The family of John Triggs, who was run over and killed by a cement truck in downtown Kansas City, Missouri in June 2006, has finally gotten a measure of justice.
John Triggs was an avid cyclist who rode his bike through most of the United States and much of Europe and published a book about his adventures: America at 10 Miles Per Hour: A 17,300-Mile Bicycle Journey.
Triggs was killed when the cement truck hit Triggs as it was making a right-hand turn. The wheels pulled him off of his bicycle and drug him more a block. All that was left behind were his shoes and mangled bike. Trigg’s body was unrecognizable, and officials had to conduct DNA testing to identify him.
The driver told police he did not see Triggs, and was not given a ticket.
Triggs’ family filed a wrongful death suit against the driver and Fordyce Concrete Company, the owner of the truck. Though the company has refused to accept any responsibility for Triggs death, the case has now been settled:
This month, just a few days before the trial was to begin, Fordyce and the family reached a $2 million settlement.
In their May 2007 petition, Triggs’ family alleged that Driskell had acted negligently in not spotting the cyclist and lawfully yielding to him in the crosswalk. The suit also alleged that Fordyce had not properly trained Driskell to operate the cement mixer, especially on the heavily trafficked streets of downtown Kansas City.
According to Denise Henning, the Triggs family attorney, “The family was upset at what they believe to be a lack of attention to bicyclists in Kansas City. I think the officers at the scene didn’t take it seriously, and there was no follow-up. I’ve noticed that in some other bike cases. They always assume the bicyclist is the one in the wrong.”
Henning said that the settlement was a victory for the Triggs’ family and the cycling community. “The family was looking to make Fordyce Concrete responsible for what they did,” she says. “The second thing was to raise awareness in Kansas City about bike safety. We’re not friendly to bicyclists. We’re often hostile, as drivers, to cyclists.”