Colorado DA drops felony hit-and-run charges against billion-dollar financier because of "serious job implications"

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139 Responses to “Colorado DA drops felony hit-and-run charges against billion-dollar financier because of "serious job implications"”

  1. SonOfSamSeaborn says:

    This is pretty blatant shitduggery.

    As for the cyclists/motorists debate — I’m a pedestrian too and both cars and cyclists piss me off no end. That said, cyclists usually only piss me off by a) riding too slowly in a pedestrianised zone; b) riding along, say, a canal path at daft speeds and not ringing their bell; c) talking about cycling and d) riding on the pavement. Though a lot of the time with the latter I will take one look at the road and can’t really blame them. I also empathise with their constant feud with drivers. The list of things drivers do to piss me off is too big to go through.

    I lived in Nottingham for a little while and they tend to have either large cycle lanes in the road or devoted cycle lanes embedded in the pavement. Seems like this is the best idea anybody’s come up with yet; but I have to admit I consider myself to have ultimate right of way over any vehicle because we evolved legs before we invented the wheel.

  2. solstice2005 says:

    For all the high and mighty cyclists claiming their rights to the road, you are absolutely right! But using the road demands that you follow the rules of the road i.e. stop at stop signs or at red lights, stop for a pedestrian crossing etc… How many of you do?
    I know many car drivers do not respect you as they do not respect motorcyclists, but it does not do much good to use a clear case of wrongful driving by a car driver to get hysterical about your rights when many of you claim the road not just as your right (which it is) but as an absolute right which you think includes flaunting the general rules.

    • sloverlord says:

      I do, every single time. Like the above commenters said, a bicycle is a vehicle, it has both the same rights and the same responsibilities as a car does. I know there are some cyclists who do flout the rules, and shame on them, but that still doesn’t justify hit-and-run with no punishment.

    • Snowrunner says:

      For all the high and mighty cyclists claiming their rights to the road, you are absolutely right! But using the road demands that you follow the rules of the road i.e. stop at stop signs or at red lights, stop for a pedestrian crossing etc… How many of you do?

      This is a useless argument. Many car drivers don’t follow the rules of the road either. Turning illegally on red, running through pedestrian crossings and ignoring stop signs with gusto.

      Reality is this: Nobody is following the rules of the road 100% of the time because most people aren’t robots.

      To say: “If you want respect, follow the rules of the road” is a hollow one because it implies car drivers are pure.

      Vancouver, where I live, has a mayor now for two years who is trying to get more cycling infrastructure in. Every time the city puts down a new (separated) lane the crying starts. From people who claim that bike lanes aren’t “deserved” because not enough people ride, or because “cyclists don’t obey laws”. Essentially the Soup Nazi argument: No bike lane for you.

      I would like you try something, btw. Next time you go for a drive, brush up on the local rules of the road, then drive your car to the letter of the law. I tried this here in Vancouver. I got honked at, yelled at, dangerously overtaken and cut off.

      The reality is that many people driving cars should not be allowed to do so. As a pedestrian I dodge more cars on a daily basis than bikes, on Saturday I almost got taken out TWICE while being in a pedestrian crossing. In both cases the driver was yacking away on their cellphone, something that is illegal in the Province of British Columbia since earlier this year.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s funny to me how, in the neverending car-vs-bike debate, there’s always someone willing to complain about cyclists breaking laws, but hardly anyone has anything to say about motorists who routinely do so. As a bike commuter myself, I do everything I can to avoid pissing off drivers, but I do resent having to be a paragon of virtue while cars routinely exceed the speed limit, block intersections, violate rights of way of pedestrians, park in bike lanes, etc. etc.

    • Mitch says:

      I tried obeying all traffic laws on my bicycle hoping to get motorists to treat me better and it didn’t work.

      Since I live in a city where traffic laws tend to only be enforced during special events when the police have grant money, I will disobey traffic laws when it doesn’t affect anyone else. I won’t cut someone off or make a left turn in front of someone going straight, but I might stop at a red light, check for traffic in all directions, and go before it turns green if there is no one coming.

      It’s ridiculous to criticize other traffic on that basis of obeying or disobeying traffic laws because, at least where I live, everybody disobeys them. What is hilarious is the even though everyone disobeys traffic laws people still make “my traffic violation is better than your traffic violation” kind of arguments. Some motorists think that their own speeding is less bad than a bicyclist stopping at a red light and then going through it. The bottom line is if people want to have a rivalry with other forms of traffic they will always find a way to justify themselves and condemn others.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, the old “you bicyclists don’t obey traffic laws” attack. What makes it so ridiculous is that most motorists also disobey traffic laws. Anyway, the penalty for most traffic violations is a fine, not having one’s right to use the road revoked.
      ——
      I don’t think ucfmatt was trolling. At least once a year some ignorant asshole rolls down a car window to yell at me to get on the sidewalk, usually on a 4 lane street where he could just make a lane change and pass me if he were thinking more clearly.
      ——
      What does any of this have to do with someone running down a bicyclist and leaving the scene of the accident, and calling to arrange for car repairs but failing to call 911 get an ambulance for the accident victim?

      If a felony conviction makes it necessary for the offender to make a career change then so be it. He’s the one who chose to leave the scene of an accident that he caused.

    • Sapa says:

      There is no mention of Dr Milo flaunting any rules.

      • SonOfSamSeaborn says:

        And even if he had, it wouldn’t excuse causing excessive injuries and then driving off to get your car repaired.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re reacting to a story about a biker getting hit with a list of grievances against other bikers? That seems a lot like blaming the victim.

    • astrochimp says:

      The “but cyclists don’t follow the rules!” argument is a bit of a red herring, though. Cyclists asserting their right to the road tend to want to claim the following:

      (i) Cyclists have a right to the road.
      (ii) If cyclists violate the rules and a motorist cannot avoid hitting them, it is the cyclist’s fault.
      (iii) If cyclists violate the rules of the road and a motorist hits them but could’ve avoided it, it is not the cyclist’s fault.
      (iv) If cyclists don’t flout the rules of the road and yet get hit by motorists, it is not the cyclist’s fault.

      The problem is that many motorists want to obstinately deny (iii) and (iv).

      • astrochimp says:

        To clarify (iii), I meant that ‘it is not an entitlement of a motorist that they hit anyone who violates the rules of the road, if they can avoid it’ — a point which seems too often denied.

    • traalfaz says:

      I do follow all the rules of the road, both in my car and on my bike. That means COMPLETE stop at all stop signs.

      And let me tell you, sometimes it really pisses off car drivers. You think they’re mad when they complain that you rolled a stop sign, try stopping at it when they’re behind you.

      I get nearly rear-ended in my car once in a while for actually stopping at stop signs, because NOBODY expects it. I’ve been paying close attention to cars at stop signs for a couple of years now, and I can tell you that so far I have not seen a SINGLE car out of thousands actually stop at a stop sign, unless there was some reason to stop – pedestrians or cross traffic. Not one.

      @Anon: BTW, the reason bicycles don’t need to be registered is that there’s little reason to ever need to identify them after they kill people and then drive off. You don’t get to define what a vehicle is, the state does, and every state says that bicycles are vehicles. It’s in the unified vehicle code, look it up.

