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Justice for Motorcyclist Deliberately Knocked Down by Texas Driver

Close to two years ago, we posted a story about a Texas motorist deliberately swerving to knock down a motorcyclist and his passenger.  That story prompted 141 reader comments, including a disturbing number describing similar experiences. Now, justice has been served … at least in this one case.

The offending driver in Texas, 69-year-old William Crum, was sentenced to 15 years in prison following a two-day trial.  That means Crum will be 84 when he gets out, if he does not die in prison.

Unfortunately, like bicyclists, sometimes motorcyclists victimized by automobile drivers suffer from a form of prejudice that allows the automobile driver to get away with a slap on the wrist.  We felt compelled to bring attention to this story.  Hopefully, Crum’s fate will contribute to some sort of deterrent against similar behavior by automobile drivers.

 


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86 Comments

  1. Tommy See says:

    Riders have to be up front to avoid the turbulence and exhaust. Be considerate and let us get up front. This asshole Crum has received Justice. Way to go Texas.

    • Tim C says:

      Turbulence – except behind a Prius. It’s interesting to me that following one on a bike you can really tell how right they got the aero on those.

      Exhaust – esp in TX, I’m sure plenty of non-emissions diesels roam the land. I pass any older cars (esp ones made before catalytic converters that run good on regular gas) asap for sure.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      And due to sight lines. Especially nowadays, as rebuilt World Trade Centers on wheels are the norm for passenger car designs…. As Tim C points out, riding behind a Prius is safe and fine enough. Behind an Escalade on 8 foot rims and with all windows spraypainted black, not…

  2. tr0y says:

    As both a long time cyclist and even longer motorcyclist, I do have to say that there is quite a bit of ignorance here about bicycles.

    First off, roads are not only paid for out of fuel taxes, they pay parts of it, but property taxes, sales taxes and many other levies pay for the roads we all use.

    Second in the majority of cities/ counties and states bicycles are defined as vehicles and subject to the same laws at a vehicle with a motor . As for minimum speeds they are rarely ever enforced and actually most streets do not have one; some do but safety, including that of the cyclist will outweigh any so called under-speed issues.

    Large groups of cyclists, they again have the right to use the entire road, safety first.

    3ft rule in many states, due to angry people and poor driving they are starting to enforce this, please be aware gopro footage does get used in courts and many times wins.

    All of that being said, I make most of my living via a motorcycle and while I understand that it is easy to become annoyed at someone slower. or driving in a way that “you” feel is inappropriate means nothing, it even means nothing to most LEO’s, they can cite but it is up to a court to convict. Do yourself a favor just go around, chill out and ride. No need to be a dick. Besides if act like a dick, they may just shoot you in the face,

    All in all learn from this, the old man was and is an asshole, hopefully he will dies slowly and painfully in prison, and unless you are looking for a new roommate just STFU and enjoy the ride.

    • Tim C says:

      “Large groups of cyclists” – should ride single file and break their groups up. Obstructing traffic, while rarely enforced, is illegal for all users of the road.

      (Note, large groups of motorcyclists – usually slow-moving cruisers – also should not obstruct traffic. They are idiots and drive me just as nuts.)

      • kjazz says:

        Me too Tim. I’ve had to pass large wagon trains of cruisers that have themselves spaced out 2 or 3 bike lengths apart and traveling at the speed of Christmas. A faster rider who wants to enjoy that section of road has to pick his/her way through them. I always do this as politely as possible, using my signal, giving a wave etc. etc. And virtually every time it has happened, I get the finger from the guys I’m passing. Not only are they rude by doing that but rude in the first place by acting like they own the friggin road. rant out.

    • Brian says:

      There’s “rights” and there’s common courtesy. And courtesy aside, how about common sense? As I said in a post (way) below, how is it in the interest of a group of cyclists to be spread out across an entire lane, struggling up a grade at 10 mph, when a truck legally comes around the blind corner just behind them at the posted 40 mph limit?

      It’s kinda like how pedestrians always have the right-of-way. That’s great and all, but 4,000 lbs of steel traveling at 30 mph makes it sort of a moot point if you don’t bother to look up from your phone before crossing the street.

