Driver in Fairfax Kills Cyclist on Bike Path

By Peter DePaolis

In 2008, Virginia had 13 fatal bicyclist accidents. Most accidents occur in urban areas where drivers and bicyclists are facing numerous distractions. Only a momentary lapse in attention by either party can have disastrous consequences for bicyclists, who are no match for the size and weight of motor vehicles. If negligent driving has injured you or a loved one while bicycling, a Virginia personal injury lawyer can provide assistance.

A couple of weeks ago, a 31-year-old man lost control of his SUV and crossed a median strip and six lanes of traffic before striking and killing a 17-year-old bicyclist who was riding on a bike path. The driver also hit another bicyclist who was not seriously injured. The driver died when his SUV ultimately crashed into a tree. The day that the accident occurred happened to be the annual “Bike to Work Day,” so bicycle traffic was heavier than normal. Authorities suspect that bicyclists might have been waiting for a traffic light to change when the car struck them.

The death was Fairfax’s first bicyclist death in more than a year. Most of the six bicyclist deaths in the past five years have involved people traveling to or from work in the dark. While drivers were often to blame in these accidents, the bicyclists shared some of the responsibility, as many of them were clad in dark clothing, had no lights on themselves or their bikes, were not wearing a helmet, and were riding on roads where there was no shoulder. Bicyclists should always make themselves as visible as possible and, when riding at night, take extra precautions.

If a driver has injured you while you were bicycling, contact a Northern Virginia personal injury attorney, such as Peter DePaolis, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.