In recent years, people have become more aware of bicyclists on the roadways. In Clark County, motorists are starting to do a better job of sharing the roads with bicyclists, and authorities are focusing more closely on the obstacles and dangers that bicyclists face. But while it’s important for us to treat bicycle operators like vehicle drivers when you see them on the roads, we can’t neglect them when they cross streets like pedestrians.
That’s what might have been the case in North Las Vegas last Friday. An 85-year old man was riding his bicycle across Decatur Boulevard near Tropicana Avenue. According to police, Canh Nhan Dang was in a crosswalk when he was struck by a 2002 Ford Escort. The elderly man was tossed into the windshield of the car and died at the scene. The car’s driver, 22-year old Crystal Hasty, suffered minor injuries when her vehicle subsequently rear-ended another car.
Metro Police have ruled the crash an accident, which means that the young woman will apparently not be charged with a crime. But questions remain about this fatal bicycle accident. Should she have stopped to allow the bicyclist to cross because he was in a crosswalk? Or did the elderly man pull out in front of the Escort without allowing the car enough time or distance to stop?
These questions will weigh heavily on the chances of success for any wrongful death lawsuit which may arise from this incident. But this tragedy can serve as a reminder to all motorists to pay extra attention to bicyclists both on the roads and at intersections.