurt friend is amazing. He could have been a victim, but he choose not to be. He is a dead set legend in my eyes. He does the "I'm a man" thing ... you know what I mean :-) His eyes tell me he is in pain, but he tells me he is fine. A few weeks back he met me & two of the other friends from that day down at the West Lakes Tri's .... he rode with us for 30k that day. I was so impressed. Stupid thing was I had to stay at the back so he couldn't see me tearing up about it. The four of us riding together certainly had the emotions running wild that day.
I need to snap out of it & focus on the positives.
Thank you for your post; it has helped me put things into perspective.
Dianne, I think of how it would be harder for the relatives. It is some years since I went to a cyclist's funeral. During an 'incident' with a vehicle, there are a couple of seconds where I wonder if I will be killed or severely injured. Guess I am not the only cyclist who does that.
It must be hard for your cycling friends to adapt after being such fine athletes, and you feel for them. You will find on AC forum a place to express yourself about cycling safety issues. Perhaps check out the Events to participate in rides and begin to enjoy cycling again.
Thank you for having a well-balanced & informative view point on things. Reading your comment has just helped me to calm down a bit. By nature I don’t think I’m an angry person, but today ANGRY would be the best description for me. Today is the first time I thought I was strong enough to read what had been written about that day. I have spent most of my day being very upset and angry because I only read the comment by “whocares” before I couldn’t read anymore. I’m very glad I didn’t reply to “whocares” straight away, but I can’t help myself …. I need to voice some facts & feelings, I just hope people will not be judged me as a b**ch for doing so.
Again THANK YOU.