Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kylie Bruehler Trust Fund

This is a jarring image of 7 year old Kylie Bruehler at the funeral of her parents, who were killed when the tandem bicycle they were riding was struck by a Ford pick up truck. (The title of this post is a link to a slideshow.) According to reports, the couple was riding in the shoulder and the driver swerved into their lane, dragging them 200 feet. No criminal charges have been filed against the driver, with police describing this as "just an accident". This accident happened in Texas, and while I would like to think that charges would be brought against the driver if this happened here in Massachusetts, I do wonder. Some states have a "3 foot rule" under which motorists must remain 3 feet away from the bike when passing. Massachusetts handles it differently, requiring drivers to maintain a "safe distance" under G.L. c. 89, sec. 2.

In a case like this, the driver likely would have been violating either a 3 foot rule or a "safe passing distance" law. Where the Massachusetts law falls short is in situations where the driver doesn't actually hit the cyclist, but only "buzzes" him at a close distance.

A trust fund has been established in Kylie's name. Donations should go to the Kylie Bruehler Benefit Fund, c/o 24165 IH-10 West, Ste. 217-720, San Antonio Texas 78275-1160.

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