How Many Defenseless People Need to Be Hit Before It’s a Felony?

Apparently, the number is higher than eleven.

The police can't figure out if this car was speeding when it crashed into a group of cyclists, some of whom are undergoing surgery and one of whom is in a coma.

Early Thursday morning, Christina Dahab plowed into a group of cyclists standing in the road waiting to head off for the last leg of a bike ride.  Nine of the cyclists were hurt so bad, they were hospitalized, at least two underwent surgery early yesterday evening and one other person is reportedly still in a coma.  Another handful of cyclists escaped with less serious injuries and an dozens of bicycles were mangled some beyond repair.  By yesterday evening, Dahab was back on the street, free on $15,000 bail, and charged with “Misdemeanor DUI.”

If she’s found guilty, Dahab could lose her license for as little as one month and face various fees and penalties.  Usually any DUI involving personal injury automatically results in a felony, but the LAPD determined that her blood and alcohol level was not past the legal limit.  That’s bad news for anyone hoping the wheels of justice would roll over Dahab as fiercely as she rolled over the cyclists.  If a driver is drunk, the case is an easy one to make and the full weight of the law will come crashing down on them.

If a driver is just unbelievably and dangerously negligent, it’s often viewed as acceptable level of carnage for all the other wonderful things are car culture brings us such as obesity, isolated communities, sprawl, global warming and an oil-dependent economy that is destroying the world.

Riders who met with the LAPD are already raising red flags about the quality of the investigation.  While the investigation is being handed over to the Culver City police, the initial report by the LAPD has some real whoppers.  The police report reads as though it was written by Dahab’s defense attorney noting that the driver was turning around a blind curb and that there’s no way to tell if she was speeding when she assaulted eleven people with her car.

The LAPD's definition of a "blind curb." Dahab followed the blue line before plowing into a group of people.

The LAPD’s explanation that they can’t prove whether or not she’s speeding is also somewhat questionable.  A driver drove into a group of people standing next to bicycles with flashing lights and reflectors without stopping or braking sending 11 people to the hospital.  Does it matter whether they were technically speeding?  Also, the state’s speeding law reads like this.

CVC 22350. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather,  visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the  highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of  persons or property.

It sounds like regardless of the posted limit, Dahab was driving at a speed that endangered the safety of persons or property.

But of greatest concern is that the primary factor for the crash is listed as “pedestrians in the roadway.”  Such a determination places the blame squarely at the feet of the victims.  It’s the traffic crash version of “she was dressed slutty” or “she shouldn’t have walked in that area at night.”  It’s especially galling because that section of the road, adjacent to an intersection is an “unmarked crosswalk” so the reporting officer is basically giving her, and any other driver, the right to run people down in a crosswalk.

It’s also something that can be appealed, so if you have any information on the crash, you should contact the Culver City Police Department Traffic Division at  (310)253-6200.

  • This woman has been allowed to resume driving today?

    I wonder if his incident could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  • Anonymous

    I have read that she blew a .08 at the scene (Breathalyzer) and had a .07 in her blood when it was drawn at the station.  Depending on the amount of time elapsed, .07 at the station would have put her over .08 at the time of the accident.

    Add to that any cell phone use which is now thought to be the equivalent of drunk-driving in its own right.

    http://www.unews.utah.edu/old/p/062206-1.html
    http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Comparison-of-CellPhone-Driver-Drunk-Driver.pdf (pdf)

    Oh, well, at least she won’t ever be able to go to Canada:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-c49436/Canada:Dwi.Or.Dui.Driving.Convictions.html

  • Xxxx

    What were these “Defenseless People” doing standing in the middle of the traffic lane, on a busy road, in the dark, at midnight.  Doesn’t anyone else see a problem here? 

  • Eric B

    That curve is “blind” if you are speeding, but has adequate visibility if going the 40 mph speed limit.  They can’t have it both ways.

    Can witnesses confirm whether riders were stopped in the No. 2 lane or in the parking strip/shoulder area?  I.e. were riders protruding into the roadway beyond the width of a parked car?

    Early witness reports noted that she drifted into the turn-only lane before proceeding straight (into the group).  Can this be confirmed?

