Friday, July 09, 2010

3rd Cyclist in 30 Days Dies In South Jersey

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Woman on tricycle killed in S. Jersey
By Darran Simon A South Jersey woman was killed Wednesday when the adult tricycle she was riding was struck by a pickup truck, authorities said. Cecilia Harrop, 39, of Gloucester City, was riding an adult tricycle in Brooklawn when an Isuzu pickup hit her around 3 p.m. as he turned from Chestnut Street onto New Broadway, said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

Authorities have not released the name of the pickup driver, who hasn't been charged, said Laughlin.

View Bicyclists Crashes 2008-2010 NJ and SE PA in a larger map

Some observations:

  • It's unknown who is more culpable here-the driver or the victim. The intersection which is on the left of the image is a slip turn or pork chop which is hazardous for bicycles because right turns are sometimes treated by drivers as a yield as opposed to a stop. We also don't know if Ms. Harrop was pedaling with or against traffic.
  • It is the third fatality in South Jersey in a month, a cyclist was killed by a RiverLINE train in June in Trenton and a bicyclist was killed in the shoulder in Franklinville last week.
  • This transportation fatality in which a smaller vehicle was struck by a much larger one barely made the paper, while the Duckboat tragedy in which two people are missing and presumed dead continues to dominate the headlines. Yes, the rarity of the crash, its central location and the potential harm that could have occurred warrant our attention. But the cause of that crash will be thoroughly investigated by the NTSB and countermeasures will be taken with a goal of no more deaths. Meanwhile it is unlikely that anything will come of the tragedy in Brooklawn.


Anonymous said...

Closer to Philadelphia is a story of a cyclist badly injured by a hit and run driver who may serve 90 days house arrest in her palatial home. Complete with a butler.

The story of the person she hit

Anonymous said...

Shorter links to the originals:

The driver

The victim

Marie said...

This is indeed a sad and reoccurring thing. Cecilia was a dear friend and co-worker and this incident has affected many of us who knew her. Something should come of this, no matter who, what, when, or where. In the end a person on a bike has just as much rights as one in a car or one on foot.

John Boyle said...

Thanks for sharing Marie. We agree, the state legislature can start on the right path by writing and passing a vulnerable road user law. Drivers need to be held accountable for bicycle or pedestrian deaths even if it is only a misdemeanor.
The 2007 Oregon Legislature passed HB 3314, creating an enhanced penalty for careless driving if it contributes to serious physical injury or death to a vulnerable user of a public way.