Reports that a garbage truck struck and killed a cyclist

This morning on South Van Ness between 16th and 17th.

[via KRON 4's FB page]

UPDATE: SFist has identified the cyclist as 21 year old Dylan Mitchell.

77 Responses to “Reports that a garbage truck struck and killed a cyclist”

  1. wait says:

    Some dude was dragged from 17th down to 16th on South Van Ness. Looks like he may of been clipped by garbage truck. Brutal. RIP.

    Cyclists, please remember you’re invisible to most drivers. Be safe.

  2. scum says:

    He was hit on 16th and his bike was dragged to 17th. This is right in front of my house.

  3. Ugh says:

    Reports say it was at 6:45am. Biked by today at 8:00am and it was still chaos with ambulances rushing in.

    In making a major assumption by looking at the quality of the bike, I’d say they were at least a mildly-experienced rider. Just goes to show. Ride safe, RIP.

  4. lalala says:

    Why oh why do cyclists continue to parallel the right side of LARGE F*CKIN garbage truck and assume that the driver can see them?

    If you cannot see the driver’s mirrors, then how the hell do you think he can see you?

  5. Ginny says:

    Wow, you guys are assholes.

  6. lalala says:

    I’ll give it a few hours…but guarantee i’ll still be right.

    • Cosmic Amanda says:

      And then your “smartest person in the Universe” award will be in the mail, I’m sure.

    • ha says:

      No, but you didn’t give it a few hours. Now shut the fuck up. Please?

    • truth says:

      the victim blaming from the shiftless retard contingent is always so quick on the internet. how come you never encounter these people in the real world?

      • truthy says:

        Victim blaming? This isn’t a mugging or a rape. It is a traffic collision. And while I don’t know the details any better than you do, I can’t think of a reason anyone on a bicycle would think it is safe to skirt to the right of a huge truck at an intersection like that. Big trucks swing left before turning right to make a turn. They can’t see very well, especially to the right.

        If you’re going to ride in the city, you should have an idea of how to handle big vehicles.

        And if you’d like to meet in person to discuss it, I’d be happy to.

        And “retard”? Really?

        • ha says:

          no thanks, i’d rather not make friends with a condescending, presumptuous fuck. i am one as it is, but not to this degree.

        • dee says:

          Maybe the truck wasn’t signaling. Maybe there was no indication he was going to turn right. I’m not sure why you are jumping to the conclusion that the deceased is at fault – we don’t know enough to say either way. Your response is pretty typical, though. It’s scary to think that we can be just be going about our daily business and be dismembered. It’s comforting to blame it on the victim’s stupidity because we, of course, never make mistakes.

  7. wait says:

    According to:

    “early signs garbage truck/cyclist both on 16th St. Truck made R turn onto S Van Ness; bike went straight.”

  8. joshua says:

    a woman was purportedly shot outside my door on mcallister & divis and there’s NOTHING about that on the internet.

  9. William Preston says:

    That sucks. Condolences to friends and family. Riders: trust no one but yourself.

  10. Ben says: is the best no-bullshit list of common collision categories and how to avoid them that I’ve found on the internet. This was a textbook case of #6/7 :(

    • whack-a-mole says:

      That link contains a lot of timely and useful reminders (I doubt that any bike rider will be reading them for the FIRST time).

      People tend to be cynical and victim-blaming because A) it’s easy, and B) they see bike riders breaking every one of those rules every day of the week.

  11. William Preston says:


  12. scum says:

    This happened on my block and the driver had the right of way. The main point is a person lost their life and that is never cool. I saw the body and his brain on the street and I am still upset about that. People were taking pictures and I asked them to stop because his family didn’t even know he was dead yet, but somehow I was the asshole.

  13. forreal says:

    Wear a helmet folks.

    • bmw says:

      All for wearing the bike helmet for its many beneficial reasons.
      But a piece of styrofoam on your head won’t make a difference when you get run over by a 10 ton garbage truck.

    • moto-waki says:

      read ben’s link. helmets are bullshit compared to smart riding.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

        Wait, is this going to turn into one of those things where fucking lunatics claim that wearing a helmet is less safe than not wearing a helmet?

        • Mr. Blank says:

          I think the point is that helmets don’t prevent accidents. And, in this case, wearing a helmet wouldn’t have prevent Dylan’s death either.