      Traveling on public roads by muscle power – walking, riding a horse, riding a bicycle – is a basic right, and is not revocable. Driving a motor vehicle is an earned privilege and is revocable.

    • bob d says:

      Let me fix that for you:
      “For all the high and mighty motorists claiming their rights to the road, you are absolutely right! But using the road demands that you follow the rules of the road i.e. stop at stop signs or at red lights, stop for a pedestrian crossing etc… How many of you do?
      I know many bicyclists do not respect you as they do not respect motorcyclists, but it does not do much good to use a clear case of wrongful driving by a biker to get hysterical about your rights when many of you claim the road not just as your right (which it is) but as an absolute right which you think includes flaunting the general rules.”
      Yep, works just as well.
      Seriously though, I see motorists “breaking the rules” on a daily basis, and based on relative numbers of each, I’m sure everyone in a car sees far more motorists breaking the rules than they do cyclists. By placing people in categories, we become far more sensitive to the transgressions of the “other” even if those transgressions are actually less numerous than those of “our” group. Although there’s also a big difference between the transgressions of motorists and cyclists: when the bicyclist breaks the rules they might kill themselves, when the motorist breaks the rules, they might end up killing other people; I know very few people who drive a car as if they were aware of that.

  3. andygates says:

    “Martin Joel Erzinger, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney wealth manager who controls $1 billion in investments” — so, some individuals are too big to fail, just like some banks.

    It stinketh.

    And as said upthread, it only got even this far because the cyclist was a professional and not somebody with -gasp- tattoos.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an article on “Marty” in the Denver Business Journal.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2007/02/26/focus5.html

  5. EH says:

    I hope I don’t need to remind anybody that online petitions are 100% garbage-for-grandmas and only every serve as attention and energy wasters. They have no other purpose, and the people posting petition URLs here are likely Hurlbert supporters. Ignore the petitions and go after the Attorney General as noted above.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Does this set a precedence to give Martin Joel, and those like him, the legal freedom to commit other felony crimes?

  7. Neon Tooth says:

    Amazing,
    This case shows us what an unjust system we’ve got, where wealth trumps everything and people are still trolling about bikers and blaming the victim for doing what he’s legally entitled to do. Christ what a bunch of assholes.

  8. Greg323 says:

    “Serious job implications”?

    It sounds like the only “job implication” was Mark Hurlbert having *his* job threatened when Erzinger started throwing his weight around behind the scenes.

    If you commit a felony, you should suffer the consequences. Apparently this standard doesn’t apply to the rich and powerful, but it rarely has..

  9. The Dharmatist says:

    All of this debate about cars vs bicycles vs pedestrians might be interesting if it had any relevancy to the story. The article says that Erzinger veered onto the side of the road and hit Milo. There’s no indication that Milo was doing anything improper on his bike, unless you think that the culvert that Erzinger hit jumped out in front of him as well.

    It’s too bad that Erzinger didn’t make incorrect generalizations about the Internet as part of his denial. Then people might be up in arms about it.

    • SonOfSamSeaborn says:

      I think the debate stirred off because a) people feel strongly that this is another example of motorist inconsideration for other road users; and b) by that token Erzinger might not have acted in such a subhuman manner had he hit another motorist.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I Think all rich people should be able to commit whatever crime whenever, and never pay the price. If two rich people don’t like each other, the one with the most money should be able to kill the other all legal like. If you inherit money because your dead relatives actually did something, then you should be able to to anything you want regardless of the effect. With that said; anybody want to piss me off by not agreeing with me, because I’ll run your ass over and put my bumper in the trunk. No?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I find his reasoning bad due to one example. I recently had in my mailbox a warning that a sexual offender was moving into our neighborhood. I found that the laws required it. Would the DA drop the charge if these announcements would hurt the charged sexual offender? If not then his reasons are bad and influence played a larger part then he wishes to claim.

  12. Anonymous says:

    read Colorado state statute 2-4-1412(10). It says that bicycles and other human-powered vehicles can use the sidewalk if they yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.

    But that isn’t really the point. Mr. Moneybags hit a guy on a bike and drove off. Then his friend the DA is going to look the other way for him. They both need to brought before the justice of the internet.

  13. nealpolitan says:

    As long as the doctor gets a Powerball-sized settlement out of this, it’s all good, correct?

    I was taught that this is the way our system works.

    • hershmire says:

      Money is exactly what this is about. FTFA:

      Hurlbert said Thursday that, in part, this case is about the money.

      “The money has never been a priority for them. It is for us,” Hurlbert said. “Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it.”

      The logic that convicting this guy of a felony will prevent him from paying a huge settlement later on*, thus impeding “justice,” is utter crap. He’s implicitly saying a poorer person would be charged with a felony. It’s frightening that this prosecutor believes that paying money to the victim will get you off the hook.

      *Also, aren’t the civil and criminal proceedings supposed to be completely separate from each other?

      • grimc says:

        What this is really about is the fact that the driver is a local resident, the victim lives in New York, and DA Hurlbert’s got a taste for politics–he tried running for the state senate this past election, and apparently his DA job is an elected position as well. Having somebody who’s extremely wealthy indebted to you has got to come in handy.

        Fun fact: Hurlburt was unable to get on the Republican primary ballot because of the 1100 petition signatures he submitted, 700 were invalidated.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The DA has responded:

    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20101109/EDITS/101109849/1021&ParentProfile=1065

    Between the lines, the implication is that Mr Erzinger is going to pay Dr Milo a ton of money as part of a settlement. The misdemeanors was almost the best the DA could do.

    Worth reading.

  15. boingboingdave says:

    I hope the next person charged with a felony in Colorado uses as their defense that the felony “would have serious job implications” for them, and cites this case.

    • taj1f says:

      Excellent idea. Whatever happened to “Equal under the law?” Is everything we learned in school about “AMERICA!” wrong?

      Without punishment, there is no justice. Making billionaires (whether individuals or corporations) pay millions in fines is not punishment. They figure them into their budgets.

      • SonOfSamSeaborn says:

        I was just talking to a guy about PCI compliance and he said there’s no way the card providers would bother chasing any large company or government (Google, Microsoft, BT, China) because the fine, while potentially bankrupting for smaller companies (£500k) is nothing to larger entities — especially compared to the cost of implementing compliance in the first place. I see parallels.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have a lot of experience with how a petition could change the D.A.’s decision, but there is one in circulation here: DA Mark Hurlbert: Don’t drop felony charges against hit-and-run wealth manager | http://environment.change.org/blog/view/hitting_a_cyclist_might_not_matter_much_if_you_drive_a_mercedes

  17. Anonymous says:

    The US government just isn’t serious about protecting or encouraging bicyclists. Increasing transport via bike is a worthwhile investment (it’s healthy, clean, and cheap; bikes don’t use fuel, and they work well in urban density areas).

    But realistically, biking is inefficient for most Americans. Who has the time to go 10mph on a highway to work? Who can buy groceries for a family or transport kids on a bike? It appears to me bikes are more a luxury for the wealthy and counter-cultural.

