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Sacramento Runner Injured from Bicycle Accident Hit and Run
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer. 61-year-old Bill Finkbeiner, a Sacramento Running Association Hall of Fame member was struck in the back by a bicyclist while out running on June 13.
Going out for his daily run, Bill joined a group of friends on the American River Parkway on Tuesday evening. The Auburn resident was running along the two-lane bike/walking path near the Golf Course of Campus Commons when fellow runners behind him yelled, “bike!” Thinking he would have enough time to make it to the side, the veteran racer made his way to the edge of the path when he was hit in the back by the cyclist at full speed. The impact threw Bill forward and he landed on his face, rendering him unconscious and fracturing his skull in several places. The force of the crash pushed Finkbeiner so violently that he did not have time to break the fall with his arms and hands. The rider of the bicycle continued on without stopping or even looking back.
Bill Hambrick, Finkbeiner’s friend, witnessed the entire collision. Hambrick and other witnesses described the cyclist as a man in his early 40s with a disheveled look and sandy brown hair. The bicycle was not a light road bike used by serious bicyclists, but an older, heavier bike. The rider left his cell phone on the trail in his rush to flee the scene. Bill Finkbeiner also sustained a fractured nose, broken teeth, fractured hand, and many cuts and scrapes.
Park Rangers currently have the phone as evidence, but a loosely worded vehicle code may prevent them from ever obtaining a warrant to unlock it and discover the identity of the suspect. The issue arises from whether or not this is considered a felony. Bicycles are considered vehicles when used on streets or in parking lots. As this was a paved trail and not a typical street, prosecutors are unsure whether a hit and run felony would apply. If the trail is considered to not be a street, authorities would be unable to obtain a warrant because the act would not be considered a felony. Therefore it would be nigh impossible to identify the cyclist and charge him with lesser charges.
If the prosecutors cannot clarify this as a hit and run incident, the victim would be subject to more loss than already suffered. Bill Finkbeiner owns and operates his own landscaping company. His injuries are so bad that he is unable to take care of himself, let alone work to support himself. Friends have set up a GoFundMe page where people can donate money to help Bill get back on his feet and support him through his injuries. (www.go www.gofundme.com/bill-finkbeiners-recovery-fundfundme.com/bill-finkbeiners-recovery-fund) Aside from financial loss, the Hall of Fame member will not be able to run for months. He will not be able to participate in the 100-mile race he was training for in August, of which he has run dozens in his lifetime. The day following the accident also ends a personal goal to run every day for as long as he can. Bill had not missed a day of running in 37 years, starting January 1980. In an interview, he expressed his disappointment and frustration with ending that streak because of the negligent actions of another individual.
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Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer. If you as an individual or someone you care about are in a situation like the one you just read, please give us a call at 916-921-6400 for free, friendly advise. Or call 800-404-5400 free of charge for useful information that may help you in tough situations when someone else is at fault.
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