Archive for Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baldwin City man claims he had no intent to harm bicyclist

March 2, 2011


A 48-year-old Baldwin City man charged with injuring a bicyclist last July testified Tuesday he didn’t intend to hurt anyone as he passed and yelled at a group of cyclists south of Lawrence.

Scott A. Young, 48, told jurors during his aggravated battery trial that he didn’t believe at the time he had struck cyclist Rob Wilshusen of Lawrence during an incident on July 15, 2010. But he said after hearing testimony in the case he believed Wilshusen fell after he had leaned into his truck as Young was passing him.

Prosecutors accuse Young of yelling obscenities at a group of riders traveling south of Broken Arrow Park, swerving over into their lane and striking Wilshusen, who suffered cuts to his shoulder, back and hip and a hematoma on his left hip.

But Young said he moved closer to the riders because he thought he was past them and was trying to avoid being on the left side of the road with a hill approaching.

Defense attorney Rick Frydman rested his case after Young’s testimony Tuesday. Attorneys are expected to give closing arguments at 9 a.m. today.


Richard Heckler 7 years ago

How could he be yelling at the cyclists and watching where he was going at the same time?

Poor judgement to say the least. Road rage is unacceptable.

His reckless driving may have allowed him to hit a cyclist aka hit and run.

As I see it:

  • 30 days in jail

  • pay all of the cyclist medical bills

  • $5,000 fine

  • suspension of drivers license for 6 months

  • anger management therapy

BaldwinDad 7 years ago

If found guilty I agree with him paying the cyclist for medical bills, bike repairs, and perhaps something reasonable for pain and suffering, but 30 days in jail and $5,000 fine seems like it would not be productive and will not benefit the actual injured party in this case.

The only person that deserves compensation is the victim, by putting this guy in jail for 30 days, means the victim has to pay twice for the event in which they were the injured party.

I agree with the anger management, but that also should be paid for by the person found guilty not the county or courts, but the other punishments sound extreme and will probably result in the person found guilty losing his job and income which means he wont be able to pay back the victim, which is the wrong approach.

xfitter 7 years ago

If you're going to play the grammar police than make sure you don't have any mistakes in your post as well because I WITNESS one....

2xhawk 7 years ago

Yeah! When I have to slow down for you d*** socialist bike riders, it makes me be at least 15 or 20 seconds late! What's the deal with you people?! If you had any real consideration, you'd just get over on the side of the road and wait for me to go by!

sr80 7 years ago

Liberal Democratic WASP is more fitting than D*** Socialist. The guy is going to walk, I mean not be charged with any crime.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

This is coming from a friend of bikers.

Over the years many former gravel roads have been blacktopped. There really isn't a reason to use County 458 anymore. In fact I often take my time into the city traveling entirely on surfaced back roads.

grimpeur 7 years ago

BZZZ! Thanks for playing, though.

There is no reason not to use 458 and every reason to do so.

The only instances of riders being hit from behind have nothing to do with "safety" or the perception of it on these roads, nor with riding abreast, but rather when a driver is either spectacularly stupid enough to stick his nose into a texting device (Sheriff deputy David Dillon, killed by Kyle van Meter), or intentionally aggressive and cowardly drivers like Young. I hope the judge calls him out as a coward, and calls out his attorney for allowing his client to lie on the stand and for making the number one coward's argument : "I didn't see him." BS. I say make this punk a poster child for what punk drivers can expect from now on. He'll get off easy if he get the full and maximum penalties for the crimes charged, because there were a lot more that could have been charged.

The problem isn't the road, because I and other cyclists have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles with no problems. It isn't cyclists riding 2 or 3 or 4 abreast, because motorists shouldn't pass even a single cyclist if there is oncoming traffic.

The problem is bad drivers, and they are a problem on any road, rural or city, two-lane or interstate.

If you don't like sharing the roads with cyclists, then stick to the car-only roads: interstates. Otherwise, there is no excuse not to expect cyclists on all our roads all the time.

