Tate Meintjes Redlands: 19-Year-Old Team California Rider Tate Meintjes Died In Car Accident While Riding Bicycle During Pre-Ride of California’s Redlands Bicycle Classic
REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA (March 16, 2019) – A 19-year-old bicyclist with Team California identified as Tate Meintjes has tragically died following a car accident during a pre-ride for the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Tate Meintjes was riding on San Canyon Road when the accident happened. The driver of a Honda Accord made a u-turn in front of the victim which threw him off the bike.
Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene of the accident in order to help the victim. He was taken to a nearby hospital. Despite life-saving efforts he was later pronounced dead due to his injuries.
Marc Shaw, president of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, said, “We are absolutely heartbroken by the tragic collision that occurred Tuesday.”
Tate Meintjes was originally from Reno, Nevada and began his racing career in 2013. After winning numerous races he was selected to represent USA Cycling at the UCI Junior Canadian Cup.
In addition to his accomplishments as a racer he was also in his second year at the University of Nevada, Reno to study mechanical engineering. Teamates of the victim are using the #ridefortate as the Redlands Bicycle Classic continues.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, there are around 800 bicycle fatalities every year. Another 45,000 cyclists are seriously injured. The total cost of medical treatment for all of these injuries is estimated to be around $4 billion per year. As our cities grow larger, safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists often do not keep up. Here are just a few ways that cities can work to make roads safer for cyclists:
- Bike Lanes: Protected bicycle lanes can effectively separate cars from pedestrians.
- Street Lights: Better lighting at poorly illuminated intersections can help prevent accidents. A number of collisions occur between 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. because drivers can’t see what’s ahead of them.
- Signs: Adequate signs throughout our streets are important. If an intersection or road is missing adequate signs this can increase the odds of an accident.
The tragic accident that killed Tate Meintjes comes just a week after a Stanford graduate student died in San Diego while riding on Howard Street. Depending on a number of factors there may be multiple entities that could face civil liability for the crash.
Liability In Bicycle Accidents
It has been estimated that nearly 95% of accidents are caused by human error. This is especially true with respect to left-turn and u-turn accidents. inexperienced or distracted drivers often make dangerous or illegal u-turns and cause a collision. According to the California Vehicle Code 21801:
“The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
In addition to driver liability there may also be liability on the part of a city following a bicycle crash. Cities have a responsibility to design roads that are reasonably safe and must take measures to remove “dangerous conditions on public property.” An intersection may be in a dangerous condition if it lacks adequate safety features like signs. This is especially important during an official event like a bicycle race.
The family of a victim that died in a bicycle accident may have legal recourse through California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. A bicycle accident attorney can investigate all of the unique factors of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what happened. Damages in a wrongful death claim can include compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of love and loss of companionship. There are statute of limitations associated with being able to file a claim, so it’s important to act quickly.
Investigating A Bicycle Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Tate Meintjes. Any witnesses to the accident should come and speak with police as they continue to investigate. It’s important that steps are taken to prevent similar accidents in the future. The organizers of the Redlands Bicycle Classic must do everything in their power to help keep riders safe.
Have you or someone that you love been injured in a bicycle accident? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We can investigate your case free of cost and explain to you what your rights are. Whether you just have questions about your rights or need more information about an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.