    Should the government subsidize dedicated bicyclist & pedestrian thoroughfares to prevent such accidents, when most Americans wouldn’t even have the time or strength to use them?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Solstice2005 (5:01 AM, Nov 8) says:

    “I know many car drivers do not respect you as they do not respect motorcyclists, but it does not do much good to use a clear case of wrongful driving by a car driver to get hysterical about your rights when many of you claim the road not just as your right (which it is) but as an absolute right which you think includes flaunting the general rules.”

    Rolling a bicycle through a stop sign when there is no traffic nearby to be disturbed is breaking the general rules. Driving a car 10 or 20 mph or more over the speed limit is breaking the general rules. Do I care if a car drives over the speed limit down an empty road or highway at a time with good visibility? No, not really. I care though when I am on it because it affects my safety. Try cycling on city street where the cars are travelling at or under the speed limit. Changing lanes is easy and safe because you can see them coming and have time to make decisions. Cycle on the same streets when some cars are speeding. It is much different. Much less safe for cyclists. What I am saying is that if we are going to talk about flaunting the rules then lets talk about motorists flaunting the speed limit for that is the number one safety issue faced by cyclists. And I suspect the larger proportion of motorists flaunt the speed limit.

    A second issue is the penalties for motorists who run down cyclists. Often they are not all that much different than would be given for a first offence for drunk driving. What if I were to be arrested for deliberately smashing the windshield of Colorado District Attorney Mark Hurlbert’s car. Would I get off so lightly?

    Randy Boehm
    Kitchener, Ontario

  19. sic transit gloria C.F.A. says:

    Apparently Mr. Erzinger has no objection to financial penalties. I am irresistibly reminded of a scene in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, where a noble has killed a commoner.

    “Crime!” she exclaimed. “How thou talkest! Crime, forsooth! Man, I am going to PAY for him!”

    Well, that’s all right then. Henceforth, rich people may commit crimes with impunity, as long as they are willing to ante up.

  20. Locobot says:

    Here’s another of this DA’s greatest hits:

    DA Mark Hurlbert Charges Two Top Women Mountain Bike Racers with Felony Criminal Impersonation for Using False Racer Number in Leadville Competition: Snowball DA Strikes Again

    http://abusivediscretion.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/da-mark-hurlbert-charges-two-top-women-mountain-bike-racers-with-felony-criminal-impersonation-for-using-false-bib-number-in-leadville-trail-100-competition-snowball-prosecutor-strikes-again/

    Allegedly cheating in a bicycle race? Now that is a felony!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, it really sucks that those cyclists are actually OBEYING THE LAW!

  22. Anonymous says:

    REALLY?!?! So he loses his job! The other guy almost lost his life and almost certainly HIS LIVELIHOOD!! It is called Natural Consequences, being responsible for our mistakes… BOO, MR DA, BOO!! I am glad I don’t live in CO, I could not support this.

  23. ocschwar says:

    The DA’s personal Facebook page is locked down completely, but John Suthers, the re-elected attorney general, still has a campaign Facebook profile, which is starting to accumulate comments about this case. If you want to take part in a little experiment, let’s see what happens when a politician’s facebook profile is filled with critical comments:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Suthers/34261623016#!/pages/John-Suthers/34261623016

  24. CastanhasDoPara says:

    Absolutely despicable. I hope the good doctor has a good lawyer and makes this douche-weasel cough up everything possible. This is the sort of article that makes me want to get back into Critical Mass type movements. I quit because most of the participants were dicks and used their monthly rides to disrupt traffic.

    That said, if I had a dollar for every jackass behind the wheel of a car that ever almost hit me, flipped me off, or screamed obscenities at me for nothing more than riding a bicycle, I would be one rich man. Stupid jerks…

  25. Anonymous says:

    “Serious job implications”? Wow. I’ve been in trouble with the law before and I don’t think- wait- nope- no- a DA has never been concerned about the “implications” my conduct had on my job.

    Oh- that’s right- I’m not a billionaire. There is no law for our elite.

    But please- continue on discussing bikes and bike riding and that stuff cause that is what this story should have you talking about. You shouldn’t talk about the fact that just about anyone else would be thrown into the maw of our disgusting medieval criminal justice system and have their life ruined.

  26. ocschwar says:

    The CO Attorney General just removed his campaign profile from Facebook. I can’t quite blame him, since his decisions should not be subject to pressure from internet comment storms. But he still needs to man up and do the right thing here. Starting with a press release promising to examine the case personally.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      his decisions should not be subject to pressure from internet comment storms

      As opposed to pressure from the people who contributed to his campaign, or if he’s appointed, the people who contributed to the campaign of the person who appointed him?

      • ocschwar says:

        As opposed to pressure from the people who contributed to his campaign, or if he’s appointed, the people who contributed to the campaign of the person who appointed him?

        In short, yes. When attorneys general pay too much attention to the media, the result is heavy handed injustices against people whose main crime is to make news on a slow news day.

  27. Famazon says:

    Here is the latest update/rationalization from our local news: http://www.9news.com/rss/article.aspx?storyid=162472

  28. Anonymous says:

    Rich white guy with connections deemed to be above the law, film at 11.

  29. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Moderator Note: If you’re new here, read this.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Same corrupt DA who did all sorts of unethical stuff in the Kobe Bryant case

  31. Anonymous says:

    As a cyclist it annoys me when the cars go too slowly ;)

    http://vimeo.com/16342414

  32. Lobster says:

    Guess they finally cut out the middleman.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’m commenting on (Andrew W in reply to ucfmatt) If a bicycle was a vehicle it would need to be inspected and registered with the State. Since no bicycle is required to be registered it must not be a vehicle.
    A man traveling on a bicycle however does have a right to the road which is evidenced by the lack of a Drivers License to do said activity. Drivers driving vehicles only have privileges to drive…that’s right…read your State drivers manual.
    If what I say here is true then cyclists, with a right to be on the road, should be “looking down” on drivers in vehicles which only have privileges to drive on the road, however you won’t find me playing chicken with a 4000lb vehicle.
    Andrew W in reply to ucfmatt

    I hope you’re trolling. Otherwise, know this:

    - a bicycle is a vehicle, therefore
    - its place is on the road, and
    - if you bike on the sidewalk, you get a hefty ticket.

    Finally, my wife bikes to work most days. You’re cool if my wife is hit by a car because it bugs you that cyclists are on the road? You’re what I believe scientists have termed “a complete sack of crap.”

  34. Anonymous says:

    I was at first outraged as well, but after a thought and a chat with a very intelligent husband, this might not be such a terrible thing. Since there won’t be felony charges, the poor doctor can now be free to sue the financier for all that he’s worth. His wealth may protect him from governmental justice, but I highly doubt that the financier would win a civil case, with all the evidence against him.

    • mccrum says:

      See, you just never know what those juries are going to do. No witnesses? No recollection of license plate? Was the cyclist wearing a watch and know exactly where they were then? If it comes down to “reasonable” doubt, he’s off.

      I’d personally prefer both types of cases to happen in this one.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The DA needs to be 4chaned.

