Toledo Man Sentenced to One Year Behind Bars for Fatally Hitting a Man on a Bicycle Last October

Toledo Man Sentenced to One Year Behind Bars for Fatally Hitting a Man on a Bicycle Last October

A Toledo man was sentenced to a year behind bars after he struck and killed a bicyclist with his car in October of last year.  According to police, 42-year-old Winston Autry was riding his bike along Lagrange when he was hit by a car. The driver, later identified by police as Rayshawn Smith, fled the scene. Autry was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. Smith was initially charged with vehicular homicide but pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of failure to stop after an accident. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Friday morning.


This recent tragic case highlights the dangers that all bicyclists face when they go out for a ride. Whether it is your children taking their bikes down the street to play with friends, or you are weekend warrior who puts in serious miles on the roads for fun and exercise, safety must be the number one priority. Especially when riding on the roads you must be aware that you are “sharing” the road with a much larger, faster cars and trucks that may or may not be aware of you riding on the alongside them. These common safety tips are good points to follow.

  • Obey traffic signs and signals – Bicycles must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
  • Always wear your helmet – Bicyclist’s 14 years old and younger are required to wear a helmet when operating a bicycle.  The helmet must conform to the standard established by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) at all times.
  • Never ride against traffic – Motorist’s aren’t looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. State law and common sense require that bicyclists drive like other operating vehicles.
  • Don’t pass on the right – Motorist’s may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
  • Keep both hands ready to brake – You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet.
  • Scan the road behind you – Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving. Some riders use rear-view mirrors.
  • Never operate a bicycle wearing headphones, talking on a cell phone or text messaging – Wearing headphones, talking on a cell phone or text messaging when operating a bicycle can be a deadly distraction.  Be alert to your surroundings; stop your bicycle when sending or receiving a cell phone call or text message.
  • Follow lane markings – Don’t turn left from the right lane. Don’t go straight in a lane marked “right-turn only.”
  • Do not consume alcohol – Consuming alcohol and operating a bicycle do not mix.  Alcohol can dramatically diminish a bicyclist’s cognitive and physical abilities and can result in a crash.
  • Dress appropriately – In rain, wear a poncho or a waterproof suit. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. Wear brightly colored clothing.
  • Use hand signals – Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy and of self-protection.
  • Ride in the middle of the lane in slower traffic – Get in the middle of the lane at busy intersections and whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic.
  • Choose the best way to turn left – There are two choices: (1) Like an automobile: Signal to move into the left turn lane and then turn left. (2) Like a pedestrian: Ride straight to the far side crosswalk. Walk your bike across.
  • Make eye contact with drivers – Assume that other drivers don’t see you until you are sure that they do. Eye contact is important with any driver who might pose a threat to your safety.
  • Look out for road hazards – Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
  • Use lights at night – New York law requires a white headlight (visible from at least 500 feet ahead) and a red rear reflector or taillight (visible up to 300 feet from behind).
  • Keep your bike in good repair – Adjust your bike to fit you and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine maintenance is simple and you can learn to do it yourself.

Accidents where a car and a bicycle collide is an accident where the bicyclist will certainly be injured. Even following the above safety tips cannot change when a driver simply is at fault and hits a bicycle. The injuries can be serious if not life threatening. Drivers must follow and obey all traffic laws and be aware of all other drivers on the road including the bicycle whom shares the road and has a legal right to be there too. A driver who as fault for an accident can be held both criminally and civilly liable.

Our Team Can Help You if You Have Been Hurt in a Bicycle Accident

A motorized vehicle and a bicycle accident is inherently dangerous situation. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident please call our offices so we may perhaps help. Call Charles E. Boyk Law Offices and speak with an experienced lawyer regarding your case today.

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC