Amy Alexander of Scottsdale Cited in Fatal Collision with Bicyclist Shawn McCarty; "Inattention" a Possible Factor, Cops Say

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Image: Innovative Media Partners
Amy Alexander of Scottsdale received two citations following the fatal collision between her SUV and a bicyclist on Sunday.

If you enjoy the pleasures of two-wheeled vehicles like we do, you know why we had goosebumps after hearing about the fatal car-bike collision on Sunday in north Scottsdale.

The victim, 53-year-old Shawn McCarty, was doing everything right. He had a helmet on and was riding in a bike lane. It was about 4:30 p.m. and the weather was clear and beautiful. An SUV rammed into him from behind.

For reasons still unknown to police, a black Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Amy Alexander of Scottsdale had swerved into the bike lane. McCarty was taken to a hospital soon after and pronounced dead.

Police cited Alexander for unsafe passing of a bicycle and driving in a bicycle lane. Her driving hadn't been impaired by drugs or alcohol, cops believe.

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​There was no indication the crash was intentional -- Officer David Pubins tells New Times that the two didn't know each other.

"The investigation is ongoing but at this time inattention may be the cause," Pubins wrote in an e-mail.

Alexander, 40, is a principal in Scottsdale's Innovative Media Partners. A woman who answered the phone there this morning says Alexander isn't expected to return to work for a few days. "I don't believe she's giving a comment" about the collision, the woman adds.

The road near the collision site is wide, and the bike lane's about as good as it gets in the Valley.

One possible solution to this kind of accident: Raised bike lanes.


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163 comments
Pierre Puissant
Pierre Puissant

Vehicular manslaughter (also known as vehicular homicide) in most states, is a crime. In general, it involves death that results from the negligent operation of a vehicle, All states except Alaska, Montana, and Arizona have vehicular homicide statutes. The laws have the effect of making a vehicle a potentially deadly weapon, to allow for easier conviction and more severe penalties. In states without such statutes, defendants can still be charged with manslaughter or murder in some situations.

Pierre Puissant
Pierre Puissant

Indeed it is very sad.  It certainly does appear to be accidental, but that doesn't excuse the driver, who was negligent.  When negligence results in a death, then a charge of vehicular manslaughter is appropriate.  Whether or not the charge is ever filed, the family of the deceased could sue for wrongful death in a civil court.

Paula
Paula

What ever happened to involuntary manslaughter?  $420 -- I paid more than that for a speeding ticket--not someones life!!!

Robert Evans
Robert Evans

If Mrs. Alexander was sincerely and truly sorry, she would be doing all she could do to make things "right" In other words, acknowledge what she did by truthfully explaining how the accident occurred instead of "pleading the 5th". Next, she would admit her responsibility and apologize to the victim's family. Finally, she would try to make restitution. Of course she can't bring Mr. McCarty back to life but she could voluntarily come to an agreement on a financial settlement with the victim's family. Mrs. Alexander doesn't appear to be very sorry by her current actions or the lack thereof. If she was sincere, she would put aside her own self-interest and do what she could for the victim's family. So far she has chosen NOT to do this. I do believe in mercy, but justice cannot rob mercy. It's up to God to forgive (if you believe in that). Society can also forgive, but first justice must be served, the law must be carried out. Unfortunately there are no vehicular manslaughter laws in this state. Not much of a law to be carried out. Its up to Mrs. Alexander to voluntarily do the right thing which she will do if she's truly and sincerely is sorry. If she doesn't, then I'm sure a civil suit brought about by the victim's family will. Finally, I wish Mrs. Alexander no ill will. I don't think she is a bad person. I  wish no harm to her family. I don't want to harass her. If I were to guess, I'm sure she feels some degree of sadness and regret for that fateful day. It is sad. She made a bad choice, which was not being attentive while wielding a 2 ton weapon. Sadly, that bad choice cost the life of another human being. I hope she accepts responsibility for her actions instead of hiding behind a defendant's attorney.

Ricklen02
Ricklen02

probably texting. i was a full-time commuter for several years and almost every time i saw a car swerving, driving through signals or generally not paying attention... there was a phone involved. drivers think they're sly holding the phone on their lap, but the giveaway is seeing them peer up and and down constantly, eyes and head bobbing up and down like they're nodding yes while driving. The screen light it an obvious giveaway, especially at night or in a tinted car. The most obvious is that a bike rider sits above a car, so I can simply look straight down onto the driver's lap and see them texting "discreetly". Not to be sexist, but I observed probably 5 women to every 1 man driving/texting/swerving. As a commuter, making eye contact with every driver (when possible) is a survival skill. oh, and for the girls with the big fashionable sunglasses thinking you're slick by holding your head upright while texting... i see the screen's reflection in them, or any eyewear for that matter. nothing you could possibly read or write is more important than a life. please hang up and drive.

