Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sorting out what happened on Ward Street?

Is anybody clear on the basics of the fatal crash this week?

We know, because he's told both the TAB and the Globe, that 81-year-old Detlev Vagts, in his car, hit 54-year-old Marcia Kearney, on her scooter, killing Kearney. But what transpired is murky.

In the TAB, Dan Atkinson reports:

[Vagts] said he was traveling west on Ward Street and Kearney was making a left turn in front of him onto Grant Avenue.

The Grant and Ward intersection is a T; only westbound traffic on Ward can turn left. So, Kearney must have been ahead of Vagts, traveling in the same direction.
The Globe's account:

Vagts was driving on Ward Street past Grant Avenue when he said Kearney’s helmet and body appeared suddenly in front of the car.

‘‘It was too late to stop; she was making a turn from my right to the left,’’ Vagts said. ‘‘It was really shocking to see her lying there.’’

Was he in the process of passing her? Was she riding on the far right and then slowed suddenly to turn?


Anonymous said...

All good questions. I understand that the police are still investigating, BUT, the Tab reporter should not be reporting the professor's account as fact since it does not add up

Anonymous said...

I don't know what happened but keep in mind that one could also turn left from Grant onto Ward.

Sean Roche said...

According to Vagts (in the TAB), Kearney was turning onto Grant.

Anonymous said...

It is a very, very sad situation.

Kearney was an unforgetable human being, a true force of nature, please read the obit here:

Prayers to all.

pfweeks said...

I rode halfway through the accident scene much later that day, commuting by bicycle. I rode on the sidewalk right through to the middle of the block and saw all the orange cones and measurements still being taken around 5PM, before being turned back by a police officer. My best guess, based on all the reports I’ve read is this:

1. Subaru stopped facing West on Ward St at the Grant Ave intersection.
2. Vespa passes Subaru on right and turns left in front of stopped Subaru.
3. Driver of Subaru is startled by Scooter and mistakenly hits throttle instead of brake (or presses down harder on brake and foot slips off onto throttle).
4. Subaru collides with Scooter while it is turning left directly in front of Subaru.
5. Driver keeps his foot on the accelerator for an extended period of time, still believing it to be the brake.
6. Scooter gets pushed down the road for many yards, perhaps becoming lodged under car and causing it to do a 180 degree turn under power, perhaps coming to rest facing the opposite direction.

When I saw both vehicles, the Scooter was standing and both were in the Westbound lane of Ward St, but the picture with the Scooter laying in front of the Subaru appears to be possibly facing Eastbound, which is contrary to all reports. There were markers and measurements being taken over a very long distance on both East and Westbound lanes of Ward Street.

Anonymous said...

Marci was an intelligent quick-thinking, experienced rider. She was taking a route she was very familiar with, one that she took daily. Vagts is a confused elderly driver who should not be on the road. He hit her, killed her, dragged her and is now denying to anyone who will listen any responsibility for what he has done. Shame on him. He killed a good, honest human being and he is treating her without a care in the world. He is at fault, he is the one that hit her with his car.

Marci deserves better than this.

Anonymous said...

I'm was one of her students. We will miss her deeply. Rest In Peace.

Anonymous said...

Post number six is probably true but you might want to review it for libel. I'd hate to see Professor Vagts own this site and its bloggers' homes.

Anonymous said...

Is there any update from the (official) accident scene investigators? Has the driver of the Subaru been charged with any wrongdoing? Is he still driving?

Anonymous said...

Cited with motor vehicle homicide.


Investigators allege that Vagts was traveling partly in the opposite lane on Ward Street when the collision occurred. Following the crash, Vagts drove another 448 feet before heading back to the site of the collision, the DA’s office said.

In an interview after the crash, Vagts said that he got lost driving his wife to the dentist in his 2010 Subaru Legacy when the collision occurred.

Anonymous said...

Post number 6 can hardly be counted at libel, the man now confessed and has lost his license for life and will be under house arrest. Still far too light of a sentence, but nothing will bring Marci back. May her family find some peace.

Anonymous said...

Marci Kearney was my friend. I laughed with her and enjoyed her company. She was an incredibly caring and wonderful person. We went to law school together at the University of Denver School of Law in 1984+, and I saw and spoke with her last in June 1989. We shared happy times together. She was one of the people I will remember till the day I die, and it makes me very sad to know how she died so early in her life. I have monitored this website for a long time, but today, I felt it was time I wanted to write how much I loved Marci. Thank you.