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Cyclist Critically Injured After Clipping Opened Vehicle Door in Brentwood

The accident occurs on the 600 block of Barrington Avenue.

The following information was provided by Brentwood Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray regarding an incident that occurred Tuesday evening:

Unfortunately, an accident occurred last night on the 600 block of Barrington involving a cyclist and a vehicle.  My partner and I were the first responders at scene.  The severity of the accident moves me to encourage all cyclists to PLEASE wear helmets-- even for short trips.  The cyclist is in critical condition and sadly, it doesn’t look good for him. 

A man sitting in his parked vehicle opened his door just as the cyclist passed and the cyclist clipped the door sending him head first onto the pavement.  Does everyone know that it is the driver’s responsibility to look behind them before opening their door?  The driver was incredibly shaken and upset and did not realize, until the traffic officers gently explained to him, that he was the party likely at fault. 

As our community continues to increasingly utilize cycling as a mode of transportation, please be ever aware of cyclists maneuvering throughout the traffic.  And cyclists please wear your helmets and follow the rules of the road—all the rules of the road—for your own safety and protection.

Ron December 12, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Sad circumstances. I didn't know that tidbit about the person opening their door is responsible, but it makes sense. This will remind me to be more aware of my surroundings when exiting my car.
K. Udall December 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM
I love the way in which Officer Gray commented on this unfortunately accident. Her tenor sounds so compassionate and caring. In a day and age where the police can sometimes come across as callus it is lovely to feel her concern and sympathy to all involved. We all need to take better care to help and protect each other.
will woods December 16, 2013 at 03:36 AM
It's not an accident, though. That implies that there was equal responsibility. Someone has been critically injured or killed because of the negligence or recklessness of another road-user. Her use of language in calling it an accident and blaming the cyclist for not wearing a helmet shifts blame and responsibility from the culpable and reckless fool who has unwittingly injured or killed another human. Stupidity is no excuse; not for the driver and not for the officer.
David Huntsman December 16, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Not an accident, nor did the cyclist "clip an open door". A door was opened in front of a moving cyclist, in violation of the law and all common sense.
Scooter December 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM
quite calloused Will. one would assume you must be a bike rider from your comment.
Yami December 17, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Happens quite frequently by the Grove/Farmers Mkt area. On Fairfax, usually its an elderly person, not paying attention to their surroundings, and opening the door, while a car or bus, is passing by. Also the Valet Attendants on 3rd St. are guilty too These 2 streets a really narrow, in that 2nd, slow lane
Ron December 18, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Based on the context, I believe the use of the word "accident" wasn't intended to place blame on the cyclist. I would cut the officer some slack. Maybe less slack should be granted to the editor. But if we're parsing things, the cyclist does share *some* responsibility for the injuries because he was was not wearing a helmet. Of course, the driver's negligence was the proximate cause of the collision and should be considered the party at fault. However, if the cyclist was wearing a helmet, his injury could have been less severe. The legal term is "comparative responsibility."
Kim Miller December 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM
Can we keep the ten speed bikes on the sidewalks, and parks? Streets too dangerous
Stefanie Garden December 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM
That poor man died. I live directly across from the site of the accident where there is now a small memorial with flowers and candles. Does anyone know if he was a resident of brentwood? I would like to offer my condolences to his family.
Tom Nachtrab December 19, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Police officer writing news report? Writing opinion piece? In any case, something is not right here.
Lynn W December 20, 2013 at 08:44 PM