  36. IanGun says:

    There are simply (and now seemingly undisputedly) two sets of laws in America; one set for the wealthy and powerful and one set for the masses. The finger-wagging and stern calls for “personal responsibility” only apply to common folk when it comes to paying your way and following the rules.

    Though this is the latest example, I think a lot of people realized how wealth gets you off the hook when the OJ verdict came down. In the past, a black man charged with a horrific murder of a blonde, blue-eyed woman would have been “an open and shut case, Johnson” as Dave Chappelle put it, but his wealth allowed him to buy a level of legal protection typically only afforded to people like this banker. People were outraged at the verdict, but it is actually an ironic civil rights victory; now even minority murders can buy justice.

    Hopefully there will be enough public outcry that this DA changes his tune, though I bet his salary and job are considered expendable when it comes to protecting this level of wealth.

  37. MollyNYC says:

    Needless to say, the DA is a Republican.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure that just “letting some rich guy do what he wants” is exactly what the article is about; it does make two good points. First being that, yes, if they charge the assailant with a felony and it affects his job, it could hinder his ability to make financial restitution to the victim; secondly, avoiding a felony charge does not mean he isn’t going to be charged with a misdemeanor and have to pay for what he’s done.

    There are class issues here, but I definitely see the practicality of not charging the man with a felony — especially since, ideally, the law should evaluate on an individual case-by-case basis, and the system doesn’t exist in a Babylonian sense of “and eye for an eye”, and just because he hurt someone doesn’t mean society should ruin his chance to make money, provide for his family, and pay to support the victim for the rest of his life.

    Also, being charged or not charged with a felony does not remove the victim’s right to sue in civil court.

    While I agree the assailant’s wealth and status is a factor, there’s a practical side to the court’s decision as well: if you remove the man’s ability to make money, he can’t pay to support the victim and his family (who, as a physician, is also, wealthy, upper-middle class, and with social status). This is a case in which following the system to the letter could make losers of the victim and his family, and then what good has come of the whole terrible situation?

    I understand the disgust and rage that people feel when they read this article; I feel it, too. It’d be nice if the hit-and-run perpetrator was strung up and left to dry, but I think it’s important that the needs of the victim and his family were served first and that they receive enough compensation to take care of their medical expenses and to keep them in the lifestyle that they’re accustomed to.

  39. Anonymous says:

    asshole was’nt even driving an american car when he killed an american citizwn on an american st.

  40. zyodei says:

    We need to find some way to bring the institutions of policing and justice, as well as all other social institutions, back to the people.

    Democracy isn’t working.

  41. Watsonknows says:

    Use your car as a weapon–go to jail.

  42. Sapa says:

    I don’t know how the law works in that particular place as I’m from the UK, but can the guy claim damages? If he’s been seriously injured and will be in pain for the rest of his life I hope he can and does.
    I once did claim through a UK Criminal Injuries Board, which is a civil court, and was awarded damages even though the offender had got away with it.
    I have to say that the reasons for this murderous driver being allowed to go unpunished say a lot about “justice” in that place as being unfair and biased.

  43. Anonymous says:

    District Attorney Mark Hurlbert should be facing some “serious job implications” himself.

  44. Anonymous says:

    It’s not really debatable that the DA and Billionaire are douchebags that deserve to burn.

    But the theme that emerges from the rest of the comments is that each group, Drivers, Cyclists and Pedestrians really don’t care for each other and think the motivations of the other groups is corrupt. However, I think with a little more investigation, you’d probably find that the members of each group don’t really care for each other either.

    My conclusion is this: those who travel our streets, sidewalks and highways are all jerks.

  45. murrayhenson says:

    So… instead of notifying his clients via a personal letter, they chose instead to notify the entire planet via the internet?

    Besides, anyone with enough money to be doing business with this guy likely doesn’t give a wet slap who he runs over, as long as he’s still ensuring healthy returns on their investments.

    • Anonymous says:

      The obviously bogus excuse is bogus – so why would it matter whether it is logically sound or not?

      I guess the bit I don’t understand is why they even bother with the pretence. What’s wrong with “Because it pleases the king(s)”?

  46. traalfaz says:

    Meh, big surprise. The only reason it’s even discussed is that it’s a hit-and-run and the victim is a respected professional.

    Someone kills a cyclist almost every day in the US and they get barely a slap on the wrist. The cyclist is guilty of being the victim until proven innocent (and even then people say cyclists “deserve to get hit” for daring to use the road they’re paying for). And cyclists are always assumed to be a lower class of human being; I’m a full-time cyclist, 22 miles a day to work and back, a 40-some year old professional with a 6 figure income and hardly a parking ticket to my name, but when I’m on a bike, I “must be homeless or have too many DUIs or something.”

    If you want to kill someone in the US and they ride a bike, you’re home free; hit them with a car, say they “swerved in front of you” and you probably won’t even get a traffic ticket.

  47. ucfmatt says:

    cn’t stnd bkrs wh rd nsst n rdng n th rd whn thr s n mpty sdwlk rght nxt t t. Tht scks tht h’s njrd bt cn’t rlly sy fl bd fr hm.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cyclists have every right to the road – same as motorists. We could examine the basic math behind how often road rules are violated by motorists vs cyclists. The massive volume of violation by motorists driving two tons of steel certainly overwhelms a few cyclists moving around at 15-25 MPH. If I hit a pedestrian while cycling they stand up and swear at me. maybe take a swing at me. A motorist hits a pedestrian and they die.

    • Anonymous says:

      Uh, you might want to check the laws where you live. In most jurisdictions, it’s ILLEGAL to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are for pedestrians, remember? The roads are for wheeled vehicles – 2 OR 4 wheels.

    • taj1f says:

      It’s a sideWALK, not a sideRIDE.

    • Anonymous says:

      In my state it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. It is for people who are walking.

    • Anonymous says:

      its against the law to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s called a sideWALK, not a sideRIDE. Cyclist are supposed to drive on the road, and drivers are suppose to not endanger people’s lives by driving like a psychopath.

    • zyodei says:

      You win +1 Internets for you excellent trolling efforts.

      What this seriously makes me think, is about our system of perpetual punishment for set crimes. Someone commits a crime, and they go to jail, to “pay their debt to society.” But then, they get out..and they can’t vote, can’t own a gun, can’t get a job, etc. etc. for years and even decades after they have supposedly “served their debt to society.”

      This case is, on the other hand, quite clear. He committed a crime, his clients being informed is certainly part of the up front “debt to society.” The DA, in this case, as with all corrupt or abusive officials in any capacity, should be tried criminally himself.

    • schnauzermom says:

      While I am not familiar with the area where this happened, you should be aware that in some places it is ILLEGAL for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk, and they can be ticketed if they do so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, it is statistically more dangerous to ride on a sidewalk. Riding on the road is safer and makes cyclists more visible. Plus, cyclists have a legal right to ride on the road and in many places have a right to the full lane.

      If you are bothered by cyclists – think of this – the more cyclists there are, the less auto traffic there is for you to deal with.

      • Snowrunner says:

        If you are bothered by cyclists – think of this – the more cyclists there are, the less auto traffic there is for you to deal with.

