The guy who got in an accident on Monday is Matthew. I talked to his sister, Katherine, this morning. She has spent the last 40 hours in ICU and was exhausted, shocked, and heart broken.
It's unlikely that Matthew will recover from his injuries. He's got extensive spinal and brain damage. Katherine has been instructed to gather family quickly.
It's one thing to sit and armchair accidents. It's quite another to be in one and it's quite another to meet, face-to-face, the loved ones of victims who are struggling to make sense of it all.
I'll lay out what I learned here.
- Matthew worked at the new Apple store. He was on his way to work.
- According to a witness Matthew was "flying down the hill." Based on Katherine's discussions with the "investigators," this is the single piece of evidence that makes this a closed case. (I can't stand it; I have to editorialize a bit here: to most car-people, I would submit that a cyclist going 25 MPH is "flying." But of course I wasn't there.)
- The driver, who had an expired license, was not ticketed. He stopped. Then he pulled in front of Matthew, who was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- There are bicycle tire skid marks that indicate Matthew tried to stop.
- According to Katherine, Matthew was a "real" cyclist: he always wore a helmet, he was not a "sidewalk rider." He followed the rules.
- Katherine made the mistake of looking on the Spokesman-Review for information on the event. The poorly described accident scene (which implies it was rider error) coupled with the typical vitriolic, uninformed remarks of the SR commenters made the horrific event even worse.
- She mentioned that the investigating officer said that there were some "bike advocates at the scene who were doing their own investigation" and who were going to "put up a white bike." If this is you or your buddies, please contact me. She's very interested in learning anything new, especially finding other witnesses.
I have to wonder how the SPD "investigation" would be different if this were a car-car accident with such an awful result. There's so much to say here.
10 hours ago