There are many moments that parents have with their children that they cherish: a first step, the first day of school, and any opportunity they have to spend quality time together. Going for a bike ride should certainly be on this list, and it was all one man was trying to do when he and his 9- and 12-year-old daughters were bike riding and struck by a speeding teen driver. The father and the youngest daughter were both killed in the accident. The other child sustained injuries.
Calling this fatal accident an accident is debatable. The 17-year-old driver was driving 72 mph in a 45 mph zone, and was making an unsafe lane change when the fatal bicycle accident occurred. While many accidents involving teen drivers involve alcohol or are due to driving distractions, such as texting, this did not happen in this California case. The pure case of recklessness resulted in the teen being charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to three years under the juvenile system.
While a case this severe is unusual, there are many other accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians that occur not because of outright recklessness, but because drivers have allowed themselves to be distracted and have failed to recognize that they may be sharing the road with those more vulnerable than themselves.
It is likely that the survivors in the family will still face difficulties even beyond missing their loved ones. The man’s wife, now a single mother to her 12-year-old, will have expenses due to the deaths of her husband and daughter, and may also incur expenses from the other child’s injuries.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Youth sentenced for killing 2 in crash,” Henry K. Lee, Oct. 22, 2012