Erik Fitzpatrick, 35, was killed in an Oakland car accident after a woman knocked him off his bicycle as she opened her car door, sending him into the path of an AC Transit bus. Fitzpatrick was hit and killed by the bus, according to a KCBS report. The fatal crash occurred on May 19, 2010 on MacArthur Boulevard near Patterson Avenue. Officials said Fitzpatrick had been aboard the same bus he was hit by, moments before the accident. He was transported to a local hospital where he died. It is not clear whether the 42-year-old Manteca woman who opened the car door has been charged. The bus driver has also been placed on paid administrative leave and subjected to a drug test per standard procedure. An investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Erik Fitzpatrick for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. My heart goes out to everybody who knew and loved this man. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
There was one death and 165 injuries involving bicycle accidents in Oakland in 2008, according to California Highway Patrol’s traffic accident statistics. In Alameda County as a whole, one fatality and 672 injuries were reported as a result of bicycle accidents during the same year.
The Issue of Negligence
Based on this news report, it appears that the bicyclist was hit by the car door and was knocked off his bike and then struck by the bus. It is not clear what caused the woman to open the car door suddenly and strike the bicyclist. It is no doubt an unusual accident. However, I trust officials are carefully examining the circumstances of the accident and determining if there was any negligence on the woman’s part. Was she distracted or acting recklessly? This should be a key consideration in this case when officials decide whether charges should be filed.
Fault and Liability
If this woman is determined to have been at fault, she could be held civilly liable for Fitzpatrick’s wrongful death, even if she is not criminally charged. If the bus driver is determined to have been at-fault, then the transit authority could be held accountable. Please remember that in any case involving a California governmental entity, a personal injury or wrongful death claim must be filed properly within 180 days of the accident. The best Oakland personal injury lawyers will always offer a free and comprehensive consultation to injured victims and their families.
What are some of the most dangerous roadways for bicyclists in your city or neighborhood?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.