February 16, 2012

Video streaming by Ustream

Late Wednesday evening, a member of Occupy LA was struck by a car as he rode his bicycle to cross a Beverly Hills street at a crosswalk. Following the Livestream, and statements from fellow occupiers, I've gathered that his name is "Will," and that he is one of the group's artists who has been with that occupy group since its beginning.

I'm not certain where the group was coming from, but it seems they had been at either a march or protest as they had signs, and at least one person was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. After about a minute into the video, you can hear a sound that was likely the impact, and those on foot catch up to where Will landed in the road with his mangled bike not far away.

Will was alert and responsive, attended to by police until emergency services arrived on the scene. He stated that his neck and back were hurt, and was kept lying flat until he was gently slid onto a stretcher. I didn't catch the name of the hospital he was being transported to, as someone off camera was giving that information to someone.

The car that struck him did stop, and the driver was being questioned by police. There was at least one witness who came forward, a plain-clothes Beverly Hills police officer who at first wouldn't speak to the occupiers, but did finally after giving his official statement to the other police on the scene.

Officer Hamill (I'm guessing at the spelling of his last name here) said that Will was right in front of him as they both were crossing the street at the crosswalk, and that they had the right of way. The car that hit Will did not yield the right of way, struck him, and he landed some 20-30 feet away in the road. He indicated that there would likely be an investigation into the accident before the driver would possibly be cited for any violation.

Members of the occupy group were upset that the driver wasn't given a breathalyzer test for alcohol, and at one point chanted demanding that he be given one. Also disconcerting was that the driver smiled widely as he watched the occupiers from where his car was sitting.

That's all I know at the moment, but I will be looking for updates later in the morning. Let's all hope for a speedy and full recovery for Will.

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