Once again, a Lowcountry bicyclist is dead, and a local police department has determined that the bike rider — not the driver of a vehicle — is to blame.
In 2010, Charleston police initially said that bicyclist Edwin Gardner was solely at fault for the accident that took his life. Following a public outcry — and a more thorough, face-saving investigation — the police changed their minds, this time placing all the blame on the driver.
Even in the 2011 death of bicyclist Mitchell Hollon in which Charleston police placed blame squarely in the hands of the driver of the vehicle that struck Hollon on the spacious James Island Connector, they only saw fit to charge him with a moving violation, placing the value of Hollon’s life at a mere $113, the paltry sum the driver had to pay.
And now, a 56-year-old Summerville woman is dead, and police are once again claiming the deceased bicyclist is at fault. Andrew Knapp of The Post and Courier reports:
Lesley Marbeth Derrick of Dunbow Drive was riding her bicycle northward on Berlin G. Myers Parkway around 6:20 a.m. Oct. 9 when she turned left toward Richland Street, according to the Summerville Police Department crash report.
Derrick was in a crosswalk as she traveled through the lanes for oncoming traffic, but the report stated that she had failed to yield to a southbound truck from Berlin G. Myers Lumber Corp. The truck hit Derrick as she neared the side of the four-lane road.
The intersection does not feature any traffic lights or stop signs. It was dark at the time. The report indicated that Derrick was wearing reflective clothing but no helmet.
Make of that what you will.