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Cyclist Janet Schutte, 77, Critical After a Collision With an SUV on Palm Coast’s White View Parkway

| April 29, 2014

Janet Schutte, 77, was struck by an SUV as she was cycling across Ravenwood Drive, going west on White View Parkway, The cars shown here are traveling east on White View. (© FlaglerLive)

Janet Schutte, 77, was struck by an SUV as she was cycling across Ravenwood Drive, going west on White View Parkway, The cars shown here are traveling east on White View. (© FlaglerLive)

Janet Schutte, 77, a long-time resident of Wood Cedar Drive in Palm Coast, was struck by an SUV as she rode her bicycle on White View Parkway in Palm Coast early Tuesday morning.

Kevin Murphy, a 51-year-old resident of Palm Coast, was driving a 1990 Ford F-250 north on Ravenwood Drive around 7:15 a.m. Ravenwood ends at its intersection with White View. As Murphy began to pull into the intersection, a Florida Highway Patrol report of incident states, he failed to see Schutte in the crosswalk, and struck her.

The bike paths along White View are among the widest and best-marked in Palm Coast. At that intersection, the bike path actually divides into two lanes, with yellow stripes marking the lanes’ center. The intersection is along a straight-away with White View, with no obstructions such as shrubbery, trees or signage past the stop sign on Ravenwood. The sun had been up about half an hour at the time of the collision.

The front end of the Ford struck the left side of Schutte’s bicycle, knocking her to the ground. She was air lifted to Halifax hospital’s trauma unit. Charges are pending against Murphy. Similar accidents around town have usually led to a citation for right-of-way violation.

The Florida Highway Patrol, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Flagler County Fire Rescue and the Palm Coast Fire Department responded to the scene, as traffic was regulated by the Palm Coast Fire Police.

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19 Responses for “Cyclist Janet Schutte, 77, Critical After a Collision With an SUV on Palm Coast’s White View Parkway”

  1. blondee says:

    Most of these bike paths I’ve seen around town have a stop sign ON the bike path where it intersects with a road. I’m not seeing one at this intersection.

    • Anonymous says:

      And there SHOULD be stop signs on these paths! There is a blind spot on every vehicle where the windshield meets the car door area. If all parties yield, these accidents could be avoided. Eye contact with a driver should always be made before crossing as a pedestrian or cyclist!

  2. Florida Native. says:

    I walk 5-6 miles every day with a reflective vest and always check for oncoming cars but I am constantly almost hit by a car on a daily basis and I would not ride a bike for all the money in the world in this town.

  3. Fran Silveria says:

    I rode by this on my bicycle after it happened. A lot of car drivers do not know the right away situation for bicyclists. I see this every morning on my bike when I ride to work, its a shame. This intersection is nuts too….I ride on Woodbury sometimes and even though drivers have room in the other lane when no cars are coming the other direction….I just about get grazed by cars. I feel real scared for kids out there riding their bikes on residential roads.

    • rst says:

      Fran please check your facts. The right of way clearly belongs to the motor vehicle unless there is a PEDESTRIAN in the crosswalk. Statutes state that bicyclists using a sidewalk have the “duties and responsibilities” of a pedestrian. That is to say, bicyclists are required to either a) ride on the roadway as far to the right as possible, or 2) ride on the sidewalk while obeying the rules of a pedestrian. That means WALKING their bicycle while in a crossWALK. What ever the outcome of the investigation, we all hope for a speedy recovery.

      • Carlos Iovannitti says:

        CORRECTION: THE RIGHT OF WAY “ALWAYS BELONG TO PEDESTRIANS”. PEDESTRIAN HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY AND BECOMES OWNER OF THE PAVEMENT AS SOON AS HE-SHE SETS FOOT ONTO THE PAVEMENT.

    • Anon says:

      http://floridabicycle.org/bicycle-traffic-law/

      There is no right-of way law in Florida. The law is to yield the right of way. It’s bicyclist like you that get hit by cars for feeling like you have the right of way. A bicycle is considered a vehicle and the operator a driver. It will tell you all of this on the website listed above and if you disagree with that one you can read it directly from the Florida Statutes listed on the website below.

      http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statuTes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2065.html

  4. Hold On says:

    My child was hit by car when on his bike, in a crosswalk, because the view WAS blocked by shubbery and the driver was inching out to see. Funny thing is, the deputy told my son it was HIS fault because he didn’t stop and look for cars coming. But he wouldn’t ticket him this time. Oh yeah, and there was no stop sign there for bikers either…

  5. Steve Wolfe says:

    I’m going to ride now. Head on a swivel, eye contact with all drivers at intersections. Those on the phone, texting, or otherwise distracted at intersections create a no-go situation for me. And that’s on the pathways. These drivers are bad enough for other drivers, let alone bicycle riders.