Getaroom 7 years ago

Tom S your comments so rarely have anything positive to add to any conversation, but of course you have the right to push your way into conversations even when you have noting to add that has true relevancy. Given your right leaning attitudes you likely believe any adult who rides a bike is an Obama loving LIBERAL. Go get some exercise for your body that does not include dragging your trash down your long drive with dogs barking and maybe then you will not feel the pressure of all these socialist cyclists getting in your way of life.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"and calls out his attorney for allowing his client to lie on the stand and for making the number one coward's argument"

The attorney's job is to provide the best defense he can. In this case, the best defense available is Young's word against that of the cyclists. It's not the attorney's job to determine whether or not his client is telling the truth, nor is it his job to prevent his client from exercising his right to testify in his own defense. Determining who is telling the truth is the jury's job, and it doesn't look good for Young.

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

The exception would be if the attorney actually encouraged his client to lie on the stand.

imastinker 7 years ago

Spoken like a true liberal!!

Nobody has enough dignity to tell the truth on the stand anymore? It's simple - he screwed up!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

It has nothing to do with "liberal" or "conservative."

The attorney's job is to advise this defendant. I'm sure that Young was advised that going on the stand and testifying in a way that would be contradicted by multiple other witnesses would not be in his best interest.

But it's still the defendant's right to testify, if he so chooses, and it's up to the jury (with instructions from the judge) to sort out any conflicting testimony. And judging from the available information, it probably won't go well for Young.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years ago

ftw. Weird. This is the second time in a week I've agreed with bozo.

Grimp, you need some serious anger management. It's not all about the cars and it's not all about the bikes. Punk drivers? What about people who ride bikes unsafely, illegally and irresponsibly. Do you get as angry at them?

sr80 7 years ago

Where is your compassion,the poor misunderstood bycilists are only defending their God given rights !

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

bzzzzzz Overruled put down the Cheetos, cheese fingers off the mouse, tell mom to drop the temp in the basement, and grow up.

If you feel this way, instead of touring cramped county roads, voyage down Iowa during rush hour.

Your argument is faulty. Head my warning, if you wish to ride worry free then take the backroads. D458 has semi trucks rolling at 60 + tractors, farm vehicles, and other worthwhile commerce. These folks have just as much right maybe more as you the spandex warriors. Back roads are paved for folks wishing to avoid heavily traveled roads.

I see on a regular basis legit drivers getting squeezed by bikers who could be should be and intelligently riding on less traveled roads.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

Sometimes it does surprise you how long it takes to pass a group of riders. It's hard to judge when you start around a large group. I never start to pass unless I have a good 1/2 mile of clearance

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Even if it's a large group of riders, the fact that they are unlikely to be going any faster that 25 mph on the flat, and 35-40 mph on downhills, and that they won't stretch any further than a tractor pulling a trailer, passing, in reality, will never take more than 5-6 seconds.

We live in an impatient society, but that's no excuse for reckless driving that puts lives at risk.

fan4kufootball 7 years ago

I travel 458 all the time. There are times when it takes more than 5-6 seconds to get around a group of bikers depending on the road situation at the time - hill, oncoming traffic, etc. And I agree it can be annoying at time but ALWAYS give bikers the right-a-way. Most bikers are considerate to automobiles as well but there seem to be some bikers that act like they own the road.... To the bikers - I appeciate your sport but if you see that you have 2-3 cars lined up behind you - please allow the cars to pass by riding (or even stopping) on the shoulder. Thanks!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"There are times when it takes more than 5-6 seconds to get around a group of bikers depending on the road situation at the time - hill, oncoming traffic, etc."

I was referring to the time it takes to actually pass once the conditions are right. Passing any vehicle(s) can take some time if you follow the passing laws.

RaynRavyn 7 years ago

" that they won't stretch any further than a tractor pulling a trailer,"

Really? An average semi and trailer would be about 75 feet long (if it is a twin screw w/ sleeper... AKA the "normal" tractor, with a 53' trailer). Given an average length of about 6 feet for a bike, and maybe 4 feet between each, that would only be seven riders in a line. I see more than seven riders in a line extremely often during the summer months...

