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]Ore. Bicyclist Charged With Manslaughter

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Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Oct 18, 2002
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The Cleft of Venus
Ore. Bicyclist Charged With Manslaughter
Sep 12 12:21 PM US/Eastern


CORVALLIS, Ore. - A bicyclist was charged with manslaughter after he ran through a stop sign and struck and killed a 71-year-old woman, police said Monday.

Jean Calder died at Good Samaritan Hospital after she was struck Friday night as she crossed a street at an unmarked crosswalk, Corvallis police Capt. Ron Noble said.

Christopher A. Lightning, 51, was charged with manslaughter and reckless driving.

"A car and a bicycle are both vehicles and if they are operated in a way that could be criminal, then charges are filed equally in both situations," Noble said. "He was going right through a stop sign."

Lightning was being housed in Benton County jail with bail set at $57,500. He will be given a court-appointed lawyer at his arraignment in Benton County.
 

Silver

find me a tampon
Jul 20, 2002
10,846
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Orange County, CA
manhattanprjkt83 said:
He should have been paying attention, but that is a little over the top.
Why? He hit a woman crossing the street and killed her.

Now, it may be over the top when you look at how drivers literally get away with murder when they run over cyclists, but that's the only angle I can figure out.
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
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Atlanta
manhattanprjkt83 said:
He should have been paying attention, but that is a little over the top.
On the road bicycles are supposed to abide by the same "rules of the road" as a car. If you did this in a vehicle you would be charged with manslaughter and reckless driving so I think it's perfectly reasonable to do the same for a cyclist.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
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Geez, I get so ticked off at the roadies in our area. NONE of them follow traffic laws. Red lights and stop signs are apparently optional if you are on a bicycle in our town. Our little group of four seem to be the only ones that actually think like drivers when we ride our road bikes. God forbid a roadie STOPS at a red light and lets his heart rate dip a couple of points. :nuts:
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
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I don't know the details of the accident, but I live about .5 miles from where this happened. Lets just say that there are several examples in Corvallis, this being one of them, of badly maintained crosswalks (no markings, no street paint, no signs) that are located such that cars can park on either side right up to the crosswalk. This lends to a situation where a person seems to walk out from between parked cars into a crosswalk that a bicyclist or car can't see is there. It's very dangerous. Corvallis also lacks sufficient crosswalks in busy areas. I don't think it's a coincidence that we have such a high pedestrian accident rate. Like I said, I don't know the details, but because of where this happened, unless there is a factor that wasn't mentioned like alcohol, I would have to think it was more of just an accident.
 

oly

skin cooker for the hive
Dec 6, 2001
5,119
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someone should have taught him to bunnyhop......


I once got ribbed by people (probably commuters) for saying i wanted a t-shirt that said something like
"bikes arent cars, dont ride yours like one"
 

DirtyDog

Gang probed by the Golden Banana
Aug 2, 2005
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DH Diva said:
I don't know the details of the accident, but I live about .5 miles from where this happened. Lets just say that there are several examples in Corvallis, this being one of them, of badly maintained crosswalks (no markings, no street paint, no signs) that are located such that cars can park on either side right up to the crosswalk. This lends to a situation where a person seems to walk out from between parked cars into a crosswalk that a bicyclist or car can't see is there. It's very dangerous. Corvallis also lacks sufficient crosswalks in busy areas. I don't think it's a coincidence that we have such a high pedestrian accident rate. Like I said, I don't know the details, but because of where this happened, unless there is a factor that wasn't mentioned like alcohol, I would have to think it was more of just an accident.
How does that scenario matter at a stop sign? If the cyclist had stopped, he would have seen the woman crossing.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
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BeerDemon said:
How does that scenario matter at a stop sign? If the cyclist had stopped, he would have seen the woman crossing.
Because where that crosswalk is located (in front of the senior center) is not at a stop sign.

It's actually just before the stop sign. Like I said, it's poorly placed. Or if it has to be there, it should be marked better.
 

DirtyDog

Gang probed by the Golden Banana
Aug 2, 2005
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DH Diva said:
Because where that crosswalk is located (in front of the senior center) is not at a stop sign.

It's actually just before the stop sign. Like I said, it's poorly placed. Or if it has to be there, it should be marked better.
But the article said the guy ran the stop sign.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
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BeerDemon said:
But the article said the guy ran the stop sign.
That article is from a non-local paper. Like I said, I don't know the details, but the crosswalk there isn't right at the stop sign, it's just before.

I'm curious to know the details, I'm not saying the guys didn't screw up somehow, but I know that area and the newspaper article doesn't really ad up to me.
 

