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Hit-and-run driver kills cyclist on 43rd Avenue, police arrest suspect hours later

GMaps

April 1, By Christian Murray

The police have arrested a man who fatally struck and killed a cyclist while driving drunk at the corner of 43rd Avenue and 39th Street in the early hours this morning, according to city officials.

The driver, who fled the scene, hit the cyclist in his 2002 Ford Escape at 2:53 am and then left the bicyclist to die in the street. The victim, Gelasio Reyes, 32, was traveling home east bound on 43rd Avenue.

EMS arrived on the scene and Reyes, a Corona resident, was then pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital, according to police.

Several hours later, police officers with the 108th Precinct and the Collision Investigation Squad located the driver after spotting his vehicle on Laurel Hill Boulevard and 59th Street, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who was briefed on the incident.

The suspect, Cristian Guiracocha, 25, was still in his vehicle and was arrested. The Woodside resident has been charged with refusing to take a breathalyzer test and for being an unlicensed driver.

“This is an awful tragedy,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know whether this man could have been saved had the driver stopped and helped,” he said. “We don’t know how long he [Reyes] was there until someone finally called the police.”

Van Bramer said he was pleased with the quick work of the police in locating the suspect.  However, he said, there are still far too many cases where people involved in hit-and-run crashes are not caught.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

92 Comments

Anonymous

The cyclist ran a red light it was stated by the police. Stop making the cyclist look like a victim. It’s 100% the cyclist fault for not paying attention the road and not following the traffic laws.




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Anonymous

That particular intersection where the accident happened is where the bike path takes you when coming from Manhattan over the Qns Boro bridge. It’d not a random place to be biking.




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Anonymous

Guiracocha was released on $100,000 bail and is due back in court April 14, court records show. His private attorney did not immediately respond to calls for comment. This was in DNA Info –




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mario andretti

Car drivers-give bikes their space/respect on the road.

Bikers-stay off the sidewalk and obey the same traffic laws as cars.




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Michael

They also need to require all bike riders in bike lanes to have safety vests so they can be seen by drivers at night and in bad weather in addition to helmets. These are a vehicular streets and there are rules for cars to be seen too.

My thoughts are with the family for a horrible tragedy. Drunk driving is a very horrible crisis.




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rikki

This is what i am saying, stop being SO VAIN PEOPLE most bike accidents can be avoided…..

Just dont run away, stop take pictures and yell at the biker for being stupid, there was another on greenpoint and 39th i think last year, same thing BLACK bike no headlights no reflectors…..

Its time we drivers stand up to these idiots looking for a payday.




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Tony Smith

Terrible tragedy.
I hope there will be a NYC law for all cyclists on streets to wear helmets when riding on streets, just like the seatbelt law, to prevent less serious accident injuries. To think that Mayor DeBlasio said that Drunk Driving was not a serious offense unless someone is seriously hurt ( when speaking about Trump and deportation) was a careless statement for a public official to make. Time to Vote Against DeBlasio in November!




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I love ny

Funny i bet the people who dont want bikes registered, insured, ect are the bike riders for fear they would have to pay for these services, they would have to abide by laws and be subjected to fines. Nobody likes the term “pay” . But did you consider that if the system was in place this guys family would have had the help of an insurance payout to help ease the burden of final expenses. I think afflack has a point here. Death of a cyclist is horrible ,but death of the cyclist is worse without an insurance policy. If the family is poor, how will they bury him or send him back home. It would have helped.




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Barbara's handle was hijacked by Johnny

Sounds like the family has grounds for a wrongful death suit. Now collecting an award is a different story. With children I would think the cyclist would have some type of life insurance.




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Anonymous

Mikes not a p.o.s., he never said it was the bikes fsult-he said maybe, he also said it was s tragady. He was giving a hypothetical, another theory, a very possible senario. You people act like he stated facts, you all jumped the gun. Chill people




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Anonymous

Do you understand what people mean when they say “blaming the victim,” and just how detrimental that type of thinking is?




