APD says the cyclist was going the wrong way in the inside lane? (I wonder if he was turning left rather than just cruising along against traffic in the middle of MLK) Driver stayed at the scene and was arrested for DWI.
The preliminary investigation shows that a 2011 black Toyota FJ Cruiser was traveling westbound in the 4800 block of E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the inside lane. The bicyclist was traveling eastbound in the inside westbound lane. The Toyota and the bicyclist crashed head-on in the inside westbound lane.
The bicyclist, identified as Charlie Bunton, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Intoxication is a contributing factor in this case. Brosemer was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated.
In the early media press conference when the only public detail was the DWI arrest, APD talked an awful lot about bike reflectors and cyclist visibility and very little about intoxicated driving, to which Bike Austin issued a strong statement:
We strongly condemn the Austin Police Department for placing the blame for this crash on the cyclist before a full investigation has been completed. A driver made an inexcusable and reprehensible decision to drive under the influence. That’s where the Austin Police Department should focus, both in their investigation and their message to the public. Too often, bicyclists and pedestrians are scapegoated by law enforcement when a fatal or incapacitating crash occurs. This logic lets reckless drivers off the hook. If the City of Austin wants to take Vision Zero seriously, the Austin Police Department must focus their resources squarely on curbing reckless driving, which causes the overwhelming majority of traffic fatalities on our streets.
Thanks for beating me to this one owlman; I've been meaning to post but have been busy.
This crash kind of blows the argument by advocates of wrong-way cycling that riding the wrong way lets you see what's coming so you can easily avoid it.
Kudos to Bike Austin on a perfect response to APD. When local police scapegoat cyclists who get killed by drunk drivers, that's another reason why Austin isn't truly a "Bike-Friendly City".