I Are Baboon

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Aug 6, 2001
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DH Diva said:
That article is from a non-local paper. Like I said, I don't know the details, but the crosswalk there isn't right at the stop sign, it's just before.
Even so, you've got to think the roadie was familiar enough with the route to know where the stop signs are. Plus he had to be moving at a pretty good clip (with no intention of stopping) if he plowed into someone hard enough to kill them.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
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I Are Baboon said:
Even so, you've got to think the roadie was familiar enough with the route to know where the stop signs are. Plus he had to be moving at a pretty good clip (with no intention of stopping) if he plowed into someone hard enough to kill them.
I agree, but there are far too many pedestrain and bicycle accidents in this town, and I feel that if the city of corvallis put more energy into making safe crossings and intersections, there wouldn't be as many.
 

I Are Baboon

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Aug 6, 2001
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DH Diva said:
I agree, but there are far too many pedestrain and bicycle accidents in this town, and I feel that if the city of corvallis put more energy into making safe crossings and intersections, there wouldn't be as many.
I think that can be said for most cities, but the person on a bike has to take responsibility for his or her actions, whether or not the road is safe. While the city can certainly make things safer, the only person that can be blamed for blowing through the stop sign is the cyclist.

Seeing all the roadies in my neck of the woods who disobey so many traffic laws has really given me a negative opinion of them in my town and I am not surprised drivers hate us so much (yes, I am somewhat of a roadie myself).
 

Barbaton

Turbo Monkey
May 11, 2002
1,477
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So since nobody saw my post, I'll put the article (different one) from it here, in which it is stated that she was crossing at an unmarked crosswalk:

Sep 11, 1:24 PM EDT
Cyclist charged with manslaughter after hitting, killing pedestrian
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- A bicyclist has been charged with manslaughter after he struck and killed a pedestrian, police said.
Jean Calder, 71, died at Good Samaritan Hospital after she was struck Friday night as she crossed a street at an unmarked crosswalk, Corvallis police Capt. Ron Noble said.
Calder had the right of way when the bike rider struck her, Noble said.
Christopher A. Lightning, 51, was charged with manslaughter and reckless driving.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
Barbaton said:
unmarked crosswalk:
That's what I was trying to point out. There are several spots in Corvallis where there are "unmarked" crosswalks, and there are always accidents at these places. One would think that the city would notice a pattern developing and at least throw some paint lines down on the street.

Again, not saying the biker wasn't at fault, just saying that I have seen this situation before in Corvallis and often times, I feel that proper street markings would have helped.
 
J

JRB

Guest
Please define an "unmarked" crosswalk. I would think that it is just a street. :think:
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
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This gives me the shivers. I live in SF and have hit jaywalking pedestrians a few times. I am talking about people who step into traffic from between cars nowhere near the crosswalk. About 5 years ago I hit an elderly woman who stepped right in front of me without looking as I was riding toward a green light. The cross walk was at least 50 feet away. I have closed doors on people opening them into traffic (me), shoulder-checked cars, and otherwise avoided accidents with last minute moves, but there was nothing to be done this time. She smacked her head on the pavement and started bleeding pretty bad. Cops came, ambulance came, a big crowd gathered. I was actually glad the police were there and understood my side (apparently it happens pretty often) because the crowd started getting pretty mean and blaming me. I learned later that she was fine. It was different but the idea of getting a criminal charge from it is pretty scary.

It absolutely drives me nuts when I see cyclists blow lights and otherwise disobey traffic rules. The first thing I hear every time I have a conversation with a non-cyclist about cyclists' rights is the fact that few cyclists obey the rules. And they are right: It's hypocritical to ignore the rules but then expect the protections they afford. If you don't like the rules, then work to change them. But you have no credibility if you don't follow the rules until change occurs.
 

firetoole

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Nov 19, 2004
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I Are Baboon said:
Seeing all the roadies in my neck of the woods who disobey so many traffic laws has really given me a negative opinion of them in my town and I am not surprised drivers hate us so much (yes, I am somewhat of a roadie myself).
I couldn't agree more I stopped riding with my local club because they ride like they own the road. It makes it hard to defend my road riding ways to friends that hate roadies.
 
J

JRB

Guest
firetoole said:
I couldn't agree more I stopped riding with my local club because they ride like they own the road. It makes it hard to defend my road riding ways to friends that hate roadies.
:stupid: except I go and call them out when they don't. I can't run the fastest guys down, but I stop at all markings, and run the rest of them down. I embarrass them when I do it. I am pretty vocal. I want them to feel stupid.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
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loco said:
Please define an "unmarked" crosswalk. I would think that it is just a street. :think:
Around here, there are several places where at one time there was a maintained crosswalk, most are in the center of a block, not at the corner, that havn't had street paint in years. Many are missing any signage at all which would indicate to a driver or cyclist that it was there at all. Also, the city allows parking so close on either side of these crosswalks that from a distance, you can't tell there is a crosswalk between them, let alone see the yellow curb line (if it is still there) which sometimes is the only indicator left there was ever a cross walk.
 
