Cyclist killed on M4 motorway - Update on driver charges

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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:51 pm

wombatK wrote:The truck involved was a tipper + dog trailer (not a B-double).

Aaarrgh!! No surprise here at all.

The absolute worst of the trucking world IMHO. I have a theory that the intellect and respect level of the driver is proportional to the value of the payload. You shift high value cargo, you're respectful and aware of others; you shift rocks.... you don't give a damn.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby sweetpete » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:59 pm

Wombatk, Are you sugesting the M7 cyclist killed was answering a phone call and may not have been paying attention?
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby wombatK » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:07 pm

il padrone wrote:Must admit I don't have too much experience with riding on freeway shoulders. It's illegal on urban freeways in Victoria

But don't you routinely ride on rural roads with high (100 kph) speed limits ? What about ones without shoulders ?

That's reminded me, the last cyclist fatality in NSW was a lone cyclist on a rural road (near Albion Park). Hit by a young car driver on dead straight road (but no shoulder).

Restricting where truck drivers can go isn't going to stop the carnage. Restricting speed might help and there is ample research that our urban speed limits in Australia are too high.

I don't know what the justification of reversing the "100k" limit on trucks was, but it should be reinstated. Speed limits should take into account the risks of the damage your vehicle mass can do, and heavy vehicles should be kept to lower speed limits than light vehicles. All too often now on the M4, you'll see truck drivers - even of B-doubles - speeding and weaving in and out of lanes to overtake traffic which is sitting on the speed limit; driving their trucks like they were driving an F1 car.

This crash occurred in a 110 k zone. For the volume of traffic the road carries there, that's too high a speed limit even for light traffic.
sweetpete wrote:Wombatk, Are you suggesting the M7 cyclist killed was answering a phone call

Yes, but with the qualification that I've heard it on the grapevine - not seen it in an official coroners report.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:13 pm

wombatK wrote:
il padrone wrote:Must admit I don't have too much experience with riding on freeway shoulders. It's illegal on urban freeways in Victoria

But don't you routinely ride on rural roads with high (100 kph) speed limits ? What about ones without shoulders ?

Yep, sure do. But I usually choose roads with low traffic volumes.... and they don't have high speed slip lanes. That's the danger point of high volume freeways.

wombatK wrote:That's reminded me, the last cyclist fatality in NSW was a lone cyclist on a rural road (near Albion Park). Hit by a young car driver on dead straight road (but no shoulder).

Similar road situation, but I think the last one was actually on the Lockhart Rd near Wagga Wagga. Mentioned in a post this week by martinjs.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby wombatK » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:33 pm

More details in the Channel 7 news http://au.news.yahoo.com/ (look for video Cycling Tragedy, might only be on NSW site). My blood is starting to boil...

It turns out that the truck involved belonged to the same company (South Penrith Sand and Soil) that had a truck cause a fatality on the M7 a fortnight ago. That truck also veered inexplicably onto the shoulder, hitting a car that was parked there killing the driver who was taking a phone call. The truck driver in the M4 incident was a 27 year old. Cyclists injured in the crash are named in the Channel 7 report - it seems two have relatively minor injuries, and third (the girl) has more serious injuries (but not critical).

Both the driver and the trucking company are reported as being under investigation. I hope that throw the book at them, and the whole damned library. :evil: :evil:

Can anyone think of a reason the trucking company should not be ordered off the road, right now ???

edit:

South Penrith and Soil's depot is at 4 Harford Rd, South Penrith. Crash occurred just beyond the slip lane exiting to Northern Road. If you were westbound on the M4, and going to the depot by shortest route, you'd exit at the Northern Road. If you missed it, you could go along to the next exit at Mulgoa Rd and come back (adds less than 1km).

What chance this goat was asleep at the wheel, missed his exit and tried to swerve onto it at the last second, only to fail (e.g. traffic already in slip lane) and collect the cyclists on the shoulder.
Last edited by wombatK on Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:35 pm

sweetpete wrote:Shark attacks! Shark nets? Cyclist ? there must be something?