        One of the ideas I’d like to see happening is a “drive to work week”. So anybody who usually cycles or takes public transit should drive.

        Maybe that way the fossils in their cars realize just how much of a service people do them by not driving.

    • Hubert Figuiere says:

      @ufcmatt, I don’t know where you live, but everywhere I have lived, cyclist are not allowed on the sidewalk. They have bike lanes, they have dedicated bike path, and they have the roadway. While I see so many cyclist violating traffic regulations, either when I’m a pedestrian or a motorist, fleeing the scene is inexcusable.

    • Anonymous says:

      What was THAT? Oh my God, are you serious???

    • Anonymous says:

      You know that roads are not just for cars right? Cyclists have just as much right to use roads as you do.

      The sidewalk (unless equipped with a cycle lane) is meant for those walking. In many cases there isn’t room for both pedestrians and someone cycling to pass safely. There is also the risk (if you are traveling at a decent speed) of hitting cars that pull out of driveways suddenly.

      Many countries also have laws stating that cyclists aren’t allowed to ride on sidewalk.

    • rebdav says:

      Seriously is this a troll?
      Deserves to get hit for driving where cyclists are required by law to travel?
      I am always shocked that many car drivers seem to feel a divine right as members of the upper traveling class and because of their busy lives to endanger, and naturally also injure and kill cyclists, just because…

      Automatic weapons are illegal worldwide but anyone with $1000 is allowed to pilot a far more dangerous steel bullet able to kill for hours on end anywhere they please after passing one test at age 16 and an occasional eye exam because they need something to get to work in.

      • SonOfSamSeaborn says:

        When hearing motorists bitch about car insurance I’ve often expressed amazement at the considerably low cost of insuring the act of piloting what’s essentially a metal death machine. They do not take kindly to this. I shall continue, at the very least until I go a full day without seeing somebody fail to indicate when turning.

    • Cnoocy says:

      As a pedestrian, thank you for perpetuating an attitude that endangers my life because it “bugs” you. It’s not safe for bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk, for them or for me.

    • Andrew W says:

      I hope you’re trolling. Otherwise, know this:

      - a bicycle is a vehicle, therefore
      - its place is on the road, and
      - if you bike on the sidewalk, you get a hefty ticket.

      Finally, my wife bikes to work most days. You’re cool if my wife is hit by a car because it bugs you that cyclists are on the road? You’re what I believe scientists have termed “a complete sack of crap.”

      • Hubert Figuiere says:

        @Andrew: I so wish they where giving ticket here for that. All we get is self entitled jerk taking over sidewalks, while the city spend millions in dedicated bike lane (but not to improve public transit) :-(

        • Andrew W says:

          Where I live — Toronto — I can assure you that the police are very vigilant when it comes to cyclists.

          And now that we have elected Mayor Gravy, I’m sure we can expect more of the ufc and Colorado DA treatment for cyclists.

    • JackThompson says:

      I hope you’re trolling. Bicycles are vehicles and belong on the sidewalk about as much as a motorcycle does.

    • Anonymous says:

      You may not be able to stand it, but it is illegal in a lot of places to ride your bike on the sidewalk since the sidewalk is reserved for pedestrians.

    • arikol says:

      We ride on the road because the road is for fast moving vehicles. If I was riding on the sidewalk you would complain about the insane cyclists barging past you at 40-50km/h (while you are going 5km/h). (the max speed in towns is in most cases 50km/h where I live, I hit those speeds on my mountainbike, while maintaining a 35km/h average, you want that on a sidewalk? And I go faster on a roadbike, not much higher max speed, but higher average, up to 45km/h)

      Additionally, sidewalks in most parts of the world are NOT designed for cyclists. Too narrow, give no visibility for driveways and are twisty and turny with constant interruptions. In many cases it is much MORE dangerous to ride on the sidewalk as cars pull right in front of cyclists without any concern causing the cyclist to slam into the side of the car when it’s too close for the cyclist to brake. Also an added danger to pedestrians, dog walkers with those silly retracting leashes (invisible to a cyclist, can easily kill the dog and hurt both the dog owner and the cyclist).

      THOSE are some reasons we often ride on the street. On a mountainbike I often keep to the sidewalks, but here in sweden those are mostly designed as good cycle paths as well. On a roadbike I keep entirely on the road.
      But then Swedish drivers are actually pretty considerate. VERY different culture.

      • sgnp says:

        It’s extremely different in the USA, especially in larger cities.

        I had a bike in college and loved riding on campus or to the comic book store, etc. When I moved to a larger city, I mostly took the bus because I enjoy using the time to read. When it was suggested I exercise more, I decided to start riding a bike to and from work.

        I had to quit after a couple of weeks. It wasn’t because I couldn’t handle the work-out, although it’d be a different story now, almost a decade later. It was because there was at least one incident every day where someone would almost hit me because they weren’t paying attention, and at least one incident every week where someone in a car would engage in some sort of menacing behavior. They’d either drive right in my blind spot, or honk, rev their engine at me at a light, etc. If it weren’t for the cars, I would have been fine. I couldn’t take it, though. I was back on the bus and never tried it again.

        Whenever I tell my friends who cycle daily about my abortive attempt to ride a bike in the city, I always get one of two responses:

        1) A hearty and/or condescending laugh that I even attempted this, as I obviously had no business attempting it.

        2) An angry rant about how I *should* be able to ride my bike without being afraid of cars.

        I kind of divide these two into the fighter pilot camp and the revolutionary camp. Most of the folks I know are actually a mix between the two extremes.

        I think one reason why some drivers are so upset at the attitudes of cyclists (in my city, at least) is that it takes a certain type of person to continue to ride their bike every day under these kind of conditions. Natural selection has made it so that those still on bikes are the type of people who not only pay attention to what they’re doing, but also keep an eye out for you opening your door, chatting on your phone, swerving into their lane, etc.

        Their attitude comes off as superior because they spend a *lot* of time avoiding large fast-moving objects that could kill them if they aren’t paying attention.

    • Anonymous says:

      1. It’s perfectly legal to ride on the road. In some places it’s mandatory.
      2. It’s SAFER to do so. If I’m on the footpath I’m more likely to be killed crossing a road or by cars leaving driveways.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey smarts! MOst of the time there is no sidewalk and P.S. in most states it is illegal for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk, especially if is a pedestrian!

    • jackie31337 says:

      Were you aware that in most of the USA, bicycles are considered traffic and are specifically required to ride in the road unless there is a designated bicycle path/lane? In most places, only children under a certain age (for example, 12) are allowed to ride on the sidewalk at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obvious troll is obvious

    • cratermoon says:

      In the immortal words of the Internet, ucfmatt, Get A Brain! Moran

  48. MattF says:

    “Trickle-Down Justice.” It’s good for everybody in the long run… As long as you’re not the loser who gets run over.

  49. kairo says:

    For those who just went off and launched into critical comments based on the synopsis, there were some other possibly important details that sensationalist journalists have been sticking at the end of their stories, if they include them at all:

    1) “Mr. Moneybags” may have fallen asleep at the wheel due to sleep apnea, and really not been aware he’d hit anyone since he trashed his car on the culvert. That possible doubt that he “knowingly” hit someone else and fled the scene would make it difficult to get a felony hit-and-run conviction. The misdemeanor charge would be what he would be prosecuted with had he stayed at the scene.

