Los Angeles weather and coastal scenery invite outdoor activities - the reasons many people choose to live here. Bicyclists like the challenges of California roads, like the hills in Calabasas. Every rider has a right to use roads throughout the state, but not every driver takes responsibility for sharing them.
While wealth may provide comfort and high-quality bicycling gear, affluence is no protection during a bicycle accident. Bike riders can purchase the latest, most expensive bicycle and dress in highly reflective clothing and still suffer serious injuries or die in a crash.
A 65-year-old Woodland Hills man - once a high-level executive at the now-defunct Internet music sharing website Napster - was killed during a recent Sunday afternoon bike ride. Milton Everett Olin Jr., a music industry business developer prior to joining Napster, was hit by a police car.
Reports said the impact was violent enough to shatter the patrol car's windshield. Olin died at the crash scene. The sheriff's deputy was treated for cuts. Shards of glass were removed from the deputy's eyes.
Authorities did not elaborate on the circumstances of the fatal bicycle accident. Investigators would not say whether the deputy was en route to a local emergency or just patrolling the Calabasas neighborhood, when the collision occurred. Los Angeles County officials stated the case remained open; witnesses are being sought.
When bicyclists die in an auto accident, many of the details of the crash die with them. Police can reconstruct the crash using evidence gathered from the wreckage and the site. The driver's version of events is compared with physical evidence and what observers saw, provided there were witnesses.
Wrongful death claims involving government defendants are different and more complex than complaints filed against civilians. A liability attorney and plaintiffs must be aware of the limits of the state's sovereign immunity laws to move forward with a claim for damages.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Ex-Napster exec fatally struck by sheriff's patrol car while biking" Ruben Vives, Dec. 09, 201