    That stretch of road was an accident waiting to happen with high pedestrian activity from the new overlook and no sidewalks or crosswalks along Jefferson.  Advocates raised this issue in the recent Culver City Bike/Ped Plan.  City response was noncommittal.  The place looks like a freeway and drivers treat it as such.

  • jon

    getting away with murder scoff-free is what happens when your defective streets were only designed for motor vehicles and your defective traffic laws were written solely around motorists.

  • Sgee28

    I feel bad that people got hurt, trust me I do. But what this post failed to mention was that these bikers were hanging out in a traffic lane where obviously cars will pass through. Honestly, I’m sick and tired of this bikers peddling their way on the street when they should stick to the sidewalk. Roads are meant for cars people. For these bikers to honestly think they can bike faster than a car is beyond me. I can’t tell you how many countless times I’ve been stuck in traffic because of these bikers. They ride their bike on a busy traffic lane during rush hour. Its not fair to those who get off after a long day at work only to be held in traffic because these selfish bikers think that we are on their time. If you don’t want to get hurt stay on the sidewalk and on the bicycle lane. To think that you can ride on your bicycle on a traffic lane and not get hurt is pretty stupid if you ask me. Also, it’s AGAINST the law to ride your bike without a helmet. And Ive seen many bikers….actually, all the bikers I’ve seen out there wear no protective gear whatsoever. Please tell me how many motorcyclists do you see ride without a helmet. I feel bad for the accident and I pray those individuals make it out but I hope these bikers realize that they’re not superhuman and should also follow the traffic laws that have been put into place to protect people. Unfortunately in this situation you can fault one party without faulting the other.

  • Sgee28

    Exactly my point!!

  • AT Sgee28

    Can you point out any reports that state these people were out in the street?  I mean out in the traveling lanes, not where cars park.   Take your time.  And bikers should stick to the sidewalks???????  Are you nuts???????  It’s illegal in some cities in LA County.  I got a better idea.  How bout you drivers put down the cellphones and pay attention to your driving?  If you ever reach that plateau, maybe you could also curb your speeding.  The speed limit was posted on the streets for a reason.  And no, it’s not a suggested speed you should travel, it is suppose to be the maximum speed you should travel.  If you and all the drivers out there just did those two things, our roads would be a hell of alot safer, and that’s for you too! 

    All the rest of your mindless dribble I’ll just ignore and let you ponder those two points made.  

  • The California Vehicle Code disagrees with most of your assertions.

    It also told me, under its breath, that it finds you pompous and annoying.

  • Effelarr

    Couple of problems here: Bicycle have the right to ride in the traffic lane, including taking the lane. It’s also statistically safer than riding on the sidewalk, and in some places, riding on the sidewalk is illegal. (That’s less relevant here, admittedly, because it sounds like they were stopped, but get your facts straight.) Second, it is not “AGAINST” the law to ride without a helmet in CA unless you’re under 18.

  • AT Xxxx,

    Yeah the offer above goes to you too.  Can you point out any reports that state these people were out in the
    street?  I mean out in the traveling lanes, not where cars park.  Take your time. 

  • Effelarr

    *Bicyclists

  • Sgee28

    Obviously you didn’t get the point of my post. Streets aren’t meant for bikes because people will get hurt. Clear enough for you. I’ll ignore the rest of your mindless dribble too

  • Laws Against Bikes

    I’ve been late to work sooo many times because these bike riders want to create traffic with their slow ass bikes. Guess what?? Fuck with my money and I’ll run you over too.

  • LawsAgainstBikesNigger

    You just have to be a Nigger.

  • Sgee28

    Effelarr- even if it’s not against the law, if bycyclist want to ride in the street they should wear protective gear. Motorcyclist do so why not them??

    Angle- thank you for wasting your time on commenting me =]

  • Sgee28canblowme

    Fuck you and your shitty car.

  • Xxxxgivesgoodhead

    I see a problem. You are too stupid to live.

  • Sgee28

    Effelarr- you might also want to gather other news source besides this post to get your facts. It has been reported they were on a traffic lanes. Thank you

  • “Obviously you didn’t get the point of my post. Streets aren’t meant for bikes because people will get hurt.”

    Well following that logic, streets aren’t meant for cars either cause drivers and passengers will get hurt.   Seeing how you never made it to the first plateau, it’s just a matter of time with your speeding and texting.  Care to throw in drinking in the mix?