      Btw, motorcyclist or not, your “STFU” comment marks you as exactly the stereotypical cyclist people are complaining about here.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        Assuming people staying in their lane, You make a blind corner less so, by staying towards the center of the road…… The truck will see the outside rider much earlier if he is out there, than if is hugging the curb.

        In all seriousness, uphill, if bikes are going 15 or below, passing them takes about a car length or two if you are in possession of even the most rudimentary driving skills, and are driving anything with more acceleration than a farm tractor. Managing to get “held up by bicycles” is pretty darned hopeless, unless traffic is literally bumper to bumper going the other way.

        Not saying bicycles shouldn’t be courteous and slink up to the curb intermittently if there are people behind and enough sight lines for cars to pass. Like slower moving cars should use the turnouts. But in practice, the number of total annual minutes wasted to being “held up by bicycles” has got to be pretty darned low for anyone of even moderate competence as a driver. And for a rider, it’s literally a non issue.

  3. Provologna says:

    Wow, the guys in the tank who ride bikes gonna have a field day with this 5-4 schmuck. Face, meet size 12 boot!

    Ready a child size cot in the infirmary. He’s gonna need it!

  4. chuck Smith says:

    That look on his face just says “I’m about to be somebody’s bitch”

  5. Grover says:

    Get off my highway!

  6. caribooster says:

    I am glad that the justice system has sent a message to this jerk. I saw the original video and there was an intent to injure the rider. Thank goodness that the rider was able to recover from the accident without being killed.

  7. Doc says:

    People in general, regardless of their mode of transportation, are the problem. You’ll find good and bad in every group. I try to give someone the benefit of the doubt regardless of their transportation preference. Glad to see justice caught up with the jackass.

  8. CrazyJoe says:

    Just last week I was walking along Gavlve ston island sea wall. Three bicycles missed me with in inches. Not to mention the five or six times I was cut off by cars on the way coming and going. Then there was the nut case trailering a 24 foot boat dicing lanes. Yeah he sped past a cop car braked suddenly and wound up half way thru an intersection on a red light coming to a stop when the cop ignored his extra ordinary driving abilities and didn’t pull him over.

    It gets frustrating I know. But jerking your wheel at a biker which I did accidently one time being startled as in is that guy doing 100 in a 45 mph. Trust me I was startled. Shouldn’t get you time. Then again this bozo bragged he was teaching this guy a lesson. Again 15 years?

    • thrus says:

      Depending on the charge 15years is not unreasonable, if you are actively making the attempt as bragging would imply I would see it as something between assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder. Used in an aggressive manner a car or almost any vehicle is most definitely a deadly weapon. Road rage needs incidents need to start treating the vehicle as the weapon the driver is using it as, until society starts respecting vehicles for the amount of damage that it can do people will continue to use them in ways that would see prison time if you did the same thing with with the same intent but with a gun instead of a vehicle.

    • Ryan Craig says:

      Normally I would agree that a 15 year sentence was excessive, but this guy had a history of this sort of thing, and displayed a complete lack of remorse, suggesting a high likelihood of him reoffending in the future. And we all know that pulling someone’s license is not an effective way of keeping them off the road, so they’ll keep other road users safe by keeping this nut off the roads, in prison.

      Consider this, judges and juries are typically quite sympathetic towards other drivers who they believe may have made an “honest” mistake, even if a result of inattention or whatever. The fact that they found this guy guilty and gave him such a sentence is a pretty good indicator that they didn’t at all see themselves in this guy.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “It gets frustrating I know. But jerking your wheel at a biker which I did accidently one time being startled as in is that guy doing 100 in a 45 mph. Trust me I was startled. Shouldn’t get you time.”

      STONE HIM…!!!

  9. Ricardo says:

    I have not had a situation like this on my motorcycle, but I have experienced this riding my bicycle a few times, people just think they own the roads for them selves, good that this crazy wen to prison, one less to worry about on the road…stay alert, stay safe.

  10. Curly says:

    Crazy eyes. He doesn’t have a clue.

  11. Provologna says:

    Napoleon!

