New info – Details about accident involving cyclist

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 8, 2014
W. Ponce De Leon Avenue. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

W. Ponce De Leon Avenue. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Decatur Police have released the accident report about a cyclist struck by a car on Tuesday, May 6.

According to the report, Laura Quade, 26, was stopped at the westbound inside lane of West Ponce de Leon Avenue at the Water Street intersection. She was preparing to turn left.  A Cadillac driven by Edward Tamas, 87, was also traveling westbound and hit the rear of Quade’s bicycle.

The report says Quade was “vaulted” onto Tamas’ Cadillac, causing damage to the front of the car and the windshield. Quade was transported to the hospital and Tamas was cited for following too closely, the report says. Decatur Police said there are no other charges pending against him.

Attempts to reach Tamas have been unsuccessful. Quade’s father, Preston Quade, said his daughter’s condition is improving.

“We expect a full recovery,” he said.

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  • Cyclist and Driver

    Since they were heading west, have to wonder if the sun was in the driver’s eyes. Horrible shame.

  • PerfectStorm

    Decatur has a LONG way to go in providing safe travel for bicyclists. We like to think it’s bike friendly community but it’s really not. And hate to sound age-ist, but 87 year olds need to be checked annual for fitness to drive especially in large cities. Atlanta isn’t an easy city to navigate in a car anymore and the standard of competence should be higher. Sounds like as in most accidents, a number of factors conspired together.

    • TheDude

      “…hate to sound age-ist, but 87 year olds need to be checked annual for fitness to drive…”.

      You definitely sound like an age-ist. How do you know he *hasn’t* been checked –not that the law requires it, or that it would necessarily have prevented this accident. More importantly, what sort of checks or laws should a 26 year old (or any) cyclist go through in order to ride? None? Seems to me it’s a literal 2-way street, & cyclists have a LONG way to go to abide by the “same roads, same rules” concept. For the record, I’m an avid walker, motorist, bicyclist, & motorcyclist.

      • Linda Hatten

        He hit a cyclist who was stopped! It’s an outrage that he was only cited for “following too closely.” The rider is an experienced cyclist and Decatur resident who follows the rules of the road.

        • TheDude

          True, according to the accident report, he hit a stopped cyclist & was cited accordingly. How do you think he should’ve been cited? He’ll have his day in court. How does the cyclist’s claimed experience, residency, or general rule following figure? Were you an eye witness? Do not mistake my questioning of cyclists’ shared responsibility for a lack of concern for this, or any riders OR drivers OR pedestrians. All should follow the rules & if they don’t, be dealt with accordingly.

        • TheDude

          True, according to the accident report, he hit a stopped cyclist & was cited accordingly. How do you think he should’ve been cited? He’ll have his day in court. How does the cyclist’s claimed experience, residency, or general rule following figure? Were you an eye witness? Do not mistake my questioning of cyclists shared responsibility for a lack of concern for this, or any riders OR drivers OR pedestrians. All should follow the rules & if they don’t, be dealt with accordingly.

        • GM

          Without knowing any more about the circumstances (speed of travel, sun in his eyes, etc.), what would he have been cited for if he’d hit a car that was stopped in that lane, waiting to turn left?

        • Linda Hatten

          GA law is woefully inadequate for rear-end collisions of any kind. Police can cite for following too closely whether there is a collision or not. In the case of a rear-end collision of any vehicle that is not moving, the citation should be more severe. I also think that anyone over age 85 at fault in any accident should have their driving ability reassessed and privileges revoked if necessary. It’s getting really scary out there for cyclists. And drivers who hit cyclists rarely face any serious consequences.

    • J

      Age-ist or not, the facts are that roughly half the population will have dementia at age 85 which impacts neuro cognitive skills which relate to driving. That’s on top of the normal age-related changes in reaction time, working memory, etc. the law clearly falls well below aspirationsl safety standards and its up to families to make the difficult and unpopular decision to question driving skills and get them evaluated beyond state standards. We recently went through this with my 83 year old grandmother and while we thought she shouldn’t be driving, it took an evaluation in the hospital of skills that predict driving ability (brief neuropsychological assessment) to convince everyone in the family that she absolutely needed to retire from driving. That being said, there’s lots of reasons while people aren’t great drivers but keep driving anyway due to lack of insight. Stay safe folks.

  • GM

    He seems like a nice man; vet of the Battle of Okinawa:

  • Glockenspieler

    Let’s hope he thinks long and hard about driving in the future. I’m sure he’s a nice man and all but he ended up doing a wee bit more than following too closely.

