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Garbage Truck Fatally Injures Bicyclist

Home » Garbage Truck Fatally Injures Bicyclist
September 01, 2016
Edward Smith

Bicyclist Killed in Garbage Truck Accident

It is the beginning of the school year. There are more kids walking and riding their bikes to school than last month at this time. There are more cars and bicycles on the road as parents, high school kids and college students make their way back to class. It is easy to remind everyone to drive safely because school is back in session. But it is difficult to hear a news report like the one we heard about yesterday out of West Sacramento.

What Happened? 

A bicyclist passed away after being struck by a garbage truck on the morning of Wednesday, August 31, 2016, authorities said.

The collision between the Waste Management garbage truck and an individual riding a bicycle occurred in the 200 block section of West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento, according to an employee of the West Sacramento Police Department.

The bicyclist and the Waste Management garbage truck driver were proceeding westbound on West Capitol Avenue. Authorities indicated, that the garbage truck went to make a turn to proceed into an apartment complex when he accidentally struck the bicyclist.

No report has indicated the driver of the Waste Management truck to be injured. He was reportedly very traumatized by the event, according to police.

The identity of the victim has not yet been released.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the bicyclist who passed away.

Drivers Have a Greater Duty of Care 

The duty of care extends to everyone, but California courts have long recognized that the danger posed by a 4,000+ lb. vehicle is much greater than that posed by someone on foot or bicycle. Courts, therefore, require the greater duty of care by the driver of the motor vehicle. (Arentz vs. Blackshere (1967) 248 Cal. App. 2nd 638.

If driving through an area where children are commonly present, the driver has a greater duty of care. (Hilyar vs. Union Ice Company (1955) 45 Cal. 2d 30.

Who Is At Fault?

West Sacramento Police said a preliminary investigation reveals it may have been a tragic accident. It will take one or two weeks for them to prepare a traffic collision report of their findings. Many times these reports turn out to be inconclusive or in error. This can leave the family members and friends of the person who passed away with many unanswered questions as to why their loved one died.

The Necessity of Independent Investigation

When a victim dies in a crash he or she is not able to give an account of what happened. For this is and many other reasons, it is crucial to contact an experienced attorney who knows how to protect the rights of those who are no longer able to speak for themselves. A good attorney will promptly get out to the scene of the collision to preserve critical evidence (including the bike and garbage truck) before they are fixed or disposed of. The attorney will photograph the crash scene from all angles and at the same time of day as the crash (and on the same day of the week) to fully understand what the road conditions were like during the time of the collision.

A good attorney will also look for video cameras on businesses or buildings in the area that may have been rolling at the time of the crash. Sometimes this footage will reveal more details as to how an accident occurred. Witness statements will also be taken, investigated and compared. The attorney may also subpoena the records of the company who employs the driver and obtain the electronic data recordings commonly utilized in the trucking industry. All this and more is done to properly determine liability (fault) for a collision.

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West Sacramento Bicycle Accident and Wrongful Death Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Garbage Truck Accident Attorney. If you or someone dear to you has suffered a serious personal injury or has passed away in a crash, please call me promptly at (916) 921-6400 for free and friendly advice.

I have helped West Sacramento families recover compensation for their wrongful death and personal injury claims for more than 3 decades.

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