  12. ABQ says:

    He is at that age when the only way we can afford to live and get treatment is to go to prison. He should have stuck up a bank and waited outside. But sociopaths are impulsive and lack planning. I plan to rob an art gallery when the time comes to go to prison.
    What’s your plan B?

    • CrazyJoe says:

      Not get off the plane when they order me to and sue them for 120 million when a bunch of retarded thugs forcibly remove me.

      I don’t know about pointing a gun at some one. Noone should have that done to them.

      • Vrooom says:

        Didn’t you just say that jerking your steering wheel toward a bike shouldn’t get jail time and that you’d done it? I’d say that’s pretty scary from the perspective of the rider.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      If it comes down to having to go to prison to as my only means of maintain my health, them my plan B would involve a tombstone and a blaze of glory.

  13. Dave says:

    15 years! Wow.

    • Randy D. says:

      I didn’t see what happened to the bikers but he was using his car like a deadly weapon in that situation.

      • Dave says:

        I’ve seen the video. He hit them on purpose and spoke of it defiantly afterward. He deserved to have the book thrown at him, my surprise it that it actually happened. I often joke that the lowest consequence way in which one person can end the life of another is with a car.

  14. vmaxmike44 says:

    How many biker gang members do you suppose are in the average Texas prison? I give the guy one very unpleasant week,at best, and he’ll be hoping it’s less.

    ii

    i

  15. Ryan Craig says:

    Sadly, and even on some motorcycles forums, I’ve seen people mentioning the fact that the rider was passing illegally (crossing the double yellow apparently being illegal in Texas), as if this was in any shape or form an excuse for this. Yes, some morons seem to think that attacking someone with deadly force is a reasonable response to observing a minor traffic violation.

    • Tim C says:

      Yeah I wrote a lengthy missive addressing this/these people on Jalopnik (it’s really interesting how many alleged driving enthusiasts get all uppity, say things like “take it to the track” like they NEVER do anything on the street etc).

      Briefly, in this case, there’s plenty of possible reasons for this – including nonsense application of DY (a rash here in CO), car already did something to warn the rider so they just wanted around, etc etc.

      And yeah, even if it was the dumbest DY pass in the worst possible place, never up to a driver to enforce the law and/or their butthurt opinion of a situation in such a manner.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “Yes, some morons seem to think that attacking someone with deadly force is a reasonable response to observing a minor traffic violation.”

      Well, it is Texas after all.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      Is it against the law now to pass on the DY?

      • Scott says:

        When the hell did that start?!

      • Ryan Craig says:

        Apparently it is in Texas. I’m not an expert on Texas law, it’s just what I’ve read. And I’m sure there are exceptions to that law.

        I know that in the province I live in, Ontario, it is NOT illegal to pass (safely) over yellow lines. Many/most drivers think it is, though, so I tend to only do it in rural areas, where there’s plenty of opportunity to get away from them after passing. Never in town, unless we’re talking about going around a very slow/stopped vehicle, like garbage trucks, transit busses, etc.

        • mickey says:

          according to the interwebs it is NOT legal in Texas. It is in some places in Canada but not others. There are exceptions for going around slow moving vehicles like bicyclists, farm equipment, mail trucks etc but not for passing another driver just because he is not going fast enough to suit you.

          Unfortunately LEO are more inclined to write crossing the DY line tickets than they are for writing impeding tickets. I figure if they are going to write me for 9 over the speed limit they should write a driver going 9 under the speed limit and holding up traffic as well.

        • Chuck Chrome says:

          No doubt. Whether legal or not it is amazing how stupid some people are to imply even slightly that passing on the yellow somewhat mitigates what this maniac did. Going 3mph over the speed limit is also technically breaking the law. Wonder how these idiots would feel if some weirdo decided to run one of their relatives off the road because they were going over the speed limit?

          • mickey says:

            I have never seen one post, either in this thread or the one 2 years ago that said the old man was “justified” in doing what he did. If you did, please point that post out. Only that the bike rider passing in a no passing zone was a causality or impetus for the mans actions, which he clearly stated when he got out of his car. Had the motorcyclist not attempted to pass on the double yellow, it would not have enraged the car driver, he wouldn’t have swerved into the bike rider, and we wouldn’t be talking about this.

