Well the weekend turned into a bit more of a flop then expected after a bit of an unexpected and unwelcome incident on Saturday evening. After touring the Guggenheim Museum a friend and I started riding down 5th Avenue to try and find one of New York’s photography museums. Around 51st and 5th my friend was hit by a car and knocked off her bike. When I came back to where she was I shocked at what I found out.
I was leading the way down the one way street with her following 10 to 20 feet behind me and didn’t realize she was not behind me anymore for a block and a half after the light turned yellow above me and I knew she wouldn’t make it through. I waited by the light for a couple of minutes with no sign of her before I called to see where she was. She said she’d been hit though she was fine and I said I’d be right there. When I rode up to where she was there were a few cops there and some concerned pedestrians looking on and my friend had a decent gash above her right eyebrow. The people there were telling her she needed a couple of stitches and making her stay put and I agreed with them and we waited for the ambulance to get there.
The real shocking part here was that one of the cop cars that was stopped at the scene was actually the car that had hit her, and was a traffic cop at that. (I feel so much safer knowing the traffic cops know how to drive.) Apparently at a red light the cop had been close to the curb so my friend went around on the right of the car before pulling up to the front left near the curb. When the light changed she started up and the car followed and ran into her with the front left side of the bumper. Not sure in this situation the cop had eny opportunity to not see her since she went around his car and directly in his field of vision and the fact that he hit her from behind with the front of his car suggests the same.
I’m pretty sure the police report will be a bit of a write off and any kind of law suit will be hard to follow, especially considering no contact information for any witnesses was taken and well, the guy is a city traffic cop and the city cops filling out the reports know that. The whole thing happened pretty quickly though and we got a slip of paper from the filing officer with a number to call and a report number to receive a copy of the report before they took us and our bikes to the hospital.
My friend has spoken with a lawyer who is very interested in the case and who apparently used to be a messenger in NYC so hopefully he will know exactly how to handle the case, but I have my doubts that there will be much of a chance. Unfortunately with my limited experience with dealing with these kinds of accidents and lawsuits did not think to grab as much information from the scene as possible and the witnesses were gone before we thought to get their information.
Hopefully this works out and something can be done about the whole thing and this cross eyed pissed off looking M’fer of a traffic cop gets at least something on his record. From the sound of it his motives were harmful and overly aggressive towards my friend and from the looks of the guy he was pretty royally pissed while standing around afterwards. While I’ve said this so many times before about other traffic incidents this could easily be chalked up as reckless endangerment, reckless driving and once again the use of a motor vehicle as a weapon. That’s jail time in reality but I’m seeing more of a slap on the wrist and a day off of work at most.
Anyone have any suggestions for how to proceed or anything else they could offer up to help?