June 9, 2015- Ashland, VA
Kristina Goodrow, 18, was struck and killed on her bicycle while riding home from work on Washington Highway in Ashland Sunday night.
The truck driver, John Edward Hardin, 61, of Fayetteville, NC was charged with reckless driving. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Ashland police officials do not believe that Hardin was drinking or texting at the time of the crash.
Goodrow, a Subway employee, rode her bike to work – a 45-minute trip – each day along a stretch of Washington Highway near Ashcake Road. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, the shoulder and lighting in that area is minimal. At the time of the accident, Goodrow was not wearing reflective clothing, although her bike did have standard reflectors.
While Virginia law recognizes the right of bicyclists to ride on the street like any other vehicle, all too often automobile drivers either willingly or mistakenly fail to afford bicycles their fair share of the road.
In Virginia, bicyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic on the right side of the highway. Additionally, bicyclists riding on roadways at less than the normal speed of traffic are generally required to ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of roadway.
Exception to this general rule is allowed when bicyclists are overtaking and passing other vehicles proceeding in the same direction, preparing for a left turn, avoiding unsafe conditions, avoiding riding in a lane that turns or diverges to the right, riding on a one way street, or where lane width is too narrow to allow bicyclists to share with other motor vehicles.
Additionally, bicycles are not excluded from riding on the highway shoulder in the Commonwealth.
VDOT recommends that bicyclists maximize their visibility at night by wearing reflective clothing and apply reflective tape to your bicycle and ride defensively by anticipating the actions of other road users.
However, failure to strictly follow VDOT’s safety-improving suggestions do not excuse the actions of negligent motorists when they cause injury to law-abiding bicyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at ReidGoodwin today.