Famed Scientist Killed in Bicycle Accident in Berkeley
In July, 2012, renowned scientist Shlomo Bentin was killed when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a dump truck in downtown Berkeley, California. A neuropsychologist known for his research and insights into how the human brain works, Bentin was a professor of psychology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. He was visiting Berkeley to conduct experiments with professors at the University of California.
Details of the accident were sketchy, but witnesses say Professor Bentin was riding his bicycle in the 2100 block of Bancroft Way when he collided with a dump truck. The truck driver initially left the scene of the accident, apparently unaware that he had struck Bentin. A passing motorcyclist followed him and he returned to the scene of the accident, where he was interviewed by police. Law enforcement officers confirmed that Bentin was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but that the helmet was shattered in the collision.
Bentin’s death only illustrates the challenges that bicyclists face when traveling on the roadways in California. Though there have been national campaigns to increase awareness of the presence of cyclists, the fact that the driver of the dump truck was unaware that he had struck a bicyclist is all too familiar. Many bicyclists follow all appropriate safety procedures, and still incur serious and catastrophic injury, or even death, because of the carelessness or recklessness of motorists.
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