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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

LJ Whirled 3 years, 9 months ago

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

sallyone 3 years, 9 months 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!

backyardwino 3 years, 9 months ago

Luckily, the people that ride on these roadways are protected by Chapter 8 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated. However, only education will protect the public from people that think like this.

Shardwurm 3 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately the people who (not 'that') ride on these roadways oftentimes fail to observe the same traffic laws that they are governed by.

Not three days ago I saw four riding in a row on a busy street who simply rode through a red light without hesitation.

You want respect as a rider? Follow the laws you are required to.

eday 3 years, 9 months ago

I absolutely mean no disrespect, here, but are you serious, with this comment?

sr80 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree,go ride on your nice paved bicycle paths and stay in your intended section of the road.you know with the giant bike or human painted on the pavement,thats were you belong. KISS

Tony Kisner 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed they should be punished by being hit with a truck.

backyardwino 3 years, 9 months 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.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes.

That means they're supposed to follow the rules of the road, which they often (overwhelmingly, in my experience) fail to do.

nonbeliverofprint 3 years, 9 months ago

I totally agree with you jafs...if they believe they have the rights, why can't they believe they have to follow all the rules also. I have seen so many reckless bike riders who think they own the road. I've seen them pull out in front of cars when changing streets. I've seen left turns in front of oncoming cars with no signal as to their intentions. Maybe they should require bike riders to have a license to ride on public roads. If they have a license they have to know the rules of the road.

OnAir 3 years, 9 months ago

Good. I am glad you feel that way because I saw a car not make a complete stop at a stop sign, and now I know that every car and every car driver deserves to be run over by a vehicle of comparative size, let's say Big Bertha. Watch out Datsuns! Here I come...

sr80 3 years, 9 months ago

Good God Miss Molly !!!!! OnAir move your butt on back to Aspen !!! The low altitude must be affecting you.!!!!

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow.

I didn't say anything like that, now, did I?

Do you think cyclists should follow the laws or not?

Lisa Rasor 3 years, 9 months ago

Not to mention learning how to spell also.

Jean1183 3 years, 9 months 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.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I'd be glad to see them get tickets.

That might encourage correct behavior on the road.

dogsandcats 3 years, 9 months ago

And give the bicycle cops something to do!

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Do you think the same of ticketing auto drivers when there isn't traffic around?

And, all of the instances I've seen of bikers not following the rules involved instances where there was traffic - me. When they sail through stop signs at intersections when they don't have the right of way, or swerve into the middle of the lane instead of riding to the right side, or suddenly turn without signaling, etc.

I do none of the above things you mentioned, and have found bikers to be almost overwhelmingly in violation of a variety of traffic laws, all of which are designed to make the roads safe and usable by all.

Many cyclists seem to have an odd attitude that they are entitled to use the roads, and have the respect of car drivers, but that they don't have to follow the rules they're supposed to follow.

parrothead8 3 years, 9 months ago

And I do none of the things you mentioned about cyclists. Point being...we're both in the minority while using our respective vehicles of choice.

However, I've never seen a cyclist sail through a stop sign and kill a motorist.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

And, I've never seen a car sail through a stop sign and kill a cyclist.

Shouldn't everybody follow the rules, and have consequences (like tickets, not being run over) if they don't?

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I didn't say all.

I said, in my experience, the overwhelming majority do not follow the rules - and that is a fact.

Steve Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

JAFS, you hit the nail on the head. This is refreshing. No matter how this is debated, a car is bigger than a bike. In most cases the biker is dead right.

Curtis Achten 3 years, 9 months ago

"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."

I'm not sure how to take this, so is it ok for someone on a bike to break a law if "no other traffic is present" but not ok for someone in a car? Bottome line is the law is the law and bicylists and motorist need to follow.

Steve Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

It's really not a waste , it's a revenue generator and provides jobs for those who like to be bike cops.

archazard 3 years, 9 months ago

Do DUIs count towards "significant criminal history"?

JerryStubbs 3 years, 9 months ago

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

allamerican4ever 3 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months 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.

jenniflip 3 years, 9 months 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.

Lisa Rasor 3 years, 9 months ago

And it's jenniflip, for the win!

Exactly.

stinerides 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you! finally someone has a statement worth reading

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

If most bicycle riders were as responsible as you are, there would be a lot less resentment on the part of car drivers.

And, they'd be safer as well.

Maybe those of you who ride bikes responsibly should get together and educate the other bicycle riders somehow - everybody would win.

Lisa Rasor 3 years, 9 months ago

That's as silly as saying all car drivers who drive safely should get together and educate the car drivers who drive unsafely. Yes, people who ride bicycles are in a much smaller group than people who drive cars, but it's not that small and certainly not cohesive. There are those who bike casually (usually the ones without helmets) and those who bike seriously and daily; those who ride the difficult off-road trails and those out for a "Sunday ride" of the levee. Just like car drivers, we don't all know each other nor do we all hang out at the same places.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Ok.

Then let's just ticket the bicycle riders who don't follow the laws.

I was trying for a nicer solution, but you convinced me that's not possible.

Lisa Rasor 3 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely. Bicyclists who disobey traffic laws should be subject to the same consequences as drivers who disobey traffic laws.

Nice or not nice is beside the point. Your solution was unrealistic.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

When was the last time you saw a bicyclist get a ticket?

I've never seen it, even though I've seen many break the laws.

bullydad1 3 years, 9 months 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.

Darwin 3 years, 9 months 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.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 9 months ago

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

Kris_H 3 years, 9 months 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.

GeneKC 3 years, 9 months 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.

topeka52 3 years, 9 months 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.

Steve Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

Topeka, you're dead right. Remember a car is biggeer than a bike. After it happens , it don't make any difference. If i were a biker and worried about al of this stuff, i'd put my bike in a garage sale and take up swimming or crossstiching. .

Lisa Rasor 3 years, 9 months ago

I absolutely agree that bikers should not have special privileges. We are subject to the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. I hate to see a bicyclist blowing through a stoplight/stop sign, but I don't assume all bicyclists do that. I hate to see a driver blowing through a stoplight/stop sign too, but I don't assume all drivers do that. I, too, have seen many different drivers break traffic laws all on the same day. But I refuse to stereotype all drivers just because of a few bad apples.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

In my experience, the vast majority of bikers I see do not follow the rules of the road.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 9 months 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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