          The better advice would be to ride defensively, make sure you’re visible, and that your bike itself is safe to ride (e.g. brakes are properly adjusted, etc.)

          The helmet debate is a tempest in a teapot: helmets can prevent head injury *after* an accident occurs but they don’t prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

          I wish there was more emphasis on teaching new riders how to ride safely; rather than simply telling cyclists to put on a helmet.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            That’s true. Wearing a helmet doesn’t prevent accidents. However, wearing a helmet can make a trip-to-the-hospital-and/or-morgue accident into a stand-up-and-dust-yourself-off accident. To claim otherwise is nonsense.

        • moto-waki says:

          people that say “wear a helmet” are useless & should mind their own business. your unsolicited opinions don’t make riding safer.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            Shut up and wear a helmet, fool.

          • AttF says:

            after I got in a pretty gnarly dooring incident on Fillmore, my coworker constantly chided me with ‘wear a helmet’. I started wearing one just to avoid the daily barrage from him. A few months later, I was creamed by a car doing an illegal u-turn on Polk. The EMTs loaded me into the ambulance, showed me my caved in helmet (now in 2 pieces) and told me that I would have been killed if I wasn’t wearing it. They may not prevent accidents, but if that dude didn’t tell me to ‘wear a helmet’, I prob wouldn’t be typing this.

          • moto-waki says:

            AttF, you should read ben’s link. good tips to avoid getting in to accidents in the first place. and people that chide other people are assholes.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            No, seriously: Shut up and wear a helmet, fool.

        • Mr. Blank says:

          Herr Doktor…

          I don’t think we disagree about what helmets do/don’t do: they aren’t a prophylactic.

          My trouble with the folks who preach the need to wear a helmet, to make cycling safer, is that they often jump past the cause of accidents and thereby avoids cycling advice that could actually prevent the need to ever put a riders helmet to the test.

          No one would tell a drunk person, getting behind the wheel of a car, that they should be sure to use their seatbelt. And yet I see many cyclists doing things that are equally stupid (even riding while drunk) while wearing their helmet.

          There have been so many folks taking up bike riding in the past few years, and we do them a disservice by simply telling them to wear a helmet and sending them on their way. There needs to be better education about bicycle safety and maintenance.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            You are absolutely correct. However, it needs saying that just as how a helmet is not a replacement for bicycle safety education, neither is bicycle safety education a replacement for a helmet.

            We need better bicycle safety education *AND* people need to wear helmets whilst riding.

          • Mr. Blank says:

            For consistency sake, Herr Doktor: people who advocate wearing helmet while biking should also be wearing a helmet while doing many things. In particular while driving a car, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, riding a horse, or just being over the age of 65. All things with a higher risk of traumatic brain injury than cycling.

            The NY Times recently reported that of the more than 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists treated at Bellevue Hospital Center after collisions, in 2008, 44 percent of the pedestrians were struck in a crosswalk, while they had the signal. And yet, no one has ever yelled at me to put on a helmet while I cross the street in a crosswalk.

            Irrefutably, we would all be safer if we wore helmets every waking moment of our lives.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            Hooey. Now you’re just being silly.

          • Mr. Blank says:

            I’m being a bit provocative… but not silly.

            It’s a fact that bicyclists are less likely to suffer head injuries than any of the activities I mentions (being old is not an activity, I realize.) Here’s the Center from Disease Controls report, covering traumatic brain injury deaths in the US between 1997-2007:


            To you’re main point that helmets often protect the head from accidental injury, I’m in complete agreement.

            However if it’s head injuries that helmet advocates are trying to be prevented they should turn their attention to motorists and pedestrians; since both of those activities are more likely to result in head injuries than riding a bicycle. If that strikes you as counterintuitive, it’s probably because car accidents and people falling down are so common they rarely make the news. But you can check the CDC statistics and see that its true.

        • Mr. Blank says:

          Accidents are going to happen; that’s what helmets are for. But most collisions are preventable, and cyclists wearing a helmet should be aware that it is not a prophylactic.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            It is absolutely a prophylactic. It is a prophylactic against head injury in case of an accident where the bicyclist strikes his/her head.

          • moto-waki says:

            herr doktor likes to be butthert.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            Sure thing. Shut up and wear a helmet, fool.

