Hit and Run

11 Sep 2017 21:21 #2649 by Dan Miller
Hit and Run was created by Dan Miller
Today I was on a casual bike ride and was involved in a hit and run about 1:30 pm. I was going northbound on Marshall Avenue NE waiting for a traffic light change at the Broadway Avenue intersection. I was in the right lane – positioned more than halfway to the curb so a car could pass, but that I would be visible and they would have to do so cautiously. There was a semi-trailer in the left lane. When the light turned green, a large cargo van passed me in the right lane on my left side. Its passenger mirror clipped me halfway between my shoulder joint and neck. The impact folded the mirror back, but the van did not stop. I remember the impact and observing how little space there was between me, the cargo van and the semi-trailer. I tried to follow the cargo van but lost it at Lowry with it continuing north on Marshall. I then called 911 to report the incident and gave them a vehicle color, company logo appearing on its back and the first three numerals on the license plate. 911 asked me if I needed an ambulance or an officer and I declined since I didn’t believe I was seriously injured. At that moment, I thought to Google the company logo consisting of three letters. I found a match and called them about the incident. They apologized and said they would investigate further and get back to me. When I returned home, I emailed Bike MN to see if they had any safety programs that would relate to this incident which would be worth sharing with the company. What I think happened was the cargo van driver saw a left turning semi-trailer in front and moved into the right lane at full speed to avoid stopping behind the trailer. Unfortunately, I was near the front end of that semi-trailer and hidden from his view when he entered the right lane. Had I been in the center of the lane it would have been a full blown hit.

The company did call back with a different person responding than whom I reported the incident to originally. I explained again what happened. The company admitted that the cargo van was one of its vehicles and that the driver reported that the passenger side mirror was folded. The driver had no recollection of coming in contact with me. While I was angry about this, I didn’t see the need to ask for an employee dismissal. Instead, it was an opportunity to discuss this as a deadly safety issue. The company spokesperson mentioned that they do semi-annual safety trainings and I told them that I had contacted Bike MN about safety programs which could be added to their training sessions. Later I found out Bike MN does perform training and I exchanged contact info with the company.

This evening I contacted 911 again to add to the report what I had found out since reporting the incident. They gave me an ID number and transferred me to my precinct to make the report. The transfer worked but the officer couldn’t find the ID number. We discussed the incident and since I found out who hit me it was no longer considered a hit and run but an accident. My purpose in being persistent was that I wanted this incident recorded so it could be accounted for in accident records. After talking with the precinct officer, I again called 911 to inquire if I had the correct ID number. I was given an incorrect ID number and my original call didn’t have a number. The 911 reporting complications are typical of a person trying to do the right thing about something atypical of a standard 911 call. I told them up front it wasn’t an emergency. I did not request a police officer or ambulance which would have triggered a report and ID. So tomorrow I will physically bike down to precinct headquarters to file the police report and this incident becomes a recorded bike accident statistic.

I’ve ridden Marshall Avenue often without incident. Just shows danger is always lurking. Other than being shaken up, I am lucky to be physically OK though rightly perturbed.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Johnny Pugh, Mike Beadles, Bill Bennett, Diane Ziemer, Lawrence Okrend, Glen Olson, Joe Hays, Bonnie Shoebottom, Steven Sikkila, Richard Franco

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24 Sep 2017 16:56 #2681 by Joe Hays
Replied by Joe Hays on topic Hit and Run
WOW!! Glad you are OK Dan! Just another reminder that we all have to be careful out there.

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