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Police reverse finding in Charleston advocate’s death

When Charleston cycling advocate was stuck by a Jeep Cherokee on July 21, the initial police report placed the blame on the cyclist.

Edwin Gardner, much loved and respected in the comunity died from his injuries two days later.

Now in an unusual and complete reversal of the original finding, Charleston police now say that Gardner “was not in fact a contributor to this collision.”

According to a press release last Friday a review of the case was conducted by the police department’s Fatal Collision Team. Their findings were that the driver of the Jeep, 21 year old Charlotte White was the sole contributor to the collision. White will be charged with following too closely.

In my original article I mistakenly stated the driver was a young man, when in fact it was a 21 year old female.

On Saturday July 31st about 500 local cyclists rode though the streets of downtown Charleston in tribute to Gardner’s life. The ride ended at the scene of the collision, and a white painted Ghost Bike was left to mark the spot.

The police were out in force during this ride, escorting the cyclists and in some cases closing the streets. It is my personal and humble opinion that this tremendous turnout of support by local cyclists had some bearing on the police department’s decision to reopen the investigation into this case.

You can read the full story here



Reader Comments (6)

Wow, it's so great that the police were out there to support the cyclists. That just goes to show that the community is there for them and let's people know that there are laws that need to be followed in order to keep everyone safe.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Hi Dave, I agree that it's good to see the police helping out for the 500 supporters. What I can't believe is the "charge" of "following to closely" for the driver. Is this all ? What about manslaughter ? The advocate died of his injuries as a result of her "following to closely" and the collision that resulted from that act ! Of course the whole story isn't written here, but do you think this 21 year old gal will slide out of this with just a "slap on the wrist" from a charge of "following to closely" resulting in a collision, resulting in death? I hope not. That would send the wrong message. I hope you can follow up on what the final outake will be.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

I'm with Brian. If you break a road rule that was designed to keep road users safe, and a person dies as a direct result of you breaking that road rule, then it's manslaughter.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

In Bangkok recently a drunk guy drove home after celebrating his graduation.
On the way he injured 2 persons and killed 2 persons.
One of the persons killed was a man on motorbike another was a old man walking
on the pavement. The time is 5 am. early in the morning.
If there were cyclists around, surely would be his victims too.

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBkk

While I don't think it will come anytime soon, perhaps its time to start pushing for "strict liability" a legal concept in which it is the car driver, as the operator of a vehicle which can kill (set aside the extremely rare cyclist hitting another cyclist or a pedestrian) has the ultimate responsibility for accidents. For more information on the concept, see the following: Copenhagenize.com/Strict-Liability

At the very least, as more people become cyclists they should be more sensitive to the needs and quirks of cyclists when they get behind the wheel of a car.

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim J

I agree that changing the report is good news. I also agree that upgrading laws governing liability would be helpful. In reading the comments at the link confirms the growing gap between cyclists and drivers.

From St Charles MO: "Brazil said he believes 95 percent of the people in his district favor a ban." St Charles county bicycle ban

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

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