Bicyclist slams into truck on crosswalk

A 25-year-old bicyclist was injured when he plowed into a pickup truck where the linear bike path crosses Christman Street at about 4:25 p.m. Tuesday.
Becky Vargo
Jul 22, 2014

 

Barely a half hour after responding to a scooter vs. car crash on East Savidge Street, emergency crews responded to Christman Street north of M-104 in front of the Ziebart Tidy Car business.

Richard Hoffstedt of Spring Lake said he was heading to his nearby business when he heard a loud bang and saw the bicyclist bounce off his hood.

“I never saw him,” Hoffstedt said. “I hit the crosswalk and he hit me.”

Hoffstedt said he is familiar with the area and is very cautious of the bike path.

“I figure I was going maybe 15 mph,” he said.

David Qualls of Grand Haven was inside the nearby business and heard the crash.

“I ran outside and calmed him down, got him a wet rag” because the bicyclist had a gash at the corner of his eye, he said. “He was talking, said he was OK.”

The bicyclist was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

His name was not available at the time.

Witnesses said he was not wearing a helmet.
 

Comments

jlebrasseur

257.660c Operation of bicycle upon sidewalk or pedestrian crosswalk.
Sec. 660c.

(1) An individual operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.

(2) An individual shall not operate a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk if that operation is prohibited by an official traffic control device.

(3) An individual lawfully operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk has all of the rights and responsibilities applicable to a pedestrian using that sidewalk or crosswalk.

History: Add. 2006, Act 339, Imd. Eff. Aug. 15, 2006

gordbzz231

See, what i tell ya, a lot of bicyclist don,t obey rule,s, you come to a crossing such as a roadway, slow down or stop or both, check to see if it,s clear and proceed, this what i mean by blowing an intersection, i see it all the time, everyday !!!

cutie101

drivers don't obey rules either. You come to a crossing, you stop behind the white lines, check for pedestrians. No one does. They stop right over and do as they please.

newspaperlawyer

Maybe a little enforcement in the bicycling rules is due.

biker1

It is truly unfortunate that this cyclist was hit. I cannot imagine being the driver of the vehicle regardless of who is at fault. I do know that my son was hit by a car while riding his bike on a bike path. He came to a stop, saw a car approaching and slowing for the stop sign and then began progressing through the intersection in the crosswalk. The driver approaching to his right preparing to make a right turn rolled through the stop sign and into the crosswalk. The cars left headlight area hit my son in the right knee. There was no ticket issued. Clearly the driver was at fault.
It is true that some cyclists do not stop at every stop sign or obey every rule of the road just as it is true that not every motorist stops at every stop sign and obeys every rule of the road.
This incident only accentuates the point that cyclists traveling at the estimated speed of this cyclist, about 15mph, should be on the road not on the bike path. Unfortunately cyclists are often in just as much peril on the roads. Our bike paths are nothing more than glorified sidewalks or by strict definition they are in fact multi-use pathways. Bike paths are specifically for cyclists use.
I'm sure that jlebrasseur, newspaperlawyer and gordbzz231 follow every rule of the road all the time and are very conscientious of other users on the roads, especially cyclists. What many motorists and non-cyclists do not realize is that cyclists have a right to be on the roadways. Most of the Michigan laws pertaining to cyclists can be found in Michigan Vehicular Code sections 257.4- 257.668. They are worth the few minutes it takes to read them.
I'm guessing that most of the folks that don't believe cyclists have a right to share the road do not know those laws. They are some of the same people that yell out to cyclists using the road to 'get on the bike path". They are ignorant of our laws on this matter.
More important than enforcement is education and common courtesy. We cannot pass the buck onto our law enforcement people to deal with this issue. We need to take responsibility for ourselves. We all need to be aware of our rights and the rights of others. If we drove our vehicles as we wished others would and gave other road users (cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles) the kind of room and courtesy we would appreciate then the roads and sidewalks/bike paths would be safer for all users.

gordbzz231

Thanks biker1, it,s true, biker,s and other traffic is getting crazy nowadays,s and it,s scary, with the Coast Guard Fest coming soon hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable time in Grand Haven

