An Enraged Driver Ran Down a Cyclist on the Tollway Yesterday

cyclist-crash.jpg
"But there's a municipal ordinance!"
At 3:30 p.m. yesterday, 36-year-old Terry Varghese was riding his bicycle when he turned onto the Dallas North Tollway service road. That turned out to be a bad idea.

Shortly after he made the turn, a car pulled alongside Varghese and its driver began shouting obscenities. "Are you crazy?" the driver yelled, according to the Morning News. "What the [expletive] is your problem? Are you stupid?"

The driver veered several times in Varghese's path before finally falling back, accelerating and running into the back of the bike, sending it crashing into a grassy median and pinning Varghese's leg underneath. The driver then sped off, running over Varghese's right foot in the process.

Three employees of a nearby office building saw the whole thing while taking a smoke break outside but were unable to get a good look at the car. Varghese was scraped up but otherwise okay and refused to be taken to the hospital.

But hey: There's a law for this sort of thing! The driver was in apparent violation of the city's new be-nice-to-bikers ordinance, which levies a maximum $500 fine for motorists who injure bikers by, say, veering into their lane or passing them improperly.

In this case, though, the offense is a bit more serious. Police are treating it as an aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, a felony.


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53 comments
beautifullywritten
beautifullywritten

What I've gathered by reading all of your carefully constructed thoughts is that when people operate vehicles, be they motorized or not, indignation at anyone other than themselves arises. After all, we are all expert drivers, aren't we? We are all thoughtful cyclists. We are certainly not polarized, self-important ass hats with a deeply ingrained "us" and "them" attitude about everything from vehicular persuasion to sports teams. And we certainly don't resemble one another despite our insistence on individuality. 

burner42
burner42

You fat cheeseburger eating speeders who are always late for your appointments think you own the roads! I very rarely ride on busy streets and still have to deal with you impatient assholes! My favorite thing is when one of you fat losers speeds by me and flips me off or toss something out at me. You figure your fat ass could only go 5-10 mph if you were pedaling the bike so you assume you ditched me... I love the surprised look on your stupid head when I pop up next your POS car and spit a big lugey on your window or better yet you if you happen to have your window down to smoke or throw out your fast food wrappers. And yes I have had to beat a few heads too.. mess with me on my bike and you will pay... unless your a the typical big loudmouth who uses his car as a weapon and speeds off...

BlankStare
BlankStare

Let's not forget the camera I have recording on my helmet and/or bike. It's great for capturing evidence.

BlankStare
BlankStare

When I ride my bicycle I like to keep extra ball bearings and spark plugs. They may just slip out of my pocket from time to time and it does wonders to radiators, hoods, grills and windshields. A CHL is the back up plan too. I can also memorize license plates. :-)

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

Until this area has bike lanes everywhere, there will be showdowns and incidents like this, and some deaths. Cyclists that are doing it for leisure do annoy me, there's a guy that without fail bikes MWF on my busy residential street, making people go around him, and then when he comes up on cars at lights passes them up, which then requires the drivers that may have already had to go around him, do it again.

There's really no answer but staying far away from them and getting over your road rage.

scholarmom
scholarmom

I don't ride my bike to work 'cause I know in this city I'd be dead in a week, so Can I use a deadly weapon on autocrat drivers who run at me in their 2000 pound vehicles while I'm in the crosswalk on the 'Walk' sign? Cause I can't rely on the DART or other local LE to write a $500 ticket or save my ass in the crosswalk.

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

How many points do you get for running over a 20 something male on a bike in Dallas?

reverendvelvet
reverendvelvet

Most people driving cars are not out for a leisurely drive. They're trying to go from point A to point B.

Most cyclist, especially in Dallas, are merely out for a leisurely bike ride. So go ride your bike where you won't impede drivers that are out with a destination purpose.

