Lawsuit filed: Flagstaff cyclist killed in collision with city truck

NAU student Joshua Pete was killed in a collision with a city-owned truck.

“both traveling westbound on Butler Avenue at the time of the collision, with Pete in the marked bike lane, police said. The investigation so far indicates that the truck and the bicyclist collided at about 11:15 a.m [11/16/2009] as the truck was making a right turn into the driveway. Pete became entangled in the truck’s wheel housing and was dragged some distance before the vehicle came to a stop in the driveway” AZ Daily Sun article.

This is a classic right hook scenario.

Prosecutor completed their investigation, and there will be no criminal charges  [azdailysun]

From reading the crash report, it sounds as though police (the Flagstaff PD) concluded that the cyclist attempted to overtake the truck (as opposed to the other way around), and therefore there will be no citations to the truck driver (though see below: Citation?) — and in any event i did not have the detailed / independent AZ DPS report, just the City’s report (the city PD report was quite long, ~ 80 pages). (I presume there was an independent report due to possible conflict of interest since the city owned the truck?).

In any event, the truck driver was found most at fault for FTY, and the cyclist got no fault in crash report Adot incident 2309273. One oddity i just noticed is the CityID is 999 (‘unspecified’) which means if you search on Flagstaff as the city, you won’t find this one; that seems to be an error in data entry somehow.

Lawsuit filed

A $4M wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the family of Joshua Pete. [azdailysun]. The family’s lawyer refers to a supplemental DPS report which contains information they claim makes the truck driver at least partially responsible for the crash “DPS Detective Curt Getting concluded that a ‘contributing factor to the collision would be the wide/late right turn into the plant by the truck driver. The cyclist could have perceived the truck was continuing straight ahead.’ ”

The 5 page DPS referred to is apparently only summarized in Flagstaff PD’s 80 page report.

This is apparently the case number: S-0300-CV-201000619  AMOS H PETE  PLAINTIFF Coconino County Superior.

In what is likely to be the final outcome,  azdailysun.com is reporting on June 7, 2011 the suit will be settled by the City paying $500,000 to the cyclist’s family, pending council approval. “The settlement, which will be covered by the city’s insurance carrier, does not address who was at fault at the time of the collision”, interesting comment — I’m not sure why anyone would care who’s fault it is, at this point probably just a legalese thing; and anyways Arizona is pure comparative (percentages. For example $500,000 is ~ 6% of $8M).

Citation

There is a citation for “UNSAFE TURN OR NO TURN SIGNAL” (which is presumably 28-754) floating around: M-0341-TR-2010004034, filed 5/23/2010. Then some sort of motion on 6/16, and then comments were added on 6/28 — but as of this writing (on 8/2/2010) there is no disposition, it is just blank…. which is because the case got transferred from muni court to Flagstaff justice court, the defendant has plead not guilty, and the case has been continued and no trial date is set. The case number is J-0301-TR-2010005648.

Final outcome finally on 12/13/2010:  JDGMT GUILTY/RESP SENT SUSPEND

 

2 thoughts on “Lawsuit filed: Flagstaff cyclist killed in collision with city truck”

  1. Not important who’s at fault? This sounds similar to a lot of “right hook” situations. Although definitely less clear who is at fault, that’s why this case could help define that. If Josh had been given the rights of a car, wouldn’t it have been the driver’s fault? Or is it that bike lanes are not given the same rights as car lanes…

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