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No charges for driver who hit Josh Quigley at 70mph

Police in Texas conclude crash that left round-the-world cyclist with multiple injuries was an "accident"...

No charges will be brought against the motorist who drove into round-the-world cyclist Josh Quigly at 70mph, leaving the Scot with injuries including fractures to 10 ribs, his skull, pelvis and ankle, as well as a punctured lung.

The 27-year-old from Livingston, West Lothian, had been riding through Texas on his way to Florida during his seventh attempt to circumnavigate the globe by bike when the crash happened on 21 December 2019.

He was airlifted to hospital in Temple, Texas, where he underwent an operation before Christmas. The Edinburgh Evening News reports that Quigley was released from hospital yesterday, but will be unable to fly for six weeks.

Police have now completed their investigation into the collision and are treating it as an “accident” with no further action being taken.

Sergeant Bryan Washko of the Texas Department of Public Safety said: “A 2006 Cadillac Sedan operated by a 60-year-old woman was travelling southbound on Highway 36.

“Josh Quigley, 27, of Livingston, Scotland, was also southbound on Highway 36. Mr Quigley was legally operating a bicycle on Highway 36 with an operational blinking red rear lamp fixed to his bicycle.”

He added: “The crash investigation is complete and concludes it was an accident. It was not an intentional act so no charges have been filed.”

Laura Smith, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, added: “He must have had an angel on his shoulder as this was a very serious accident.”

Quigley, who campaigns to raise awareness of mental health issues, took up cycling after attempting suicide five years ago.

In an update on his condition, he said: “It hurts to talk, it hurts to breathe, it hurts to lie in this bed, my ribs and my back are in agony and my ankle is sore but mentally, psychologically and emotionally I’ve never been better because I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

“These things are here to help me in mental toughness, resilience, strength and this is another obstacle, probably biggest one I’ve faced so far, but I will find a way to finish what I started.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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24 comments

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Sriracha | 2 years ago
0 likes

The BBC is characterising this as a driverless car incident again today:
"Josh was 14,000 miles (23,000kms) into his last attempt when he was knocked off his bike by a car in Flat, Texas, in the dark, in December 2019."

Maybe some good folk could take the time to remind the journalist that it isn't the cars that drive into people.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-59476524
newssiteerrors [at] bbc.co.uk

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psychle | 4 years ago
1 like

I'm no fan of lawsuits, but one is needed here.  Josh needs legal advice asap! Good luck to him.

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clayfit | 4 years ago
1 like

I'm not a lawyer, nor have I read the press release, but this sounds like a good basis for suing the merry hell out of the driver.  It sounds like the police have prepared the ground - legally operating his bike, with a functional rear light sounds to me as removing possible defenses for the driver.  

The rabid retributionists of road.cc always bay for blood, but more important will be to get the medical costs paid, as well as some money for pain and suffering.  And a new bike.

 

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alansmurphy replied to clayfit | 4 years ago
2 likes
clayfit wrote:

 

The rabid retributionists of road.cc always bay for blood, but more important will be to get the medical costs paid, as well as some money for pain and suffering.  And a new bike.

 

 

I'd counter it's more important to have the necessary deterrants in place to prevent the next death...

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antigee | 4 years ago
1 like

local police for local people shocker would be my guess...more empathy with the driver than the victim

as to being an accident ....live in Aus' and my understanding one reason Queensland got a minimum passing distance law was the use of this logic to keep the truck driver out of jail in the sad death of Richard Pollet...

"The defence barrister said Mr Stevens wasn’t driving erratically or speeding and was under “the honest and reasonable belief” there was enough room to overtake Mr Pollett safely." 

https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2013/05/08/are-cyclists-mere-obs...

as an aside spent 8days or so riding in California* last year and had only 2 close passes....car drivers routinely crossed the centre line on rural roads to pass, in farming areas truck drivers slowed behind and waited patiently....even on the freeway with wide shoulders truck drivers would move over a lane so you didn't get wind blast/suck all in all a very pleasant surprise and great cycling

*I know most Americans think California is generally an odd place and very different to Texas

wishing Josh a good recovery

 

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Bungle73 | 4 years ago
1 like

>>He added: “The crash investigation is complete and concludes it was an accident. It was not an intentional act so no charges have been filed.”<<

So, what with this and the Harry Dunn case, am I to understand it that in  America one can cause as much death and destruction on the roads as one likes and get away scot free as long it was not "intentional"? Nice............

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hawkinspeter replied to Bungle73 | 4 years ago
2 likes
Bungle73 wrote:

>>He added: “The crash investigation is complete and concludes it was an accident. It was not an intentional act so no charges have been filed.”<<

So, what with this and the Harry Dunn case, am I to understand it that in  America one can cause as much death and destruction on the roads as one likes and get away scot free as long it was not "intentional"? Nice............

However, I suspect that it'd be quite easy to win damages against someone who causes an "accident" and even just recovering hospital bills would bankrupt most people.

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Shades | 4 years ago
2 likes

Had a (cycling) friend who worked in the US (not in a city) for 3 years and asked him whether cycling to work was an option; his response was "absolutely no way; the locals (drivers) don't think you have a right to be on the road and you get treated as such".

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alchemilla | 4 years ago
1 like

Even the way the police officer speaks about the cyclist tells you a lot "Mr Quigley was legally operating a bicycle". Not exactly a cyclist-friendly phrase, sounds like they usually find a lot of folk illegally operating bicycles, whatever that is.

