Tucson-area Bike Lane rear-end fatal

9/29/2015 05:25am 30 y.o. Daniel Wilson was struck and killed “riding east in the bike lane of Orange Grove Road approaching La Cholla Boulevard when he was struck from behind by an eastbound passenger car merging into the right turn lane,” Casa Adobes, AZ; apparently Pima Co Sheriff investigates there. [note this is not a “criss-cross” design; the BL projects straight ahead]

It would have been dark at 525a , and police confirmed the cyclist had a tailight, sunrise wasn’t until 6:16am this day.

If you click thru to the street view above, you’ll see the area has two thru lanes, a bike lane, and a very long right-turn-only lane. It’s not clear exactly where along the approach the collision occurred.

The roadway configuration there is reminiscent of the area involving a lawsuit against Pima Co by a seriously injured cyclist.

This area (but not further west) appears to be a full-on designated bike lane with symbols, and of course the ever-present green Bike Route sign. Further west the (shoulder?) stripe does this odd thing where it wraps around into a side street

There are a number of detailed photos that show the scene on the Pima County Sheriff’s facebook page

There was a blurb in the TPCBAC packet from the December meeting (from the unapproved minutes). Note that those charges mentioned below are presumably 28-729(1) and 28-672 (a misdemeanor); so it’s good the Sheriff’s office (or prosecutor?) understands the workings of 28-672. This is the same combination of charges I noted in this motorist head-on collision in Yavapai county last month… Noting that many urban bicyclist rear-end collisions, and even some right-hooks (go read 28-729(1)!),  qualify for this misdemeanor charge when there is either a serious injury or fatality

Deputy Roher of the Pima County Sheriff’s Dept: There was a bicycle fatality near Orange Grove and La Cholla on Sept 29. The cyclists name was Daniel Wilson and he had moved into a nearby apartment complex and was riding into work. The Office of the ME wasn’t willing to officially say whether a helmet would have saved him, but Deputy Roher thinks it wouldn’t have helped.

Mr. Wilson had lights and was hit from behind right where the bike lane meets the turn lane. The way the county has deigned it is complex, but there might not be a better way. It’s a huge run up with a bike lane and a very narrow opening for the turn lane. The motorist would have done it properly if Mr. Wilson hadn’t been there.

At the scene, the driver was very shaken and very emotional. The driver had no evidence of impairment, speeding, texting, or phone use. The speed limit is 45 in the area, but there was no evidence of speeding. The driver was eventually cited for an unsafe lane change and causing death.

Link to a story on bicycletucson.com

Crash Report

This is ADOT incident=3009339 (you won’t be able to click on that link).

Motorist was faulted for UNKNOWN (which is sometimes common in fatalites where the investigator doesn’t want to go out on a limb); the correct violation probably should be FAILED TO KEEP PROPER LANE, (which would enable a 28-672 charge, the notes from TPCBAC imply that charge was brought).

In any event, the motorist’s unit action was MAKING RIGHT TURN, that is incorrect, this was hundreds of feet away from the intersection. Should have been CHANGING LANES.

Note the unit actions / direction / locations as they appear in the database would imply this was a classic right hook, but it is clearly not.

FARS case=40586 codes as crash group: Parallel Paths – Other Circumstances; crash type: Motorist Turn / Merge – Other / Unknown.  Also according to FARS the driver has a Previous Recorded Suspensions and Revocations (within the past 5 years).

There is a major error in the PBCAT data — BIKEDIR: Facing Traffic. Should be with traffic. I don’t know how to get stuff like that corrected(?!) Actually had an email exchange between myself and Kerry Wilcoxson/ADOT Jan 15-18, 2016 acknowledging it was a typo; as things turn out, errors can only be corrected through the end of the year, so just missed:

Thanks for catching this error. In speaking with staff here, it looks like it was a typo on our part. Our FARS group and the reviewers in DC are all very sharp and take great pains to QC the data specifically for this type of problem but periodically we miss things like this. We have until the end of the following year to correct any errors but that point has passed so corrections are no longer permitted. I am sorry that we were not able to catch this ourselves but thanks for bringing this to our attention.


… Other news media reports:

Bicyclist dies after being struck by car / Dylan Smith

A 30-year-old Tucson man was pronounced dead at the hospital Tuesday after being struck by a car during an early morning bike ride on the Northwest Side, authorities said.

Around 5:25 a.m., Daniel Wilson was riding east in the bike lane of Orange Grove Road approaching La Cholla Boulevard when “he was struck from behind by an eastbound passenger car merging into the right turn lane,” a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.

“The bicyclist was not wearing a helmet, however his bicycle was equipped with a flashing red rear light,” said Deputy Tracy Suitt.

Wilson was taken to Banner-University Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, and he later died, Suitt said in a news release.

“Neither speed nor impairment appeared to be factors in the collision,” Suitt said.

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