For many people, a bike offers one of two or more benefits. For some, it is a method of exercise and physical training. For others, it is a recreational tool, used to free the mind and body, either on the open road or in the tranquil setting of nature itself. Unfortunately, with those benefits, there are risks involved with riding a bike. Bicyclists are highly prone to personal injury, and in the worst cases, wrongful death. Although they are powered only by human exertion, bicycles can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour in some circumstances. They provide very little, if any, protection from injury in the event of a collision with a car or truck.
Under the law, bicyclists should be given deference—but frequently are not—by motorists when traveling on open roads, especially when there are no designated bike lanes. Even children and teenagers are frequently not afforded the proper deference on American streets. Reckless driving, regardless of who is behind the wheel, can have tragic results.
In May of 2014, Deputy Joe Bodman was racing through the streets of Spokane, Washington in his police cruiser. Bodman was speeding on Sprague Avenue in an attempt to get to a fellow officer who was not responding to calls on his radio during a routine traffic stop. According to kxly.com, Bodman was going at a speed of about 70 miles per hour. His sirens and lights, however, were not on.
As he was approaching an intersection, 15-year-old Ryan Holyk was crossing the street on his bike. Deputy Bodman did not see him. The cruiser smashed into the young teen and sent him flying into the intersection. EMTs rushed to the scene in an effort to revive the boy, but by the time they arrived, he was already dead.
Saddened and angered by Ryan’s death, the Holyks have enlisted the aid of a personal injury attorney, Mike Maurer. The family seeks an unspecified amount of damages in the lawsuit.