Bike Law Charlie reports.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 56 year-old Bobby Brooks pedaled his bicycle down Hansen Road in Houston, Texas. This stretch of Hansen is primarily light-industrial and only blocks from the end of Runway 22 at Houston’s William Hobby Airport. As Mr. Brooks rode down Hansen and into the intersection with Airport Boulevard, an oncoming yellow school bus turned into the pedestrian crosswalk where he was riding and collided with him. This impact fatally injured Mr. Brooks and he expired on the pavement of this intersection. Meanwhile, the driver of the bus decided not to stop or render aid but instead flee the scene of the collision. For over a day, the bus and its driver remained unidentified.
As both a bicyclist and a motorist (and a Texas bicycle accident attorney), I was hopeful that Houston police would be able to quickly identify this driver through private video footage or other forensic means. While a person’s negligence can lead to a crash, the intentional decision to drive away once he has caused one is inexcusable. Yesterday, police confirmed that 54 year-old Phyllis Ann Booker was in custody as the driver of the subject bus. I’ll continue to stay optimistic that prosecutors are able to achieve some justice through the criminal courts. Unfortunately for the family and friends of Mr. Brooks, there is no justice that will replace what was lost with the poor judgment exercised by this driver. Our prayers and thoughts will continue to be with the relatives and friends of Mr. Brooks as they grieve and attempt to recover from this tragedy.
Having served as the president of the Texas A&M Cycling Team, where he led the team in appearances in the U.S. Collegiate National Championships, Charlie has spent thousands of hours riding his bicycle in Texas.