Edwin Gardner (Right.) a well known cycling advocate for the Charleston, SC peninsula was struck by a Jeep Cherokee at 7:53 am Wednesday morning.
The last I heard he was still in a coma, in critical condition, after being dragged 15 feet and ending up lodged beneath the SUV.
The incident report said that Gardner contributed to the accident, the 21 year old driver of the Jeep did not. Peter Wilborn a Charleston lawyer who trains police officers on how to investigate and report cycling accidents, said:
"In my experience training police officers, a common theme I talk about time after time is 'Don't fill out an accident report until you've spoken to the cyclist.' Yet here it goes again. We have a determination of fault and we haven't even given the guy a chance to wake up from a coma,"
Edwin was riding his bike south on Lockwood Boulevard when he made a left onto Montague Street; (See map below left.) The Jeep Cherokee followed him and also turned onto Montague.
The report says Gardner moved to the right and the driver of the Jeep attempted to go around him.
The cyclist then rode back into the line of travel and struck the Jeep on the left passenger side.
I was not there, but I can only surmise what happened based on my own experience:
Edwin Gardner, an experienced rider, probably moved back over to the left to get out of the door zone of parked cars.
If Edwin rode into the passenger side of the SUV, it would have had to be almost on him when he moved out; an experienced rider would not do this.
If he struck the side of the SUV, how come he ended up wedged underneath it? I think it is more likely he was struck from behind by the front of the vehicle. If this was the case, damage to his bike would confirm this.
This is pure speculation on my part but could this be just another case of a driver in too big of a hurry to get around a cyclist?
The story reported in the Post & Courier has the usual hate mongering comments from locals, who seem to almost celebrate the fact that a good man is lying in a hospital bed in a coma.
This is the whole crux of the cycling safety issue. As long as the general motoring public is allowed to spew out and perpetuate all this unfounded hatred; then no one sees the person on a bike as a fellow human being.
But rather as some sub-human species, criminal almost, to be mowed down if he gets in your way. And if he gets hit? Oh well, he asked for it.
What a sad, sad world we live in
Update: Sadly Edwin Gardner died from his injuries at 11:20 am. Friday morning, about the time I was writing this piece