Lenny Trinh, 52, was killed in a bicycle dooring accident in Burbank after he crashed into an open car door and was then hit by a passing truck. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred the evening of April 16 along Alameda Avenue between Mariposa Street and Griffith Park Drive. Trinh was heading east on Alameda in a designated bike lane when a person in a car that had just parked opened the front door.
Trinh hit the car door and was thrown from his bicycle. He was then struck by a passing pickup truck. Trinh was transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. Both drivers remained at the scene and cooperated with police. Officials do not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in this fatal accident. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests or citations have been announced.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Lenny Trinh for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
What the Law Says
California Vehicle Code Section 22517 states: “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”
These types of “dooring” accidents, as is evident from this case, could result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. When a car door is suddenly opened in front of a bicyclist, he or she could fall off the bike and get injured. Or as it occurred in Trinh’s case, they could get thrown off the bicycle and be struck by an oncoming vehicle. These types of incidents are often fatal.
How to Prevent Dooring Accidents
There are several things both bicyclists and motorists can do to prevent these tragic accidents. Bicyclists could ride in a designated bike lane and at least three feet away from the sides of parked cars. It would always be in your best interest to ride slowly past parked cars and watch for people who may be about to get out of their vehicles.
A majority of dooring accidents are the fault of the negligent driver or passenger. If you are getting out of a vehicle, look for approaching bicyclists and pedestrians before opening the door. Open the door slowly, which gives you the time to notice bicycles that are approaching. Do not park in an area close to a bike lane or where you might expect bicyclists to pass through.
If you are a bicyclist who has been injured in a dooring accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault parties. If your loved one has been killed in a dooring accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. Contact an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer to obtain more information regarding your legal rights.