  6. Carlos Iovannitti says:

    Having lived in Royal Oak Michigan we experienced the same problem that here in Palm Coast. Drivers in complete state of amnesia hitting anything that to crosses their path. That was resolved by installing pedestrian signs. And they did so at my request. Here in. Palm coast in not an exception, somuch so that the city has been forced to install cameras at intersection. So the point is made, some drivers are distracted. I know I was hit by a van, we both were stopped at the intersection and then I got my light giving me the right of way, I looked at the driver he looked at me and following the light I proceeded to cross, he did the same. Result I ended up underneath the car. Now days this still happens eight out of ten times were drivers are distracted, I am lucky they stooped. I made several request to the city Traffic Signs ??? Department requesting to install pedestrian signs as any other city here in the state of Florida has them. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE CITY INSTALLS THIS SIGNS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND HELP TO AT LEAST REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF INCIDENTS. THIS WILL NOT ONLY REDUCE INCIDENTS LIKE THIS BUT WILL MAKE DRIVES A BIT MORE AWARE OF WHAT ARE THEY DOING.

    • Anonymous says:

      Carlos: The trick in this town is to be persistent. You have to keep pestering someone in the streets department. It took almost a year of my persistence to have a speed limit sign posted on our street. You have to be a thorn in their side and a squeeky wheel. Good luck.

    • Sandra Reynolds says:

      Carlos: The trick in this town is to be persistent. You have to keep pestering someone in the streets department. It took almost a year of my persistence to have a speed limit sign posted on our street. You have to be a thorn in their side and a squeeky wheel. Good luck.

  7. Dana says:

    This is exactly why bike paths (and illegally riding on the sidewalk) are so dangerous. One of the reasons, I should say – as a runner who has been run into traffic, or nearly collided with, innumerable times by people riding bicycles on the sidewalk.

    Vehicles belong in the road.

    • Really? says:

      its not illegal for bikes to be on the sidewalk.

      FSS 316.2065
      “A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”

      which means bikes are permitted on the sidewalk and that they must stop before leaving a place of safety before crossing the roadway. once established in the crosswalk then vehicles must yield. it seems to me both bicyclists and motorists need more education.

  8. Sally boyce says:

    Vehicle drivers ARE NOT paying attention to their surroundings. They are suppose to stop BEFORE THE CROSSWALK not ON IT . Especially these drivers making a right on red. They are on the crosswalk making a right on ride when the crosswalk lighted sign is telling pedestrians to cross. WAKE UP people….stop killing innocent people.

  9. Baffled says:

    While pedestrians have the right of way it does not relieve them of looking both ways and being proactive with traffic. Since I moved to Flori-duh I find that people just walk out in front of cars without looking. My mother always taught me to look both ways before crossing the street, it would seem to me whether walking or riding a bike it is a person’s responsibility to do that. Right of way does not give you the right to cross streets without looking or yielding. It is people’s responsibility to make sure the drivers see you. As you approach a crosswalk try to make eye contact with the drivers so you know they saw you, benefit of the doubt that they saw you is plain wrong. Driving a motorcycle you ride defensively as if everyone is out to run you over, you watch what everyone is doing. It should be no different on a bicycle or walking. I often wonder how many people have lived as long as they have when they just walk out in front of cars and ride their bikes like they are the only one on the road. Spacial awareness is lacking big time with the people in Palm Coast. This woman is elderly, maybe her mind was not on what she was doing. Maybe she gave the driver the benefit of the doubt he saw her, if there is doubt then you might get killed.

  10. confidential says:

    Quiet few drivers around here have no respect for human life….getting “a violation of right of way ticket” after killing or seriously injuring a person is a joke! Its time that a violation of right of way will be properly addressed and punished for the sake of all pedestrians, cyclist and motorcyclist.

  11. Mary Ann Donaghy says:

    We live on the other side of Belle Terre and White View runs directly behind our yard. We see & hear drivers on motorcycles, as well as cars, just stomp on the gas and fly down White View. There are kids playing on the path sometimes, people walking & riding bikes. This situation is so dangerous. My husband saw a toddler run out after his dog. His dad was chasing him and got him back to safety. It could have ended in a tragedy. I asked if we could have speed-bumps but was told Palm Coast tried them and got sued???? The police do patrol but they park where they can be seen and so they never get anyone. So tired of the noise and the danger. Everytime I cross White View, I am nervous.

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