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Philh68 replied to alchemilla | 4 years ago
3 likes
alchemilla wrote:

Even the way the police officer speaks about the cyclist tells you a lot "Mr Quigley was legally operating a bicycle". Not exactly a cyclist-friendly phrase, sounds like they usually find a lot of folk illegally operating bicycles, whatever that is.

on the contrary, I read that as the police absolving Mr Quigley of any responsibility or contribution to the incident. Which makes it even more puzzling why no charges were laid against the driver. Someone was negligent, and if not the cyclist then the driver.

However, this was in Texas, the state where Gov Rick Perry overruled the state legislature and prevented the introduction of a minimum passing distance law. Not the most bicycle friendly state of the USA.

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pwake replied to Philh68 | 4 years ago
1 like
Philh68 wrote:
alchemilla wrote:

Even the way the police officer speaks about the cyclist tells you a lot "Mr Quigley was legally operating a bicycle". Not exactly a cyclist-friendly phrase, sounds like they usually find a lot of folk illegally operating bicycles, whatever that is.

on the contrary, I read that as the police absolving Mr Quigley of any responsibility or contribution to the incident. Which makes it even more puzzling why no charges were laid against the driver. Someone was negligent, and if not the cyclist then the driver.

However, this was in Texas, the state where Gov Rick Perry overruled the state legislature and prevented the introduction of a minimum passing distance law. Not the most bicycle friendly state of the USA.

There is no Careless Driving Law in Texas, only Reckless Driving which requires wilfull disregard for safety. So, obviously, the police cannot pursue a prosecution with no law being broken.

I agree that the police statement absolves Josh and provides a path to a personal injury lawsuit. There are several attorneys in Texas that specialize in these type of cases; Josh needs to get in touch with one of those, I'm sure they'd take his case on.

As a general comment, I live in Texas and would NEVER ride at night and there are many, many roads that I will not ride during the day either. It may not be fair or just, but I'll ride where I can and be happy with that restricted freeedom in the land of the free...

 

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bike_food | 4 years ago
3 likes

Jeez what a load of shite. I expect in the vast majority of incidents where a vehicle hits a cyclist the driver didn't intend to do it so does that make it an accident?
How do you prove it was intentional or an accident without camera footage?
I recall watching one of those TV shows where they follow the UK traffic police, one lady officer said there's no such thing as an accident, someone has always done something wrong, this is a better view to me.

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Blackthorne | 4 years ago
2 likes

This makes me angry. Angry that cyclists have to live in fear of death or permanent disability at the hands of idiots and because roadways were designed without consideration for anything other than cars. 

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hobbeldehoy | 4 years ago
0 likes

In America the car is king. 

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vonhelmet | 4 years ago
2 likes

Texas gonna Texas. He's lucky she didn't shoot him for denting her car.

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Dingaling | 4 years ago
2 likes

Maybe he needs a good lawyer to pursue a civil case. Surely there is some compensation to be had there?

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Hirsute | 4 years ago
4 likes

Hit from behind but it was a simple accident.
I guess I am missing something in the story.

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CXR94Di2 | 4 years ago
13 likes

So careless driving isnt a valid prosecution. Even if there was no intention to harm, the driver failed to see cyclist, fell below the standard of a competent driver

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burtthebike replied to CXR94Di2 | 4 years ago
2 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

So careless driving isnt a valid prosecution. Even if there was no intention to harm, the driver failed to see cyclist, fell below the standard of a competent driver

I wonder what the laws in Texas say about careless driving?

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Butty replied to CXR94Di2 | 4 years ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

So careless driving isnt a valid prosecution. Even if there was no intention to harm, the driver failed to see cyclist, fell below the standard of a competent driver

What information about the circumstances of the collision are you directly aware of to give this judgement?

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brooksby replied to Butty | 4 years ago
2 likes
Butty wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

So careless driving isnt a valid prosecution. Even if there was no intention to harm, the driver failed to see cyclist, fell below the standard of a competent driver

What information about the circumstances of the collision are you directly aware of to give this judgement?

How about the fact that the driver ran into the rear of a cyclist who had a red rear light operating that even the Texan police thought was OK?  I'd would suggest, m'lud, that driving into something directly in front of you on the road falls below the standard of a competent driver.

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alansmurphy replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:
Butty wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

So careless driving isnt a valid prosecution. Even if there was no intention to harm, the driver failed to see cyclist, fell below the standard of a competent driver

What information about the circumstances of the collision are you directly aware of to give this judgement?

How about the fact that the driver ran into the rear of a cyclist who had a red rear light operating that even the Texan police thought was OK?  I'd would suggest, m'lud, that driving into something directly in front of you on the road falls below the standard of a competent driver.

 

And isn't the US speed limit 55?

 

At least he had his angel with him though, obviously the angel wasn't a brilliant one or maybe he wouldn't have been hit!

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jamesfifield replied to alansmurphy | 4 years ago
1 like
alansmurphy wrote:

And isn't the US speed limit 55?

 

It varies state by state. Wikipedia says it can be up to 85mph in Texas

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Philh68 replied to alansmurphy | 4 years ago
1 like
alansmurphy wrote:

And isn't the US speed limit 55?

that ended in 1995. Texas has roads with limits up to 85mph. County roads can be up to 70mph. There’s nothing to indicate the driver was speeding.

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