Editor's note: Nearly three weeks after this story was published, the Livermore Police Department issued a public statement acknowledging its initial finding that the cyclist was solely at fault was incorrect under local law and revised its conclusion to "a primary cause could not be found in this collision." You can see that press release in our subsequent coverage here.
Livermore police recently completed their investigation into a traffic collision on Stanley Boulevard in which a bicyclist died, determining the longtime rider was at fault in the late-December crash.
The final police report cleared the gravel truck driver who cooperated with investigators in the days following the crash after initially leaving the scene apparently not knowing he had hit the cyclist, according to police. Christine Boyle, 63, a Livermore resident and avid bike rider, died at a local hospital hours after the collision on the morning of Dec. 21.
"Boyle was determined to be at fault and there are no criminal charges pending. The driver of the truck was fully cooperative and unaware that he had collided with her," Officer Taylor Burruss told the Weekly.
According to police, Boyle was riding off the sidewalk on eastbound Stanley Boulevard just after 8 a.m. Dec. 21 to cross straight at the intersection within the crosswalk, when at the same time a gravel truck with trailer was making a right turn from Stanley toward the Isabel Avenue/Highway 84 connector.
A witness told Boyle's family that she attempted to avoid a serious collision by pushing off the truck but she fell and was run over by the tires. Boyle was treated at the scene and transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where she died that afternoon.
Investigators determined Boyle's movement in the roadway was in violation of the California Vehicle Code, making her the at-fault party.
The trucker's identity has not been released publicly,
on Mar 19, 2021 at 3:25 pm
on Mar 19, 2021 at 3:25 pm
This is a really sad story and even sadder because it was caused in part by poor road design.
It is unclear from the article whether the rider was in the cross walk before the truck came around the corner. If so, then the driver is clearly at fault. If she rode into it as the truck was already in the turn then she is at fault. And no, it is not illegal to ride a bike in a cross walk. That particular cross walk is an integral part of the bike path. It is shocking that the entire Livermore police department and the City of Livermore do not know the law! You can bet we will teach them now!
In any cases, that corner is very poorly designed from a traffic standpoint. It was already bad several years ago, but was actually better than it is now since they reconstructed it during the Isabel widening project. The crosswalk used to be right on the edge of Stanley and it was easy for drivers to see people on the corner and for people on the corner to see down Stanley.
When CalTrans reconstructed it they move the cross walk further around the corner and installed several poles for lights and utilities, as well as signs that partially obstruct the view for both drivers and people on the corner. So, in part they helped cause this death. It's crazy that in 2021 Caltrans and Livermore still do not know how to construct safe bike/pedestrian crossings! Then again, Netherlands has only been doing it for 50 years and CalTrans has always been a slow learner. Or maybe they just don't care.