If it was after sundown and the cyclist did not have a headlamp lit on his bicycle, then he is the one at fault. These 'ninja' cyclists who dress in dark clothes and have no light or reflectors on their bicycles are breaking the law when riding at night. When I asked a Santa Monica police officer why they were not ticketed, he said the police see so many of them they would spend all their time writing those tickets. I suggested a few heavy fines would spread the word to obey the law. In the by-gone days, no bicycle could be sold without a headlamp and reflector/s. Now that is a high profit add-on. However, headlamps and flashing rear lights, reflectors, etc., can be bought very, very cheaply from China and to get a Santa Monica bicycle license should require them. The very few dollars they cost could be included in the fee and provided with the license, since so very few people have either a headlamp or reflectors..
Sheila December 21, 2013 at 12:00 AM
I have asked a couple of cyclists in Santa Monica why they don't wear bike helmets. They responded by saying they don't want to muss up their hair before work and besides, the city doesn't require them. Everyone should wear a bike helmet; it's a safety issue and a smart way to protect the noggin. It should just berequired bt law.
Do not take a Lane out on Lankershim for bikes December 21, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Of course the Cyclist was at faluit . What else is new with p[eople on bikes.
Robin December 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM
I see some debate here on fault. Although there isn't enough detail to say whether the cyclist engaged in unsafe behavior, drivers should always look before they open their doors and not just because of cyclists. Sometimes cars are driving close by and they can clip your door or strike you as you exit your car. Having worked for several companies with a strong safety culture, I was taught that safety is everyone's responsibility and I am a firm believer that is true. Both drivers and cyclists need to behave safely. It's not about blame, it's about coming home to your loved ones in one piece - if everyone behaves safely, the odds of an accident are greatly diminished. The driver needed to look before opening the door and the cyclist needs to follow safe practices too. Not wearing a helmet is not safe obviously. If he had been wearing one the accident would have been less severe. The officer is performing a public service by reminding drivers to look before opening their doors and cyclists to wear helmets; so thanks Ms. Gray for this story.
Scooter December 24, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Robin - how do you know if the cyclist was wearing a helmet the accident would have been less severe? Were you there to witness the accident??
Kim Miller December 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM
No bikes on the street , keep them on sidewalks and park bike paths
Robin December 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Regarding scooters comment on how do I know the injury would've been less severe if the cyclist have been wearing a helmet. I am going based on the article which said that the cyclist hit the pavement headfirst and on officers suggestion that a helmet would've helped in the situation. The point of my posting was not to discuss who was to blame in this particular accident it was merely to suggest that both cyclists and motorists should be careful so that all of us can go home safely to our loved ones at the end of the day it was not to cast blame on one or the other party.
Yami December 24, 2013 at 02:49 PM
At least the 4 Missing Mountain bikers [cyclists'] Found After Night In San Gabriel Mountains, WORE HELMETS !!! ...and its on dirt I've seen crazy @ss teenagers, riding fast, like maniacs, through the streets, on hard pavement, with no protected helmet on
Susann December 27, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Unfortunately, the man died. He worked at Bellwood Bakery in the area. The bakery has a donation box to raise money to send his body to Mexico for burial. He leaves behind his wife and children.
Edward Truthmind December 27, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Tragic that this happened, but with Santa Monica & Brentwood traffic officials increasingly giving rights to cyclists ..... intently allowing cyclists to literally ride in the middle of the road in between cars (26th St.) - there will unfortunately be more serious accidents -->DUE TO RECKLESS CYCLISTS mostly. I ROUTINELY see cyclists every hour of every day .... ignoring traffic LAWS .... never stopping at stop signs & GOING TOO FAST in between parked cars and moving cars. If a parked motorist looks out his rear view side mirror for a cyclist --> 1. It is difficult to see a cyclist because they often wear dark clothes & have no lights or reflectors to warn motorists. 2. The cyclist may not even be there when motorist looks out the side mirror - until they come speeding around a corner or driveway in a split second! So, WHY is that the motorists fault? The city seems to have a BIAS against motorists (green city against cars?) as though the cyclist can do no wrong. I've never seen a police officer stop & ticked a cyclist for going through a stop sign in this city. The current traffic laws are UNFAIR and biased against motorists. It was bad enough already with reckless, speeding motor-cyclists - now we have to deal with mindless bicyclists.

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