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Assisting a down cyclist when first-responders are already on site?

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Assisting a down cyclist when first-responders are already on site?

Old 04-16-19, 11:58 AM
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Hypno Toad
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Assisting a down cyclist when first-responders are already on site?

I've been a first-responder to a handful of people that wrecked with bikes. However, today's was a different situation and I'm rolling it over in my head.... here's what happened today:

When I got up to get coffee this morning, I see many first-responders (3 or 4 cops, fire truck, ambulance). Looking closer I see someone sitting the the bus bench and a bike leaning up on the bench. I thought about walking over to advocate for the victim, but I'm not sure it was a good idea... I'm still rolling this over in my head. What are your thoughts on showing up after the first-responders to advocate for the injured cyclist? It should be noted that I live in a generally bike-friendly community.

The victim ended up take getting himself on a gurney and leaving in the ambulance, the local PD took his bike. I found out much later that there was a car involved in the crash (it wasn't obvious from my window).

For background: my home office window looks out at a busy rail-trail crossing at a 3-way intersection, it's an odd intersection with the trail being a slight angle from the roads. Here's an example of my bad photoshop skills (and showing a little paranoia by not giving the specific details about my home location) - green is the rail-trail and black is the roads. All directions (road & trail) have stop signs, call it a 5-way stop. I see cars blast the stop sign on the north-south road all the time, and bikes typically roll this intersection.


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Old 04-16-19, 12:24 PM
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Huh? Advocate for what?

Looks like the people whom you pay for such services had things well in hand. Unless you have some information that they didn't or you knew the patient, mind your own business and stay out of their way.
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Old 04-16-19, 01:21 PM
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In general, that was/is my attitude (maybe with less attitude)

You'd say that the police will advocate for the victim? I don't consider that accurate in all cities/areas. An injured cyclist may need someone to look out for themselves, their possessions, and their rights. Some police are openly hostile to people riding bikes (based on personal experienced in a neighboring city).
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Old 04-16-19, 01:30 PM
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Witness ? BikeWoke
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Old 04-16-19, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
If you are not a witness, then the police won't necessarily want to talk to you, unless you are a "professional" with respect to first responders in some way. Doctor? Accident Analyst? Professional Accident Chaser?

I'd probably give them space if I didn't actually know the person.

If I actually knew the person, I'd offer to help facilitate collecting belongings. I'm not sure if the police would wish to keep the bicycle as "evidence", and for insurance to inspect. But, there may be other personal belongings you could track for a friend.

Pick up pieces left on the road? Lights?

Also, are the police trained to recognize items such as Fly6 and Fly12 devices? Other cameras or evidence? Strava and data trackers (which could be both good and bad for the cyclist, but important for any legal proceedings).
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Old 04-16-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
If you are not a witness, then the police won't necessarily want to talk to you, unless you are a "professional" with respect to first responders in some way. Doctor? Accident Analyst? Professional Accident Chaser?

I'd probably give them space if I didn't actually know the person.

If I actually knew the person, I'd offer to help facilitate collecting belongings. I'm not sure if the police would wish to keep the bicycle as "evidence", and for insurance to inspect. But, there may be other personal belongings you could track for a friend.

Pick up pieces left on the road? Lights?

Also, are the police trained to recognize items such as Fly6 and Fly12 devices? Other cameras or evidence? Strava and data trackers (which could be both good and bad for the cyclist, but important for any legal proceedings).
Don't pick up pieces if you're trying to preserve evidence. The positions of those items might be the best physical evidence there is for what happened.
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Old 04-16-19, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Don't pick up pieces if you're trying to preserve evidence. The positions of those items might be the best physical evidence there is for what happened.
Good point, but I'd also rather a camera be picked up rather than be run over by passing traffic.

And, if I had a really nice bicycle, I might prefer it be handled by a bicycle person rather than being tossed in the back of a police car by some gorillas.

I'm not quite sure what bike parts would fall off of a bicycle without being utterly destroyed. Pedals? Hubs? Derailleurs? etc? But, as a tinkerer, I might even want some seemingly mangled stuff back. There may be internal parts that are difficult to acquire independently from a full unit.
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Old 04-16-19, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Good point, but I'd also rather a camera be picked up rather than be run over by passing traffic.

And, if I had a really nice bicycle, I might prefer it be handled by a bicycle person rather than being tossed in the back of a police car by some gorillas.

I'm not quite sure what bike parts would fall off of a bicycle without being utterly destroyed. Pedals? Hubs? Derailleurs? etc? But, as a tinkerer, I might even want some seemingly mangled stuff back. There may be internal parts that are difficult to acquire independently from a full unit.

Just make sure the cops are done documenting the scene before you do (but you knew that).
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Old 04-16-19, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Just make sure the cops are done documenting the scene before you do (but you knew that).
Well, it is good that you mentioned it. If someone in my group went down, I might be tempted to pull the big stuff out of the road quickly.

Photographic Evidence?

But, then it might also depend on the cause of the accident.

