Bicycle accidents, both fatal and non-life-threatening, have become more frequent as the warmer weather has drawn more and more cyclists out onto public roadways. Sharing the road is great in theory, but it takes the active participation of all parties. When motor vehicles and pedal-powered two-wheelers tangle it’s almost always the bicycle rider who gets hurt, or worse, killed. As Maryland bicycle accident attorneys, my staff has experience in the area of bicycle and pedestrian injury accidents.
Particularly in cities as vibrant as Baltimore, MD, bike riding is both a healthy way to exercise and a eco-friendly and low-cost method of transportation. Danger does exist and every bicyclist knows that the smallest mistake can result in serious injury or even death. Car, bus, taxi and delivery truck drivers also need to be especially vigilant during the summer months for cyclists traveling in urban traffic situations.
Not long ago an all-too-familiar and sadly reminiscent scene played out in a Worchester County courtroom. The hearing involved a 35-yearold Berlin motorist pleading guilty to manslaughter in the case of a June 2009 hit-and-run incident. According to news reports, Daniel Matthew Bren was driving along a Route 50 bridge when his vehicle struck two bicyclists in the roadway. The driver then left the scene of the accident, which left one cyclist dead and a second injured following that bicycle-automobile collision.
During the hearing, Bren reportedly struck an agreement with local prosecutors and pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter by automobile, as well as to leaving the scene of an accident. A number of other charges that had also been brought against the man, including driving under the influence, were apparently dropped by prosecutors in exchange for the guilty plea in district court.
The presiding judge, Gerald Purnell, ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and remanded Bren into the custody of the Worcester County Jail. The judge said Bren could be in jail four to six months while that investigation is conducted. In Maryland, vehicular manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison. Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries calls for a one-year maximum sentence.
Man pleads guilty to OC hit-and-run, DelmarvaNow.com, April 20, 2010