Fatality Tracker: Woman killed while entering a car

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 20 (9 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 7

Until we receive more information, this woman’s death in the block of 6500 S Pulaski Road is being considered a pedestrian traffic fatality. The Chicago Tribune has details:

Judith Bramwell, of the 5700 block of South St. Louis Avenue, was pronounced dead about 11:25 p.m. Saturday. Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said the woman was hit while she tried to get in a car in the 6500 block of South Pulaski Road in the West Lawn neighborhood about 2 a.m. Saturday morning. Charges are pending against the 51-year-old driver who hit her, Gaines said.

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time and includes only people who died in the Chicago city limits. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

8 thoughts on “Fatality Tracker: Woman killed while entering a car”

          1. Yes, I understand that it would have been the doorer instead of the dooree that was killed in this case. But I for one don’t want to see the Bicycle Community waste all that time arguing that bikes are traffic and doorings are crashes, only to turn around and declare a dooring driver an innocent “pedestrian” just because she opened her door into another car and died for it.

            I know we really shouldn’t declare anybody anything based on the few facts we have, but let’s at least be consistent. If a person getting into his vehicle opens his door into a cyclist and the cyclist dies, it’s a dooring. If the same person getting into the same vehicle opens his door into a car and is himself killed, what’s the difference?

          2. That’s a very weird interpretation of what happened here. First of all, how can a person getting into a car door somebody? It would require the cyclist to ignore the existence of somebody getting into a car and, essentially, clip them. At the same time, it would require the person getting into the car either to ignore a cyclist they would clearly see, or to make some physically complicated movements in the getting-into-the-car process. I just don’t seeing dooring working that way.

            Moreover, “dooring” impies opening a door into the path of oncoming traffic so that the traffic hits the door. I think it was incidental that the door was in the path of oncoming traffic, and that the door would have been hit whether open or closed. (The article does not say which is true.) The important element in the path of oncoming vehicle was the victim. Assuming she hit the door–and this is not known–it’s only because the car hit her first and knocked her into it.

            We have very little information to go on, here, but based on this information, I wonder if this were more purposeful than the typical crash. I wonder if the victim knew the driver, and whether she was trying to get away from him. I would not be surprised to see this classified as a homocide.

          3. I make that your linked case has little relation to the crash described in this post. What happened in your link was what my second paragraph would describe as dooring … just with egregious carelessness of the nature mentioned in my first paragraph. Person opens car door into traffic, traffic hits car door. Traffic is doored. That’s very different from person approaches car door from undefined position, may or may not open car door or be anywhere near it, traffic hits person and, possibly, car door, though that is not made clear.

            If the bicyclist in the case you cite had run into the person instead of the open door, then you might have an analogous situation. But that analogous situation would not be a dooring. It would be a bicyclist hitting a pedestrian.

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