  • Sgee

    Efferlarr that second was meant for Allan. Sorry

    As for you vulgar cunt bitch— after you fuck yourself first sweetheart

  • AT Sgee

    Where is the report that they were in the traveling lanes?  You are making that claim not me.  So you are the one that comes up the evidence, not me.  That’s how it works.

  • Sgee28: Yes, quite likely I’m wasting my time responding to posts like yours. Occasionally I let myself hope that ignorant road-entitlement rants such as yours can be diffused with a bit of logic, a little humor, and a few choice quotes from the California Vehicle Code, but then I remember that I’m on the internet.

    Please resume spewing irrational vitriol! LOLZ!

  • Mig

    Do you think that you have to learn about bicycle hand signals and the laws governing the use of bicycles IN THE STREET to get your drivers license if the intent is for bicycles to be on the sidewalk?  Rather than spewing what you think, you should educate yourself about the facts.  Unfortunately, you demonstrate the lack of understanding this is reflected among most licensed drivers.

    If you think about the act of driving and bicycling for transportation/leisure, I would argue the act of driving is far more selfish on so many levels.  Finally, you are complaining about some bicyclists using the traffic lane during busy rush hour and that’s what’s making you late or making your drive difficult?  I got news for you, the cause of all that congestion is all the people in cars.  People like you complain about how bike lanes are never used since you don’t see bikers and the space should be allocated to vehicles some days, but on other days the bicyclists are making you late in rush hour.  Gosh, it must have sucked to be stuck behind all those bikers that you couldn’t get around.  I’m sure that if they wouldn’t have been there your rush hour commute would have been super fast and convenient with all those cars still there.  Asking you to think that through is probably asking too much.  Pathetic.

  • Mk4524

    I’ve been late to work when I drive too. Almost always, it’s the amount of traffic on the road. Ever try going through the Sepulveda Pass at rush hour? It aint’ bikes that’s slowing me down.

    You got to do something about your road rage, it’s going to get you in big troubloe.

  • Bmeyer1

    Fuck you. Plain and simple. 

  • Julia K.

    Girls that dress slutty do not deserve to get raped, hikers who hike on the Iranian border do not deserve to be held hostage, and cyclists who hang out in the middle of the roadway at an hour when DUI drivers are out do not deserve to get run down. That being said each of these folks had it within their power to minimize the risk of bad things happening to them by perhaps exercising slightly better judgement. Again, the fault does lie with the driver but we also need to take responsibility for our own safety.

  • Mig

    Is a pedestrian/cyclist crossing the street or using roadway facilities more or less defenseless against a 2-ton vehicle at any place along the cross-section of a road in the case of a collision?  This kind of thing can happen to a person anywhere on the road and the negligence/irresponsibility of a motorist poses a far greater threat to all road users.

    By the way, ask yourself how many roads are busy at midnight, as you assert?  Your depiction of the situation doesn’t seem very accurate to me and displays a clear bias.  At that point in time there were probably as many peds/bikes as there were vehicles.  You have no problem assigning the fault to someone other than the vehicle crashing into things in this situation when if it had been the case that this vehicle crashed into other vehicles (who also happen to usually be in the middle of the traffic lane) you wouldn’t think twice about who was to blame.   

  • Conifir1

    you are  areal fuck head

  • Doug O.

    DUI is not the only investigation going on here. Criminally, if the girl didn’t fit the criteria of felony DUI, the police can’t force that. She is still civilly liable for injuries to all cyclists. A follow up investigation will be conducted for allegations of speeding. Even if she was speeding, she may not be criminally liable in this accident.

    I am sorry the cyclists were hurt and am upset at the situation. The police have to be impartial and enforce the law as far as the evidence warrants. Give this investigation some time and don’t be so quick to vilify the defendant.

  • Laws Against Bikes:

    It occurs to me that your comment may be saying more about you then about road user conflicts.