Sjmkestrel
Sjmkestrel

Justice will be served on the civil side since it obviously wasn't on the criminal side.  This was not an accident and should have been manslaughter.  It's an insult to the the victim and his family and I hope they take as much away from her and her family financially as she took from him and his family physically and emotionally.   

Jutsie
Jutsie

Amy Alexander killed a man!!!! It is just too hard to comprehend that a ticket and drivers school is her punishment. If it were her son or husband, would she be happy with just a ticket and an Internet class??? How are her days??? Does her heart ache from missing a loved one??? Is she able to sit at her kitchen table across from her husband and eat dinner?? Can she laugh and enjoy a meal with her family? Does she know what it's like to want to have a dream of your loved one because they were taken from you suddenly?? Let's not forget, there are a lot of very sad people who miss Shawn very much. His life was cut short by a very selfish, inconsiderate Amy Alexander. As Shawn will never be forgotten, unfortunately neither will Amy Alexander!!!

Kristi
Kristi

I think they should publish the name of drivers who kill people! I am sure she feels bad, as she should. If you drive you need to pay attention. It is a crime to hit someone with your vehicle.

Jutsie
Jutsie

This tragedy should not be forgotten.  As stated by Elizabeth, a law needs to be put in place.  This was a man, who followed the rules, who did what was right, who paid attention to others, who paid attention period.  He paid attention, he followd the rules and he is not here anymore.  This woman was behind the wheel of a 5000 pound weapon.  Unfortunetley for the rest of us, she will be again.  Next time she chooses to be inattentive and irresponsible, my fear is that she will kill another innocent person. It could be you, it could be your husband and your childs father riding in that same designated bike path that Amy Alexander did not respect. and was not as significant as what she was doing .  Her selfishness for attending to something that she should  not been doing has taken the life of another human being.  What is her punishment?? A meaningless ticket, with no real punishment?? Something is not right here.  Something is desperately wrong when an innocent man is killed and a slap on the wrist is punishment.  Please, everyone, we need to ban together to pass a law, to keep people like her off the streets.  Please, in Shawns name!!  Mistakes of inattention cannot be given a slap on the wrist.  A good man would do what is right,  Shawn would do what is right!!

Goodgulf
Goodgulf

 Are you the Poet Laureate?  Come on, you don't have to hide the truth from us, admit it.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Shawn was my husband's best friend and business partner of 20 years.  We traveled the world extensively with Shawn and his new wife.  Although we are greatly saddened and shocked but his sudden and senseless death, there are no winners here.  I am sure Ms. Alexander is hurting tremendously as well.  If you knew Shawn, he was larger than life itself.  He loved God, his wife, his family and dogs.  If the cause of this "inattentiveness" was due to texting or talking on the phone, I know Shawn would have wanted to right the wrong.  I encourage everyone to write or call our government officials to finally pass legislation banning cell phone use while driving.  Unfortunately, until this State wakes up, it will happen again.

Maria Horvat-Palan
Maria Horvat-Palan

Drivers need to pay attention to the road, I am sick of being yelled at to get off the road and almost losing my life because people that drive cars are assholes!  I cyclists have as much of a right to be on the road as cars do-we have to drive cautiously and so should drivers!  SIck of fat ass people honking and swearing at me to get off the road!  Get your fat ass out of a car on a bike for exercise!  Sorry- a bit wound up as I almost got pushed into a ditch myself this weekend because some  ahole was in some hurry to go>?  Cyclists are not arrogant drivers are!  

Rex Reason
Rex Reason

Events like this one happen on a nearly weekly basis in Phoenix. It's tragic, but why focus on this one? Because it's in Scottsdale? Inattention was likely the cause of several of those accidents, as well.

It's almost like you can run over a pedestrian or cyclist with nary a ticket in Arizona. Pretty bizzare and sad, but what do you expect in this city full of assholes? It's odd in this case that there was a citation.

Zonies can barely multitask as it is. So they really shouldn't be on the phone behind their shitbox 2-ton SUVs and monster trucks, as it's arguably as dangerous as drunk driving.

Read - http://www.distraction.gov/res...

Jn Brown
Jn Brown

no surprise.  after riding bikes for about ten yrs.  i would say 90% of my trips are a near crash due to inattentive cage drivers.  about 90% of those would be middle aged women.  was media girl on the phone?

Paul
Paul

Accidents happen. Assume nothing.
And I am a cyclist.

Hal Ballard
Hal Ballard

Please use the word crash instead of accident.  Inattention is no accident. Mr. McCarty is dead.

