Noted Cross-Country Bicyclist Killed in North Carolina Crash
A 60-year-old Arizona bicyclist who had lost his ability to walk due to a traumatic brain injury 20 years ago was killed when riding through North Carolina in late July. Arnold Arnott, of Phoenix, was returning home after cycling cross-country from Los Angeles to New York City when his recumbent bicycle was struck from behind by a pickup truck. According to the NC Highway Patrol, Arnott died instantly from his injuries.
Bicyclists, whether touring Piedmont back roads or riding on Outer Banks recreational trails, are always in jeopardy when they must ride in close proximity to motor vehicles. Narrow shoulders, blind intersections, open car doors, and negligent or reckless drivers can turn a pleasant day of riding into an obstacle course with zero room for error. In Arnott’s case, his use of a recumbent bike may be suspected by some as a contributing factor, because they ride so close to the ground. But in a profile of the long distance rider published in the Greensboro News & Record, Arnott had a large yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag flying above and behind his bike.
By exercising caution and defensive riding skills and donning proper equipment, bicyclists can certainly reduce the risk of serious injuries like head trauma, broken bones and severe abrasions. But a rider who is hit directly from behind at high speed has no opportunity to take evasive action, and the impact of such collisions almost always causes serious injuries, a long recovery or, worse, a wrongful death.
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING MOTOR VEHICLES PRESENT COMPLEX LEGAL CHALLENGES
For injury victims and families who have lost a bicyclist in a fatal accident, a consultation with a personal injury lawyer can provide crucial information. The sooner a party explores the possibility of legal action, the better the chance that vital evidence can be preserved, whether it be skid marks and other signs of a driver’s speed and response, or witness impressions of the sequence of events. An experienced attorney understands the importance of exploring multiple options for recovery when medical expenses, lost income and other damages add stress and uncertainty to an already difficult time.