Submission: Cyclist Struck at 17th and NH, NW; Seeks Witnesses

sign asking for help from witnesses

Date: 10/21/10
Approx Time: 9PM
Doug K writes:

On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 21st, around 8:30pm – 9:00pm, I was biking north/east up New Hampshire Ave NW, in a bike lane. Approaching the intersection with 17th St. NW, I saw a number of cars lined up to take a left turn. The first one turned before I reached the intersection, and I had to slow down a bit as the second car also took a left in front of me. I then began to cross through the intersection, but the third car, a taxi cab, accelerated quickly and proceeded to turn left, which caused his car to strike me broadside on my left side, throwing me from my bike onto the ground.

The next thing I remember is lying on my back in the road, and looking up at a crowd of 6-8 people gathered around me, asking if I was alright and saying they were calling an ambulance. I don’t have a good recollection of time, but an ambulance seemed to arrive in a few minutes. I didn’t think I had broken any bones, but the paramedics strongly advised me to go to the hospital to have a doctor look at me, so I agreed. At that point, I had not seen or talked with any police.

I was discharged from the hospital later that night. I called the police when I got home, and that’s when things got wacky. It took several calls to different people to find out that the police had already filed an accident report, without talking to me at all. When I got it a few days later, I also saw they had not talked to any witnesses either. There were several at the scene, but the report mentions not one of them. Instead, the report blames the accident on me, saying I had run a red light, which was completely false.

The officer only put down what the cab driver told her, which was completely false – that i had run a red light as he was coming down 17th St, so it was my fault. So in addition to a mangled bike and health care bills, I now have a $150 ticket for something I didn’t do.

If you or anyone you know happened to be there that night, please contact me! I didn’t get any names, as I was taken away in the ambulance. You may reach me at: dkandt @ gmail.com

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Pedestrians and cyclists are hit in the District every day. We're advocating for better reporting to make DC safer for all.
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2 Responses to Submission: Cyclist Struck at 17th and NH, NW; Seeks Witnesses

  1. Velvet says:

    Wow, I hope you are okay. I live right near here and saw your signs on the posts. Unfortunately I wasn’t a witness.

    Bicycle riders and cab drivers just can’t seem to share this city. I have to say that you’ve touched on several points that need addressing, generally, in this city.

    1) The police are unbelievably bad. They couldn’t catch a cold. It’s sad that these are our public servants.

    2) You, in this case, were following the rules of the road. But many many many bikers bob and weave through traffic, ride on sidewalks where there are clearly bike lanes marked in the road, and go the wrong way on one way streets – which according to DC’s regulations, shouldn’t be since bicycles are supposed to follow motor vehicle rules and regulations.

    3) The worst of all offenders – cab drivers. I have no idea where the Helen Keller school of driving is located where they are churning out crappy cab driver after crappy cab driver, but yielding to ANYTHING is not in their vocabulary. I have never wanted to outlaw anything in this city more than these idiots. In addition to running people down in crosswalks, running lights and stop signs and not sharing the road AT ALL, they think it’s okay to beep their damn horns at people who are standing on the sidewalk to try to get them in their car. I LOVE NYC and their “no honking” rule. I wish they would enact that here.

    I hope you find your cabbie, and that he gets the punishment that is due to him. Or that he rots in hell.

  2. Chris says:

    I can totally sympathize with you. I almost received a ticket from a police officer after she witnessed a taxicab nearly run into me. I was on the right hand side of the street and the taxi was trying to turn right. He zoomed in front of me but didn’t quite make it. I was so close that I banged on the taxi truck to alert him that I was there. The police officer said that it was my duty to slow down to let the taxi cab driver make the turn because he had the right away. I had to listen to a 10 minute diatribe about how bad the bikers in the city are.

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