Scott Folck, 35, who was critically injured in a car accident last week, has died from his injuries, U-T San Diego reports. Police say Folck was riding his bicycle east along Woods Valley Road in Valley Center, early morning on September 16, 2012, when a Mitsubishi 3000GT driven by a 22-year-old San Marcos man attempted a left turn and struck him. Folck’s bicycle hit the right front of the car. He was thrown to the ground and suffered multiple blunt force injuries. He died early morning on September 23 after undergoing surgery and several medical treatments. No citations or charges have been reported. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest sympathies to Folck’s family members and friends. He was apparently an avid cyclist who had been training for a triathlon. Please keep his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.
San Diego Bicycle Collisions
There were two fatalities and 474 injuries involving bicycle accidents in San Diego in 2010, according to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In San Diego County as a whole, eight people died and 879 were injured due to vehicle versus bicycle collisions, during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Mitsubishi made a left turn in front of Folck’s bicyclist and didn’t see him until it was too late. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21200, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles.
California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
Fault and Liability
If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, in addition to facing citations or charges, he could be held civilly liable for Folck’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including lost future income, medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of love and companionship. An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims’ families in such cases about their legal rights and options.