  • Chris Billingsley

    As someone who knew Ms. Quade and her family through Decatur High School, I am thankful that she is predicted to make a full recovery. Many people were praying for Laura and God answered these prayers in a very specific way. The life of a child is one of God’s greatest gifts but the hopeful recovery of a seriously injured child, especially near Mothers Day, is a miracle.
    For the rest of this post, I will be brief and use my words carefully. The only way to make Decatur a “GUARANTEED Bicycle Friendly City” is to completely ban vehicles. Since this will not happen, city officials should, in my opinion, rethink encouraging bicyclists to use certain streets like Church, South Candler, Clairemont, Howard and others.

    • BMThiker

      … or use the PATH that so many seem adverse to use.

      • Linda Hatten

        The Path is only practical for a ride, not for local transportation. Obviously, this driver also violated the law that requires drivers to pass cyclists with a distance of at least 3 feet.
        One way for cyclists to be safe on the road is for drivers to face serious consequences for injuring, or in those rare instances, harassing someone on a bike. Law enforcement and the legal system show little regard for the rights and well being of cyclists.

        • Living in Decatur

          Totally agree Linda. I know of a cyclist who was hit by a car last year and after making a “full recovery” from the injuries which included, but are not limited, to a broken neck, arms and hands things are still not great. The person had to take 6 months off work and is now faced with ongoing health problems as a direct result of those injuries. Meanwhile the whole family has been affected, kids no longer want to ride their bikes, scared of cars in general and so on. I find the term “full recovery” dubious and it only ever makes other people feel better. What happened to the person who hit this cyclist? They received a citation for not giving way and by all reports did not care one bit about what they had done — giving the benefit of the doubt maybe just did not fully comprehend the full consequences. From what I hear witnesses of this accident said it was a terrible sight to see and are surprised that the cyclist lived. The driver gets on with their lives and the cyclist suffers … continually …

        • Janet

          Another way for cyclists to remain safe on the roads is by following the laws — and most I experience do not. Don’t run a stop sign and give me a dirty look when I almost hit you. Don’t pass cars to get to the front of the line at red lights, etc.

  • Sawit

    I was an eyewitness. She was stopped for at least five full seconds before the car hit her. They were not even on the same stretch of road for long enough for the car to be “following too closely”. She had just turned on to Ponce from Nelson Ferry rd, and he came from way further down Ponce. He was never following her at all. By the time he got to the stretch of road she was on, she had already been stopped for some time, and I can assure there was no sun in his eyes. He had plenty of time to see her had he been looking straight ahead.

  • Sara Yurman

    I am a cyclist, not a lawyer. On the other hand, if this guy doesn’t end up with a felony conviction of some kind the City is hanging a “Kill her” sign on my back. Nobody paid for Paul Taylor, a cyclist killed two years ago in the City. If Mr. Tamas doesn’t pay big time we’re all in danger. He didn’t dent Laura’s fender. He changed her life.

    • GM

      I think the reality is you are in danger. What would the felony charge be? There’s no allegations of DUI or a hit-and-run. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor. The criminal laws have not evolved, at least in Georgia, to account for the greater danger/risk in cyclist-automobile collisions.

      • Sara Yurman

        Once again, I am not a lawyer so I’ll respond with a question. Perhaps someone learned in the law can respond. Is reckless driving that causes injury a felony? I understand that is the case, but these things can be slippery.

        What I find completely unacceptable is that my City, the City where I have lived nearly my entire adult life, where I raised a family, where I pay taxes and actually know elected officials appears to be declaring people like me to be non-humans. No penalty for squishing squirrels or cyclists.

        Somebody needs to give a full explanation for what the City is or isn’t doing with this case. We’re probably far from the end of the story here, so the appropriate time may be down the road a bit. I’d love to be wrong about my conclusion here. Maybe more information will change it.

        There have been a spate of stories lately about how easy it is to kill cyclists with impunity. Stories from New York, California, you name it. We should be better than that. Most of us have experienced the decency that is in the fabric of the City. We can and must be better.

  • rim1one

    The City of Decatur does not control most of its main thoroughfares. They are controlled by the county or the state. Decatur went down this path of wasting money on bike paths that no one uses, dangerous street dividers, and ugly streetscapes. But on the positive side the City has increased the population density with the new project on Ponce, and the Section 8’s have new housing on some of the most valuable property in Decatur! Way to manage my money.

  • rim1one

    If City of Decatur would have done the correct thing and made that lane a turn lane between Trinity and Nelson Ferry the Ms. Quade would probably not have been hit. Poor planning by the City of Decatur. I imagine a huge lawsuit is in coming, and the City seems to be somewhat culpable.

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