Some delays can't be helped like construction, heavy traffic, poorly timed traffic lights but it's frustrating to encounter a cyclist on a busy thoroughfare who is only there because they want stretch their legs. I would argue that less than 1 in 1000 cyclist in Dallas are riding their bikes as their only mode of transportation. 

rusknative
rusknative

bikers are all nuts...they constantly run stop signs to keep from stopping and weave in and out of traffic, and stop traffic on already clogged roads at rush hour.  these fools all need to just be run over once and for all.

sophee
sophee

How does this new law apply when a cyclist pulls out right in front of you, sometimes without even looking? They get what they deserve.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

"Three employees of a nearby office building saw the whole thing while taking a smoke break outside"..... nothing whips my ass more than a haggy smoker, that has to take a break every 20 minutes! I love the way they stand around with NOTHING to do, usually shivering or gazing around like an old lady. Meanwhile, everyone else has a break every 8 hours, and eats lunch at the desk. I can't comment on this story because I am biased with my vile hatred of people who ride bikes in the street. If Lance A. had NEVER come along, you turds would be riding on the bike trail, like EVERYONE else. But no, every TDF wannabe LOVES to ride in the street-in traffic! And 90% of them are, uhhhhm (clearing throat); ahhhhh, let's be polite, and say-BIG. It's just a way for people to be huge dicks.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

The way I read the story is  Two Dicks met on the road the other day .


The DICK in the car won the Day !


Moral of the story  DON'T BE A DICK !

roo_ster
roo_ster

Psycho is as psycho does.

dmd-123
dmd-123

Oh No! The innocent bike rider who was just minding his own business and not obeying traffic laws and riding 15 in a 35-45 mph toll way access road is surprised he PISSED someone off.

Go figure.

And NO I don't condone the CAR driver but use a little common sense!

When bikes can go the posted speed limit and have to pay registration and have a license plate then I will accept them on the roadways.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Although I do not condone the driver's actions and in fact hope that he is convicted of the assault charge, the story does leaves out some very important details:

1) Did Varghese come to a full stop before making his right turn onto Dallas parkway?

2) What was the distance that the car was from the intersection when Varghese made his turn to enter Dallas Parkway?


And Eric, the Dallas North Tollway is the limited access road.  Dallas Parkway is the local service road paralleling the Dallas North Tollway.  Bicycles are prohibited on the Dallas North Tollway according to the signs posted on the entrance ramps.

epicmale
epicmale

@burner42 Class act...I'm sure you are improving relations between motor vehicle operators and cyclists.  Would you please paint a big BURNER42 on your back, so the motorists that you enrage here can interact specifically with you on the roadway rather than the next cyclist they happen to spot?

epicmale
epicmale

@BlankStare And the ball bearing that bounces over your target and takes out another cyclist or strikes a young mother in the head and causes her to lose control of her car....  You are an testimonial to sheer stupidity and irresponsibility.

LokiLaufeyson
LokiLaufeyson

Greetings from the "one in a thousand", who also happens to be a CHL holder. If I EVER see you taking a cut at me in traffic then I "MIGHT" be inclined to see that as a deliberate threat to my life, and being unable to safely retreat, I "MIGHT" just have to do what I feel is necessary to protect myself. I would certainly see it as an attempted homicide, and the police would see it as an aggravated assault with motor vehicle. Thus, you'd be committing a felony and I'd be justified in taking out a felonious threat. I'm just sayin'...

drtz
drtz

@reverendvelvet 

Maybe if you stretched your legs more you could relieve a little stress and not feel as inclined to run over the next cyclist you see.

drtz
drtz

@rusknative 

"... are all nuts...they constantly run stop signs to keep from stopping and weave in and out of traffic, and stop traffic on already clogged roads at rush hour. these fools all need to just be run over once and for all."

That statement describes about 25% of the automobiles I encounter on my drive down 635 every morning.

2-3 days/week there's a wrecked car on the road that completely f's up my commute to work.  I don't recall ever being delayed more than a few seconds by a bicycle.

drtz
drtz

@sophee 

They deserve to be run over and die?  Sounds a little extreme.  Are you the guy who tried to run my Mazda into the median this morning?  Oh wait.. that guy wasn't irrationally angry, he was just texting.

red72zcar
red72zcar

@kergo1spaceship THE FUNNIEST SHIT I see everyday is smokers either shivering in the cold or sweating in the heat just to smoke a cigarette.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@kergo1spaceship 

Nice symmetry. I applaud the equal-opportunity hate.