Bollards between the traffic and emergency lanes, preventing vehicles from entering the emergency lane at speed greater than ~20km/h? Doubt it'd ever happen though.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby wombatK » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:36 pm

il padrone wrote:Similar road situation, but I think the last one was actually on the Lockhart Rd near Wagga Wagga. Mentioned in a post this week by martinjs.

Yeah, your right. One of a pair of touring cyclists killed. Has someone declared open season on cyclists ?
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby rockviewau » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:37 pm

From reading this thread I can see a lot of people have VERY high emotion about this, which is normal in these situations. I also SCUBA dive and the same thing happens when a boat hits a diver or some avoidable incident occurs.

Can I suggest that for the time being that people NOT speculate, as this only causes more heartache for those around the injured and deceased. The full story will come out, albeit in time usually. I couldnt care if fatigue, mobile phones or anything were the cause, what we have here is a fatality and multiple injuries. This is what should be focused on. Lets pay respect to the deceased, and celebrate their life. Hey, as mentioned they were training for a charity ride, so lets focus on a greater response for whatever ride that may be.

RIP to the deceased and my best wishes to the three injured riders. May they recover fast.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby h3ndry » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:40 pm

Condolences to all involved.

I'd suggest keeping the character assassinations and emotive language out of a sensible debate, it really just brings the quality of the discourse down.

As regards the specifics of this case, I cannot comment.

As regards the sensibility of riding on a freeway, however legally entitled, I see as unreasonably dangerous.

Have a good one.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby xavdav » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:48 pm

sweetpete wrote:No I just want to make it safe for all!! Lets get together and do it. ie; cyclist great western highway, trucks M4, cyclist pacific highway, trucks F3, cyclists canterbury road, trucks M5, cyclists cycleway trucks M7 make rules then we all no where trucks are.

Great western highway = NO shoulder
M4 = 2 METRE shoulder
Take your pick, it is probably the same thing for the F3 and Pacific Highway and when I go to work and am in a hurry I ride the M7 and not the pathway, I gain 15 minutes at least on a 45 km journey.
I agree that in most countries in Europe the law penalises motor vehicules when they have an accident with a bicycle, i will write to my federal MP for that, and I will also have a word with the Federal MP for Parramatta, she is a cyclist, and I rode with her this morning as I do most saturday mornings.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby mactype » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:36 pm

As others have said, the killings (and thats what they are) of innocent people doing the right thing by these cowboys lately is atrocious. I really hope that a broom is put through the industry in question.

My condolences to those who have lost a loved one.

wombatK wrote:This crash occurred in a 110 k zone. For the volume of traffic the road carries there, that's too high a speed limit even for light traffic.

Thats a foolish statement, speed had nothing to do with this. The trucks in question "should" be limited to 100 by law and even if the truck was doing 40 its apparently swerved for whatever reason into the breakdown lane and then continued on after the incident.

FWIW I recently did a 6am ride along the M4 and the amount of crap in the breakdown lane was quite scary. Wasn't fun whatsoever.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby madame_bike » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:46 pm

Regarding the cyclist killed last year on the M7 shoulder: Yes, he was answering a call on his mobile. I know some close personal friends who were at his funeral and, unfortunately, the family knows that is what happened. It caused him to veer into the path of the cement truck which was being driven by a young (P plate I think?) driver, who is devastated.

On that occasion, there was a lot of emotive discussion on cycling forums, as there is today. It is important that we don't jump to conlcusions without knowing the facts - for everyone's sake.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby SmellyTofu » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:34 pm

I must say I was talking about the dangers riding on the M4.. and this is one reason why I won't ride on motorways again. There too much to go wrong and if something goes wrong, then you don't really stand much chance. RIP to the cyclist and those concerned. Always sad to see a fellow treadly rider lose their life.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby aeroslave » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:27 am

My condolences to the family of the deceased and injured.

