Friday night’s bicycle accident in Downtown Los Angeles has proved quite controversial, as conflicting reports and skepticism of the LAPD’s investigation have stirred the local community. We learned today that although police ruled out the alleged road rage/hit-and-run component of the accident, they will continue to probe the events leading up to experienced cyclist Susanna Schick‘s fall and injuries.
Blogdowntown writes today that “police say they will continue an ‘exhaustive’ investigation into what did cause cyclist Susanna Schick to fall off her bike.” LAPD Captain Horace Frank told the blog a detective is on the case and will examine Schick’s bike, speak with witnesses (which are currently just two police officers) and refer to Schick’s testimony.
Earlier this week, Lt. Paul Vernon of the LAPD told the blog, “There’s a great deal of discrepancy. There is no crime here. She fell down on her bicycle.” However, Schick’s friend, Jennifer Beatty, said it was a “physical improbability” that the damage to Schick’s rear wheel, which now looks like a “bike taco,” could occur without a collision. Beatty also explained Spring Street’s rather pristine conditions for cyclists would make it very difficult for a rider, especially one as seasoned as Schick, to wobble and tumble off her bike. Due to the overwhelming amount of attention, police have reversed an earlier decision and will examine the case as a possible crime.
Sgt. David Krumer, the LAPD’s liaison to the bike community, told NBC LA today, “There are so many people saying ‘No, there is more to it,'” Krumer said. “It doesn’t harm us to proceed as if a crime occurred, especially given the political ramifications and the media attention.”
Police Chief Charlie Beck said on KPCC’s Pat Morrison Show Wednesday that the LAPD has nothing to hide.
“There is no reluctance by the police department to investigate a hit-and-run involving a bicyclist- matter of fact: I would like to. But I need information,” said Beck. Witnesses are encouraged to come forward.
So far, as we mentioned above, two police officers are the only reported witnesses to the incident. They saw the white Lexus pull out of a garage and onto Spring Street, swerving into Schick’s, aka Pinkyracer’s, green bike lane around 11:30pm. They claim Schick pedaled up to the car, hit the side view mirror and yelled at the driver and passenger, who rolled up their windows. She continued on her bicycle for another block or two until the car turned right. Officers say Schick wobbled and tumbled off the bike.
The 42-year-old’s injuries include a concussion, broken collarbone, six broken ribs, three pelvic fractures and facial lacerations. Many skeptics of the police report cite Schick’s extensive injuries as proof that she didn’t simply take a tumble. Gary Kavanagh of the blog Gary Rides Bikes commented on Schick’s injuries in our Wednesday coverage:
However, there could be other witnesses. The following comment has yet to be investigated, but LAist reader “wy wy” recently wrote the following in the comments section of our Monday coverage:
The ChipIn Fund created on Sunday by Schick’s friend to help pay for her medical costs says she was moved from ICU to a private room on Monday evening and will eventually move to a rehabilitation facility. We’ve been watching the fund grow daily, and today the donation amount has reached almost $5,900.
Frank told Blogdowntown police plan to conclude the case in the next few days, adding that he hopes the incident doesn’t create a “bike versus car” mentality.