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Anonymous

Look, I don’t disagree with you fundamentally. those things are necessary. Cyclists do not behave appropriately much of the time. But the much more real and present danger is drivers of motor vehicles. We cannot adequately enforce the laws that exist to keep drivers from injuring and killing thousands of people a year in this city. To focus our resources on people riding bikes at this point is misguided. You feel the way you do because cars are normal and bikes are considered a hobby. But that’s antiquated thinking it’s not sustainable.




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Afflack

I dont agree, im not blaming cyclist, im searching for a saftey solution, and insurance protection so in case of injury, the injured party would have medical coverage . People are upset and i get it, but calm down and try to understand im not finger pointing. Registration and insurance, maybe safety training too, would help, not hurt. Im sorry for the poor guy who lost his life. Maybe this would help in similar future incidents. Nobody wants to see anyone get killed.




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Bikerdude

The issue is that the mindset here is that the culture of america excludes bikes. Just read half the posts here. Go to amsterdam, or other US cities like Portland, OR and you’ll see there is more respect for riders. The other issue is that running red lights and stop signs isn’t enforced and the fines are minimal. If you ran the risk of losing your license for a month or two, then people would think twice. The onus is on the car, not the bike rider. Period.




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rikki

again bikerdude dont be Mr Cool and wear all BLACK at night and in the rain or you are just plain stupid….

I have seen responsible bike raiders in sunnyside with reflective tape, reflectors on the spokes and a flashing light on the back of the bike making it easy to see you

Stop being macho or dont get mad if we hit you..




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Truck Driver

Cars need to follow the rules. That means pay attention to those around you, and don’t run red lights hitting a bike that you would have hit anyway had they worn reflective tape. This was the case here, yet here you are with judgmental diarrhea for bike riders. And you mock and ridicule.

Stop being so disingenuous. You are blaming bikers for cars that forget they aren’t the only ones on the road. By your reasoning, all small cars should be light colored and use reflective tape so SUV’s and trucks can see them.

No doubt bike riders need to take responsibility, but this case was one of a CAR driver that didn’t follow the rules. And was drunk to boot, yet you come here and vomit over your own hang ups.




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rikki

again HOW DO YOU KNOW? We need to see the exact spot where the collision took place,

I have seen a number of bike riders swerve into the car lane to avoid trash or a pot hole in the bike lane………. someone didn’t stay in their lane the question is WHO?




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rikki

If there’s one thing we can agree on, it is that I am an awful person and I will likely die alone. I WISH I had friends, BUT I don’t (because I am awful).




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Afflack

Hey too bad for this poor guy but if you ride a bike in ny this is a very real possibility. Call it an occupational hazard, maybe the state should make you register your bike and have plates, be required to have insurance too. It is dangerous. What if the bike hits a pedestrian? The pedestrian is hurt, and cant collect for injuries? Pain, suffering, lost wages? It needs to be looked at with the increased amout of bikes on the road. It would be good for a bike rider too, in event the rider is hurt, he can collect. Something to ponder.




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Anonymous

Hey, registering bikes isn’t the worst idea. But you’re victim shaming and putting the responsibility on cyclists and not motorists. The guy was drunk, unlicensed and left the scene. THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE CYCLIST!!!!!!




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Anonymous

If the bike hit a pedestrian there would be lots of scrapes and bruises. Some one lost their life because of a car.




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Anonymous

I took care of a woman who was run over by a bike. She hit her head on the concrete and broke her neck. Ruined her life. Bikes are dangerous.




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Dee

Police announced that Cristian Guiracocha, a 25-year-old from Woodside, has been arrested for the hit-and-run. Guiracocha was charged with DWI, driving without a license and refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. According to the Post, when police found Guiracocha, they noticed that his car had a cracked windshield and crumpled in front bumper




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Anonymous

Are you serious??? Why would you, with no facts whatsoever, go directly to blaming a man who lost his life. The drivers vehicle was damaged to an extent that suggests he was going well over the speed limit. He left the scene. Yet you think, with no evidence AT ALL, that he ran a red light and it’s his fault.




