Those in Louisiana who are avid cyclists all share one fear — being hit by a car while cycling. Unless they have the option of a dedicated bike path, cyclists are usually forced to ride on the roadway, where they are more vulnerable since many roads have no shoulder to give them a cushion from traffic. This vulnerability can cause a cyclist to be involved in an accident with a car or truck.
This is what happened to one Moss Bluff, Louisiana, physician on July 14. While out for a ride early that morning, he was struck from behind by a pickup truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have said that the driver of the pickup truck was not impaired, and they are completing their investigation before deciding whether any charges will be filed.
To honor the life of the physician, more than 50 cyclists took part in an approximately 15-mile memorial ride. Even cyclists who didn’t know the physician turned out for the event. Cyclists are passionate about their sport and their safety, and one cyclist took the opportunity to remind motorists that it is now Louisiana law for motorists to give cyclists a minimum of 3 feet of room when passing.
Safety on Louisiana roadways is the responsibility of everyone on them — whether in a car, a motorcycle or bicycle, or even as a pedestrian. Unfortunately, being careful doesn’t always prevent an auto accident from happening. Nothing can erase the events of that morning, for anyone involved. While the family members of the physician grieve and await the outcome of the official investigation, they may also seek advice on whether to file a wrongful death action against the driver of the pickup truck. Of course, doing so won’t bring back their loved one, but it may provide an opportunity for closure for the family.