            Again, choices and consequences for both parties.

          • Chuck Chrom says:

            Look a little harder Mickey. The response was to one of Ryan’s posts about what he read on other forums. Nowhere did I say it was someone on this forums opinion. Next time you come in all hard maybe do your homework first.

          • mickey says:

            Sorry Chuck, you thought that was coming in hard? No name calling, no profanity, just a simple discussion and request. Geesh.

            and by placement how is one to know that was a response to a post from someone else nowhere near your response? It was directly below my response to DYL crossing.

      • Larry Kahn says:

        I figure the space between the double-lines is a motorcycle lane…

    • Daniele Colthup says:

      saw the video, yes, the biker went over the double lines…but so did this nut case to run him off the road….a very deliberate attack with a deadly weapon, lucky the biker survived

    • Matt G says:

      The rider was charged with the illegal pass, but the charge was dropped when it was determined that Crum was driving well below the minimum speed limit for that road. The illegal pass still doesn’t even come close to placing the rider and his passengers lives in danger due to this morons idea of roadway vigilantism.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “the rider was passing illegally crossing the double yellow”

      okay okay guilty as charged.

      on the occasion when me and “A-star clad crew” got together and went full bore IOM-TT style (something we haven’t done in over 3 years) minding double yellows was for suckas. however (comma) running 70 and 80 mph on back roads marked 40 was NOT something we ever did with a pillion…? in fact A2 licensees needn’t even show up at the rally point, never mind arriving with a bird…? much too dangerous trying to hang with us…

      YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT KID…!!!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48DN8QWVAJg

  16. Norm G. says:

    was hoping this story would show back up here. was just watching the original video over on Jalopnik a week or 2 ago.

  17. Chaz says:

    Unfortunately, (or fortunately if you are the accused) a 15 year sentence doesn’t usually mean that the defendant will stay in prison for 15 years. A quick check of Texas parole laws shows that for this kind of case, parole could happen in two years, less any time previously served.

  18. Randy D. says:

    There have been times in where I lived there were bicyclists on a 2 lane road tempted me to pop them with my MC as they kept me from getting around them riding 2 wide in our lane so I couldn’t pass them between oncoming traffic near Davis, CA (UC Davis) country roads. So the aggressive feeling works both ways.

    1 time riding 2up I got around a 4wd Blazer who didn’t like that and when he got back around me he slammed on his brakes for no reason and we almost rear ended him. If I would have had a gun I would have shot the SOBs tires out!

    • Gary says:

      Cyclists can be a PIA. But we are not all arrogant, entitled fools. We deserve our share of the road and your respect. Please remember that. I am a cyclist AND a motorcyclist.

      • Randy D. says:

        When a cyclist knows a faster vehicle is behind them they should stay on the edge of the road single file instead of unnecessarily holding up a vehicle behind them, unless they want to piss off the vehicle behind them. I too on occasion have ridden bicycles and the last thing I would want to do is upset a bigger vehicle behind me.

        1 time in Texas the wife & I on our MC were run off the road by a semi-trailer who could see us as our 2 roads meld together. He intentionally did that and probably had a good laugh.

        • Tim C says:

          Well if it makes you feel better a couple asshat (as in, behaving as you describe, not just the fact they were cycling) cyclists got pulled over near Alice’s in CA when I lived there. They’d been holding up a huge line (cars, motorcycles, everybody) so the sheriff went right around, zipped up there and pulled them over.

          • Randy D. says:

            Yeah, that’s been a law in Calif. for many years. I’m glad a cop made them pay for their asshat ways, especially around Alices where it’s all up/down, curvy roads for miles. They definitely knew what they were doing and did it to piss others off. Don’t know if other states have that same law of impeding traffic.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Cyclists as a general group have eroded enough goodwill between themselves and me that they now have to earn my respect. I don’t just grant it carte blanche anymore. No more free lunch! 🙂

        • mickey says:

          In Ohio they just passed a law that says you have to give bicylists 3′ clearance when passing.