That being said, I don't see a need to try to run anyone over, or even to shout obscenities at them. They are irritating when there is a huge group together that take up a long stretch of road and make it impossible to pass them, but it just isn't worth getting that worked up over...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Granted, there are exceptions, but they are just that-- not the rule.

That said, I also have problems with how many of the larger group rides are organized, and I think more needs to be done to get riders to recognize when they are needlessly obstructing the ability of other vehicles to pass them.

conservative 7 years ago

The reason riders ride 2 abreast is for safety. Riders are actually entitled to the entire lane just like a car. Way too often when riding alone or single file cars pass without bothering to get into the other lane causing a very dangerous situation for riders. The defendant was already well known to the biking community for other instances of causing dangerous situations.

bd 7 years ago

I think if they are riding outside of the city limits they need a slow moving vehicle sign ! Safety first!

ryan026 7 years ago

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this act, except as otherwise provided in K.S.A. 8-1586 to 8-1592

8-1590 (c) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

Richard Payton 7 years ago

Take his driver's license and require him to take a bicycle safety course.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

This guy is a dirtbag.

I have seen many instances of this sort of behavior directed a cyclists. As a cyclist in Lawrence, Kansas, you must always be prepared to protect yourself, because at best motorists are careless and at worst are belligerent. Concealed carry by cyclists would be appropriate.

Car big, bike little. An undeniable fact.

sr80 7 years ago

cyclist carry gun.motorist carry shotgun.shotgun win. FACT!!!!

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

Take away his license so he has to ride a bicycle to get around. Oh, the irony!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I think in previous reports it's been reported that he's disabled.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I don't disagree with you at all. I was just pointing out that riding a bike isn't an alternative for him.

Maybe that contributes to his apparent anger-control issues.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

But he said after hearing testimony in the case he believed Wilshusen fell after he had leaned into his truck as Young was passing him.

Mr. Young is confused. He believes Mr. Wilsuhusen to be as crazy as he is. Pretty common to project your own crazy world view onto others.

Enoughsaid 7 years ago

I feel sorry for the bicycle rider having to go through this ordeal. I always move over for bicyclist and give them plenty of room. With that being said, I wish some of our local riders would be more respectful of automobiles. It always bothers me when I pull up to a stop sign or intersection and the bicyclist rides right through the intersection.

I have the greatest respect for bicyclist but in major riding events there is always a few I've noticed that don't care and ride like they are in a race. I have spoken to the owner of a local bicycle shop and he agrees that these bad apple bicyclist need to be ticketed for stop signs and riding more than two abreast.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

On a related note, I assume that Young isn't the only one to testify in this case. Where is the reporting on the other testimony?

Chris Golledge 7 years ago

Very true. Here we have one person claiming to be the injured party telling his side of the story. Without hearing it directly, and without hearing from the injuring party, we really have no way of knowing what happened.

Chris Golledge 7 years ago

My bad, flipped the roles there. Nevermind.

xclusive85 7 years ago

Thanks for providing the link. That needed to be pointed out again.

But...there seems to be a problem with both cyclists and drivers. I think that the problems with drivers have been pointed out quite well. There must be some issues with cyclists also following the rules of the road if the first thing that many think of is what was the cyclist doing that he shouldn't have. Reflects that many people have seen too many instances of cyclists not riding in proper fashion as well, and I am not talking about those tight body suits!

beeshlii 7 years ago

the guy thinks he has more right than the cyclist or peds. and maybe a little crazy. but i have seen cyclist ignore road rules,

evilpenguin 7 years ago

Surely if the driver wanted to get back into the correct lane before the hill, this shows that he must have seen the hill before he STARTED to overtake the cyclists. If he lives in Baldwin, it's likely that he has driven that route before so even if he can't see the hill, he knows it's coming. So why not be patient and wait? Well, because he clearly doesn't like cyclists and takes exception to them riding in large packs which make it difficult to pass.

