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Just remember, this criminal finding sets up a wrongful death civil action where the findings of the criminal action cannot be challenged. $140 may be insignificant... but the wrongful death action could be.

Most likely there would not have been any conviction were it not for the publicity that this murder has gotten.

I hope people can take a moment away from their anger at the driver to reflect on how sucky the bike infrastructure is in that part of Maryland that someone felt the need to ride on that highway. If the WB&A bridge had been built, she probably would have taken that route and be alive today.

Speaking of infrastructure, might I also point out the ridiculousness of the road design there? I took a look at the crash scene on Google Maps, and there is a shoulder on the road, but it's only ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD! Can any genius transportation engineer explain to me why a road would be designed like this?

@Stanley: but how much is she actually going to be out of pocket if there's a civil judgment against her? Her insurance will prolly take care of it. If she had done jail time,it would have directly effected her,plus there's at least a small chance it would make other drivers correct their behavior.

Let's please not lay the blame for this death on faulty road design or the lack of bike infrastructure. This death is the fault of a negligent driver. One can only be left to wonder what the consequences would have been had Goad's weapon been a gun rather than a vehicle. Perhaps the charge would have been negligent shooting and she would have been fined $140?

$140!! It likely cost this driver more than that to fix the damage to her car. Shameful.

"our charging decisions are based on the evidence we have": perhaps, but it sure sounds like a cop out.

PG County has a terrible record on pedestrian and cycling safety. They need to step up.

@SJE: Recall two years ago all the efforts in passing HB 355? If you aren't drunk or drag racing, there needs to be a passenger to testify that you knew you might kill someone, to be convicted of manslaughter. This crash took place a few weeks before HB 355 became law (though even then, we would need evidence of a substantial deviation from the duty of care).

The big difference between Danielle Cooper's killer and Natashas Pettigrew's killer is that the driver in Bowie had the decency to stop after the crash, rather than drag her bike all the way home and claim it was a deer.

@Pseudoprime. In this case, it would not have taken the $5 million bridge or the cooperation of the Meyers to provide an alternative route. All it would have taken would have been for SHA to add bike lanes consistent with the PG Co plan when they repaved MD-450. Until about 3 years ago, there were 2 eastbound lanes and 1 westbound lane. It was restriped to have one lane in each direction, but instead of adding bike lanes they added a suicide lane primarily to prevent backups on Sundays as people wait to turn left into a church.

JimT: I remember very well, and very much appreciate your continued work on that. It still galls me that no more effort was made to press matters under the older, less effective laws: this case makes a mockery of human life.

I agree that the Pettigrew case drew heavily on the driver's behavior, from which you could infer DUI, etc. I also think that the victim mattered: Pettigrew was running as a candidate, and had a small but enthusiastic base of support.

As to Crickey7's comment: I agree and I'm sure JimT would have more to say on this. It seems to me that if PGC wants to move from its past, and attract different sorts of development, it will have to address bike/ped facilities. When I moved to the area, I considered PGC, but was put off by so much car-centric sprawl.

This is a very sad case.

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