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Archive for Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jurors convict Baldwin City driver of reckless aggravated battery for hitting bicyclist south of Lawrence

March 2, 2011, 11:18 a.m. Updated March 2, 2011, 4:14 p.m.

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A Douglas County jury on Wednesday convicted a Baldwin City man of reckless aggravated battery for striking and injuring a bicyclist last July south of Lawrence.

Jurors did not find Scott A. Young guilty of the most severe charge he faced, intentional aggravated battery.

A prosecutor during closing arguments said Young, 48, intentionally struck cyclist Rob Wilshusen with his truck because he was angry about a group of cyclists on the road and wanted to make a point.

“That makes it clear to the officers (during an interview) what his intention was when he was passing those cyclists,” said James McCabria, an assistant Douglas County district attorney.

Young’s defense attorney said his client regretted yelling at the cyclists as he passed them but wasn’t aware at the time that he struck anyone. Defense attorney Rick Frydman said Young veered back into his lane on East 1400 Road — an extension of Louisiana Street south of Broken Arrow Park — because he was approaching a hill and he couldn’t see if oncoming traffic was a threat.

“What I would say is the evidence shows that Scott Young was trying to get back into the lane,” Frydman said.

During the trial, which began Monday, a group of Lawrence cyclists testified that Young came upon the group on July 15, 2010, yelled obscenities at them and then struck Wilshusen, who fell and suffered injuries to his shoulder, back and hip.

But Young testified Tuesday that he wasn’t aware he had struck anyone and that he was trying to move back into the right lane after passing the group.

Young remains free on bond, and District Judge Michael Malone is scheduled to sentence him April 8.

Jurors convicted him of the lesser charge, but he would have likely faced probation either way unless he has a significant criminal history.

Comments

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

If by age 48 this individual has not learned to control his anger, I think an appropriate punishment would be a lifetime ban from driving.

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consumer1 3 years, 1 month ago

For three days straight, on my way to work I have been sitting at stop lights (in my car, obeying the laws) and have watched a different person each day blow through the same stop light I am stopped at. Laws are laws for all of us. Being on a bike does not circumvent the law or give a cyclist special priveledge.

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topeka52 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow, After reading most of the posts I really thinking riding a bike in Lawrence is a death wish. What hatred from some of you. I've been riding bicycles for 30 plus years and will continue as long as I am able, I will admit to occasionally running a stop sign or stop light WHEN ITS CLEAR, I have been in large groups with more than two abreast and probably done something to pi$$ somebody off, BUT I can tell you, that on almost every ride, I could show you some car driver doing something against the law. Stop signs, turn signals, speeding, careless drinving, cell phone-texting-eating-drinking-yelling at kids or what ever. Cyclists (motor or bike) are much more aware of the surrounding drivers than all most all car drivers, we have to be.

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scottpewenofkit 3 years, 1 month ago

Nothing has indicated that the cyclist was breaking the law. Regardless of whether or not the bike rider was breaking the law or somehow in the way, I question the maturity level of a 48 year old man who feels the need to shout obsceneties at other people from a passing car.

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GeneKC 3 years, 1 month ago

I have had problems in Lawrence with pickups attacking my car. So it's not bicycles. It's a few idiots who were extras in Deliverance. One followed me to Tonganaxie just to scream threats. Little too much meth.

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Kris_H 3 years, 1 month ago

Seems to me there's plenty of evidence that there is about the same percentage of arseholes riding bikes as there are driving cars.

I'd rather deal with the bicycle riders on the road, as a driver, than on the sidewalks and trails, as a walker. They are terrifying when they whip by with no warning.

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jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Can't we all just get along. Or at least try.

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Darwin 3 years, 1 month ago

I do not believe bicyclists belong on the streets unless they can pedal and sustain the posted speed limit and/or minimum speed limit. More often than not, when there is a group of them riding, they travel 2-3 abreast and tie up traffic. They definitely make people angry and cause accidents. Some of them deserve to be cussed out, but no one deserves to be intentionally hit.