I understand that he hit a rider who was riding single file, but it is an all too common occurrence for riders to ride more than 2 abreast on the road. Clearly the driver has no patience or respect for riders rights on the road, but riders should also show more respect to drivers. Like stopping at red lights and stop signs. I have lived in Lawrence for a year and a half and have witnessed at least 30 cyclists riding straight through stop signs. Kudos to the 1 cyclist I've ever seen who actually stopped and waited his turn.

Cyclists can't have their cake and eat it. If you want to use the road, share it with the drivers and be responsible. Not all drivers are respectful to cyclists, I know this, and there should be harsh penalties for drivers who break the law. After all, it's much easier for a driver to kill a cyclist than it is for a cyclist to kill a driver.

People just need to get some patience and realize the world isn't all about them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"I understand that he hit a rider who was riding single file, but it is an all too common occurrence for riders to ride more than 2 abreast on the road."

As long as they aren't riding on the wrong side of the road, what difference does it make how many abreast they ride? There's a still a whole lane available in which to pass.

evilpenguin 7 years ago

Example: It's going to be a lot easier to clear 12 cyclists riding single file than it would be to clear 12 cyclists cycling 2 abreast.

With one cyclist, you can generally move over enough to avoid the cyclist, without going ridiculously far over into the other lane. If they are riding 2 abreast, you have to move over further to avoid hitting them, which means you then have to increase your speed to get past them faster, so you can get back into your own lane.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"without going ridiculously far over into the other lane."

If you're passing a car or other larger vehicle, you will always have to move "ridiculously far over into the other lane."

It really doesn't take any longer to pull all the way into the other lane than it does to merely straddle the middle while passing.

One of the reasons cyclists like to ride two abreast is because this discourages cars from passing when there is oncoming traffic, which requires the driver to drive too close to the cyclists.

Chris Golledge 7 years ago

When you are operating a machine that has the capability to injure or kill another person, it is your responsibility to do everything in your power to see that doesn't happen.

Regarding the time it takes to pass: What does it matter? That's like saying it is OK to risk injury or death to another person rather than be inconvenienced.

evilpenguin 7 years ago

"Most people drive like carp"


sr80 7 years ago

why are you picking on a innocent fish ? I know they aren't very pretty,but take a chill pill and watch out next time your biking by the river,there is the asian carp that likes to sail out of the water and smack into innocent bicyclists!!!!! Just be forewarned !!!

jnixon 7 years ago

How about let's all be responsible?! What a concept! I don't defend the driver's actions...Bad driver! There are plenty of us 'bike conscious' drivers out there. I have, however, had a bike rider not stop at a signal, stop sign, etc. I have also had them not yield and pull right out in front of me. Not all, but a few, bike riders need to be 'car conscious' and follow the rules of the road too. Don't even get me started on the Pedestrians who choose to walk across the middle of the street while there are crosswalks provided. Let's all 'try' and follow the rules. How about it?

evilpenguin 7 years ago

I almost drove into a pedestrian walking the wrong way in the bike lane of east 15th at night in black clothing. I was tempted to turn around and drive into him to rid the world of his stupidity.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Were you driving a car? If so, you shouldn't be in the bike lane in the first place, and walking on the left side of the road is what's generally recommended for pedestrians.

evilpenguin 7 years ago

A. It doesn't say anywhere in the Kansas drivers handbook that you can't drive a car in a bicycle lane.

B. There was a pathway on the opposite side of the road.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I'd say the only transgression of the pedestrian was his choice of dark clothing. And if you're going to choose to drive a car in bike lane, (why did you need to do that?) then it's up to you to be a bit more vigilant.

evilpenguin 7 years ago

It also mentions in the handbook that pedestrians should always use a pathway if one is available :)

Gene Wallace 7 years ago

I had encounters with this person a couple times before he hit the cyclists. I was driving a cross-over SUV. He had absolutely no patience for someone driving the speed limit on Louisiana. He once passed me on Louisiana North of 27th screaming out his window at me. Another time he ran the stop sign at 31st as I was making the left hand turn onto Louisiana in front of him. Again the honking, shouting and IQ gesture. No ,it's not just cyclists he hates, it's everyone "in his way".

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