J

JRB

Guest
Which indicates there is not a crosswalk there. Two things to learn here - a) if you are a cyclist, watch for people. b) if you are not a cyclist, watch for people.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
I can't condem the guy until I really know what happened for one very clear reason.

I am coming at it from my bike vs. car experiences. Some of the same problems I am talking about really effect a cyclist safety vs. a car.

I am a very cautious driver when it comes to pedestrian and bicycle traffic, because a good part of the time I am a ped/cyclist on the city streets. But even being overly aware of others space, sometimes the city makes it really hard to see or be seen given their lack of maintenance and cooky crossing designs.

I guess I feel that if there is a location that is regularly the sight of bike vs. ped, car vs. ped, or car vs. bike accidents, I would asses if the intersection or crossing was designed in a safe for all involved way.

City of Corvallis often waits way too long before fixing a problem area.
 
J

JRB

Guest
MunkeeHucker said:
The victim was Old, this is just culling the herd, making the rest of Corvallis stronger.
Here's your oppurtunity to think I am negative. You, sir, are an idiot. :nuts:
 
Jan 7, 2004
687
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D.C. area
Poor woman and her family. She makes it to a ripe, old age and then somebody takes her out like that.

A friend of mine was plowed into by a cyclist on a sidewalk in D.C. this spring. She was pretty banged up and pissed.

As cyclists, I think we should all be good examples and stop at stop signs. It's a sign of respect. When we're riding bikes, we hate it when people run stops signs near us...
 

Angus

Jack Ass Pen Goo Win
Oct 15, 2004
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loco said:
Here's your oppurtunity to think I am negative. You, sir, are an idiot. :nuts:
You are right I was just testing to see if anyone was paying attention.
I am sure the woman has a family that loves and misses her.
I won't put blame or lack thereof on the cyclist because I do not know all the facts, it is just a shame for all involved.
 

blt2ride

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2005
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This is a very tragic accident; it doesn't sound like there was any malicious intend on the cyclist's part. Perhaps there was some negligence on the cyclist’s part, but that doesn't justify a manslaughter charge. It certianly seems like this is a bit excessive--I wonder why they are making an example out of him? Let's face it, people have done much worse in cars, and not faced manslaughter charges.

I would be very interested in getting updates on this story...
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
blt2ride said:
This is a very tragic accident; it doens't sound like there was any malicious intend on the cyclist's part. Perhaps there was some negligence on the cyclist’s part, but that doesn't justify a manslaughter charge. It certianly seems like this is a bit excessive--I wonder why they are making an example out of him? Let's face it, people have done much worse in cars, and not faced manslaughter charges.

I would be very interested in getting updates on this story...
I'll try and keep you all posted if I hear anything. Like I said, I live very close to where this happend. I too would like to know exactly what the circumstances of the accident were.
 
J

JRB

Guest
MunkeeHucker said:
You are right I was just testing to see if anyone was paying attention.
I am sure the woman has a family that loves and misses her.
I won't put blame or lack thereof on the cyclist because I do not know all the facts, it is just a shame for all involved.
Redeemed - thank you. :thumb:

*now that hippy is a different story. :think:
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
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SF
OK, I will take up the banner of the roadie...

Firstly, I should point out the time of day, which was a Friday night. I doubt this was a yuppie on his Litespeed returning from his group ride. I suspect a busboy biker.

Hitting someone, much less an elderly woman, is a bad thing and this person should be punished. There was a story about 5 years ago about a food delivery person in NYC hit an old man on the sidewalk and killed him. He escaped and was never found.

However, group rides are hardly looking to cruise up main street. They are on their way to an uninterrupted ride. We avoided traffic when possible, and used safety and common sense.
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
9,918
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NORCAL is the hizzle
blt2ride said:
Perhaps there was some negligence on the cyclist’s part, but that doesn't justify a manslaughter charge. It certianly seems like this is a bit excessive--I wonder why they are making an example out of him? Let's face it, people have done much worse in cars, and not faced manslaughter charges.

I would be very interested in getting updates on this story...
No, I disagree. IF (and that's a big if) she did nothing wrong, and the cyclist ran a stop sign and would have missed or seen her if he stopped, the charge is justified. If you break the law you take your chances. That's reality. Same way you would expect your family or the law to hold a motorist responsible for the unintended consequences of wiping you off the road.

If you want to be respected on the road, you must respect the rules of the road. It is that simple. The rules are there in part to prevent accidents. If you break the rules you should be held accountable for the consequences.
 

lovebunny

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Dec 14, 2003
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I Are Baboon said:
Even so, you've got to think the roadie was familiar enough with the route to know where the stop signs are. Plus he had to be moving at a pretty good clip (with no intention of stopping) if he plowed into someone hard enough to kill them.
well i know with my grandma(71) if anything hit her to make her fall down she would probably die. and it wouldnt take much to make her fall. so he might not have beenmoving fast. especially if she walked out from behind a car