Officials: Road rage leads to bike, Jeep crash

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WALLA WALLA — A case of road rage left a local bicyclist with a case of road rash after the 57-year-old traded insults with the driver of a Jeep SUV, according to law enforcement reports.

According to a Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office report, the driver of the SUV, Mark Fullen, 56, became upset when Joanne Schmitz passed him on the left-hand side of the road while he was stopped at the intersection of Bryant and Wilbur avenues.

Witnesses said Fullen yelled at Schmitz, and then confronted Schmitz again while driving parallel with the cyclist on Bryant Avenue, according to the police report. Schmitz reportedly yelled and gestured back.

Accounts vary about how the collision occurred, but the SUV and the Bicycle collided near 1339 Bryant Ave.

“It was determined that vehicle driver and cyclist were equally responsible for multiple contributions,” wrote Deputy R. Allen in his report.

Schmitz suffered multiple abrasions according to the report, and an unknown injury to her wrist.

Comments

gamehunter 1 year, 11 months ago

Sounds like they both need to grow up

4

commonsense 1 year, 11 months ago

I am angered on a daily basis by cyclists who think because they have the right to be on the road that they can ride however they want. They often create dangerous situations, not only for themselves but for drivers as well. Just because cyclists have the right to be on the road does not automatically make drivers responsile for the cyclist's safety. If you are going to ride a bike on the road, please follow all traffic laws and stay as far out of the lane of travel as possible. We should not have to be delayed because we got stuck behind you and we should not have to endanger oursleves and others by crossing the center line to go around you. The roads are designed for motor vehicle traffic and as such are not always safe for bicycles. That said, with great power comes great responsiblilty and the vehicle had more power and weight than the bicycle so the driver had more of a responsibility to stay calm. I agree with his sentiment but he handled it wrong.

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DeadDawg 1 year, 11 months ago

Sharing the road goes both ways. Sounds like the radiologist forgot the first rule...

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kurtfr 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm surprised to see that someone is angered on a daily basis. Can you give details for the last say 5 days on what took place on each day that angered you?

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oneStarman 1 year, 11 months ago

Does being on the road with a TRUCK or a Motorcycle make you ANGRY or just Bicycles? If you are behind a TRUCK you do do not try to force it off the road because it is moving slowly. Some people FORGET that they are HUMAN when they are Driving and think they are CARS.

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oneStarman 1 year, 11 months ago

LAW is surely INTERPRETED in a SPECIAL way in Walla Walla. A Driver chases a bicyclist drown the Street yelling and crashes into her and SHE is said to be equally to blame. A Store Owner chases a Hispanic Man down the street because he stole a belt buckle and shoots him in the back with a Shotgun and somehow it is called self defense. Small Town Justice is certainly UNIQUE.

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commonsense 1 year, 11 months ago

Cesar was not shot because he stole a belt buckle. He was shot because he committed a home-invasion robbery. Big difference! If he had stolen the same belt buckle from Walmart in the middle of the day he would still be walking around but would probably be trespassed from Walmart.

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namvet60 1 year, 11 months ago

oneStarman - really reaching for that one!!!

1

rduran 1 year, 11 months ago

I am hispanic, If I were to yell obscenities at a cyclist then hit her with my car (accidentally) - I think the prosecutor would charge me with "assault with a deadly weapon" or "vehicular assault" -

Then they would give me a poor excuse of a defense attorney like Gail Seimers. I would have to take the plea bargain...

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DeadDawg 1 year, 11 months ago

What race were the drivers rduran? I missed that in the article somehow...OH WAIT! I GET IT NOW! You are basing YOUR racism on a presumed race by family 'name'...

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rduran 1 year, 11 months ago

Actually, I drove by and witnessed the spectacle myself. Had I just read the article, I may have made the same presumption.

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rduran 1 year, 11 months ago

I believe RCW 46.61.110 section 2 covers this topic. Overtaking on the Left ("Safe passing")

The old "the deer ran into the side of my car" excuse, doesn't really work here. The driver should have "passed with care"

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commonsense 1 year, 11 months ago

Ironic that you know a public defender by name AND how good they are at their job.

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marketinsider 1 year, 11 months ago

In Walla Walla over half of car drivers speed, tailgate or talk on their cell phones. Over half the bicyclists don't stop at stop signs and when there are more than one bicyclist they, more likely, will ride next to each other so they can talk and socialize, versus riding the safest way, which is one behind the other. Pedestrians will jaywalk, moreover, they will jaywalk without even looking both ways. When I was a kid with a unlicensed minibike, I couldn't get a block on public streets without being stop by a policeman, unlike now, where unlicensed motorized vehicles are ubiquitous, which means they do not have the proper training for safely controlling the vehicle they are suppose to be in control of. You had better get used to the new America where the vast majority do what they want, when they want and to heck with everyone else. Rules, politeness, and law have no meaning in today's new America.

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janrocks 1 year, 11 months ago

Wow where are you watching the traffic? At the corner of Negative and Bitter Streets?
I'm looking at Alder Street traffic now from my office and I'm not seeing the 50% plus you mention breaking the law. Nor do I see any unlicensed minibikes. :) However I did just return from a Seattle trip, so perhaps I am just appreciating WW traffic and drivers after that!

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marketinsider 1 year, 11 months ago

I was wondering where you work, it must be nice being able to monitor traffic conditions from your office and then to have time to comment about it while at work. I know, you're just on your lunch break. Do they have any openings where you work?

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janrocks 1 year, 11 months ago

It is nice! I work for myself and do take breaks to observe the world and occasionally comment. Interesting how you assumed I was stealing someone's time. Sorry, I have no openings :)

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