    2) It seems plausible that he didn’t know, because he didn’t really try to flee the authorities. If he wanted to escape, he probably wouldn’t have stopped at a Pizza Hut less than a mile away to summon a wrecker. Just saying.

    3) How many folks posting here would’ve stopped at the scene and called the police, having only known about grazing a culvert or sign? I’m going to be honest here– I wouldn’t. I would do (and have done, on a couple of occasions when I lost control on ice) exactly the same thing as Mr. Moneybags, mostly because I’m not made of money. I get myself out of the ditch and I go somewhere safe to survey the damage. Otherwise, it’s hundreds of dollars in tickets and points-off the license for my trouble, even for a trivial single-vehicle accident with no injuries and negligible damage to anything but my own vehicle. Just saying.

    4) All pursuing a felony conviction likely would’ve accomplished is to ruin two mens’ lives, and caused further problems for the injured cyclist. As the article states, Mr. Moneybags is accepting responsibility and paying restitution. It becomes substantially more difficult for him to support the victim of his carelessness (assuming he truly sees it through and makes him as whole as possible, as long and as much money as it takes) if he is an unemployed felon.

    I do have mixed feelings about this decision, but in the end, adopting the “make the a-hole pay” eye-for-an-eye philosophy just makes the whole world blind.

    There could well be more to the story that would explain why the victim is out for blood, but I don’t know. If Mr. Moneybags is truly remorseful, is honest about not knowing he had actually hit someone, and will pay full restitution, no matter how long and how much (insurance isn’t going to last forever, it does have absolute caps) there is no compelling reason whatsoever to ruin his life too.

    • loki_monster says:

      (1) If he has sleep apnea and knew about it, he has no business driving a car. This makes him more culpable, not less.

      (2) His stopping at Pizza hut a mile away also seems fishy. If you hit something, why would you keep driving a distance away before calling the tow truck? He wanted to get some distance away from the scene of the accident, to distance himself from the guy he hit and left lying possibly dying on the road.

      (3) Allowing someone who committed a criminal offense to pay his way out of trouble is a dangerous precedent. I don’t want to live in a world where rich people pay their way out of criminal liability because they can, and poor people rot in jail. Do you?

    • Mitch says:

      A felony conviction for hit and run driving does not ruin the offender’s life. It gives him a reasonable punishment for his crime. Spending time in jail, most likely with work release privileges, is not the end of the world, nor is having to make a career change.

      Hitting a person with a car and then fleeing the scene of the accident is a crime which warrants a severe punishment. The risks of doing so need to outweigh the benefits. Letting this guy off with minimal consequences for saying “I’m sorry” and coughing up some money sets a very dangerous precedent if other rich guys who are tempted to flee after running someone over have reason to believe that the consequences will not be severe if they are caught.

    • Snowrunner says:

      1) “Mr. Moneybags” may have fallen asleep at the wheel due to sleep apnea, and really not been aware he’d hit anyone since he trashed his car on the culvert. That possible doubt that he “knowingly” hit someone else and fled the scene would make it difficult to get a felony hit-and-run conviction. The misdemeanor charge would be what he would be prosecuted with had he stayed at the scene.

      If he suffers from sleep apnea he would not be able to obtain a license though, if it is an “undiagnosed” condition it could be taken into consideration upon sentencing, but it should not influence the charge.

      2) It seems plausible that he didn’t know, because he didn’t really try to flee the authorities. If he wanted to escape, he probably wouldn’t have stopped at a Pizza Hut less than a mile away to summon a wrecker. Just saying.

      Again, something that can be taken into account when sentencing but not something that should prevent the charge.

      3) How many folks posting here would’ve stopped at the scene and called the police, having only known about grazing a culvert or sign? I’m going to be honest here– I wouldn’t. I would do (and have done, on a couple of occasions when I lost control on ice) exactly the same thing as Mr. Moneybags, mostly because I’m not made of money. I get myself out of the ditch and I go somewhere safe to survey the damage. Otherwise, it’s hundreds of dollars in tickets and points-off the license for my trouble, even for a trivial single-vehicle accident with no injuries and negligible damage to anything but my own vehicle. Just saying.

      I thought I had hit animals and I had hit something on the side of the road once (also fallen asleep apparently), in both cases I pulled over, put on the Hazards and checked the car and what I had hit.

      4) All pursuing a felony conviction likely would’ve accomplished is to ruin two mens’ lives, and caused further problems for the injured cyclist. As the article states, Mr. Moneybags is accepting responsibility and paying restitution. It becomes substantially more difficult for him to support the victim of his carelessness (assuming he truly sees it through and makes him as whole as possible, as long and as much money as it takes) if he is an unemployed felon.

      Last I checked, cars needed to carry liabilities insurance, as such the insurance company would be first and foremost on the hook, not he with his personal wealth.

      I do have mixed feelings about this decision, but in the end, adopting the “make the a-hole pay” eye-for-an-eye philosophy just makes the whole world blind.

      Yes, but not charging and prosecuting him means: “Hey, if you’re rich and you poke someone’s eye out, that’s okay, just promise not to do it again.”

      There could well be more to the story that would explain why the victim is out for blood, but I don’t know. If Mr. Moneybags is truly remorseful, is honest about not knowing he had actually hit someone, and will pay full restitution, no matter how long and how much (insurance isn’t going to last forever, it does have absolute caps) there is no compelling reason whatsoever to ruin his life too.

      Only that the law isn’t working that way. The intend can figure into sentencing, but not in the original charge.

      Yes, I am aware that DAs can chose to prosecute a case or not, based on if they think they have a chance of conviction, but “letting him go” shouldn’t be the default option and the way the article is written it sounds fishy to me.

    • ocschwar says:

      From what I’ve seen, when a prosecutor feels a defendant has a strong enough defense to call for a plea bargain, he tells the victim “I think the defendant has a strong enough defense to call for a plea bargain.” Not “I think charging a felony count will jeopardize the defendant’s job.”

    • rikchik says:

      What I want to know, in that case, is if the driver still has a driver’s license. Having a disease that could cause him to suddenly lose control of a deadly weapon is not a reason to let him keep wielding it.

    • Anonymous says:

      kairo writes: “All pursuing a felony conviction likely would’ve accomplished is to ruin two mens’ lives”

      I am curious what you think the goal is for *any* felony conviction? Should we not punish lawbreakers if it would ruin their lives? If that’s the case, why have any sort of punishment at all? What is your moral basis for making the comment?

      Come to think of it, I like the idea of evolving to a system that doesn’t rely on punishment. But is that what you’re really advocating?

  50. rebdav says:

    The best justice money can buy!

    The game theorist(as in game theory) makes me wonder if a campaign of terrorism against offending cars is the only way to keep cyclists safe.

    And before it starts up, the modern road infrastructure was developed for cyclists and was taken over by cars. Car drivers pay percentage of the road building and maintenance with their fuel tax, but cyclists pay a drastically higher percentage for their use of the road compared to the maintenance required from general taxes. Put simply cyclists get inferior service, cost less, but pay more.