GH55

This corner imparticular, is a perfect example of the problems with "bike paths" in this area.
Besides the fact that if the biker were traveling east and the truck was traveling south, at this intersection, it was blind, all vision of each other blocked by the building on the corner.
Regardless, there is a "stop" sign for the pedestrians on the "bike path", but there is also a sign on the road that clearly indicates a pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians have the right of way!
This intersection was marked in this manner to put the full burden on the bikers on the bike path!
Do all other pedestrian crossings in Grand Haven and Spring Lake require the pedestrians to "stop" at the crossing? NO! So why does this one? To remove the burden from the drivers to watch for bikers on the bike path!
In this instance, a biker failed to exhibit any form of safety and probably ran through a blind intersection into the side of a truck!
There are many new intersections in Grand Haven on Harbor Drive that exhibit the same diamond pedestrian crossing and there are several that show the white sign with a black border requiring "Yield to Pedestrians in the cross walk"! Why the difference?
There should be no ambiguity when it comes to safety of the most vulnerable!
The nest intersection to the west on this "bike path" has an automatic signal that takes all right of way from the pedestrians and gives it to people going into the marina! They make the pedestrians on the path "stop" for marina traffic which are not even on a public road!
These types of intersections are perfect examples of why the "bike paths" in this area are unsafe and poorly designed!
This linear park in Spring Lake is especially bad in that at almost every road crossing, there have been extensive plantings put in place to obscure the intersection from drivers and pedestrians.
I don't use it, its dangerous!
This article is placing all blame on the biker with no investigation what so ever!

Tri-cities realist

Unless I'm missing something, didn't you just blame the biker too?

pike84

Pedestrians only have the right of way if they are "in" the cross walk. I see it all the time in GH, people just walk out in front of cars and the cars hit the brakes hard. Some common sense, if a car is coming and you are not in the cross walk I believe the car has the right of way. If you are crossing and in the cross walk cars must stop.

jaystreet

Wrong. That's not the law.

CPinSL

"Do all other pedestrian crossings in Grand Haven and Spring Lake require the pedestrians to "stop" at the crossing? NO! So why does this one? To remove the burden from the drivers to watch for bikers on the bike path!"

I can't speak for Grand Haven, but in Spring Lake Township and Ferrysburg, yes, they all do have a stop sign on the bike path. (That's part of the reason so many bicyclists choose not to ride on the paths.) They used to teach kids to walk their bikes when crossing at a crosswalk, but apparently, that's not actually a law.
The biggest lesson to take away from this is accident that regardless of who has the right of way, the bicyclist is usually the one who's going to get hurt. As I've taught my kids, that only determines who gets a ticket, but it doesn't heal bodies.

And, I hope the cyclist and driver are doing well.

gordbzz231

even the insurance company's are admitting there are idiots out there and they give them forgiveness and pay the cliam anyway, lol

Riverside

Now I'm confused, this article says " Barely a half hour after responding to a scooter vs. car crash", The other story says moped?

Which is it a moped or scooter?...........

sigh.

newspaperlawyer

I watched a pair of bike riders and a father and son running on the village bike path today not even stop prior to entering the street or look either ways.

jaystreet

Two points: (1) the driver had the obligation to look both ways before proceeding through the stop sign. He did not. (2) the cyclist cannot speak for themselves because they are unconscious and in the hospital. Note, no statement was taken from them which means they were injured beyond the ability to speak. (or the reporter did not speak to them.)
I would be hard pressed to use only one witness, especially that of the driver who is the guilty one for not looking both ways before proceeding, in establishing who is to blame for this crash. I have often observed in crashes where the cyclists or pedestrian is rendered speechless (by either being inured or dead), in the absence of other witnesses, the driver can say whatever they want to say to save their behind.
In addition, when it comes to vulnerable road users--pedestrians, runners, workmen, crossing guards, and cyclists, versus the driver of a 2 or 3 ton vehicle, which one of these has the most obligation to use care?
The driver of course.
Just because the bulk of the driving population is too lazy to use bikes to get around, and therefore does not understand the fundamentals of biking in traffic (ie.., the other side), does not absolve them of the responsibility to exercise due care with more vulnerable fellow citizens.

Barry Soetoro

(2) “He was talking, said he was OK.”

cutie101

I'm just saying this just to say this. But from my experience biking to work everyday.. Drivers don't really care about pedestrians or bicyclists or motorcyclists. They see the road as theirs just because they drive around in a big box. And so often have I almost been hit/completely ignored because I was on my bike and even though I had the right away, I'd waited for my turn to go, I'd still almost been hit. And also no one seems to know how to stop at the white lines where they are supposed to. It's almost like they don't even know they exist. And even if you have to go over the white lines to see traffic more clearly, it is still important to stop before them, check for pedestrians, and then move forward.

 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.