Thursday, July 3, 2008
Someone Opened A door And Killed My Friend
I saw this on another favorite blog and thought it would be good to pass it along. While I don't have any statistics to back this up, I don't think this happens very much in Huntsville or Birmingham, primarily because we dont have as much heavy traffic in a centralized downtown area that forces us to thread between traffic and curbside parking as often. However, it is smart to be aware that the possibility does exist and we should always ride smart and be aware of what motorist are doing. As reported by HipsterNascar:
Clinton Miceli, a 22 year old graphic designer, was killed this month after being struck by a car door that someone opened in his path. The Chicago Tribune reported that Clinton "struck the SUV's door, flew off his bike and was run over by a passing vehicle that eventually stopped. He suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead Monday night at Northwestern Memorial Hospital." He was the second Chicago area cyclist killed in as many days, bringing the number of cyclists killed on the streets of Chicago this year to at least seven... It's hard to keep track... And then, just the other day, a friend of mine and xXx rider Robin was doored as she rode along the street. The impact threw her into one of the steel columns that supports the El tracks, and she was left with broken ribs and other injuries. I mean, she was literally left, lying in the street; the bastard who opened the door in her path fled the scene without checking to see if she was okay. Unbelievble. Get well soon, Robin.
Shocked by Clinton's death, some people on ChiFG.com have started work on an anti-dooring campaign, to raise awareness of the vulnerability of cyclists and to try to get people to check their mirrors before they open their car doors. ChiFG member TrinedyN made this design, which will hopefully be made into stickers and flyers. I'll post more info as the campaign progresses.
[update] In response to my post about his death, Clinton Miceli’s sister Keiko sent me this email:
“I saw you posted a blog this morning about the Chicago biker who was doored and killed... Clint was my brother. I just thought I would let you know that Clint did ride a fixed gear, and that was the bike he was riding when he was killed. Some people are posting online that my brother was an idiot to have a bike that doesn’t have brakes, but actually Clint's bike had a front brake, and anyway the witnesses said that he didn’t even have time to try to stop…
I want people to know the truth. Clint was wearing his helmet, and he had a flashing light on the back of his bike and a flashing light on his backpack strap on the front of his body. The newspaper article says that they cannot confirm if he was wearing a helmet, but the police report says he was, plus he told me he always wore it, and all his co-workers and neighbours said anytime they saw him riding he had the helmet on. According to witnesses, the helmet got ripped off when the car hit him, which may be why they can't confirm he had it on. By the time the cops got there, a man had gathered Clint's bike, bag, glasses, and helmet and set them on the sidewalk. But I believe that in 99 out of 100 crashes, a helmet will make a difference.
My family wants to spread the message about looking in your mirror and also wearing a helmet. Clint was really big on wearing a helmet when he biked. I wish we didn’t have to pay so high a price for people to listen to the message though.
It really means a lot to me and my family and Clint's friends that so many people are rallying behind him. It is frustrating that he wasn't doing anything wrong, and he still died. But that seems to be the case with bikers..."
More details on the anti-dooring campaing to follow. Everyone ride safe, and remember Clinton in your thoughts.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune