Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bicyclist Killed, 2 Injured In TOYOTA-LEXUS Crash In West Hills


Bicyclist Killed, 2 Injured In 2-Vehicle Crash In West Hills

CANOGA PARK ( — One person was killed and two others were injured, one critically, in a two-vehicle crash Thursday in West Hills

The person killed was a female cyclist in her 40s who was standing on the sidewalk at the time of the accident. She was not carrying identification at the time of the crash, authorities said.

The crash occurred just before 4 p.m at the corner of Sherman Way and Shoup Avenue.

Investigators said a Toyota headed south on Shoup crashed into a Lexus turning west onto Sherman Way. The impact of that crash sent the Toyota onto the sidewalk, where it slammed into the cyclist.

Two other people were injured in the crash and both were taken to a hospital.

KCAL9′s Rachel Kim reported from the scene, where witnesses said they heard a horrific crash.

“It was a lot of speed in the car accident; it was quite a boom,” said Ricardo Ponzo, who lives nearby.

“Instantly, I thought I need to know who that is because I know everyone on their bikes almost,” said Ponzo. “I came over here and I saw her bike, and I just kept thinking, ‘Oh, my God.’ “

Ponzo told Kim he often said hello to the woman as they would pass each other on their bikes.

“She was a very nice lady, kept to herself. I feel sad,” Ponzo said.

LAPD investigators say the drivers involved in the accident will survive their injuries.

Detectives are trying to determine if the Toyota driver was operating the vehicle under the influence.

“Anytime we investigate a collision of this magnitude, one of the very first things we do is check for impairment. At this particular moment we are in the process of finding that out,” LAPD detective Bill Bustos said.

If you witnessed the accident, you’re asked to call the West Valley Traffic Division of the LAPD.

PR spin by automaker, law enforcement, and media in full force? Do they desperately desire the final report to say "pedal misapplication" in order to deflect from the ELECTRONICS of the computer-controlled throttle control system?

Let's see if the driver is hung out to dry publicly as so many have been in these crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes. Jail time for drivers has been levied with nothing more than ruling out the mechanical causes. In cases of Toyota and Lexus, inconsistent and inaccurate EDR information has been used to falsely incriminate SUA crash victims. Character assassinations in the media prior to concrete evidence presentation seem to be the norm.

Are automakers nervous that the truth will be revealed publicly? Why are so many of the articles about such SUA events lacking in pertinent details, like make, model, and model year? Why aren't the exact words of the driver stated? Why is there usually immediate speculation that the driver pressed the wrong pedal? These late model vehicles are *computer-controlled*. Glitches occur often. Critical safety standards aren't strictly regulated and fail-safes have been found to be ineffective by experts in the embedded software field.

Think about how often you reboot your electronic devices. Have you considered that an electronically-driven vehicle has many of the same "glitch" issues? Are you erroneously assuming that your safety has been ensured by the auto manufacturer? Just know, the auto industry is not regulated like the airline industry. Educate yourself on this critical safety matter.

The Car Wash Association knows the truth about sudden unintended acceleration in late model vehicles, particularly Chryslers. A FastStop Car Wash just admitted that there is a list of the most common vehicles to suddenly accelerate. After an employee was thrown from a Ford Expedition as it careened out-of-control from a car wash and into a power box on the side of a building, this information was revealed by the media. In addition, Honda has just become the first automaker to address electronic throttle control software problems.

Why doesn't the public have access to the most-often-to-suddenly-accelerate vehicle list? How hard are the automakers trying to keep such information hidden? Will what you do not know ultimately put you or your family in unnecessary jeopardy? Will the PR agenda of the automakers continue to push for a "pedal misapplication" final report in these crash events?

How long will the flawed study into Toyota and Lexus sudden unintended acceleration by NASA/NHTSA be touted as a reason to blame the vehicle owners? How often will the old Audi SUA investigation be cited by online PR trolls in an effort to justify immediate incrimination of the driver victims? More importantly, how long will the public be deceived?

Why was Toyota whistleblower Betsy Benjaminson recently issued a subpoena by Toyota Motor Corporation? Is this an on-going effort by the automaker to silence the exposure of Toyota internal documents related to the electronic sudden unintended acceleration? Why hasn't Ms. Benjaminson's information been covered by the U.S. media as it has been overseas? More importantly, why hasn't the U.S. Department of Justice made reference to this information in its recent criminal investigation of Toyota? Why have we only heard about *mechanical* causes of SUA?

Something is amiss. Doesn't the public deserve to know the truth? After all, electronic sudden unintended acceleration affects everyone, not just vehicle drivers. Pedestrians and storefront occupants have been killed or maimed. Even residents in homes have been impacted. SUA events are not just occurring on the highways; they are happening in parking lots and from a standstill at traffic stops, too.

This serious problem isn't just about elderly drivers, drivers with medical conditions, or impaired drivers as a seemingly pervasive PR effort might have you believe. This is about vehicles out-of-control because of electronic glitches and ineffective fail-safes. This is about unregulated critical safety standards in complex electronically-controlled vehicles.

Charlene McCarthy Blake