I would say 1 out of a 100 bicyclists actually follow the rules of the road. I've seen people all decked out: reflectors and lights on their bicycle and reflector clothing and I'm going alright! Well...that is until they blow through a stop sign.

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bullydad1 3 years, 1 month ago

To intentionally injure a defenseless human being goes far beyond all of the petty back and forth of the comments. He could have easily killed someone.

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thuja 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure I'm way below some here in town, but I've ridden over 500 miles on my bike in the last eight months, almost all of it here in Lawrence. All of it obeying the traffic laws to a T, and taking less traveled routes as much as possible. Mostly to avoid your road rage towards us people on bikes.

Thank you jenniflip, your comment sums up the over-played argument well.

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ophiuchus 3 years, 1 month ago

When I was younger, I made a couple of road trips on bicycle, one from Shawnee Mission to Lake Perry and, years later, from Lawrence to Shawnee Mission. I was amazed at the amount of rage ventilated at cyclists by Kansas drivers. Guess there just isn't enough room for cyclists in the wide open spaces of a state ranking 40th among 50 in population density.

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jenniflip 3 years, 1 month ago

Do I see cyclists break traffic laws at times? Sure. Do I witness cars do the same? Almost daily. Do I see pedestrians in dark clothing jaywalk at night? You bet. Stupid is as stupid does. Sometimes I feel like people don't seem to be able to operate something as simple as a shopping cart. However, I have seen no indication in this case that this particular group of cyclists was breaking any rules. Even if they were, that gives me the right to hit them with my car? If someone is doing something illegal, call the police. That's what they're for. If you find you are incensed to the point of violence because a group of people are enjoying a harmless activity that is within their legal right to do...get some counseling.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

I live in Baldwin and between here and Lawrence many of the rural drivers act as if speed limits don't apply, driving cautiously in bad weather doesn't apply, driving the speed limit in construction zones doesn't apply and watching out for cyclists doesn't apply. Rules don't apply to followers of Terry Lois Gregory I guess.

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allamerican4ever 3 years, 1 month ago

only in lawrence. hell its not safe to drive your car . bicycles run red lights. make them get insured

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macon47 3 years, 1 month ago

i would be a happy camper if i beat a dui good for him

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JerryStubbs 3 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the county could paint some of those bike lanes on the popular roads.

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archazard 3 years, 1 month ago

Do DUIs count towards "significant criminal history"?

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jackbinkelman 3 years, 1 month ago

At 48 years of age I would think this driver has enough experience on the road to give proper distance while passing. If not I would recommend driving lessons. Guilty.

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donttreadonme 3 years, 1 month ago

Maybe if drivers weren't talking/texting/eating/drinking/yelling at the kids, they would not be confused by bicyclists.

Sure, everyone should obey all the traffic laws. But it is a waste of tax dollars for LPD to ticket bicyclists for violations when no other traffic is present.

Drivers ought to be thankful for cyclists. For every bike on the road, that's one less car.

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Jean1183 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry that the cyclist was injured.

However, cyclists need to read and heed this, "and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle", and perhaps more people would then respect their rights.

Not using (hand) signals to indicate turns, passing on the right, and "California" stops are NOT following the laws that are applicable to vehicle drivers.

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donttreadonme 3 years, 1 month ago

"sallyone (anonymous) says… I sure do wish that those bike riders would stay off the roads and streets, they creat to much of a hazard for car drivers!"

Bikes were on the roads first. Sounds like you need to learn how to drive.

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backyardwino 3 years, 1 month 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, inclusive, and except as to those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no application.

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sallyone 3 years, 1 month ago

I sure do wish that those bike riders would stay off the roads and streets, they creat to much of a hazard for car drivers!

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 1 month ago

The smart money is on "reckless" ... isn't it?

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