        • wsg says:

          Bold words. But as a cyclist… that’s what I see more than anything else – talk and bravado. The next time I can’t pedal as fast as you want to ride, stop, please, be bold then. Make me “earn” it. No? Didn’t think so. Go back to to being a bad ass on the internet.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            My, my tough guy. I didn’t say anything about getting physical. I just mean that if you are going to be a slow moving impediment to traffic, be considerate.

            I am also a cyclist, and while I don’t get much distance in these days, there was a time when I rode 20 to 40 miles a day. And though the law entitles me to my certain rights of road, I never ride like I am entitled to it. My attitude is also the same on a motorcycle or in a car. I do my best be considerate to those I share the road with. That is not the case with far too many fellow cyclists. I know great guys that become total douchebags​ the moment they start pedaling.

            And while I apparently failed to portray the humor in that prior post, even with the smiley face, , just FYI I always act with patience when cyclist are holding me up and give a whole lane when I pass if possible, even if they deserve the ditch instead.

          • Brian says:

            I always treat cyclists with complete respect. They’re legally allowed to be on the road, and I have no desire to hurt anyone, or damage their property (least of all my own). But that said–based on the simple fact that on perhaps 90 percent of roads bicycles can’t even come close to maintaining the posted speed limit–if I made the rules they’d be limited to roads with limits no higher than 25 or 30 mph. Heck, in Maryland you can’t ride a 50cc scooter on a road with a posted limit above 50 mph…but a bicycle? Go for it!

            How is it in anyone’s interest for me to take a blind corner at 40mph (where the limit is 40) and suddenly find you and your buddies spread out across the road, struggling uphill at 15?

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “No more free lunch!”

          the circle is now complete. when i left Texas Jeremy was but the learner, now HE is the master… (bassy Vader voice)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prSHdCOuNeY

      • cbx1260cc says:

        Agree with Gary here on the Cyclist issue.
        Here in Ga we do not have specific Cycle paths in a lot of areas. The Cyclist “groups” ride in packs of 20 or more and feel “entitled” to take up the COMPLETE lane. Yet how do they contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of the roads which they feel “entitled” to? (motorcyclists pay tag fees, cars pay tag fees) No license fees, no road tax-Nothing.

        Courtesy is a two way street and they should ride single file on narrow roads in particular, if they want to be on the street with cars, trucks etc.

        I have seen too MANY instances of Cyclists holding up traffic because they feel “entitled” to use the full lane of a road.

        • Gary says:

          “I HATE motorcyclists! They ride recklessly, doing wheelies and stunts and riding too fast between lanes. They are a bunch of HOOLIGANS, and motorcyclists should be outlawed! They don’t even have insurance!”

          Does it make sense to stereotype all motorcyclists based on the actions of only a few bad apples?

          If not, try to use the same logic for cyclists.

          Most of us are your neighbors and coworkers. We ride in a single file, for fitness and enjoyment. And we deserve some common sense respect.

          • cbx1260cc says:

            “Does it make sense to stereotype all motorcyclists based on the actions of only a few bad apples?”

            Not stereotyping cyclist AT ALL just basing comments on local experiences.

            The ONLY time I find a Cyclist in a single file line is when they are ALONE. When the “clubs” go out for a ride (multiple cyclist) in EVERY CASE I have encountered they were all across the lane and holding traffic to a 25mph or so crawl. On the rural roads we have it is VERY DIFFICULT to pass due to narrowness of the lanes etc so it comes across as THEY are not giving consideration to others. I typically wait for several miles until a safe area is available to pass.

            This typically does not generate a “positive” attitude and can sometimes result in aggressive / dangerous passes. IF they were more considerate (single file) this would not be the case. Instead they want to “buddy chat” as they ride along and impede the progress of others.

  19. Walt says:

    What a way to spend retirement.

  20. Tim says:

    Me too! Well, except for the 6’4″ part. Sheesh. If I was that tall, I could complain about the low seat heights on all the new bike models.

  21. Stratkat says:

    yeah, i actually look kind of like that myself!

  22. Bud says:

    Remember when he said “I don’t care” when confronted about his actions? I bet he’d like a do-over on that one.

  23. BillW says:

    Thanks for the follow-up. I’ve been wondering about this case.

  24. austin zzr 1200 says:

    In my mind this is what the average cranky MD contributor looks like, lol

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