I will stick to the cycleway from now on. Too risky indeed. I did a solo Blue Mountains ride a couple of times and the last one I did I had to turn around at Lawson as I feel that roadworks and the lack of a cycleway really puts me at risk. One specific incident is that a tourist bus did not even see me and suddenly turned and ate what little lane I have somewhere before Woodford. It dawned on me that really... it doesn't even have to be a crappy or negligent or a hoon driver...it may be a good driver that just had a lapse of concentration...one blink... Dead...

As much as un-HTFU as it sounds...I will stick to the cycleway, closed mtb trails and crit races. It's a Russian roulette really..
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby ve safari » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:37 am

It get's worse as more details emerge.

After the heavy vehicle hit the cycling group, Mr Williams was dragged beneath the truck for 100 metres, police said. The truck continued travelling west down the highway for another 900 metres, allegedly weaving and smashing into crash barriers and slicing a chunk out of a light pole.

A witness, who asked not to be named but saw the tragedy unfold from the Northern Road bridge above the motorway said: ''I saw him hit the the first bloke and then he hit another and went right over the top of him.

''I saw him go through the white lines and then just go right through the middle of the group.''

Splintered fragments of the four bicycles were scattered across the road and a single wheel had been hurled to the opposite side of the highway.


Either that truck has had a serious mechanical defect, or the driver would appear to have nodded off.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby zero » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:20 am

aeroslavebigbelly wrote:My condolences to the family of the deceased and injured.

I will stick to the cycleway from now on. Too risky indeed. I did a solo Blue Mountains ride a couple of times and the last one I did I had to turn around at Lawson as I feel that roadworks and the lack of a cycleway really puts me at risk. One specific incident is that a tourist bus did not even see me and suddenly turned and ate what little lane I have somewhere before Woodford. It dawned on me that really... it doesn't even have to be a crappy or negligent or a hoon driver...it may be a good driver that just had a lapse of concentration...one blink... Dead...

As much as un-HTFU as it sounds...I will stick to the cycleway, closed mtb trails and crit races. It's a Russian roulette really..


Far more car occupants get killed by sleeping operators than do bicyclists. The most common fatal accident is due to crossing the center line / mediam strip etc in these circumstances. Since the bicyclist has less frontal area and is further off-course for the sleeper, we are far less likely to be involved in the oncoming variant.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Trucker » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:29 am

I've got an idea??? How about u all stop being so single minded in looking for someone to blame and look at yourselves? Last time I checked it's called a breakdown lane not a bloody bike lane and instead of putting showtime on truck drivers all the time why not look at all the idiots they put up with on the road daily and not be so quick to make them and make out like they have accidents delibrately... Stay off the bloody freeways
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Trucker » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:43 am

And in reply to wombat for starters u don't have a clue wat happened in either accident... If u must know that driver on m7 did pull over to take a call but then pulled out in front of the truck causing the collision... And also if u wanna automatically lay blame and post a companies name and adress on here why don't u man up and put ur name and adress up here?
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby zero » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:46 am

meh, thousands of cyclists do truckies favours every day by cycling on shoulders and near kerbs instead of holding their lane. You really need to get your mind around the fact that every time a cyclist isn't in the middle of the lane - he or she is doing you a favour!

As far as the publishing of the company name is concerned, you'll have to take that up with the Sydney Morning Herald.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Sepoy » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:24 am

Trucker wrote:I've got an idea??? How about u all stop being so single minded in looking for someone to blame and look at yourselves? Last time I checked it's called a breakdown lane not a bloody bike lane and instead of putting s*** on truck drivers all the time why not look at all the idiots they put up with on the road daily and not be so quick to make them and make out like they have accidents delibrately... Stay off the bloody freeways


You say that now, but were a cyclist to occupy a whole lane rather than showing the consideration of moving off to the side, I bet you'd be the first person to rail against them. I don't think anyone here is saying truck drivers want to have accidents, just that due to work pressure, lack of sleep, time limits or whatever some (not all) truck drivers do drive negligently, and this causes accidents.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Boognoss » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:27 am

