Maryland Personal Injury News: Police Match Vehicle to July 2011 Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident

There is no need to go into great detail on the dangers of riding a bicycle in busy urban areas, such as Baltimore, Annapolis, the District and Gaithersburg. The point we make here is that when you mix large motor vehicles with lightweight and relatively flimsy bikes, there is not much margin for error.

Bicyclists know this, and for the most part, cyclists do what they can to protect themselves from serious injury as a result of a crash with a passenger vehicle, commercial delivery truck or city bus. Pedestrians, as well, should be vigilant when walking or standing near busy intersections or when traversing crosswalks, but bicycles and their riders by the very nature of the sport must inevitably travel side-by-side with motor vehicle traffic. Sadly, accidents are bound to occur.

Given the relative frequency of car-bike and bicycle-truck collisions, its no surprise that state and municipal roadway engineers and civic planners are trying to create safer traffic arrangements in some parts of our cities and communities. With luck, these changes may go a long way toward alleviating the near-constant danger that some cyclists experience every time they venture out on their bikes.

Whether used for commuting, shopping, exercise or just plain enjoyment of the pastime, a bicycle offers a low-cost and healthy alternative to driving. But, as we have stated many time before, the downside of bicycle use is the potential bodily injury of a traffic accident. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, my staff is well aware of the range of injuries that can be sustained in a bike-car roadway collision. And, for some of the unlucky riders, a fatal bicycle accident may await them as well.

While there is nothing that can bring back a person killed in a senseless auto, truck or motorcycle accident, sometimes justice has a way of helping the victim’s family reach some degree of closure, especially in the case of fatal hit-and-run accidents. A recent news story brought this topic to the fore, where police were apparently able to use DNA evidence to connect a suspect vehicle with a hit-and-run crash that occurred last summer.

According to news reports, half a year following a bad traffic accident that landed a Glen Burnie cyclist in the hospital with severe injuries, police were able to find the vehicle and charge its owner in connection with a crash that happened back on July 14, 2011, along a stretch of Crain Hwy. near Georgia Ave.

Police reports indicate that, at the time of the accident last summer, 41-year-old Marco Garcia was riding his bicycle in a legal portion of the roadway when a gray passenger car allegedly hit him and then drove away from the scene of the accident. Following the early-morning hit-and-run crash, Garcia was transported to a trauma center with severe injuries.

Based on statements from witnesses, police began a search for the suspect vehicle. In less than a week, thanks to tips coming in from a “look-out” description, police located a vehicle matching witness accounts. The car, a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt with some windshield and front-end damage, was seen in a parking lot in the Severn, MD, area. Investigators contacted the owner and had the vehicle impounded for search and analysis.

During the investigation, police were able to collect DNA evidence from the car itself; evidence that linked the vehicle to the injured cyclist. In early January, police charged the car’s owner, 57-year-old John Correlli of Baltimore, with a number of traffic violations, including failure to remain at the scene of an injury accident and negligent driving.

DNA sample connects car to bike accident, Anne Arundel police say, January 19, 2012

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