Saturday, December 5, 2015

Moody Sentenced In Bike Accident

From The Capital-Gazette

Alan Fraser was riding his bike along St. George Barber Road in Davidsonville on Aug. 22 when a sport utility vehicle approached him from behind.
As Fraser, 59, of Edgewater, went around a bend near Governor Bridge Road, the SUV, driven by Michael Moody, 61, of Davidsonville, attempted to pass.
A collision took place. Fraser was knocked off his bike. Then Moody got out of the SUV and began shoving Fraser, police said.
A witness told police Moody threw Fraser's bicycle tire in the woods before fleeing the scene.
Moody was stopped a short time later on Riva Road and placed under arrest on charges of second-degree assault and a number of traffic violations, including leaving the scene of an accident.

On Friday, a District Court judge spared Moody jail time for the incident and ordered him to complete community service.
Judge Thomas J. Pryal gave Moody probation before judgment, with a condition that he completes 16 hours of community service with the nonprofit Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. He also ordered Moody to pay a fine of $142.50.
"Whatever happened with the accident happened, and there's a (proper) way to deal with that," Pryal said, noting Moody should have waited for police instead of assaulting Fraser and fleeing the scene.
The state dropped the traffic violations against Moody, who apologized to Fraser before the hearing. Moody told the court he already has completed an anger management class.
"I use the tools I've learned in that class every day of my life," Moody said.
If Moody fails to successfully complete the terms of probation, the judge could convict him of the assault charge and sentence him to up to 10 years in prison.
Fraser said he has spent the months since the crash recovering from his injuries, but has resumed cycling. He sustained a broken fibula, rib and elbow.
Fraser also said he accepted Moody's apology. He hopes some good will come from the incident, given Moody's coming community service and already-completed anger management class.
"I feel pretty satisfied with the way things went today," Fraser said.
Defense attorney Gill Cochran said Moody wasn't at fault for the crash, but acknowledged he "certainly did not conduct himself properly after the accident."
"I have a good client I represented," he said. "I'm also pleased that the victim in this case was nice enough to talk to all of us and we were able to work this thing out, along with bicycle people that were very helpful, as well."
Jon Korin, founder of Bike AAA, worked with the court to set up Moody's community service. He also worked with the court earlier this year to set up community service for a dump truck driver who was charged following a road rage incident involving a group of police cyclists training in Glen Burnie.
"I think the majority of drivers don't realize that cyclists have a legal right to use the road and the driver is required to give the cyclist 3 feet of space when passing, when safe to do so," Korin said.
Alexander Meller, another cyclist who attended the hearing, said cyclists often ride in south county because there is less traffic.
Like Fraser, Meller said he has had encounters with drivers who become agitated by cyclists in the travel lanes.
"'I am not trying to slow cars down," Meller said. "I'm just trying to ride safely. We just need the motorists to respect our right to be on the road and to pass us safely, and passing into a blind curve isn't safe."

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