A crash with a car left a Virginia Beach, VA, bike rider dead. The fatal collision happened at the intersection of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Sykes Avenue at around 8:30 am on October 28, 2017.
Members of the Virginia Beach Fatal Accident Crash Team did not release details on why the collision occurred, but they did tell reporters that the bicyclist died from his injuries before he could be transported to a hospital. It is also known that the driver remained at the scene to speak with investigators, but no charges had been filed as of the following day.
Video from the site of the fatal crash indicates that the car struck the bike on eastbound Virginia Beach Boulevard between Oceana Boulevard and Birdneck Road. The intersection with Sykes Avenue is not controlled by stop lights, but the presence of a gas station on one corner should signal to drivers to watch for vehicles turning off of or entering the roadway.
Virginia laws make clear that bicycles are vehicles and that bike riders deserve all the respect and attention of other drivers and pedestrians. A summary of driver’s legal duties prepared for the Virginia Beach city website emphasizes that “any driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall do so at a reasonable speed, at least TWO FEET to the left [and] without again proceeding to the right side of the highway until safely clear of the bicycle.”
If the car involved in this deadly wreck at the intersection with Sykes Avenue was turning or encountering the bike rider trying to cross the road, he or should would have had the following duties: “Yield right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists and look for them when turning across sidewalks, into driveways, or across crosswalks.”
A guide from the Northern Virginia Regional Commission lists these specific actions to meet those duties:
- Motorists must respect bicyclist and pedestrian rights:
- Always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists who are crossing the road in a crosswalk, especially when turning
- Allow pedestrians time to cross safely
- Don’t drive and use mobile devices
Drivers must share the road safely and respectfully with bike riders because a person on a bicycle has none of the physical protections provided by a car or truck. A helmet may prevent some brain and head injuries, but a bicycle has no crumple zone, air bag or side panels. My Virginia Beach-based wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out the bicyclist who lost his life, and we ask all drivers to watch for and yield right of way to bike riders as needed.