There have been reports in A&S of people claiming to want to pull their car off the road, then just getting into the car and driving off.
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Old 04-16-19, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
In general, that was/is my attitude (maybe with less attitude)

You'd say that the police will advocate for the victim? I don't consider that accurate in all cities/areas. An injured cyclist may need someone to look out for themselves, their possessions, and their rights. Some police are openly hostile to people riding bikes (based on personal experienced in a neighboring city).
Snarkyness was not intended! Apologies.
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Old 04-17-19, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ev780 View Post
Huh? Advocate for what?

Looks like the people whom you pay for such services had things well in hand. Unless you have some information that they didn't or you knew the patient, mind your own business and stay out of their way.

The first post nailed it. And, I would've been even snarkier. The whole time i was reading the OP, i was thinking, "is this guy serious ??? He thinks he should inject himself onto a paramedic and police issue, that he didn't witness, and that is already being responded to, just because he's also a bike enthusiast ???"
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Old 04-17-19, 04:49 AM
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If you can talk to the guy and ask him if he needs some help, fine. If you have to get in the way of the responders to do so, butt the hell out.

If it were me hurt, I doubt I want a random stranger "advocating" for me. You don't know me or what my priorities are.
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Old 04-17-19, 05:14 AM
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Assisting a down cyclist when first-responders are already on site?
Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I've been a first-responder to a handful of people that wrecked with bikes. However, today's was a different situation and I'm rolling it over in my head.... here's what happened today:

When I got up to get coffee this morning, I see many first-responders (3 or 4 cops, fire truck, ambulance). Looking closer I see someone sitting the the bus bench and a bike leaning up on the bench
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
+10 kudos to @rumrunn6 for that link It was one of the best, most relevant and comprehensive replies to a query that I have seen on Bike Forums.


Apropos of that link, I had posted to a thread in a similar vein, “Witnessed car accident today while biking”
Originally Posted by bikingtotown View Post
This was a 1st for me. It's different when your out in the open heart already pumping. I've seen them from behind the wheel. Someone rear ended the person at a yeild sign as I was riding through. Pretty much somes up the two types of drivers i come across most often. The overly cautious and the overly aggressive.

I felt bad for the over cautious guy as cars kill ppl daily and if he wasnt there I question if the other guy would have gone right through to hit me or something...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
So, what did you do in response, e.g offer yourself as a witness? If you were commuting to work, would you hang around?
Originally Posted by bikingtotown View Post
... Well anyways it made me think and respect the power of the cars we share the road with and the people controlling them can be very unpredictable. Everyone be safe out there
(Probably) all of us (and most).

You can read the Advocacy & Safety Forum to
Originally Posted by bikingtotown View Post
... Please share any experiences you may have. Or what you might do to stay safe riding on bustling roads with cars.
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Old 04-17-19, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
You'd say that the police will advocate for the victim? I don't consider that accurate in all cities/areas.

An injured cyclist may need someone to look out for themselves, their possessions, and their rights. Some police are openly hostile to people riding bikes (based on personal experienced in a neighboring city).
As a cyclist who was left by the side of the road after a hit and run, I was in a fortunate circumstance. It happened on a lightly traveled but populated road, ironically opposite the home of a secretary from work that I know, who responded first, though I don’t recall that.

My first recollection was the assemblage of first responders with their vehicles to put me on a board to the nearest Hospital, with vivid memories after that, including airlift to a major Medical Center, the six week Hospital stay, and three-month rehab until I returned to work.


Sometime afterwards I went to the Police Station to recover my bike, still impounded as evidence, but they gave me photographs.





The police were great, and their report at the subsequent trial was spot on and particularly noted my details for visibility, including lights and high vis vest. The driver got a year in jail.

I have one unusual memory from the actual impact, that I haven’t investigated in the police report. “The Last Few Seconds Before You Got Hit?”
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I was riding at about 9 PM on a wide, well-lit, low volume residential suburban street with no parked cars, wearing two rear view blinkies, and right and left rear view mirrors when I got hit from behind. It was so serene that I don’t remember what I was thnking.

I do have this memory, not of the immediate impact, and perhaps not even real, of my feet coming out of my clipped-on cycling shoes. Nothing then until vague memories of the hubbub at the scene. I now scan my rear more frequently than before.

IMO, rear view mirrors are the best way to bolster your confidence on the road.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-20-19 at 05:44 AM. Reason: added third photo
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Old 04-17-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ev780 View Post
Snarkyness was not intended! Apologies.
No worries, I was being surly (work has been crushing my soul lately).
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Old 04-17-19, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
The first post nailed it. And, I would've been even snarkier. The whole time i was reading the OP, i was thinking, "is this guy serious ??? He thinks he should inject himself onto a paramedic and police issue, that he didn't witness, and that is already being responded to, just because he's also a bike enthusiast ???"
Not an 'enthusiast' - I am an advocate. There is a significant difference.

Repeating my earlier statement - not all police treat people riding bikes the same. I have experienced open hostility from a police officer using his cruiser to threaten me on my bike. I would not trust that officer to treat an injured biker with all required respect. That is the point of this tread.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 04-17-19 at 11:33 AM. Reason: fixing my frequent typos - I do my best editing after clicking "submit"
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Old 04-17-19, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
As a cyclist who was left by the side of the road after a hit and run, I was in a fortunate circumstance.

