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Two disturbing reports about killed cyclists have recently appeared in the world press. An American woman was jailed for ten and half years after laughing about killing a “tree-hugger”; and in Spain a motorist who wiped out a young cyclist is reported to be suing the boy’s family for damages to his Audi A8.
There’s a CNN video of the US case here. Spotter: Donna Tocci.
Melissa Arrington was convicted of negligent homicide after killing Frenchman Paul L’Ecuyer in December 2006. She was found to be twice over the allowed blood alcohol level.
The CNN video plays a prison tape of Arrington, laughing at a friend’s joke about the dead cyclist.
The male friend told Arrington that an acquaintance believed she should get a medal and a parade because she had “taken out” a “tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot.”
She laughed and when the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she laughed, “No, it’s not.”
In August 2004 businessman Tomas Delgado killed 17-year old cyclist Enaitz Iriondo in a 100mph smash near Haro in northern Spain. Amazingly, despite the excessive speed of Delgado, the killer and the victim were found to be equally at fault for the smash. An Interior Ministry traffic report said Iriondo contributed to his death by not wearing reflective clothing or a helmet. Like either would have saved him.
Delgado’s insurance company paid Iriondo’s parents $48,500 in compensation for their son’s life but the motorist later filed a suit to recover $29,400 in damages to his car and car rental costs.
“It’s the only way I have to claim my money back,” Delgado was quoted as saying on Friday by the newspaper El Pais, which said a ruling was expected next week.
The video below - the audio is in Spanish - shows Iriondo’s mangled bike, a diagrammatic reconstruction of the crash, and the crumpled state of Delgado’s car: