Sadly, earlier last month, A 69-year-old-man succumbed to the injuries suffered in what turned out to be a fatal Petaluma bicycle crash. The seemingly solo bicycle collision sent this gentleman over his handle bars and caused him to hit the ground face first, said officials in Petaluma.
Police were called to the intersection of B Street and El Rose Drive, after receiving reports of a bicyclist on the ground with “significant trauma to his head and face”. The injured Petaluma cyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident.
Police do not believe road conditions or other vehicles played a role, so what happened? Was there a brake malfunction on his bicycle? Did something else mechanically go wrong? What are the odds of a 69 year old man crashing, or even riding that fast on purpose? It would be interesting to see whether inspection of the bicycle would elicit some evidence showing that there had been a malfunction, or another factor that may have influenced the crash. The bike should be preserved for expert inspection to get to the bottom of this, and, even though the Petaluma police did not list any roadway defects as a cause, this does not mean that a dangerous condition of public property was not a substantial factor in causing this bicycle death. The family he’s left behind deserves some answers. My condolences go out to this man’s family, and I recommend that they consult with a good bicycle accident attorney who will explore any contribution made by factors other than just the bicyclist’s own speeding.
Often, as attorneys who represent persons who have suffered catastrophic injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one, we need to be detectives and to look more deeply than perhaps the local police have done thus far. I am working on several cases right now where our clients, due to serious brain injury or to spinal cord injury, do not recall the exact facts and circumstances leading up to the collision, or who cannot articulate those facts. Careful and thorough investigation of the facts and the preservation of evidence is absolutely necessary for our clients to understand what their options truly are.