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It seems like I barely get done typing an article about one cyclist death when another gets announced on the news. This time, a cyclist in San Jose was killed near Martial Cottle Park, by a driver in a pickup truck, around 8:20am Monday.


The cyclist, Rosamaria Ruminski, a 52 year old resident of San Jose, was riding her bicycle near the intersection of Chynoweth Avenue and Duesenberg Drive when she was hit by the truck. She was pronounced dead at the scene.


Ruminski’s death marks the 50th fatal crash involving a motor vehicle this year.


There haven’t been a lot of details released about the crash, but if it’s like the majority of cyclist deaths, it could have likely been avoided by the motorist. Most fatal crashes come down to one thing: distractions. Drivers aren’t paying attention, talking on their phone, checking their email, or just not staying aware of their surroundings, and cyclists aren’t wearing their helmets, don’t have their lights on, or aren’t wearing bright or protective clothing. It doesn’t take a lot to stay safe. A few extra seconds checking the intersection before you turn, an extra minute in the morning putting on your helmet and turning on your lights, a few moments checking your blind spots before you change lanes. Remember, just a bit of extra effort may save a life.


Hello, I’m Claude Wyle, a San Jose bicycle accident attorney. Have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered here? Feel free to contact me or visit



  1. Gravatar for Cherokee

    A cyclist is no more responsible for their death, based on their clothing attire, than a woman is responsible for her rape, based on her clothing attire.

    Lights are a safety feature, yet the burden is not on the cyclist to appear as "lit up" as a Christmas tree. Yes, I know you did not allude to how much light, but it is by the mere mention of a cyclist wearing lights in the dawn hours that you have committed your faux pas. I as a cyclist have looked and been surprised at the sudden appearance of a motorist who appeared to "come out of nowhere" because they failed to turn on their lights. Yet! When there is an early morning collision, how many motorists are cited for failure to have lights?

    Safety is a two way street is a misnomer. Safety on the road is multi lane highway. It starts with legislation and works its way down to civil engineers. Each person has a piece of the puzzle.

    Road improperly marked. Mandatory bike lane laws. Bike lanes that pit cyclists on the wrong side of right turning motorists. Roads with speed limits which are higher than the safe use of the road allows. Double yellow lines because people are too to design better roads with better accommodations. A complete lack of emphasis on education for all road users. I really could go on and on. There is that much to talk about.

    Please clean up the bottom line and remember, the onus is always on the one who has might.

  2. Gravatar for Mike

    I can't disagree enough with "Cherokee". There is a major difference between a woman being raped because she was wearing seductive clothing and a bicyclist wearing all black with no lights and minimal reflectors being struck after dark. Perhaps she will take responsibility when she accidentally mows down such a rider but her opinion might change when it actually happens to her. And frankly I think a bigger problem nowadays is the frequency of bikers treating stop signs and lights as a mere suggestion. The idea that the motorist is always wrong when bikes don't follow the rules?? Good luck explaining that.

  3. Gravatar for Claude Wyle
    Claude Wyle

    In response to the two comments above, as a San Francisco bicycle accident lawyer, I am presented many different factual scenarios involving all kinds of bicycle crashes and injuries. Putting bicycle vs. motorist politics aside for a second, I personally believe that all persons, whether on a bike or in a car or truck, should follow the law as it exists at the time they are on the road.

    There are laws pertaining to when a bicycle rider must use a light, and how bright that light must be, and my comment in the blog about clothing pertained to the brightness of clothing if it was low light. The brightness of clothing could make a difference in the cyclist being seen. I do not agree with the analogy of blaming the rape victim for wearing provocative clothing for a simple reason that a rape is an intentional violent act. There is no information that this cyclist's sad death was caused by anything other than someone's negligence, and maybe even a combination of the negligence of both parties. I spend a large percentage of my professional life fighting for bicyclists and making those who harm bicycle riders accountable, and if I had any prejudice, it would be in favor of bicyclists because they are more vulnerable to injury than "cagers". Still, each cyclist, whether in San Francisco, in California, or in another state, is obligated to obey the rules of the road. So are all motorists. And because of their higher vulnerability, each cyclist should ride defensively if able, because ultimately being alive is better than being right.

    All that being said, from my own personal experience studying bicycle accidents and trying to improve bicycle safety, the majority of bicycle accident injuries do seem to be caused by the negligence of motorists. Maybe bicyclists who are at fault for their own injuries come to me less often, but even when the police reports are against my bicycle riding client, the bicycle riders are more often in the right.

    At the end of the day, I was reporting about a lady who had been killed, so the importance of the debate over facts which we do not yet know is significantly less than acknowledging the tragedy of the death of another cyclist.

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