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Red Light Means STOP

Did the biker bike through a red? If he did, its really his fault.




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Barbara

Streets were made for cars, not bikes, ride a bike is this 3rd world neighborhood sunnyside has become ,you risk getting hurt. Half the people who immigrate here cant drive, its dangerous to ride a bike around here, period. End of story.




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Anonymous

So because the streets were designed to primarily accommodate cars that automatically makes it right? The fact that streets were made for cars is the problem. That and people like you.




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Anonymous

No Barbara. No no no. What makes Sunnyside a 3rd world neighborhood is the lack of good street design and traffic enforcement. Most other first world countries have more people on bikes and less traffic fatalities.




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Anonymous

The fact that you risk getting hurt riding a bike on the streets doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ride a bike. It means that we need to make the streets safer.




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Anonymous

Barbara. You clearly are ignorant. Sunnyside has long been a neighborhood of immigrants. The bike lanes came after the neighborhood became a cheaper trendy alternative to Manhattan. I know this because I grew up here and I’m in my 40’s now. Not sure what your story is, but perhaps you should take your head out if your ass.




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Bikerdude

Not only are you ignorant, you are misinformed. And I’d venture to say bigoted and xenophobic as well.

I pay taxes. I built those goddamn roads. They belong to me. I can use them however I wish under the law. Bike lanes exist for a reason. The asphalt is built for ALL MODES OF WHEELED TRAFFIC. If you don’t like it, too bad. But your reasoning skills are severely hampered.




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When will it stop?

I just walked by 43rd Ave two blocks from where this happened and the bike lane was filled with double parked cars. We shouldn’t accept this! Where is the 108 to protect all residents???




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Michael

To 108th and J Van Beamer: emergency vehicles arrived about 10-12 minutes after I heard the impact.

After hearing he impact, I looked outside my window at 43rd Ave and 39th PLACE and saw nothing – no accident, no cars, nobody lying on ground injured, no cars speeding away. I saw what looked to be a bag of garbage in the road and thought a car might have driven by and hit that, causing the sound. It was really late and I thought nothing had happened, but now I wish I had gotten dressed and canvassed the nearby corners. I’m not sure I would have been able to help any, but I wanted to respond to the statement about knowing how long the victim had been lying before emergency vehicles arrived.

God bless the hard working people who choose to bike long distances on dangerous routes to/from their minimum wage jobs in order to save $120(?) on a monthly MTA subway pass. Affordable housing? How about safe, reliable, and affordable transportation? Spend an evening on 43rd Avenue and you will see dozens of bikers – many appear to be immigrant workers. I would guess more than 65% are low wage earners – many are dressed in the back kitchen uniforms (white tops, aprons, checkered pants) coming home from their restaurant jobs in Manhattan.

Shame on the a-hole earlier in comments who suggested the biker was drunk – just the opposite I bet. Sober, peaceful, law abiding and hard working. I would love for that jerk to spend a week in this victim’s shoes and then try to call him a drunk.




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Anonymous

Bike lanes are a great idea. It’s too bad that narrow minded, selfish, car-obsessed people stymie progress toward the infrastructure and enforcement this neighborhood (and city) needs to have safe streets for everyone. Bicycles don’t kill people. Cars do. You should both be ashamed for suggesting fault of someone who is dead for being forced to share the road with dangerous drivers of multi-ton vehicles with half assed infrastructure and no enforcement. The city/community is responsible for this. Car “accidents” have been far too normalized. They are considered an inevitable occurrence and motorists’ reckless behavior tolerated. It defies reason.




