• Jim Rogers & distracted drivers

    by  • March 4, 2010 • norcal scene • 8 Comments

    You may have heard that NorCal lost a legend earlier this year. Jim Rogers of Nevada County was hit and killed on January 31, 2010 by a driver who was allegedly talking on her cell phone. According to witnesses she was driving erratically before running Jim down as he rode on the shoulder of the road, in broad daylight, on a stretch with good visibility.

    Craig Lindberg of the Sierra Express Racing Team copied the NCNCA list serve on a letter he wrote to the Placer County District Attorney who will be in charge of deciding whether to press charges against the driver. Here is that letter:

    Dear Mr. Fenocchio,

     By now you’ve heard the circumstances surrounding the death of cycling icon Jim Rogers on northbound highway 174 on January 31st.  I do not know the strength of witness account(s) on that day nor what Ms. Hernandez cell phone records indicate at the time in question, but I do know that Jim was a highly skilled rider with 40 years experience on Nevada County roads who has never had a problem before.

    Jim did not take his safety for granted, as evidenced by his call-in comments on cycling safety to a cycling radio show on KVMR (that record is available to you…please contact myself or Chris Kelly at the station).

    The death of yet another cyclist at the hands of a driver who a witness stated was “swerving on the road” on a wide-open, high-visibility stretch is simply unacceptable.  We cannot allow citizens to be simply mowed down by drivers as they (allegedly) chat away on a cell phone, nor can we overlook the circumstances of the deadly collision:  wide open road, professional-level cyclist, crystal-clear day, dry pavement, no distractions (dogs, intersections, road hazards, signs).

     It is simply unacceptable to the cycling community at large to overlook such blatantly obvious manslaughter.  In the name of decency, please persue this charge to the utmost extent of the law.  I will set aside time to help you as needed (provide expert witnesses, provide KVMR records, provide background information on Jim Roger’s character and abilities).

    Sincerely,

    Craig Lindberg (Sierra Express Racing Team)

    I am unfortunately posting this later than I intended, but I would encourage everyone who feels strongly about holding distracted drivers accountable when the KILL SOMEBODY to write to the DA and ask him to pursue charges against the driver. The prevailing car culture in California makes it an uphill battle to prosecute drivers who hit cyclists even when there are survivors pushing the action. When the victims aren’t here to speak up these cases get dropped faster than Mario Cipollini on Mt. Ventoux.

    Mr. Fenocchio’s website is at http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/DA.aspx.

    His e-mail address is bfenocch@placer.ca.gov

    Bradford R. Fenocchio
    Placer County District Attorney
    10810 Justice Center Drive Suite #240
    Roseville, CA  95678
    (916) 543-8000
    (916) 543-2550 fax

    Please, call, write, let Mr. Fenocchio know that we give a damn.

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    8 Responses to Jim Rogers & distracted drivers

    1. mrg
      March 4, 2010 at

      indeed. Anybody got an update on Officer Justice, er Deputy James Council — and the manslaughter he committed? Anniversary is right around the corner. Still thinking of all the senseless violence on Matt, Kristy, John Peckam, and now Jim. And there’s so many more RIP’ing and scarred for life..

    2. JSH
      March 15, 2010 at

      You know, hate to say it but the best way to pursue justice maybe be in civil court (ala OJ Simpson). Not a lawyer, but in criminal court you have to have burden of proof, civil it is 51%, much lower threshold. As much as I hate to say it sue her till she is penniless for the rest of her life. My dad rides and basically said if anyone hits him, don’t even bother with criminal, destroy them in civil.

      With all that said definitly need start changing laws as well.

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    4. March 23, 2010 at

      RE: Email received in response to an email I sent 3/22/10.

      Mr. Knochenhauer,

      Thank you for the copy of your email. The outpouring of letters and emails regarding the tragic collision that took Jim Roger’s life is a testament to how many lives he touched. I cannot comment on details of the investigation, but I have reviewed the evidence and filed a criminal complaint against Ms. Hernandez for vehicular manslaughter.

      Nothing can bring true justice to this situation, but please know that we are vigorously prosecuting the case.

      Clark Gehlbach
      DDA Placer County
      CGehlbac@placer.ca.gov

    5. March 23, 2010 at

      thanks for the update, Fritz.
      m

    6. Bri
      April 7, 2010 at

      I am sorry for the tragic loss but why the hell would anyone ride on Hwy 174? You guys are crazy, I will stick to skydiving…

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