    The primary issue you bring up—your own tardiness to your job—is obviously a major one for you. You appear to place the sole blame for your tardiness on bicyclists using public thoroughfares who, as you say, “create traffic with their slow-ass bikes”. This assertion is plainly nonsensical, as bicycle commuters in Los Angeles account for well under 5% of total commuters, while the number of people commuting in cars is somewhere around 85%. It is virtually inconceivable that bicyclists along your route could significantly impact your commute time, at least on a regular, daily basis. Furthermore, the city’s freeways are notorious for heavy and disruptive traffic conditions, and these are roadways that are not used by bicyclists. A much more sane explanation for heavy vehicular traffic in Los Angeles is that the roadways are simply overtaxed and above capacity for a growing population that, because there are very few viable transit options, is required to drive cars for every conceivable trip.

    The darker part comes where you reveal a more paranoid notion that these bicyclists, by causing you to be late, will be responsible for getting you fired from your job (what I think you mean by “fucking with your money”). Millions of working Angelinos seem to be able to make it to their jobs more or less on time every day by planning ahead for difficult road conditions, yet you want to transfer your own personal responsibility for your lateness to a specific group of people (cyclists in Los Angeles who travel on public roadways). Then, in an even more disturbing admission, you threaten to kill them with your automobile if you do get fired.

    Although I’m not a licensed psychiatrist, I hope that I’ve been able to shed some light on a troubling streak in your thought patterns. Unfortunately, judging solely by what you say in your brief post, I would conclude that you are a delusional homicidal maniac. I strongly urge you to get some professional help.

  • IMHO, bike(r) safety is the #1 most important issue to address in terms of biking issues in LA. 

    I say this as someone who has been run over twice in three months, including yesterday, and had my bikes ruined both times. 

  • ds

    If she was actually speeding, wouldn’t those cyclists be DEAD, not just in the hospital?

    The “Midnight Ridazz” have so far lied whether she was drunk. I don’t think they’re a very credible group.

  • LuvCanada

    People convicted of DUI can apply to get into Canada after 5 years.

  • @7975e80f1c1771c2b9951d8b96f5c6ab:disqus , you’re right, it’s really his inability to accept adult responsibility for his actions. He needs to grow up.

  • Restless

    Then leave for work earlier you fucking idiot. L.A. has some of the worst traffic. And I hope you get hit by a semi one day. 

  • Terediaz

    As someone that commutes between 3-6 miles to work every day, and have used a bike as a mode of transportation for 15 years in the East Coast, I am appalled at the attitude of drivers in this city. I know LAers are not very friendly people, that is for sure, but to give a little slap in the hand to a woman who ran over more than 11 cyclists on the road they should be riding in is ridiculous! True evidence of what $$ can do!!

  • Dude….sorry about your “Childhood”…..GET OVER IT! It’s A-holes like you who act all bad ass till it’s your kid..or wife…or you!  So F your $$ take a f’ing walk
     

  • User1

    OMG!  It’s the “exercise better judgement” finger being wagged?  You think it will be wagged at the driving while intoxicated with mixed in texting driver?  Or just the cyclists “who hang out in the middle of the roadway”?  Speaking of “hanging out in the middle of the roadway”, can you site one report that have these unfortunate do nothing gooders out in the middle of the roadway when they are hit?

  • GoGeo

    Guess what?????  Try fucking with me and you get a U-bolt lock through your front and back window!!!!!!

  • Delacc

    stfu . if you run us over YOUR FUCKIN SCREWED .. hope you fuckin stay in jail for years 

  • John

    The roads are made for automobiles, not cyclists. Go to the trails where you belong and stay off the streets where you foolishly endanger yourself and others. It is an assumed risk that you may be struck by a vehicle if you choose to ride a bike amongst motor vehicles. Dont complain when you inevitably get hit because you chose to ride you stupid little huffy in an area packed with high speed moving vehicles. Anyone who blames the drivers for this kind of thing and thinks they should get jail time are absolute fools. Buy a stationary exercise bike, and a mode of transportation that can reach the speed limit you ignorant bunch of cyclists.

  • Anonymous

    Not going to feed the troll.

  • AliceWhitely

    Sooooo a group of cyclists were standing -in- the road? That’s not homicide or felony. That’s also negligence on the cyclist’s part. Just because you’re on a bike does’t mean that you can expect that you can just park your ass in the middle of the road and not run the risk of getting hurt. Practice common sense, FFS.

  • AliceWhitely

    They shouldn’t have been in the road…

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