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Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel -and a cyclist death in AA County

Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel -and a cyclist death in AA County

The "Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel – Criminal Negligence" law is now in effect..  It became law on October 1st of this year.

A cyclist was struck and killed by a motorist in AA County yesterday:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryla … l-20111008,0,55177.story

A quote from the article:

"Police said Young was riding on the right lane of the highway, which did not have a shoulder and had little ambient lighting.

Young was wearing dark non-reflective clothing on his bike that had a makeshift headlight, which was on. The bike also had a red LED-flashing light on the back which police say did not appear to have been turned on, leaving one small reflective lens to make Young visible.

Police say the driver did not see Young in the lane in front of him.

Bicyclist visibility and possible driver error appeared to be significant factors in the accident, police said. Alcohol or speed were not suspected."

This clearly seems to be the kind of case where the new legislation should make a difference. This seems to be certainly a case of manslaughter by motor vehicle.  It is disturbing that the article does not say that the driver was charged with this offense.

The entire cycling community should be following this case to see if it does.  If anyone sees more on this, could they post it here?

Ed Hopkins
ed.hopkins@verizon.net

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Re: Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel -and a cyclist death in AA County

Washcycle has a post about this:

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2011/10/sun … ad-iv.html

A cyclist - 40 year old Matthew Young - riding on Veterans Highway in Severna Park on Friday night (7:30pm) was hit from behind and killed. "Investigators do not believe that either speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. They have cited "bicyclist visibility" as the apparent cause of the accident, and noted the fact that the accident occurred at a particularly dark location on Veterans Highway, as well as the fact that Young was wearing dark non-reflective clothing." There's a pretty wide shoulder there. Was the cyclist on it? More here: "Police said the bike he was riding had a makeshift headlight, but a flashing light on the back of the bike does not appear to have been on." Can they tell after a bike has been hit from behind? Maybe they have witness testimony?

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Re: Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel -and a cyclist death in AA County

The police do not suggest that the driver was not paying attention to the road ahead of him.  Was he driving without headlights? Why did he not see the cyclist?  Why isn't the "apparent cause of the accident" the failure of the driver to see the cyclist?  Why is the focus on what the cyclist might have been doing wrong rather than on what the driver was obviously doing wrong: he ran into the cyclist.

Do the police not know about the new "Manslaughter by vehicle" law? 

If the law is not relevant here, where could it possibly be relevant? 

Barry--commont on the applicability of the law here, please

thanks

Ed Hopkins
ed.hopkins@verizon.net

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Re: Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel -and a cyclist death in AA County

My coverage including contact info if you have concerns.

http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 9153934401

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Re: Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel -and a cyclist death in AA County

Ed Hopkins wrote:

The police do not suggest that the driver was not paying attention to the road ahead of him.  Was he driving without headlights? Why did he not see the cyclist?  Why isn't the "apparent cause of the accident" the failure of the driver to see the cyclist?  Why is the focus on what the cyclist might have been doing wrong rather than on what the driver was obviously doing wrong: he ran into the cyclist.

Do the police not know about the new "Manslaughter by vehicle" law? 

If the law is not relevant here, where could it possibly be relevant? 

Barry--commont on the applicability of the law here, please

If this happened during daylight I would agree that at least our new manslaughter would be applicable. The fact that the police have no way of knowing if the cyclist's rear light was on or not + dark clothing complicates the issue here and I am not enough of a lawyer to say how to call this one. But I do feel very strongly that at least the driver should be at fault.

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