.....

The police were great, and their report at the subsequent trial was spot on and particularly noted my details for visibiliity, including lights and high vis vest. The driver got a year in jail.
Scary story, but very happy to read your thoughts on the police involved in the investigation. This is exactly the kinda of information I was looking for when I started this thread, thanks!
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Old 04-17-19, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
The first post nailed it. And, I would've been even snarkier. The whole time i was reading the OP, i was thinking, "is this guy serious ??? He thinks he should inject himself onto a paramedic and police issue, that he didn't witness, and that is already being responded to, just because he's also a bike enthusiast ???"
This.
A bike enthusiast and obvious police hater.
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Old 04-17-19, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Thank you, very good link! This reinforces what I have done when I am the first one on the scene; and this quote is basically why I didn't get involved, I did not witness the wreck and could not add anything to the investigation. Knowing the PD in my town is bike-friendly, I expected them to look out for the injured riders needs.

Advocate For The Cyclist
Take a look at the police report and make sure that the facts are written down correctly. A lot of times police will cite that the cyclist was at fault even if they were not, because the paperwork is easier (terrible, but sadly it does happen).
Oddly enough, the signification wrecks I've witnessed have not involved a car or other bike. Additional details from the neighborhood about the wreck yesterday have made it less clear if this was a rider-only wreck or involved a motor vehicle. One additional detail from yesterday, we are in freeze-thaw weather here; it is possible the rider hit a patch of refreeze and went down (been-there-done-that).
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Old 04-17-19, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post

This.
A bike enthusiast and obvious police hater.


Downhillmaster doesn't read/comprehend all the OP posts, obviously.
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Old 04-17-19, 07:02 AM
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"..rather than being tossed in the back of a police car by some gorillas."

Not a winning attitude.
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Old 04-17-19, 07:38 AM
  #22  
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I know that this is like herding cats ... but can we stop with this false narrative that somebody 'hates' all police officers because of one comment/story. With roughly 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies and over 100,000 officers in the US - there some are heroes and some are low-lifes and a whole lot of officers between this two extremes.
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Old 04-17-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Repeating my earlier statement - not all police treat people riding bikes the same. I have experienced open hostility from a police office using his cruiser to threaten me on my bike. I would not trust that office to treat an injured biker with all required respect. That is the point of this tread.
Yeah, well it's a ridiculous point. Like the cops are really going to mistreat an injured person, simply because they're a cyclist, LOL. Get real.
And what IF they failed to live up to your personal standard of "required respect" ? What exactly would you do about it, other than piss them off and get your own bad self tazed and handcuffed ?
And, your isolated (and alleged) case of 'assault with a deadly weapon' at the hands of a police officer, is hardly typical (and I can only imagine what you must have done to provoke this).
I pass cops on the road regularly (and have for decades), and get nothing but a wide berth and a wave from them. There is no institutional hostility from the police towards cyclists, except in your imagination. Now take off the red cape, Superman, and put it back on the closet, the world doesn't need you to save it.
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Old 04-17-19, 07:56 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Yeah, well it's a ridiculous point. Like the cops are really going to mistreat an injured person, simply because they're a cyclist, LOL. Get real.
And what IF they failed to live up to your personal standard of "required respect" ? What exactly would you do about it, other than piss them off and get your own bad self tazed and handcuffed ?
And, your isolated (and alleged) case of 'assault with a deadly weapon' at the hands of a police officer, is hardly typical (and I can only imagine what you must have done to provoke this).
I pass cops on the road regularly (and have for decades), and get nothing but a wide berth and a wave from them. There is no institutional hostility from the police towards cyclists, except in your imagination. Now take off the red cape, Superman, and put it back on the closet, the world doesn't need you to save it.
Did you see this post? It's right above yours:
I know that this is like herding cats ... but can we stop with this false narrative that somebody 'hates' all police officers because of one comment/story. With roughly 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies and over 100,000 officers in the US - there some are heroes and some are low-lifes and a whole lot of officers between this two extremes.
Or this in post 19 (see link in post 4):
Advocate For The Cyclist
Take a look at the police report and make sure that the facts are written down correctly. A lot of times police will cite that the cyclist was at fault even if they were not, because the paperwork is easier (terrible, but sadly it does happen).
Can you please quote the text that states the police will mistreat the injured cyclist?

I was riding a bike in the traffic lane, a serious offence ... right?!?! It was an isolated situation, and an exceptionally rare situation, but it does give an example to the fact that police officers are not 100% bike-friendly.

People really enjoy reading their own bias into a post.

BTW - I'm no superman, just a toad.
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Old 04-17-19, 08:06 AM
  #25  
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Having been a first responder to auto accidents and other incidents (I'm certified in CPR/FA, but don't do it professionally), I'd say staying out of the way in this situation was probably the right thing. I might have gone over the scene after they were done and checked for a camera or similar item in the debris, but other than that, I would stay out.

If you witness it, or are the first on scene, that's a totally different situation, obviously.
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