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Terribly sad.

One is inclined to say: Of course it was an SUV. They are not safe automobiles, supported by statistic, but that fact has not yet made it into the conscience of people. Most single car accidents... That a completely innocent cyclist has to pay for this is just a grave tragedy. My condolences to the family of the victim.

"You want to be careful about stereotyping, but you have to look at the circumstances," said Fairfax Detective Scott Neville, who investigates traffic fatalities. "As much as you hate to say it, it's often a certain socioeconomic class."

That's the same Scott Neville who a few days ago was saying that commuters tend to be bad cyclists. I think his definition of "commuter" would not fit most Washcycle readers who think of themselves as commuters. I suspect that when he thinks "commuter" he's thinking "Latino immigrants riding to or from work in the dark," not people who have the means go to work by any mode but choose to cycle. I think those are the people he classifies as "recreational."

I'm not sure the SUV had much to do with it. I would not be surprised if the driver suffered a heart attack or something similar. Which would make both parties innocent victims. This might be a true "accident." My thoughts go to both families - and that poor girl who watched her friend get run over and killed...I can only imagine.

It was actually very likely to matter whether or not the victim was wearing a helmet. How can the claim be responsibly made that it wasn't? My intent is not to trouble or instill regret on the victims' families, as it is very easy to overlook that sort of thing, but bike riders of all kinds, commuters and recreational, should know that a helmet makes a world of difference.

I find it hard not to draw a line connecting Detective Neville's characterization of the Fairfax bicycle commuter, and the decision by the county board to zero out the Fairfax infrastructure budget.

None of which has a thing to with this bizarre crash. Condolences to the families of both victims, and thoughts for the poor girl who witnessed the crash.

CDE, a bike helmet can make a world of difference in a slow speed fall where one's head hits the ground, but not when a person is hit head-on by a 3000 pound object moving at high speed. Helmets are not intended to protect a cyclist in those situations.

The Post article was indeed very weird -- I read it twice to be sure I wasn't missing something. It's sloppy reporting, and perhaps racist too: An SUV driver skids across five lines of traffic, yet the quote from the police blames the victim, five lanes away: "As much as you hate to say it, it's often a certain socioeconomic class." And, then as if to prove that the problem is those (wink, wink) Hispanics, the article cites three fatalities involving Hispanic victims.

What the what?

Imagine being a family member of this victim: Your loved one is killed when a motorist skidds across five lines and hits your young family member's bike. You pick up the paper and read, in essence, "What do you expect when you have Hispanics on bikes?"

Let's hope this is the explanation: The Post has been cutting back on its reporting and editing staff for years. Let's assume some novice reporter copy-and-pasted text from the "bike accidents" file, and no one bothered to edit her copy.

If that's not the case, though, than either the Post or Fairfax County Police need to clarify these ridiculous comments.

A P.S: The debate about the helmets is besides the point: The article never states whether the victim in this accident had a helmet or not. That observation is made about the other Latinos involved in bike accidents from 2006-2008.

Again, weird, weird, weird article. My hunch is the Post is at fault here, not the Detective. Based on the writing, I wouldn't be surprised to learn the detectives comments weren't even in relation to this incident.

And, yes, I am going to write the Post to complain about this article.

One also wonders if the car was speeding. Given how it looked at the end, it would be surprising if it weren't. Although I don't know the speed limit on that part of Lee Highway.

I agree that this was one of the most poorly written articles about an accident I have ever seen. The second half had nothing whatsoever to do with the accident itself--strangely tacked on.

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