Four bicyclists were injured – one of them severely – in a hit-and-run crash in Marin County after the driver of a pickup truck veered into them. According to reports in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the major injury collision occurred the morning of October 7, 2017 when a man driving a dark blue Dodge Ram pickup truck plowed into the group of cyclists on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road southwest of Petaluma. Witnesses said the truck appeared to swerve right, as if intentionally, into the cyclists who were riding in a line on the right-hand side of the road, California Highway Patrol officials said.
Felony Hit-and-Run Charge
All four male riders were injured, one of them severely. Their current condition is not known. The hit-and-run driver fled the scene, but was arrested later the same day and was identified as Michael Paff, 21, of Novato. He has been charged with hit-and-run resulting in injury/death and is expected to be arraigned in Marin County Superior Court October 19. The route where the accident occurred is a popular one for cyclists and the men were part of a larger charity group ride that included 1,300 cyclists who were raising money for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the four bicyclists who have been injured in this hit-and-run crash. We wish them all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Was Road Rage a Factor?
Officials say road rage may have been a factor in this crash. And apparently, there have been other similar incidents in the area involving motorists and bicyclists. In August 2015 on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road a driver accosted a pair of cyclists after one rode into his path while taking a photo of the other. The motorist, Mark Rafferty, pulled over and yelled at them, then struck one of the riders. Rafferty killed himself two days later while out on bail. In 2010 an SUV driver struck a bicyclist on Graton Road during the popular Levi’s GranFondo.
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, at-fault drivers can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.