          • Mr. Blank says:

            I stand corrected, Mr. Vegetable: a good helmet, worn correctly, can act as a prophylactic against head injury when an accident occurs. Any accident, not just a biking accident.

            Let me be more precise: a helmet is not a prophylactic against having accidents.

            I have nothing against people choosing to wear a helmet. Though I do wish people would quit discouraging others from taking up cycling with all their talk about how dangerous it is — it’s really not, I’ve been riding my bike in SF since 1991 — and put more effort into educating cyclists and motorists about ways to prevent accidents so we could have a cycling environment more akin to Copenhagen, where almost no one wears a helmet while riding.

  14. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    So fucked up.

    A bicyclist was hit/dragged by a truck on DeHaro between 15th and Division the other day, as well. Truck was making a right onto De Haro from 15th and the driver (apparently) didn’t see the bicyclist at all. The guy was dragged for two full blocks, the driver didn’t know he was on/under the front of the truck, couldn’t hear the guy’s screams and only stopped when other motorists were able to call his attention to it. I heard it through my open window, called 911 (which, by the way? Takes fucking FOREVER to get a real person to talk to.) and then ran out to see whether there was anything I could do.

    Luckily, that incident had a significantly happier outcome. The bicyclist was in remarkably good shape for someone who had just been hit by a truck and dragged for two blocks. Apparently he was able to sort of cling to the front bumper/undercarriage of the truck to stop from being sucked all the way underneath. Lots of road-rash (including on his non-helmeted head, it looked like), but he was able to actually stand up and walk over to the ambulance.

    • William Preston says:

      Damn! Glad they’re OKish. Like in the action films: never give up while you have the strength to hang onto a bumper.
      -And you live in a weird part of town.

    • Mr. Blank says:

      I’m happy the cyclist was able to hang on and save themselves.

      However, the problem with drawing conclusions from anecdotes is that they play on cognitive bias.

      For instance, anecdotes about people successfully protecting their families by repelling intruders with guns proliferate through states where gun ownership is common. Even while, statistically, families with a gun in their home are far more likely to experience accidental death at the hands of their firearm then they are to ever repel an intruder.

      • ha says:

        This doesn’t apply, whatsoever, actually.

        At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

        • Mr. Blank says:

 can help you with the big words, ha.

          And I doubt a person that doesn’t even know the difference between reading and listening could be much dumber.

          Troll elsewhere, ha — adults are having a conversation here and you’re clearly not capable of keeping up.

        • AttF says:

          I think Crazy Carl is right

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

        Wait. I’m confused. Which anecdote are we supposed to be drawing conclusions from?

        I was just talking about what I personally observed (or heard explained by the driver). It was pretty horrible, even though the rider was able to walk away from it.

        • Mr. Blank says:

          That’s the anecdote I was referring to.

          Sorry for the confusion, Mr. Vegetable. Re-reading my post I can see that my reply is a bit confusing. I conflated your anecdote with our previous conversation about wearing helmets.

          The point I was trying to make is that public policy shouldn’t be crafted based on these kinds of anecdotes. I was trying to use the example of the way second amendment advocates use stories about guns being used to protect families, to make a larger point about how everyone should have a gun for protection.

          There may in fact be good arguments for wearing a helmet but not based on anecdotes.

  15. Derek Brown says:

    Cycling on the streets scares me, it seems so dangerous. You have to be so careful. I try really hard when driving to make room and watch for cyclists. Sometimes if they cut in front of you without warning so I try to slow down if one is close.

  16. Sunsetted Recolovenger says:

    It would be appropriate for Recology to put every one of their drivers through a safety training that emphasized awareness of cyclists. Although it appears that the driver was not at fault, he may have been able to prevent the horrible accident by recognizing the dangers of driving a loud, big, and unwieldy vehicle around pedestrians and cyclists.

    Also in the old days, the trucks were a two man operation. One driving and one hanging off the back. Maybe they should return to that

  17. damian says:

    the kid was from concord;21 years old;riding those streets for the first time;can ya dig it?its a fuckin jungle out there especially when the recology drivers think THEIR BIG BAD FUCKIN TOUGH GUYS WITH SCUMBAG ATTITUDES AND DONT GIVE A FUCK DRIVING STYLE;THATS PART OF THE PROBLEM TOO

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