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#1 2019-01-29 12:02:25

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

Speaking of sharing the road with busses ...

Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus

The only details they've given us so far on who the victim was is "Officials said the cyclist was not affiliated with UT".

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#2 2019-01-29 12:22:33

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 261

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

According to Austin-Travis County EMS, the crash occurred at San Jacinto Boulevard and 23rd Street, which is near Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium, at 10:33 p.m. Details are sparse so far.  Cap Metro tweeted about it this a.m.  The radio report this morning I believe noted both were going north.

This report confirms the radio report partly, by saying they were headed in the same direction
https://news4sanantonio.com/news/nation … -ut-campus

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#3 2019-01-29 22:43:14

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

KVUE has a report from a passenger on the bus ... suggesting a crazy or drunk bus driver?

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#4 2019-01-29 23:41:40

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 193

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

WOW!  Just wow.  So much to say.  1. So much for feeling safe sharing lanes with buses.  Whilst cycling, I have always felt safest around people who drive for a living. I'm sure ( I hope) this is an isolated incident.
2.  The quality of reporting we get now is awful.  When I was in 8th grade (1975) I remember learning about the 5 W's of reporting.  Who, What, When, Where, and Why.  These news stories drive me crazy with their lack of W's and their lack of follow up.   We need to know the details in order to understand the situation and come to an informed opinion.   There seems to be little follow through on these local stories.

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#5 2019-01-30 05:18:22

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,173
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Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

I don't blame them for not reporting much at first when not much is known, but follow-through is certainly a problem.  I have a whole article about how the media hurts us (bicyclists), and mention the follow-up issue specifically:

Bicycle Austin wrote:

The Statesman gets most (or all) of its information about car-bike collisions from the police. This immediately puts the paper in a position of reporting only what the police want to be reported. The extremely brief press release from the police department made no mention of the fact that the driver ran a red light to hit Ben. (That fact wouldn't become widely known until the police REPORT was available several days later.) But the police press release made damn certain to point out that Ben wasn't wearing a helmet, a fact the Statesman was only too happy to repeat.

But the fact that the Statesman was duped doesn't let them off the hook, because they're WILLING dupes. When the truth about the collision became known, the fact that the police had been less than forthcoming about the real nature of the collision, and had in fact shifted blame in their press release onto the cyclist, should have been a story in and of itself. But it wasn't. Not to the Statesman, anyway.

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#6 2019-02-01 11:06:22

owlman
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Registered: 2011-12-16
Posts: 138

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

ID'd as 39-year-old Anthony "Tony" Diaz, a Fox7 employee & Navy vet.

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-ne … f-employee


I presume we'll get more followup news than usual for this story. Fox posted a call for witnesses--4 of the 8 bus riders left before police arrived.

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-ne … -bus-crash

Fox7 wrote:

The crash happened in a well-lit area with a speed limit of 15 miles per hour. It was a cold, windy night and the road was mostly clear of vehicles. Tony was riding his bike a few feet from the curb through empty angled parked spaces. 

Questions about why the crash occurred could not be immediately answered by police, but they said Tony took every precaution and surveillance videos showed no indication that he did anything to cause the crash. “He was following all the things that you would expect bicyclists to do. He was wearing a helmet, lights on the bicycle, both front facing light as well as a rear blinking red tail light were on the bicycle, that's what you would expect,” said UTPD Chief David Carter.

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#7 2019-02-01 13:03:31

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

Plans are forming to put up a ghost bike, however, there's allegedly some trouble with UT who says they will remove any abandoned bikes.

There's some discussion happening on the Social Cycling Austin Facebook page though a lot of this is second-hand information.

Either way, I suspect that a ghost bike will go up soon, with or without UT's approval.

