On Wednesday morning, September 30th, a fatal accident involving a box-truck and a cyclist occurred on a busy highway at Moss Beach. The cyclist, known as Herald Herrmann, aged 55, was hit on the shoulder of the road. Statistics show that in 2021, approximately 1% of truck accidents in Ventura County, CA resulted in fatalities.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident transpired at around 11:30 A.M. on Cypress Avenue. The police noted that they didn’t comprehend why the driver veered from his lane. According to witnesses, the truck was heading southbound when it drifted into the northbound lanes.
The paramedics and firefighters were immediately summoned to the scene to offer first aid to the victims. On arrival, the medics laboriously attempted to care for Hermann, to no avail.
Herald Hermann passed on due to the various severe injuries that he sustained. One of the paramedics said the nature of the injuries was tragic. First, the San Mateo County office didn’t publicly identify the man. However, later they ran a database and identified the victim as Herald Herrmann. The office confirmed that efforts were underway to search and contact his next of kin.
The paramedics transported the box-truck driver to the hospital. The California Highway Authority noted that he was treated for minor injuries. At first, it was unclear if the truck driver was to face charges for the crash. Alcohol and drugs weren’t believed to be contributing to the tragic accident that left Herald lifeless.
Later, after treatment for his wounds, the driver was apprehended on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. The authorities cited gross negligence.
The California police noted that bicycle accidents had become more prominent than in recent years. The rise in gas prices spearheaded the urge for residents to ride bicycles. According to statistics gathered and documented by the centers for disease control, 1% of all trips in the USA are taken by bicycle.
Unfortunately, cyclists make up 2% of individuals who die in accidents. Most of these bicycle accidents involve a motor vehicle. Statistics note that 64% of all tragic bicycle accidents occur at road intersections.
Authorities have expressed concern over bicycle accidents. The Highway police specified several vital steps that should be taken for drivers, bicyclists, and cities to live harmoniously and avoid accidents.
They include the following:
1. Bicyclists can opt to wear retro-reflective and fluorescent gear. This will assist to increase other road users’ visibility.
2. Motor vehicle drivers should remain vigilant by staying at least 3-4 feet away from cyclists.
3. City planners and authorities can join forces to construct bicycle lanes. The lanes should create a barrier between errant motor vehicles and bicyclists.
Following the death of Herald Herrmann, bicyclists and human rights activists expressed their remorseful concerns. They noted that under California Law, bicyclists enjoy similar responsibilities and rights as motor vehicle drivers.
All vehicle drivers ought to practice critical care to avoid clashing with bicyclists. They also need to yield where it is required.
Several catastrophic accidents are due to vehicle drivers making perilous lane interchanges without switching on their indicators. This recklessness ends with the loss of lives.
According to the California Highway Police, under California Vehicle code 22107, individuals should not turn right or left on the road or highways unless the move is made with extreme safety.
Who is liable?
There is a simple presumption of negligence on a driver who frantically drifts onto a shoulder of a bicyclist and knocks them down.
Generally, organizations should be liable for the devastating negligence of their employees. Arguably, the box-truck driver was in the course of his job duty during the collision that left Herald dead.
So, the employer should also be held at fault. According to human rights activists, the company that the driver worked for should be prosecuted and directly involved in the death of Herrmann.
In summary, businesses that seek box-truck drivers’ services should have a legal duty to certify that the driver behind their truck’s steering is competent to operate and drive.
Bicyclists and human rights champions noted that rental companies should also feel the wrath of the law if they employ unlicensed and unqualified drivers. All box-truck operators should be sober, licensed and qualified to drive.
Steps To Take In Case Of an Accident
1. All the medical records should be collected, documented and preserved.
2. All eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
3. First responders, mainly the authorities, should take photos of the scene.
4. An independent investigation should be conducted to cut down all biasness.
The San Mateo County Office expressed condolences to the affected families and called out on the public to participate in the bicycle accident. Anyone with additional information was welcome to contact the police and record a statement.
The county officials noted that the accident was preventable. They added that a thorough investigation was underway for justice to be served for the sake of the party that had lost so much. The case is now left in the hands of the department of justice and the investigation team.