    Something has to be done to put a real bite into the laws protecting cyclists because of the danger/protection ratio being so weighted in favor toward motorists.
    Most people get out of the way of the tiny and mostly gentle honey bee because they know that rarely if they act incorrectly they might get stung.

  51. Anonymous says:

    This story is distressingly familiar.

    http://bit.ly/9Jx6pM

  52. Anonymous says:

    FWIW, I think that bikes, cars, big trucks and peds should all be kept separate from each other, just for safety reasons – screw-ups WILL happen, and when they do any major disparity in mass will result in the lighter party getting squashed…

  53. victor trac says:

    Mark Hulbert charged two women with felony criminal impersonation charges for cheating in a bike race: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15043329

    More of his track record (metafilter).

  54. The .invalid says:

    Disgusting.

  55. Anonymous says:

    This really pisses me off since one of my friend’s nephews was hit by a car while cycling to work. He was following the rules of the road just like normal and now he won’t ever be the same. What happened was he was at an intersection with a full stop, he stopped, then the oncoming traffic stopper for him to let him pass. Then, an SUV behind the vehicle that stopped decided to drive around the stopped car and hit him going at I believe it was around 30 mph. I’m not sure on the details for the prosecution but I believe it’s still up in court right now. After the incident he lost his memory, not even remembering who he was, and his memory is still very shitty. He’ll most likely never be able to work what one would call a proper job again in his life, and it was nothing short of good luck he survived (I don’t like to use the term miracle cause I prefer to reserve that for stuff with 1 in 100 bil chances, not about 1 in 10 mil).

  56. Goblin says:

    Disgusting…

  57. Anonymous says:

    I don’t like to make judgements without having all the facts, but “unaware he had hit” the guy?

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000656513279

    Made a bid for the state senate this year, he did.

  58. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Update from HuffPo for what it’s worth.

    District Attorney Mark Hurlbert told HuffPost on Monday afternoon that news reports about the prosecution have been inaccurate. “We charged him with a felony, first of all,” he said. What’s happening is that prosecutors offered Erzinger a plea bargain for restitution and two misdemeanors potentially carrying two years of jail time. What the victim wants, Hurlbert said, is for Erzinger to plead guilty to the felony of leaving the scene of accident, causing serious bodily injury. Under that deal, judgment would be deferred and the felony would be cleared from his record after a few years of good behavior. The misdemeanors, though, would stay on Erzinger’s record permanently.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/08/martin-erzinger-morgan-stanley-hit-and-run-_n_780294.html

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      …and so it would seem that the injured person here shall achieve full restitution, as far as money can allow for that: which IMHO is never truly in full.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, full restitution is impossible. The guy is a surgeon, and now that he’s had a spinal injury, I know I would not let him operate on me. He has to put down the scalpel and just do consultations, and nothing in terms of money or prosecution can undo that.

  59. Anonymous says:

    As a cyclist who was recently hit by a inattentive driver and is still recovering from my injuries, which are not nearly as dire as those of Dr. Milo I am outraged by this. My driver at least stopped after I bounced off her hood and did some minor damage (she wasn’t dragging a bumper down the road or had a side mirror bouncing off the side of the car). What, because the guy is rich he gets a free pass to destroy someone else’s life? Sure, I am sure that Martin Joel Erzinger is promising to pay Dr. Milo lots and lots of money, but still, he hit and run (was a BAC test done? No mention in the article) and left a man at the side of the road critically injured. I am so mad right now I could spit just reading this. Why hasn’t the main stream press picked up this story?

  60. Jenonymous says:

    Yes, Erzinger is a criminal for not calling the cops and a douchenozzle all-around. While who may be at fault in the CAUSATION of the accident is irrelevant given his efforts to cover up his participation in it, and in his failing his duty to report.

    Having said that, what’s wrong with the criminal impersonation charges to the women (yes I read the article) who seem to deserve it?

    As far as where cyclists should or shouldn’t be: I have no idea what the stretch of road where the accident occurred looks like. However, cars don’t have the option of NOT going on narrow roads/roads with an insufficient shoulder. Cyclists do. Also, cyclists do NOT belong on the sidewalk, full stop, period, if there is any chance that they’ll hit a pedestrian.

    It irritates me to no end that the same folks who claim to be allowed to ride anywhere because they move more slowly and are more vulnerable than people in cars don’t seem to give a flying fuck about people who are more vulnerable and move slower than THEM–pedestrians. And no, I don’t think that I should be allowed to walk on a major highway.

    To repeat though, none of this is relevant here–the fact that Erzinger failed to report an accident, left the scene of an accident, possibly committed vehicular manslaughter, and was clearly much more worried about his little shiny carrie-warrie having its polish dented than killing a guy is.

    On a side note, stuff like this happens all the time in the outer boros of NYC. The usual vic is an illegal immigrant coming home over a major roadway on a bike, and when he’s hit, nobody gets charged for anything and largely nothing is done except to put out some public safety ads on biking at night.

    • Snowrunner says:

      Having said that, what’s wrong with the criminal impersonation charges to the women (yes I read the article) who seem to deserve it?

      Having read the article too and having done Ultra Distance Events myself I can tell you that as a competitor I wouldn’t really care. Those things are more about racing against yourself than they are racing against others, especially in the age grouper category.

      The problem is that most races don’t allow you to transfer your start number to someone else officially, as such if you can’t race it’s one less person they have to support and you’re just out the $250, if the woman wouldn’t have been that good it would have never come out.

      Realistically a warning by the organizers (or even banning as they did) should have sufficed.

    • Haakon IV says:

      However, cars don’t have the option of NOT going on narrow roads/roads with an insufficient shoulder. Cyclists do.

      I’m curious as to why you think that bicyclists have choices and cars don’t. In some areas, the choice of routes available to get where you’re going may be very limited, and both cars and bikes will take a narrow windy road. Surely it is the responsibility of both to be more cautious when driving/riding on such a road.

    • Mitch says:

      “However, cars don’t have the option of NOT going on narrow roads/roads with an insufficient shoulder. Cyclists do.”

      Do you mean that we have the option of just not going to certain places? I just took a bicycle trip to visit my family and in a 123 mile trip only about 30 miles of the roads had a shoulder.

      People in cars have the option of slowing down and being cautious when passing bicyclists on narrow roads. Contrary to popular belief, they do not have to go 5 to 15 mph over the speed limit at all times.

  61. Marcel says:

    O what ultimate irony it would be if mr. Hurlbert would turn out to be a big drinker in need of a liver transplant.

  62. arikol says:

    I think ucfmatt has met his match here…
    But as I’ve heard his sentiment so often before I am hesitant to call him out as a troll. Many drivers just don’t get it. They think that just because something is moving slower than their stressed out selves that means that the object is moving SLOW. That’s a perception issue. Then some show so little respect for human life that they drive extremely close to cyclists (or scooter riders), not understanding that their forcing a rider to brake, swerve or even fall can be a serious and possibly fatal injury. These bike riders are generally just taking better care of themselves than aforementioned angry and stressed out driver, which makes me wonder, is part of the annoyance that we CAN ride still ride a bike? Most people I’ve met who are very firmly against bikeriders on roads are generally not in any shape to ride a bike. Even the ones who work out generally have big, useless showoff muscles which are mostly good for pulling machines at the local gym.
    What say you, ucfmatt? Are your cheezypoof encrusted fingers perchance too slippery on the wheel to maintain control? Or the trapezoidals cutting off bloodflow to the brain?
    Ok, enough goading for now.