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Diego

What would you have done in the same situation? The drive had money to get out I wouldn’t be shock if the guy gets an investigator to get evidence to some how show the biker ran a red light resulting the death of him. Because that will save the driver from everything and since there is no proof he was drunk then they can’t blame it unless they have done the field exam they can use that. it’s easy to blame the driver but it’s harder to accept the cyclist broke the law as well. We should learn from this instead of pointing fingers that the traffic laws should be follow motorists or cyclist.




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Christmas

Maybe the poor guy was just finishing a 12 hour shift and riding his only mode of transportation during terrible weather.Irregardless he was struck down in the prime of his life by a disrespectful motorist who failed as a human being.




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Anonymous

The daily news reported that he was in fact on his way home from work. But people on this thread went straight to blaming the victim. It’s frustrating to say the least.




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rikki

yup look closely BLACK bike no headlights no reflectors rainy night, probably wouldn’t have been arrested if they stayed and took pictures




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Anonymous

Have you seen the damage to the car? He was speeding. If the driver was going the speed limit and following traffic laws but still hit him, it’s very likely this guy would still be alive. I don’t know why I’m responding to you though. You’re clearly an idiot.




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We dont need more bikes!

Bikes on New York City streets are dangerous. Few bicycle riders wear helmets or follow the rules. There is no way of identifying a bike rider. I have never seen a bike rider ticketed for flying down a one way street in the wrong direction. Or passing through a red light. The car should have stopped. NO EXCUSE!!! But unfortunately, many more accidents are going to happen. I have seen people riding the citi bikes loaded down with shopping and grocery bags hanging from handle bars, stopping in the middle of busy roads because they cannot balance!




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Anonymous

Tragedies like this happen because of cars not bikes. All of those cyclist behaviors you listed are extremely unlikely to kill anyone. So why is that the problem??? It makes no sense.




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Both driver and bicycle rider

I have seen a person riding a bicycle on the BQE, at night?! I have also seen a person, on a bicycle, riding east on Rt. 80 early one winter morning?! A bicycle vs cars and trucks on Rt 80? Bike vs cars and trucks on BQE?! All people have to taken ownership of their actions. We do not know who was at fault for this terrible accident. The driver should have stopped. But, riding a bike on the streets of NYC is dangerous.




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Anonymous

Your two examples of extremely risky cycling are irrelevant. The streets are not safe because of CARS. Period.




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BikerDude

You obviously don’t know this intersection. Your anecdotal experiences are not applicable here.




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Both driver and bicycle rider

I know the intersection extremely well. Have driven through it for the last 38 years on a bicycle and driving a car. Bicycle riders have to take responsibility for their actions as well as motor vehicle operators.




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Anonymous

they are not bike lanes they are called bike/pedestrian lanes this is what was never told to anybody –




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POS3

You’re some kind of special aren’t you?! Pedestrians walk in the “sidewalk” What a bafoon.




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SunnysideBiker

Let me understand this, Mike and Barb. A two ton car runs over a guy on a bike and it’s the bikers fault? The Bike Lane’s fault? Van Bramer’s fault? Maybe Putin had something to do with it with this Flynn character. I also think maybe Kim Jong-un or maybe ayatollahs in Iran might be behind this. . . or maybe just liberals that want some kind of sustainable transportation. Yeah. That’s it. Liberals.




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Repulsed

Are you the same Barbara who said that the innocent, one-year-old child is better off dead in another thread?




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Billy

Repulsed- Go back and read Barbaras post about her handle being hijacked by that jerk who posts under a number of handles such as Rocky, lucky 7, tootsie oil beef and hook, Johnny, and a number of others. Christian Murray needs to link these comments to other socual media so this type of thing doesn’t continue to happen and we could have honest discussions on this site.




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MIKE

Maybe the guy on the bike was at fault. Maybe he was intoxicated, but the motorist should have stopped. Bikes are dangerous, especially at 2am. Either way a tragedy.




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johnny

MIKE, The Daily News have a picture of the Car on there Website, Take a look at that damage and tell anyone it was the fault of the Cyclist, Shame on You.