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#8 2019-02-02 04:18:59

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,173
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Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

There's a petition to show support for a Ghost Bike to try to get UT to not remove it.

  https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-hernand … e350a9b7f9

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#9 2019-02-08 23:35:28

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 193

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

I received an email about this. Just spreading the word:

Silent Ride on Wed Feb 13, 4:30-6pm from Saltillo Plaza through UT campus and back to Eastside to Cap Metro on E. 5th. Here’s a link to the Facebook invitation: https://www.facebook.com/events/2492412310787900/

Pass it along.  It would be great to see a huge turnout.

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#10 2019-02-19 21:01:03

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

Looks like there's some more details out there about this case --

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/utpd-d … w-to-react

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-ne … -bicyclist

http://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/s … 1794704861

(Thanks guey_out_there on reddit)

It's beginning to look like this is an intoxication manslaughter case, probably due to multiple prescription drugs, and the police are taking it seriously.  The standard penalty for a second-degree felony like intoxication manslaughter is 2-20 years in prison.

It also sounds like Capital Metro and their contractor will be pointing fingers back and forth about who is at fault, but either way ... this is going to cost them a lot of money.

Regarding the memorial ride --

Pass it along.  It would be great to see a huge turnout.

There was a fair turnout.  Michael was even interviewed by Fox News who came with us on the ride.

Last edited by dougmc (2019-02-19 21:02:23)

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#11 2019-02-19 23:28:59

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,173
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Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

I feel for Tony Diaz and those who knew him.

Years ago I calculated that biking is 3-8x more dangerous than driving per mile, based on the fatality rate.  However, now that I'm driving again (after 27 years of not), I'm driving *way* more than 8x as many miles as I used to bike.  So, my current driving *should* be more dangerous than my current biking.  But it just doesn't feel like that way.  I feel vulnerable on the bike, because of things that are impossible to prevent, like an impaired bus driver mowing down a cyclist.

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#12 2019-03-13 14:25:52

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

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#13 2019-03-13 15:07:11

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,173
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Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

Wow, that's unusual.  Then again, let's wait and see what the end result is.

As always, more important to me than however much jail time she gets, her license should be permanently suspended.  Though the reality is that even if she's sentenced to 20 years, she'll still be able to drive with impunity when she gets out.

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#14 2019-03-13 15:49:07

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

This is an unusual case -- every single thing about it screams "there's no way we can call this an 'accident'".

Tony did absolutely nothing wrong that could be used to shift any blame whatsoever to him, even by the standards of a bicycle-disliking motorist.  (Except ride a bike at all, of course.)

There are lots of witnesses, and these witnesses were even warning the bus driver about the cyclist before the crash.

Presumably, there's video evidence of the whole thing.

It sounds like there's lots of evidence of intoxication, though it would be the blood test that really cinches that.

And of course, the whole city is watching ...

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#15 2019-03-13 16:23:05

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,173
Website

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

Been there, done that.  From the https://bicycleaustin.info/justice/ page:

• Armando Reza intentionally rammed cyclists, while drunk, and without a license:  Got 10 days in jail
• Erik Fabian intentionally rammed cyclists, got probation (no fine, no jail)
• Melissa Graham killed two cyclists while drunk driving:  no penalty at all

etc. etc.

This case is not so special.

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#16 2019-03-13 17:04:05

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19

We shall see ... this case has an "orgy of evidence" that most cases do not, and it would be hard to let it fall through the cracks.

That said, if her lawyer can build some sympathy for whatever requires her to take all those medications (and assuming that they all have valid prescriptions!) then that might get her a lighter sentence.  It shouldn't get her an acquittal, but maybe a lighter sentence, maybe.  (It shouldn't, but ... alas, it often does.)

(The standard penalty for manslaughter is two to twenty years in prison, and they might go for a plea bargain for the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide, which is a state jail felony with a standard penalty of 0.5 to 2 years in state jail.  That said, the manslaughter charge totally fits what happened that day.)

Not that 0.5 years is anywhere near sufficient, but then again ... I'm not sure 20 years is either.  But I doubt we're going to see her walk away with mere probation or ten days in jail.

However it turns out, a permanent revocation of her license sounds very unlikely -- that almost never happens, and even when it does it tends to not really be "permanent".

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