Road rage driver from 2014 may be responsible for Monday’s serious injury collision in the Hope Ranch area of Santa Barbara, California.
In April of 2014, professional sports photographer Carson Blume was riding eastbound on Cliff Drive with a friend in coastal Santa Barbara County, California when he says he was assaulted by a man driving a white pickup truck.
As we were moving over the edge line towards the parking area the white truck while all ready passing within inches at a fast rate of speed, then started moving over on us quickly, pushing the other rider over.
The truck also made contact with Carson, who just barely managed to stay upright. Carson then says the driver swerved in front to brake check them when Carson slammed into the back of the truck and went down. While Carson struggled back to his feet, he saw the backup lights come on as the driver briefly shifted into reverse.
The driver laughed and drove away. Carson called 911 to report the assault. While they waited at the roadside parking area for police to arrive, the guy in the white pickup returned to the scene of his crime and begins to yell profanities like a crazy man. A third party who witnesses this sticks around because she fears for the cyclists’ safety and because she felt like the other driver was a danger to other road users. The photo of the truck you see above was shot while they waited for law enforcement.
When Santa Barbara Police arrive, Carson, his riding partner, and the third party all report the driver “was trying to kill us.” SBPD action was to issue an “unsafe passing” ticket to the driver.
But wait, there’s more to this story.
Monday afternoon, a cyclist was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Santa Barbara, according to this report. Reporter John Palminteri of the Santa Barbara Independent tweeted this photo of the crash scene. Does that truck look familiar?
CRITICAL head injury bike accident. Hope Ranch/Santa Barbara No helmet on rider in crash Estrella Drive. pic.twitter.com/UXC3O9O2OB
— John Palminteri (@KEYTNC3JohnP) October 5, 2015
This scanner report says the cyclist, 57-year-old Craig Buck, is “Code Blue” i.e. in cardiac arrest 🙁 at the time of this writing. Buck was an Olympic gold medalist as part of the U.S. Men’s volleyball teams in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics. Police say Buck sped around the corner on the wrong side of Estrella Drive when he sped through the stop sign and struck the pickup truck driven by 88-year-old Albert Linquiti of Santa Barbara. Given the reports of past behavior by the driver of this pickup truck, some people have expressed skepticism about this report.
Read Carson’s original ride report here (though Facebook privacy settings may prevent clicking through). He believes this is the same truck and driver in both incidents.
Even if police don’t initially take action, it’s helpful to report criminal behavior to establish patterns for future actions. The Close Call Database is a good place to record these attacks even if police refuse to take a report.
It’s so terrifying to have a run-in with a motorist like this. I’ve had a similar experience and still don’t understand the motive, particularly when I was doing nothing to hinder the motorists path. Trying to scare, intimidate, harm, or even kill someone on a bicycle should absolutely not be tolerated, and yet, it happens time and again. I hope the connection is able to be made (if there is one – which it seems there may well be) so that something more substantial can be done to this driver.
I run the Close Call Database for Cyclists I am so sorry to read about this. The mission of the database is to identify these repeat offenders and stop them. Given the contact, break check, and willingness of the driver to circle back in that 2014 encounter, I think the police should have considered a criminal charge rather than an “unsafe passing” charge.
I note that local news stories are reporting that the cyclist ran a stop sign and was on the wrong side of the road. I am curious who provided that account? When the cyclist is injured he can’t speak for himself (which is just one more reason on-bike video cameras are so important), and if that is the driver’s account it invites skepticism.
One problem with the wrist-slap in 2014, is that it taught the driver that he could assault cyclists will potentially lethal force and simply walk away with a minor traffic violation. And that fact remains, regardless of the what has happened now.
My heart goes out to Craig Buck and his family. I hope he will be okay. When facts are established in this case, I hope someone will contact the database with a summary update.
@G.E. These drivers are just nuts. I’ve been on a country road, straight for half a mile, no one in sight, dashed yellow passing lane, and a guy in a truck stayed behind me for a minute while honking his horn. He easily could have passed safely and legally without even slowing down, but instead decided he would rather make a scene. These things just don’t make sense.
Santa Clara Count was considering an anti-harassment ordinance similar to the one in LA, but canned it because they would prefer to see the two parties “work things out on their own”. Yea right. Just shows how extremely disconnected they are from reality. Would the authorities tell the parties in other attempted murder and assault with deadly weapon situations, like ones that involve guns and knives, to just work it out among yourselves?
What I suggested was to at least have a county database in which harassment complaints to Sheriff and city PD could be fed into (and uploaded to Close Call). Then the county database can be mined for repeat offenders, for further follow-up. Home visits by the police can do wonders, if they are not hardened criminals yet. I think its important that the county and cities own their database though.
@Andy – It is amazing what some drivers will do. It’s difficult to make sense of it when people act irrationally or without cause.
@Bike-Scoot – I love the idea of a county database through which officers could file harassment complaints. If this were done nationally in each region, it seems as though this would be a far better method for following up with repeat offenders… and perhaps even filing charges if/when needed. It could really operate like a fingerprint database to share information across counties as well (especially for those who travel across multiple county areas via bike).
All this and people still defend the driver, pathetic.
Not the same guy. I’m an avid cyclist, saw the accident site yesterday, and know one of the first responders well (who lives near the scene and is also a cyclist). The rider in this case cut the corner, WAS on the wrong side of the street, and did not stop at the clearly marked intersection. Coincidentally, I also know the driver – this guy would never knowingly harm anybody. If you see the scene its pretty clear the rider was at fault on this one. Time to shift our thoughts to hoping he’s OK.
This is my brother that was injured in this accident. It’s an absolute miracle that he survived. Things are still touch and go, but it looks like he will pull through. Will have many surgeries ahead of him. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Citizen, yes it is the same guy, I saw a video of him at the scene, and yes my story is 100% correct. You might want to watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAZ_xu0DCg and read this https://www.facebook.com/carson.blume/activity/10204722495681085 , you might not know him as well as you think you do.
The only thing I know about him is that he almost killed me and my friend TOOK OFF and then came back to yell at us, using such phrases as, fucking cock suckers, you deserve what you get, you all blow stop signs, you dont belong on the road.
We have a 3rd party witness that was behind us saw and heard the whole thing, pictures and a police report.
Oh, and he straight up lied to law enforcement in my incident and he is the one telling law enforcement what happened in this case, at best he is a horrible driver that shouldn’t be on the road at worst bikes piss him off so he choses to take the law into his own hands, hence ‘you fucking cock suckers deserve what you get’
Just a follow up from the Craig Buck civil case, SBPD was caught in either a lie or negligence, my images from my incident with this guy proved that Craig Buck did not hit the truck where SBPD said he did. SBPD needs to stop being bias towards cyclist, we are tax paying humans too. Protect and serve. And the “cyclist” DA needs to grow a pair.
Cyclist, please ride with cameras.