Horizons member struck by drunk? driver
September 15, 2005
On Monday September 12, 2005, at about 7:20pm, I was riding my Yamaha Seca II motorcycle southbound on Rt 67 through the town of Oxford CT. I was on my way to a Pathfinders Motorcycle Club meeting at the Brookside Inn in Oxford. Shortly before the intersection with Old State Rd, a pick-up truck hit me from behind. I was cruising at a steady 40-45mph, there was no traffic in front of me, and I was not stopping or slowing.
When the pick-up truck hit me, it kicked the back of the bike around so that the bike was pointed at 75-80 degrees from the direction of the road. That is to say, the bike was pointed nearly perpendicular to the road and pointed towards the shoulder of the northbound traffic lane. The impact pushed my butt to the back of the passenger saddle, over the rear axle of the bike, but my hands remained on the handlebars. Having ridden motorcycles on and off-road, and in competition for 37 years (since I was age ten), I have learned to not panic but to try to ride out a dynamically critical situation. As a result, and with some luck, I did not crash, and was able to straighten out the bike without going off the road, and return to the southbound lane, while avoiding oncoming traffic. Later, I calculated that I straightened out the bike (brought it back to my original southbound direction at the northbound shoulder) in twelve feet at 40-45mph, which I accomplished in .18 seconds (less than 2/10th of a second) from the time of impact.
As I was thus maneuvering the bike, the pick-up passed me on the right. The driver of the pick-up then made a right turn onto Old State Rd, and I followed. The driver drove fairly fast through a variety of twisty, hilly, narrow roads which are medium density residential. It was my perception that the driver was attempting to lose me, but I did not want to follow closely for fear that the driver might create another incident. After 2-3 miles, the driver made a 90 degree turn onto another road, and at that point I was able to read the license plate number. I stopped following the pick-up and rode to the Brookside Inn, where I called the police.
Trooper D'Archangelo took my statement and information, and later that evening arrested Robert Kluscinski, age 62, of Oxford CT, for Evading Responsibility and Following Too Closely. I understand, though it is not proved, that Robert Kluscinsky was under the influence of alcohol. The trooper told me that he was not charged with Driving Under the Influence because of the time lapse between the incident and the arrest, which would make successful prosecution of this charge difficult. I understand that there is more information in the Incident Report, which I have requested but not yet seen.