A tragic and fatal car accident involving a bicycle occurred on Oct. 16 in Wilmington. The collision happened around 10 p.m., after the bicyclist reportedly ran a red light. A 19-year-old minivan driver was said to be traveling north on Independence Boulevard when he struck and killed the 19-year-old bicyclist. In investigating the auto accident, police initially determined the driver of the minivan had the right of way, while the bicyclist ran the red light and did not have either a safety helmet or visible lights. The victim later died at New Hanover Regional Medical Center from a head injury, and police say the driver was not at fault and will not face charges.
While the police investigation indicates the minivan driver was not at fault; that was only the initial finding of the investigation. Police are essentially concerned with investigating an accident to determine whether or not there have been violations of North Carolina laws. The fact that police may, in a given instance, determine no laws were broken does not mean that a subsequent personal injury or wrongful death action cannot be successful. In addition to the possibility that police may have missed an important fact in an investigation, it is also possible that a jury may determine that negligence caused an auto accident.
The laws concerning personal injury litigation and procedure are complicated. Any individual injured in an accident, and surviving family members who have lost a loved one, may benefit from consulting with a Wilmington attorney to review all of the facts and circumstances regarding the incident.
Source: WWAY, “19-year-old biker killed in accident,” Laura Seel, Oct. 17, 2011