    • JoshuaTerrell says:

      arikol: Trolling a troll makes the whole world rage.

    • sgnp says:

      There’s this psychological thing that the added weight of the car does to people. A friend of mine who rides every day discussed this. He has a few stories where a driver who is *really* pissed off decides to get out and physically confront him. Once they approach, they realize that he’s a lot bigger and in much better shape than they are. In the stories, they usually get back in their car and drive off quickly.

  63. nemofazer says:

    Lots of tribalism on this thread. In the interests of balance when I’m driving I hate cyclists. When I’m cycling I hate cars. Who here can say that’s not true.

    Incidentally I don’t cycle too much since a car driver t-boned me and broke my left leg in 3 places. Yes I will be in pain the rest of my life (I lost the cartilage in my ankle), no the driver didn’t even get a ticket having driven through their stop sign and hit me while I was in a cycle lane in broad daylight.

  64. vtRusseell says:

    Neville Marcano, the “Growling Tiger of Calypso” knew about this decades ago.
    http://wn.com/Growling_Tiger__Money_is_King

  65. Roast Beef says:

    Well, I for one love riding on the sidewalk! I love slowing to a crawl because the entire lane in chockablock with oblivious pedestrians. I love the angry words and gestures I am given when I ring my bell to alert pedestrians to my presence. I love it when cars drive and/or park on the sidewalk (and then give me angry words and gestures for daring to be on a bicycle).

    Oh wait, that’s what happens in the BIKE LANE, not the sidewalk. Same difference, amirite?

    Anyway. The OP gets my angry up (i.e., what about the “job implications” for the freaking SURGEON who is going to be in pain for the rest of his life?), but as others have said upthread, this is not unusual. Crummy, but very very usual.

  66. Sxe says:

    Financial disclosure would shed some light on this. Either the judge himself has assets invested with Erzinger, or someone who holds sway with him does.

    Sorry, but the magic number is around $100M, and even the greatest liver surgeon doesn’t make that much. If your net worth is at that level, the rules and the rights are yours, and your wrongs against others simply vanish. If not, the best you can hope for is a few BoingBoing commenters to type rage for a minute until the next steampunk article is hosted.

  67. UncaScrooge says:

    Tremble in fear: When the Pedestrian version of Critical Mass comes — well, no one will go anywhere faster than 2 miles per hour on that day.

    Every day I am treated to spectacular acts of idiocy by drivers of every type of vehicle.

    I recently watched a bicyclist scream at a driver: “Learn How to Fuckin’ Drive!!” Then, said bicyclist whipped across two lanes in order to drive down the wrong side of the street — followed by a quick run through a red light. To be fair, he was bicycling in anger. But whatever vehicle you drive, pedestrians lose.

    Of course, some of us are spectacularly bad at crossing the street properly.

  68. sloverlord says:

    Not only that, but (at least in my state), bicycles have a legal right to half the lane, so they’re perfectly allowed to ride halfway between the white line and the double yellows. I usually don’t do this in the interest of not being a jerk, but I also don’t ride on the shoulder, because there’s usually frost heaves, broken glass, etc. in there, and that pisses off a lot of motorists. Pricks.

  69. Promethean Sky says:

    As someone who has been hit twice while on a bike, once literally run over (I was underneath the car, and got dragged a little bit), and once hit so hard my bike was folded in half, I can personally attest to drivers facing no consequences.

    In the case where I was run over, I was able to provide the police with Make/Model, a partial liscense plate number, and a description. No response. After scouring the neighborhood, one neighbor found the car, complete with paint from my bike on the bumper. Police were updated with name, address, and photographs of paint.

    The eventual response: Insufficient evidence to pursue it.

  70. kairo says:

    To some of the folks who responded to my earlier comment:

    If Mr. Moneybags knew he had sleep apnea, yes, that would be a game-changer as far as ignorance vs. recklessness or negligence go. It’s a pretty big “if”, a lot of folks stay in denial regarding medical conditions they suffer from. It’s not like driving drunk, where they’re in denial about the effects of something they’ve done, it’s denial of an undiagnosed condition.

    And generally speaking, I do not stop alongside the road, regardless of what is wrong with my vehicle, if I believe I can safely limp along to a parking lot or large pull-off. There are just too many cases of motorists and first-responders who get injured or killed because they stopped at the scene of an accident, or they pulled-over to change a tire or look under the hood.

    In fact, not terribly far from the scene of this particular accident, on I-70 on the other side of Vail, there was a fatality which is also making the news around here. There was a piece of metal in the road, it was dark outside, and some motorists hit it, and some of them pulled over. One of those motorists hopped a concrete barrier to avoid traffic when he got-out to inspect for damage, but it turned out that he was on a bridge and he fell over a hundred feet to his death. Now his widow wants to clutter-up our landscape with more warning signs, safety fences, and such. The solution is more simple: Don’t stop or get out of your car, unless your car is not drivable or there was particularly serious injury or property damage involved. Period. Drive to the nearest place meant for parking, and park properly and safely.

  71. Baldhead says:

    First, to pile on it does tend to be illegal for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk. Second, the idea that a cyclist can kill a pedestrian is a common one although very unlikely. I weigh, with my bike, a total of 200 lbs, and rarely ride faster than 20km/h and never that on a sidewalk. It’s unlikely that an object at that weight and velocity has enough force to actually kill someone. Contrast a car which weighs more, moves faster and is often operated by someone barely paying attention to what’s around them (I see, on average 1 car per month that actually stops in the right spot at a stop sign) and you can see why someone might want to ride on a sidewalk. A bike might hurt you, a car will probably kill you.

  72. aixwiz says:

    I live in Colorado.
    To Mr. Moneybags and the yellow-bellied DA:

    COWARDS!

    Mr. Moneybags, your money doesn’t give you the right to run from the scene of an accident. Oh, wait, this is America; Billionaire == God. Fsck other people, money is more important.

    Yellow-bellied DA, you are a disgrace your peers and deserve to be disbarred. If this ever goes to trial, you and Moneybags should both be thrown in jail for the maximum time allowed by LAW. (I know, I’m a dreamer.) In case you forgot, there’s a nice little SuperMax prison in Colorado. Hope you get to have a long vacation there.

    Both of you should be fired, have to pay for all the best medical treatments for Dr. Milo and therapy for the rest of his life. Oh, by the way, some of your money will go towards paying for mandatory exploratory surgery on both of you. After all, the court needs to find out if either of you has a heart. I’m betting neither of you do.

  73. Anonymous says:

    UCFMatt: Just another moron with an internet connection.

    “That sucks that he’s injured but I can’t really say I feel bad for him.”

    Here’s hoping I get to say the same thing about you someday!

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