July 4th Road Rage Crash Grabs Police and Media Attention

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Yesterday LAist broke the story, with graphic images, of a road rage-caused crash between two experienced cyclists and an emergency room doctor with a bid of a trigger temper.  Unlike past incidents, the mainstream media jumped on this story with graphic images making the story more “viewer friendly.”  KNBC and CBS2 both ran stories on last night’s news and the Bottleneck Blog and KFI 640 both have stories online. 

The power of the camera had a lot to do with the story gaining traction beyond the blogosphere.  Compare the coverage of this incident with the coverage the crash involving Randy Cruz received last May.

LAist tells the story in depth, but basically a motor vehicle driver, outraged that he was being asked to Share the Road, sped past some cyclists and slammed on his brakes; using his car as a weapon to critically injure the cyclists.  Ron Peterson had no time to swerve and ended up with his face slamming into the car’s rear windshield.  The other cyclist, Christian Stoehr, had more time to maneuver and escaped with an assortment of cuts and bruises.  Both cyclists are accomplished racers who know how to safely maneuver on the road.

When a third cyclist attempted to stop the doctor from leaving the scene the driver laid into him with curse words and threatened to drive over his bike.

The LAPD arrested and charged Dr. Christopher Thompson who was released on $30,000 bail.  No trial date has been set, but the Chief of Staff for Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the councilman in the area where the crash took place, assured LAist readers that, "The investigation will be handled by [West Los Angeles division] Detectives, who are seeking a criminal filing. When LAPD updates us on the progress, I will be sure to share that information here."

If you haven’t seen them yet, some of the more graphic images from the crash are available after the jump.

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Images: LAist