A cyclist in the United States was killed last month after being run over three times by a motorist as she tried to exit a car park – although police say there is no suggestion it was “anything other than an accident.”
The fatal incident happened in the city of Roy, Utah on 20 September, with the cyclist, 62-year-old Warren Watanabe, sustaining 14 broken ribs and serious injuries to his liver and kidneys, reports the Standard Examiner. He died from his injuries five days later.
According to a warrant signed by a judge to enable police to access prescription records, the victim was riding along the sidewalk at around 0822 hours when the motorist, a 77-year-old woman, drove out of the car park and crashed into him.
She then reversed, then drove forward, and ran him over again. She reversed once more then got out of her vehicle, and seeing the cyclist, called the emergency services on 911.
The incident was captured on CCTV and the woman underwent a blood test and told officers that the only medication she had taken was to control cholesterol.
Police undertook a reconstruction of the incident, and a spokesman for Roy Police Department, Officer Stuart Hackworth, said that the investigation was now complete.
He added: “There is no indication or any belief that this was anything other than an accident. She was not aware of what she had hit.”
The case is, however, being referred to the Weber County Attorney’s Office to consider any potential criminal charges that may be brought.
Cycling campaigners in the US and elsewhere have called on public institutions such as the police, as well as the media, to stop using the word “accident” when describing road traffic collisions, since that implies that they are purely down to chance whereas in the vast majority of cases there is a human element, such as driver error, involved.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.