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Anonymous

Wow. I just looked that picture up. That driver must have been going super fast to cause that kind of damage. This is murder.




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Andrea Abreu

Maybe the driver was drunk and the guy on the bike wss gong home after working 14 hours




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Anonymous

Not one to jump to assumption, but seriously, that’s almost certainly what happened. Poor guy.




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rikki

NEVER leave the scene of the accident, yell at the damn bike rider for probably wearing all BLACK black bike NO headlight s or reflectors….impossible to see until you are too close to stop

My parents made us wear a reflective jacket when we rode after dark….Ive had a few close calls like this driving in sunnyside,

If you dont want to be seen you increase exponentially your chance of getting hit and killed….

I know its GEEKY UGLY to wear a reflective jacket and to put tape on your bike but it might save your life……




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POS2

I totally agree with Mike so am I a pos because he could be right?
95%of the people riding bikes around here ride against traffic, without a helmet, on the sidewalks, on cell phones, doing what they shouldn’t be and driving unsafely.
Bicycles have been givien way too much in this city and there’s no ticketing or recourse on them.
Drivers need eyes in the back of there head in this city.




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Anonymous

There are a ton of inconsiderate cyclists out there. But they don’t kill people, cars do. The vast majority of people in this neighborhood do not use cars as their primary transportation. Cars have been given way to much in this city. Drivers reflgularly run red lights, are texting, speeding, and there is no ticketing or recourse on them.




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Anonymous

Incorrect. You simply hate cars. Its a free country. Take any position you like, but if you are unreasonable about it, no one has to agree with or respect you.




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Anonymous

It’s not a free country. I don’t own a car my tax dollars pay for the roads and bridges and parking spacing you lazy POS’s use like it’s your god given right. I hope you all get priced out of this neighborhood and find some other rat hole to call home.




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Bikerdude

95% of people riding bikes? Can you prove that or are you just blowing smoke out your ass? You, like many others with cognition disabilities, conflate personal experience with facts and statistics.

Sure, there are riders that are irresponsible. I’m guessing you’d find irresponsible drives who drive cars without a seatbelt, while texting, running stop lights, etc. I just saw an a-hole blow past a red light on Qns Blvd because they wanted the parking space on the next block. I also almost got run over by a van last week while crossing with the light. By your reasoning, everybody in cars is irresponsible.

And lastly, bikes are not cars. They don’t weigh as much, they don’t reach top speeds of over 100 mph, and need massive distances to bring two tons of steel to a stop. Cars have engines. Bikes do not have a motor or require fossil fuels to ‘run.’ They should not be treated the same, but a typical methodology which is endemic to conservative thinking, is make everything black and white. It makes it easy for half a brain to process.




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Artio Nope

In all my years as a cyclist I have never seen a God-DAMN cyclist, cycling down a street swerving from side to side because of intoxication. I mean. come on! How fast can a intoxicated cyclist go? This shit is ongoing. These killers need to spend their life in jail.




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Anonymous

There no good driver in new york city the yellow taxis they don’t know how to drive and Uber and Lyft damm I wish at I know where they get there driver license at




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rikki

Jess that MAY NOT be true…………in an accident investigation the exact
point of the impact is crucial to your answer…

Did the car cross over into the bike lane and hit the biker OR did the biker cross over into the car lane and was wearing all black with NO reflectors or jacket and the driver couldn’t see him until the impact.

You cant assume anything until the actual point of impact is determined.




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Johnny

Rikki- You’re wrong!!! An unlicensed driver has no right to be driving whatsoever.Courts view the unlicensed driver as the participant with full responsibility. The unlicensed driver was not suppose to be driving, cut and dry, plain and simple. There would be no accident concerning the unlicensed driver if he had not been breaking the law at the time of the accident.




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rikki

johnny while that may be true we are talking about comparative negligence…

What percentage are each at fault.

Its like saying if travon was a good kid he wouldn’t have been suspended from school and would have never been in sanford FL to meet Zimmerman.




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