Keith Vick, 36, who went by the moniker "The Slave", was killed by a truck while riding his bicycle on Dec. 3, 2002. According to APD's accident report, Vick was riding southbound on the right-hand sidewalk on Guadalupe, and when he came off the sidewalk to cross 10th Street, a truck turning right onto 10th street struck and killed him.
It's for this reason that we've insisted that you should not ride on the sidewalk. When you come off the sidewalk to cross the street you're invisible to turning vehicles, and are just begging to be hit. Statistics show that you're nineteen times more likely to suffer a collision from riding on the sidewalk rather than riding in the street, and Keith's tragedy is a prime example of why. (For more on how to not get hit by cars, please see BicycleSafe.com.)
Vick was a well-known activist, working primarily on issues involving economic justice and micro-radio. We'd corresponded briefly with him a few years ago when he wrote to us asking about the controversy at a community radio station where we had a program about bicycling issues.
There are some serious unanswered questions about Vick's death. First, APD's accident report says that Vick struck the truck. However, the broken signal lights presumably from the truck found at the accident scene suggest that the truck hit Vick. More serious is the question of whether the truck had enough speed to break its lights from the collision with Vick if it had truly stopped at the red light on 10th Street before turning right. Some suspect that the truck did not stop.
Of course, if the truck had a red light, then so did Vick (or at least a Don't Walk sign), and so even if the truck did not stop then they were both at fault.
Our coverage of this case and other resources includes:
Bicyclist in accident identified
Commentary by Keith's friend, Stefan
By , Dec. 6, 2002
By , Dec. 12, 2002
Letter to APD
By , Dec. 13, 2002
Response from APD
By Detective Terry Gish, Dec. 13, 2002
Mr. Wray: I was the Detective on the scene the night of the collision. We make all fatality scenes in the city when they occur. I can not, and will not discuss this case with you, since you are not a family member. All I will state to you is that you are not correct with your assumptions. Leave the investigation to me. Thank you.
The truck that killed Keith
By , Dec. 16, 2002
This afternoon we drove out to Conway Southern Express at 8101 Bagby and found the truck that ran over and killed Slave (Keith Vick) last week.
We know it's the truck because it matches the description and the license plate number in the accident report.
Slave was killed by this truck when it ran over him at the northwest corner of 10th and Guadalupe on Dec. 3.
It's hard to believe that Slave did not see this truck coming, and, as the police report says, he ran into it.
[Ed. note: That fact that Keith probably saw the truck doesn't mean he could have avoided the collision. If the truck turned right in front of Keith as Keith came off the sidewalk, he might have had only a foot or two to try to stop. Given the height of the truck, it's very easy to see how Keith could have struck it and then slid under the wheels.
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