Cyclist killed in Carefree

News reports describe it as a classic left-cross (northbound driver makes a left at intersection; colliding with southbound cyclist). In bicyclist crash types, this is called a type “212 – Motorist Left Turn—Opposite Direction”.  CAREFREE – A 48-year-old man lost his life Friday night (august 16, 2013) after being struck by a car in Carefree. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chris Hegstrom said the accident happened around 5:30 p.m. near Cave Creek and New River Roads. Hegstrom said a 17-year-old driver of a Subaru was traveling north on Cave Creek Road when he turned left on New River Road and collided with Darrin Conrad who was riding a motorized bicycle. Darrin Conrad was riding his bike south on Cave Creek Road near New River Road when he was struck by a Subaru driven by the teenager, who had been trying to negotiate a turn, said Chris Hegstrom, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office…

Note that motorized bicycles don’t “count” in bicyclist traffic safety statistics; they end up being counted as motorcylists.

A bad left (28-772) is a 28-672 enabler — that is to say, if the driver made a bad left, he should be charged with 28-672, “Causing serious physical injury or death by a moving violation”, a misdemeanor,  in connection with the incident.


This is adot incident=2798171. The data follows the description and the car driver was most-at-faulted for MADE_IMPROPER_TURN, as expected. The moto-bicyclist was, however, also faulted, FAILED_TO_KEEP_IN_PROPER_LANE, presumably because he was riding in a bike lane, which would be bogus; motorized bicycles are permitted in BLs. Perhaps it was officer confusion because mopeds are not permitted. It’s also possible the device was in fact a moped, contrary to what was reported at the time in the news story. Note that in the database there is no way to distinguish a moped from a motorized bicycle, they are both listed as BodyStyleDesc: MOTORCYCLE_MP_MOPED, and their riders both get a  PersonType: DRIVER. There was also some mention of drugs; i have yet to check FARS data on that.

Motorcycle Stats

I was under the impression that this scenario, a motorist makes a bad left into a motorcyclist, was common in car-motorcycle fatal collisions. However, according to NHTSA report Fatal Two-Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes this sort of crash only accounts for 222 + 52 + 2 (that’s the motorcyclist being the striking, struck, both vehicle) out of a total of 1,792 motorcyclist operator deaths (in 2-vehicle collisions) in 2005; see table 19. This would be a “Front to Side Opposite Direction”. I ?THINK? the  striking vehicle would be, in this crash-type, the vehicle making the left… though I am unclear about what exactly striking/struck means and I had never heard of it in this context before (it seems obvious what is meant when it’s, for example, a rear-end collision), the document states “Vehicle Role When the Crash Occurred… Note: ‘Striking’ in the above paragraph does not imply fault but only describes the relationship of the vehicles in the crash as recorded by police”.

The whole striking/struck thing is odd because I don’t see where it is in FARS data elements.

On the other hand, the much older (mid-70s) Hurt Report (013695.pdf), a study of 900 crashes (of all severity. The Hurt Report to motorcycling seems analogous to Cross and Fisher is to bicycling) says that “The most frequent a-word configuration is the motorcycle proceeding straight then the automobile makes a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle.” (back then, they were still using the a-word. Today we say crash or collision).

So Hurt is quite old, and covers not just fatals, and I’m not sure how the 900 crashes were selected. The NHTSA study mentioned above is much newer (2001-2005 data) and gathers statistical-only data from a larger number of crashes.


3 thoughts on “Cyclist killed in Carefree”

  1. I agree that 672 should apply. It woudl be great to see cyclists treated the same as others when they are injured or killed.

    Sadly, though, 672 is not used very often when a cyclist loses his/her life. Actually, I’d like to see some research on this. How many times is 735 or 672 used when a cyclist is hit?

    However, 672 is used from time to time when a motorist dies. All that crashing and carnage and metal bending and airbags. Makes for a lot of work to clean up the roadway.

    When will we stop looking at sensation and metal crash noise and start looking at injuries and human life?

    Isn’t the life of a human being worth the same whether they are riding a bicycle or driving a vehicle? The mode of transportation shouldn’t matter.

  2. Eric and Ed,

    So, once again, a misdemeanor for killing someone with a car rather than a gun or knife…Or, as noted, being on a bike rather than in a car.

    What do we have to do to get equivalent punishment for equivalent outcomes?

    I guess the civil suit is the only remedy, which is monetary only (to the extent there is money)?

    Bob B

  3. no matter what this kid has no remorse..he got that car fixed and posted it on his facebook..seriously..he took my whole life away in less than 1 would you feel…once again the law is backwards..Where’s Dariin Conrad’s RIGHTS
    linda Keogh
    Darrin’s girlfriend

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