Maryland State Police last month charged a Hollywood woman with negligent driving in a fatal traffic accident that left a local bicycle rider dead. Police state that 20-year-old Kathy May Lee contributed to the October 5 accident that killed Curtis Andrew Leymeister, a 47-year-old resident of St. Mary’s County.
As a Maryland personal injury lawyer, I and my colleagues understand the extent of possible injuries that a bicycle rider can receive in a car-bike crash. More often than not, the result is fatal for the cyclist. In this particular case, the cyclist was struck and killed on Clarke’s Landing Road and was apparently riding in the middle of his lane.
According to police, Leymeister was riding his bike west in the westbound lane of the roadway just before 8am when he was struck from behind by a Honda Accord driven by Lee. Every driver is obliged to be aware of the situation around them, and this is especially important when bicycles or pedestrians are present. Reports indicate that the local prosecutor recommended that the motorist be charged with negligent driving, which includes fine of $280.
Based on the police investigation, Lee was apparently distracted from her driving, as well as having morning dew still on her windshield when police arrived. Police reports show that the woman had a partially obstructed windshield and that she was preoccupied as she was reaching for a cigarette lighter.
The prosecutor’s office said there were no indications that Lee was texting or otherwise using a cell phone when the collision occurred, and that there were no contributing circumstances amounting to gross negligence, which is defined as a wanton and reckless disregard for human life. Authorities say that there was no alcohol and no indication of speeding, nor any indication of other conditions that would constitute reckless driving.
Motorist cited in bicycle fatality, SoMDNews.com, November 4, 2009