James Rapley, a 29-year-old visitor from Australia, was killed in a bicycle crash after a vehicle struck him. According to a report in The Pacific Palisades Patch, the fatal bike crash occurred the morning of December 22, 2013 on Temescal Canyon Road near Pacific Coast Highway. Rapley was eastbound on Temescal Canyon Road when a 1980 Mercedes struck him. Rapley was transported to an area hospital where he died. Mohammed Kadri, the 19-year-old driver of the vehicle, remained at the scene. LAPD officers are still investigating the incident. No arrests were reported.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of James Rapley for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 11 deaths and 2,065 injuries reported as a result of bike accidents in Los Angeles. Countywide, 25 people died and 4,201 were injured due to bicycle accidents during the same year.
What Caused This Fatal Crash?
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to how the bicyclist got hit. There are still several questions here. Who was at fault? Was the bicyclist traveling in a bike lane at the time? Did the young driver of the Mercedes veer into a bike lane or a shoulder, striking the bicyclist? Did alcohol or drugs play a part? Was the driver distracted or inattentive at the time? Did speed play a part in this collision? Did a dangerous roadway condition cause or contribute to the incident? The answers to these and other questions will hopefully help provide a clearer picture of what occurred here and why.
Fault and Liability
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he can be held liable for Rapley’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can seek compensation to cover damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. If a dangerous or defective roadway caused or contributed to the incident, the governmental entity responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any such claim must be filed within six months of the incident. An experienced Los Angeles bicycle injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.