Hate for the healthy bikers (at least until they are run over) and hate for the unhealthy smokers.

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@kergo1spaceship "I can't comment on this story...."

What in the FUCK do you think you are doing? You hate bikers and smokers. 

tagkev1
tagkev1

@dmd-123 i would never  run over or  harass a  bicyclist...but  i would  never ride  a bike on the  busy road  anywhere..much less in  dallas...i prefer to live..some law  is  not  going  to save  our  life...

roo_ster
roo_ster

@dmd-123 Your personal problem accepting cyclists on non-limited-access roadways is irrelevant.  They have the right to be there as much as a motor vehicle and the same obligations to follow traffic laws when using the taxpayer-funded roads.  Oh, and speed limits as usually posted are _maximum_ limits. 

drtz
drtz

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 

1) Irrelevant.

2) Irrelevant.

The car's driver tried to run over a man on a bicycle.  He's fortunate there's only an assault charge and not a murder charge.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul Plus any bicyclist with half a brain should know being on Dallas Parkway is a really, really bad idea.

Which does not condone the driver one bit, but seeing how I had a guy try his best to run me off the road recently because I didn't approve of him cutting me off to make his exit, asinine driver behavior is not exclusive to bicycles. 

epicmale
epicmale

@LokiLaufeyson Thankfully you have now documented your PLAN to murder someone without clear cut INTENT to harm you.  It appears that you must have failed the CHL test and just wish you had a CHL.  You see, under the state motor vehicle code, if you are not a law enforcement officer attempting to effect a legal arrest, you cannot fire your gun at someone for an inadvertant, albeit negligent, traffic manuever.  You see, you are the one that stressed that 'might'.  You have admitted the inherent doubt you would have.  So, LOKILAUFEYSON, your internet trail is now established and documented, because, as we all know, there is not true anonimity upon the internet.

red72zcar
red72zcar

@LokiLaufeyson just say all you want, but threatening to shoot someone will get your CHL lifted PDQ, not to mention a little jail time.  You bikers know that us drivers know that you get a little of that 'up yours' thrill by pulling out in front of us, running stop signs, etc.  Anyway you slice it, a dead or quadreplegic cyclist has lost the battle.  If you're dead, you can't testify.  If you're quad, that's gotta be worse than a couple of years in the non-violent slammer.  Go ahead and hold your head high in righteous indignation.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@LokiLaufeyson you're kidding me, right? Pulling a gun while on your bike? I sincerely hope you never do this, as your post on this site will be pulled at your felony trial. If I ever saw a cyclist pull their gun out and shoot someone, and they're in front of me, they'd get their ass ran over. You can use that in court.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@roo_ster @dmd-123 quick question, because I've never seen a cyclist ON the tollway...do you pay a toll as a cyclist on the tollway? I guess the same question could be asked of someone walking on the tollway.

LokiLaufeyson
LokiLaufeyson

I see what you're saying, but there wouldn't be a murder charge because the cyclist, thankfully, wasn't killed.

reverendvelvet
reverendvelvet

@DirtyP1 @LokiLaufeyson I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that he doesn't own a car, so he says, but owns a bike .. AND a gun. 

And I thought Honey Boo Boo was a travesty ... 

James080
James080

@DirtyP1 @roo_ster @dmd-123  

Sec. 545.363. Minimum Speed Regulations.
(a) An operator may not drive so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
(b) When the Texas Transportation Commission, the Texas Turnpike Authority, the commissioners court of a county, or the governing body of a municipality, within the jurisdiction of each, as applicable, as specified in Sections 545.353 to 545.357, determines from the results of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on a part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the commission, authority, county commissioners court, or governing body may determine and declare a minimum speed limit on the highway.
(c) If appropriate signs are erected giving notice of a minimum speed limit adopted under this section, an operator may not drive a vehicle more slowly than that limit except as necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

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