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Bicyclist killed in Orange County accident

Posted June 3, 2008

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— A bicyclist died Tuesday morning after being hit by a vehicle on Pleasant Green Road in eastern Orange County, authorities said.

Clive Sweeney, 59, of Durham, was hit by a northbound Honda Passport that swerved to miss some deer in the road and crossed the center line, authorities said. Sweeney then hit a minivan, which also ran off the side of the road, authorities said.

The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. near the Ebenezer Church Road intersection, authorities said.

Neither speed nor alcohol was a factor in the wreck, authorities said.

No charges had been filed by Tuesday afternoon, but the wreck remained under investigation.

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  • Rob E. Jun 4, 2008

    There are more reasons than money to choose a bike over a car, not to mention flippantly telling other people how they should spend their money shows a lack of understanding that not everyone is in the same financial bracket as you. Also your three examples don't really compare well since they are situations where the person is mostly at risk from forces of nature, acts of God, or their own incompetence. These are things the government has little control over, whereas who is on the road and who they comport themselves are issues the government has already seen fit to speak up on, and we, as a people, have some say on the matter. The question isn't, Can we make life perfectly safe? Of course we can't. The question is, Should we feel safe in public spaces when we are following the established rules? I would say that we should.

  • irishale Jun 4, 2008

    My deepest condolences to the family of the cyclist...

    That being said, everything in life has risks. I have the right to go swimming at the lake, but I run the risk of drowning. I have the right to go skydiving, but I run the risk of falling to my death. I have the right to go mountain climbing, but I risk falling to my death.

    I also have the right to ride a bicycle on the highway w/ 3000 pound plus vehicles... but I run the risk of becoming a statistic. Not worth it, so spend the gas $. For recreation, you say? Get a mountain bike and hit the trails where the cars can't get to you.

  • Rob E. Jun 4, 2008

    I understand that there are no perfect drivers or cyclists. I acknowledge that in a car/bicycle collision, the cyclist faces the greater risk. I reject that the solution to this is either to get the cyclists off the road or prepare them for an early demise. I think there are other things that can be done: education, enforcement, road improvements, etc. Most of these changes would benefit cyclists and drivers, but none would be implemented if we followed the "get the bikes off the road" advice that seems to pop up every time there is a bike/car collision.

  • akrafty1 Jun 4, 2008

    "Do you think the preoccupied, inconsiderate majority of today's drivers think twice about sharing the road with a bicycle? They're more concerned about talking on the cell phone and multitasking. Look at the carnage they cause on a daily basis"

    So would the solution to this issue to be to allow the problem to persist, or to fix it by changing peoples habits and behavior? I vote for the latter.

  • Jun 4, 2008

    We teach our children not ride bicycles on busy streets. The consequences can be tragic.

    Adult bicycle riders are playing Russian roulette.

    Do you think the preoccupied, inconsiderate majority of today's drivers think twice about sharing the road with a bicycle? They're more concerned about talking on the cell phone and multitasking. Look at the carnage they cause on a daily basis.

    I smoke cigarettes. I know the danger. Cancer, blah, blah, blah. I still take that risk.

    No need for the Tour de France folks to get their spandex in a wad. Y'all know the danger.

    Good luck.

  • norskagent Jun 4, 2008

    Without knowing the exact details of the accident, it's hard to say if any fault can be laid on the driver of the car. I know when I'm driving and I see a deer near the roadway I automatically slow down because they are unpredictable. The driver in this case may have not had time to slow, the deer may have bolted into the road from a blind spot, and the driver reacted to avoid it. Just a tragic coincidence the cyclist was there too.

  • akrafty1 Jun 4, 2008

    While we are discussing the laws and rights of the roads, has anyone noticed that this driver swerved to miss an animal, crossed the centerline, and killed one person and then hit a car? Neither the cyclist or the people in the van did anything wrong. I wish the deer had died and the SUV had been dented and another person had gotten home safely to see their family.

    People need to slow down a bit. Relax and calm down. Everyone would live a little longer. This is not a race folks, somebody has already been to where your going... you are not going to get there first. It might be your child/husband/wife that gets killed while out riding or walking one day.

  • Rob E. Jun 4, 2008

    "If the law recognizes that traffic impediment is a safety issue, what difference does the type of vehicle make??"
    If your argument is based on what the law says, then you can't just ignore the parts that don't support your argument. The law says that there is a difference. And, as near as I can tell, the law doesn't mention safety as the reason for not impeding traffic. It does mention safety as a reason for slowing down. So the way I read it, the law says that you shouldn't impede traffic unless it's just not safe to go faster, or unless your vehicle can't actually go faster, in which case your right to be on the road is more important than someone else's desire to go the maximum speed limit. It seems like unsafe conditions arise when people fail to recognize that sometimes slowing down is necessary for safe use of the roadways.

  • Obama-is-a-retard Jun 3, 2008

    The answer to your question is RESPECT each other. It is still safer for me to ride in the lane then out of it. Since I began riding further out I've felt safer despite what you feel.

  • hlwn7 Jun 3, 2008

    Joan B, Yes, that I understand. My point is that you're impeding traffic when you're doing 20mph in a 55mph zone whether you're on a motorized or unmotorized vehicle. If the law recognizes that traffic impediment is a safety issue, what difference does the type of vehicle make?? Traffic impediment,to that degree, creates frustration and impatience and, more often than not, makes people take risks that they shouldn't. If you're a bicycle rider you know this!! That isn't going to change. Why contribute to this type of situation and put yourself in danger? Ride where the speed limit is more compatible with bicycle speed unless you've got a foolproof answer on how to make every bicyclist and motorist perfect.

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