DC Trawler

Walk in DC at your own risk

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I’m still dealing with getting hit by a car in DC last February — while crossing the street with the walk light, inside the crosswalk — and I’ll be dealing with it for the foreseeable future. Ever since it happened, it’s become clear that this is an almost-everyday occurrence in DC. If you dare to navigate the streets without a car and get struck down, you might just get a ticket for your trouble. Via Struck in DC, here’s one of the most recent victims:

Doug K writes:

On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 21st, around 8:30pm – 9:00pm, I was biking north/east up New Hampshire Ave NW, in a bike lane. Approaching the intersection with 17th St. NW, I saw a number of cars lined up to take a left turn. The first one turned before I reached the intersection, and I had to slow down a bit as the second car also took a left in front of me. I then began to cross through the intersection, but the third car, a taxi cab, accelerated quickly and proceeded to turn left, which caused his car to strike me broadside on my left side, throwing me from my bike onto the ground.

The next thing I remember is lying on my back in the road, and looking up at a crowd of 6-8 people gathered around me, asking if I was alright and saying they were calling an ambulance. I don’t have a good recollection of time, but an ambulance seemed to arrive in a few minutes. I didn’t think I had broken any bones, but the paramedics strongly advised me to go to the hospital to have a doctor look at me, so I agreed. At that point, I had not seen or talked with any police.

I was discharged from the hospital later that night. I called the police when I got home, and that’s when things got wacky. It took several calls to different people to find out that the police had already filed an accident report, without talking to me at all. When I got it a few days later, I also saw they had not talked to any witnesses either. There were several at the scene, but the report mentions not one of them. Instead, the report blames the accident on me, saying I had run a red light, which was completely false.

The officer only put down what the cab driver told her, which was completely false – that i had run a red light as he was coming down 17th St, so it was my fault. So in addition to a mangled bike and health care bills, I now have a $150 ticket for something I didn’t do.

If you or anyone you know happened to be there that night, please contact me! I didn’t get any names, as I was taken away in the ambulance. You may reach me at: dkandt @ gmail.com

I can relate.

And back in July, a young woman woke up in the hospital after being hit by a car in DC and found herself with a jaywalking ticket. It happens far too often. Apparently it’s standard operating procedure in this town.

Jim Treacher