Bicycle with a torn front wheel after a crash ...

An Elmira bike dealer says he’s repaired many bikes damaged in recent collisions with vehicles.

A local bike dealer told the Star-Gazette Thursday that a recent rash of car-bike accidents is an “epidemic.”

On the day after three bicyclists were struck by cars in the Elmira area, the assistant manager at Kingsbury’s Cyclery on West Water Street in Elmira said he’s seeing many damaged bikes.

“Lately we’ve seen a large number of bikes that have come in needing to be checked after collisions” with vehicles, Sloane Sims told the Star-Gazette.

Sims suggests that cyclists wear helmets and try to be visible, and urges drivers to give bicyclists at least three feet of space.

One of the bicyclists struck by a car Wednesday in the Elmira area remained in critical condition Thursday at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira.

Police said Paul Gavette, 72, of Elmira, is being treated for severe head injuries, according to WETM-TV.

Chemung County sheriff’s deputies told the Star-Gazette that Jaclyn Bouille, 19, of Elmira, was driving south on Clemens Center Parkwayat about 2 p.m. Wednesday when her vehicle struck Gavette near the parkway intersection with Cedar Street in Southport.

The police investigation continued Thursday, deputies said.

As a bike accident lawyer who has represented many bicyclists involved in intersection collisions, I am always fearful of what the police investigation may conclude where one party — usually the uninjured motorist — is the first to tell the police their version of what happened, while the other party — like here, the injured cyclist — is hospitalized with horrible injuries and is therefore unable to talk to the police. Under these circumstances, it is a well-known phenomena of human psychology that the investigator can unwittingly get sucked into accepting the first version of how the collision occurred. Because of this, it is very common in bike accident cases that the police conclusion is that the cyclist was at fault when in fact more detailed investigation and accident reconstruction reveals that the initial police investigation was incorrect and that in fact the motorist was at fault.

I just hope Mr. Gavette quickly recovers from his injuries and that the police withold judgment on who was at fault until they can speak with him.

Police said Thursday a 46-year-old man was not injured when he was struck by a car at about4 p.m. Wednesday at Pennsylvania Avenue and West Miller Street in Elmira.

A mother and her 1½-year-old son struck by a motorist at about 7 p.m. Wednesday were only treated for bumps and bruises at Arnot Ogden Medical Center and released. The mother and son were struck as the mother rode a bike (with the son in a child’s seat) on West Church Street in West Elmira.

The driver, Ronald Vosburg, 37, who was backing out of his driveway, was cited Thursday for unsafe backing.

Thanks, Jim


James B. Reed
NY & PA Bicycle Accident Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)