JSC
JSC

Some people keep saying this was an accident, and I believe it probably was.  However, that in no way exonerates her.  Driving is a privilege.  When one chooses to drive, one automatically takes on the responsibilities associated with that privilege.  Shawn was an amazing person - I only knew him as a client of his, but in that short time I knew he was a very good person and he did not deserve this.  The driver might feel bad, and she will have to live with this.  However  given she has proven she is not a responsible driver, she needs to face consequences beyond a simple citation or two (as someone mentioned, at least take her driving privileges away for a few years).

greyhound
greyhound

Why was she innattentive?  When you take the wheel you take on a responsibility.
Driving into someones lane and causing a fatality is negligent homocide.  Ive seen many bike/vehicle accidents over the past 10 years and the police are reluctant to cite the drivers unless its beyond any doubt.  This driver may be sorry but she's responsible for her actions.  
Its time to start prosecuting the guilty so that people wake up.  The mere fact that she got cited is enough to show me she's responsible for the death of this bicyclist (due to her negligence).  

Jutsie
Jutsie

Today Shawn will be laid to rest.  He left his home for a ride down the route he took many a time.  He fully expected to come home to have the dinner his wife was preparing.  That did not happen.  He was one of the happiest, kindest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  He loved life, his family and his bike.  He was a friend to everyone who knew him.  To be upset with a journalist whose job it is to report is ridiculous.  The facts have been laid out, names or no names.  The fact is, a most wonderful human being is no longer with us and when he left on his beloved bike ride, he had no idea that he would never go home again.  How sad.  The other people named in this article were able to go home.  Shawn was not.  I have never heard the word "inattention".  Is this something new?  A decent, hard working, caring husband and son and friend is being laid to rest way before his time.  My question to all those who are condemning the journalist who named names is, what if the tables were turned, what if it was you or the other person named in the article, would it be ok to name them then??  Inattention to me means that somebody was doing something other than driving.  Is this legal? Today, say a prayer for Shawn and his family.  They could use it right now.

Markgdds
Markgdds

Been a Valley resident for forty years and have read the New Times almost every week.  But, this may be the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.  Yes, this is a horrible tragedy that a man has died.  BUT...this was an accident plain and simple. So, the reason to print a picture, name and name of business of the driver of the vehicle is what?  This story was published in other media outlets with just the names and facts.  Ray Stern has overstepped his journalistic boundaries.  Shame on him.

Phil Cochren
Phil Cochren

Perhaps we fully investigate Ms Alexander's phone records to be sure she wasn't texting.  When there is a fatality, I believe we treat inattentive driving totally different.  We have a loss of life here, a father, a husband, a brother and most importantly a human life.  You don't drive down the road and just hit bicyclist, you have a license to DRIVE, PERIOD!  I believe this woman was doing something other than that and only she knows that.  She needs to be punished.  We need to let others know, while driving, DRIVE not drive.  I live close to this accident and I cycle as well as run and this woman has NO excuse, she unintentally killed this man.  She needs to be punished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

Another possible solution? Riding your bike not on a road. I know you idiots will hate on me for stating the obvious. The share the road is fine, however bikers should know they will lose EVERY time when hit by a car. For that reason take up Mountain biking instead and ride on trails designed for bikes only.

Miguelobrien4
Miguelobrien4

I have been reading sympathetic comments for the staff sergeant who methodically shot nine children in their heads while they slept.  Poor man, he couldn't help himself.  Maybe he was texting and his weapon took over.

Jutsie
Jutsie

One can only hope!!  Read the new article from the New Times.  I commend them on their great reporting of this tragedy!!

Juicr14
Juicr14

Shawn was My uncle I'm going to miss him dearly

David Huntsman
David Huntsman

Not sure what you mean. What kind of accident just "happens" without a cause?

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 that is what I have been trying to say and everyone says I am somehow responsible and I am part of the problem. I also have pointed out much to everyone's dismay that a little 6 inch wide white line IS not going to help a cyclist either. I suggested if people are fearful for their safety to stick to bike trails for mountain bikes, or other off highway ones. The sense of I can be wherever I want on my bike is not such a great idea after all no matter what happens the bicyclist always loses to the car whether it's their fault or not.
The closest call I had with a bicyclist was at night, when the moron  shined a bright light right in my eye... Not such a smart idea, esp since they were going the wrong way and coming at my on the right..

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 what laws did she actually violate? After all no one has said what the citations are for.

I would assume improper lane change and failure to yield the right of way, both of which ARE CIVIL offenses not criminal.

Once again, I think people need to remember what civil vs criminal charges are, and what the consequences for them are.

SpinSucks
SpinSucks

Nicely done, JSC. I am glad to see friends of the victim finally countering the obvious attempt by Ms. Alexander's clients/friends to attempt to deflect criticisms by attacking the journalist in this forum. Ray Stern has done nothing worse than written a blog post about a fatal collision in a public place, using public records and interviews with public safety personnel. Ms. