More Details Emerge Regarding the Death of Cyclist Nils Yannick Linke Near the Intersection of Turk and Masonic

I’ll tell you, I’m ignorant of any changes made by the City and County at or near the intersection of Turk and Masonic (before or) after the night Nils Yannick Linke was killed that would have changed anything.

Anyway, consider the below a kind of opening statement if the wrongful death suit doesn’t settle.

The intersection of Turk and Masonic:

Click to expand

“SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 18, 2011 – Petra Linke and Jüergen Schneider-Linke have filed a wrongful death lawsuit (case no. CGC-11-507332 [see SF StreetsBlog]) in San Francisco County Superior Court for the August 13th death of their son, 22-year-old Nils Yannick Linke, a German tourist who was fatally struck by a car while riding his bicycle on Masonic Avenue in San Francisco.  The suit, filed by The Veen Firm, names Joshua Calder, the vehicle’s driver; Nicole Mairs, Calder’s girlfriend who was a passenger in the vehicle; and June Soelberg, the vehicle’s registered owner.  Calder is facing criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident; he remains free on $500,000.00 bail.

“The defendants willfully got behind the wheel of a car after an evening of drinking and struck down Nils as he rode his bike.  They left the scene of the accident without rendering any assistance or calling for help.  The result is this young man’s tragic death.  While Calder is being tried in a criminal court, all of the defendants are also guilty of negligence.” said Kevin Lancaster of The Veen Firm.

On Aug. 13, 2010, Calder and Mairs had dinner in San Francisco, consuming two bottles of wine, a champagne cocktail, a beer and two shots of liqueur.  After leaving the restaurant, Calder was driving a Mercedes-Benz, registered to Mairs’ grandmother, June Soelberg.  While driving down Masonic Avenue, Calder struck Linke from behind.  Linke’s bike had a flashing white light on it.

The complaint alleges that Calder collided into Linke, causing him to hit the windshield before he landed in the street.  Calder then pulled the car to the side of the road and checked on Linke, who was convulsing and bleeding from the nose and ears.  Instead of rendering aid or calling for help, Calder moved the mangled bicycle to the side of the road, and returned to the car.  Mairs took over driving and sped away from the scene of the accident.

A few blocks away, police officers stopped the car.  Calder was arrested for driving under the influence; more than two hours after the accident his blood alcohol content was .10 percent.  His blood also tested positive for cannibinoids.

Linke was transported by the San Francisco Police Department Medic to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

“Clearly this tragedy is a direct result of Maris’ and Calder’s blatant disregard for the safety of others.  However, this case also highlights the need for safer streets for bicyclists in the city.  For years, safety advocates and residents of Masonic Avenue have been attempting to get the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to implement more traffic calming measures in the area.  For instance, the area between Fell and Geary on Masonic has ranked as the tenth highest corridor for bicycle collisions for the past five years.  Due to the efforts of groups such as Bike NOPA, SF Bike Coalition, Fix Masonic, and others, many changes have been made and more are in the works.  The streets should be safe for all roadway users, including bicyclists,” added Lancaster.

The Veen Firm focuses on recovering damages for the catastrophically injured and has since 1975.  The firm specializes in catastrophic injury, construction accident, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, negligence, premises liability, product liability, toxic exposure and wrongful death cases. For more information visit:  http://www.veenfirm.com

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