‘The backdrop is riddled with anti-bike bias’: Law firm takes on investigation after teenage truck driver ploughed into group of cyclists
The group of riders, who were out training for an Ironman triathlon, suffered serious spine injuries, broken bones and traumatic brain injuries
The law firm investigating a serious crash involving a teenage truck driver and a group of teenagers say they are operating against a “backdrop riddled with anti-bike bias.”
Following the shocking incident last month in Texas, in which the teenage driver ploughed into a group of six riders, lawyers have been retained to represent the riders in a civil investigation.
BikeLaw Texas, a network of independent bicycle crash attorneys, has revealed that the six riders are suffering from serious injuries after the collision, including broken vertebrae, spinal injuries, broken collarbones, hands and wrists, as well as traumatic brain injuries.
The 16-year-old driver of the Ford F-250 pick-up truck, who has not been named due to his age, ran down the six riders while allegedly attempting to blast them with fumes from his exhaust.
Bike Law’s national director, Rachael Maney, said: “The backdrop of the Waller bike crash is one riddled with anti-bike bias.
“Our clients are not only hostages to the truck driver’s behaviour and their own broken bodies, but also to a criminal process that is supposed to help make them ‘whole’ again in a place that ‘doesn’t like [their] kind.’
Maney said lawyers believe that the incident was not an accident as a result of a new and inexperienced driver being behind the wheel, as the teenager’s lawyer has suggested.
She added: “After 23 years of representing bicyclists and bike crash victims, we know that when there is no real defence to proffer, turning a perpetrator into a victim is the only limp ‘defence’ that exists.”
Charlie Thomas of Huber Thomas and Marcell, LLP, along with Peter Wilborn of Wilborn Law, LLC will represent the victims of the crash, who were out on a training ride for Ironman Texas on Saturday, September 25.
In a statement the attorney for the driver, Rick DeToto, said: “My client is a young man in high school with college aspirations. He’s a very new and inexperienced driver. This was a serious accident but did not involve any criminal intent.
“He immediately called 911, helped with the injured and cooperated with police.
“The family prays for the speedy recovery of the riders involved and we look forward to cooperating with investigators.”
Victim interviews between the prosecutors and the cyclists are currently being arranged, while a GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the riders.
Wilborn said: “This teenage driver that caused the Waller Bike Crash knew exactly what he was doing. He must be held accountable for his choices and actions that scared and injured our clients on a Texas highway.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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