Sepoy wrote:
Trucker wrote:I've got an idea??? How about u all stop being so single minded in looking for someone to blame and look at yourselves? Last time I checked it's called a breakdown lane not a bloody bike lane and instead of putting s*** on truck drivers all the time why not look at all the idiots they put up with on the road daily and not be so quick to make them and make out like they have accidents delibrately... Stay off the bloody freeways


You say that now, but were a cyclist to occupy a whole lane rather than showing the consideration of moving off to the side, I bet you'd be the first person to rail against them. I don't think anyone here is saying truck drivers want to have accidents, just that due to work pressure, lack of sleep, time limits or whatever some (not all) truck drivers do drive negligently, and this causes accidents.


Also, in the area that this incident occured it's legal for bicycles to be riding the COMBINED breakdown/bicycle lane.

Oh and welcome to the forum Trucker. :roll:

Let's see if you make more of a contibution to this community than a few posts in the thread.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Boognoss » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:29 am

Trucker wrote:And in reply to wombat for starters u don't have a clue wat happened in either accident... If u must know that driver on m7 did pull over to take a call but then pulled out in front of the truck causing the collision... And also if u wanna automatically lay blame and post a companies name and adress on here why don't u man up and put ur name and adress up here?


I'm curious how you know that the driver in that incident pulled out in front of the truck? I don't recall reading or seeing it via any news sources.

Thanks.
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Trucker » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:45 am

For starters I know drivers of both m7 and m4 personally and the media is quick to make their own assumptions on wat happened because everybody seems to wanna be a know it all when they don't have a clue and by the time the CCTV footage and witness statements have been taken the media has already slaughtered the name and reputation if the driver and company and they don't come back in the news in a few weeks time and say oh sorry we were wrong he wasn't at fault it was the the other persons fault because they did the wrong thing! I personally feel bad for the victims and their families of these accidents and am not here to argue with but merely get the point across u gave to stop being so quick to blame someone when u dobt know wat happened and think about both sides of the stories... Car drivers truck drivers travel on our roads by the millions everyday and don't go out to intentionally kill ppl but it happens and we just need to use common sense to try and prevent these horrible accidents happening on a regular basis
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Trucker » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:53 am

And to also add you can't beleive wat the news says because they have givin incorrect details of the events in which both m7 and m4 accidents took place.. You got to remember they twist and turn stories to sell news papers etc to make money .. Think if u were the one they were dumping showtime on on national news and u couldn't do a thing about it when they don't even know wat happened! It's wrong
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Re: Cyclist killed on Sydney's M4 motorway this morning

Postby Percrime » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:01 am

S obvious we are a bit quick to jump to the obvious conclusion. But its also obvious its 'likely' to be the right conclusion in this case. Just got to look at the picture. I also thing their is something to Pete's theory about drivers and valuable cargo,s . Most truck drivers are pro,s and pretty good, but some companies are crap where cyclists are concerned. No doubt about this at all. In Melbourne ALL of the dodgy bus drivers I see belong to the same company, there can not be much doubt their is a company culture of being dickh&*ds. So I think its down to the company to protect its own reputation. Almost all the truly aggressive truck driving I see involve dump trucks.

Lots of us know each other. And for example I am easy to find. Big difference between putting a company name on the web and an individuals name and address if you see what I mean The companies name is and should be in the public domain. But no one is hiding here. Not a fair accusation to make. Mind you I have noticed that the few who yell abuse are the ones one never meets.. that is a fair point.. but not the one Trucker was making.

On Speed limits.... Meh. Truck drivers tend to be better drivers. Cos they are pro's and have to be. I have no problem with them being held generally to a higher standard but speed limits should not be part of that. Given the role alertness pays in rural accidents lowering speed limits is going to be counter productive. Face it.. hit at 100 km or 60 by a B double .. its messier but you are not any deader.
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