Bicyclist killed at driveway 43rd Ave and Bell

Think about where each of these motorists is looking before crossing the sidewalk. graphic: cyclingsavvy.org
Think about where each of these motorists is looking before crossing the sidewalk. graphic: cyclingsavvy.org

[UPDATE: crash report, below. This was a counter-flow direction SIDEWALK rider, killed at a driveway by a right-turning driver. JUST like in the diagram at right]

Tuesday March 31, 2015 time appox early afternoon: the bicyclist was a 20 y.o. female, Jamie Lynn Cody. Police say she was riding SB in a NB lane on 43rd Ave near Bell when an exiting vehicle (possibly the Schwann’s truck seen in the video) turned right and struck her. I.e. the rider was counter-flow in the roadway. This appears to be the NE corner; there is a designated bike lane there, looks to be the driveway nearest Whataburger / Hobby Bench.

The illustration at right is meant to highlight the dangers of sidewalk riding, however the same advice applies to counter-flow street riding, possibly moreso… The driver of a vehicle exiting the driveway when turning right is going to be looking to the left; and especially isn’t expecting any traffic (in the roadway) to approach from his right). Besides the 2013 Scottsdale incident, mentioned below, there have been at least two more recent fatalities, both in Tempe involving wrong-way bicyclists killed in collisions with right-turning drivers (6/12/2014 at Elliot and Harl; and 10/3/2013 at Univerity and Smith). These are, by the way, the only known bicyclist fatalities in Tempe for those two years.

I am always suspicious that these types of scenarios might be actually sidewalk riders which (should) change the complexion of the investigation. The police statement, as it was in this Scottsdale 2013 wrong-way cyclist fatality struck by a right-turning motorist, were quite specific the cyclist was counter-flow in the roadway, and not the sidewalk so I have to take them at their word (though i never saw that crash report, it was from the PIO).

Phoenix Police say the woman was riding her bike southbound in a northbound lane when she was hit by a vehicle leaving a private driveway. A Schwan’s truck was seen at the scene, but it isn’t confirmed whether or not it was the vehicle that struck the woman…  — azcentral

Crash Report

This is ADOT incident=3019896. City of Phoenix FileNumber 201500600324, available online incident 15000600324.

The database and crash report are consistent: A southbound SIDEWALK cyclist was killed by a truck driver emerging from a driveway and turning right.

It’s not clear how the news reports twisted that into “Phoenix Police say the woman was riding her bike southbound in a northbound lane when she was hit…”. But it’s possible that that’s how it was explained (by police) to them. There is this sort of these deeply seated confusion among police about sidewalk riding — though it is perfectly legal — Phoenix (but not just Phoenix) police often fault the bicyclist; even when the motorist is doing something plainly wrong, like a bad-left.

The cyclist was listed as most at fault, for DROVE_RODE_IN_OPPOSING_TRAFFIC_LANE and the driver was listed as FAILED_TO_YIELD_RIGHT_OF_WAY. The driver, however, does not appear to have been cited (this info isn’t always on the crash report, caselookup doesn’t show any citations). Here’s the narrative:

Unit 1 (pedalcyclist) was southbound on the east sidewalk for North 43rd Avenue approaching the south private drive for the Bell Park Shopping Plaza located adjacent to 43rd Avenue… Unit 2 (Schwan’s deliver truck) was traveling westbound on the same private drive and came to a complete stop. Unit 1 slowed and attempted to continue southbound across the front of Unit 2 in an unmarked crosswalk [technically, i don’t think this is correct, the driveway area is just an extension of the sidewalk; i.e. it would only be an unmarked crosswalk if this were an intersection. In any event, that doesn’t appear have anything to do with outcome] Unit 2 began making a right-hand turn and struck Unit 1  with the right portion of the truck’s bumper. The pedalcyclist was run over by the front right tire of Unit 2…

It’s interesting the narrative made a specific reference to making a complete stop. A stop is required for drivers at driveways per 28-856.

7 thoughts on “Bicyclist killed at driveway 43rd Ave and Bell”

  1. Yes, it was the schwans truck that hit her, and at about 1:40pm she was hit. I was heading to work when I saw it happen.

  2. Was shopping at the Hobby Bench when it happened. It was the Schwan truck that struck her. She was in the road when the truck struck her. Where you see the truck sitting is where she was hit, only her and her bicycle were underneath the truck. I see people riding against traffic all the time, and this is one reason not to do it. It is a 3 lane road at that point, and once you’re past the sidewalk in that driveway, there is no legal reason to look right when pulling out. However it’s not a very busy road at that section of 43rd because 43rd ends at the 101 (not a lot of through traffic) . Taking the extra time to look “left/right/left” for safety is not inconvenient.

  3. I was the 1st one on seane I called 911. I’ve very sorry for everyone involved. Prayers go out to the girls family and friends. Wish I could of done more.

  4. Those Schwanns guys drive recklessly outside and inside our neighborhoods. A Schwanns truck hit my son in his truck. Same scenario…he was pulling out of a private drive and cut over too many lanes to turn right into a neighborhood and slammed into the side of his truck. Thank god nobody was hurt! But of corse Schwanns didn’t care and the police didn’t even ticket him even though the drawing they made in their report clearly showed the driver in the wrong. God bless the family of this victim. I hope they find peace.

  5. Schwan’s drivers are on the road 10 to 14 hours a day and are put under tremendous stress by upper management. If a Schwan’s driver does not make 70% of his time windows he only makes $50 for a 10 to 14 hour day causing unsafe driving habits. Schwan’s upper management only cares about padding their personal bonuses and the company is in a downward spiral.

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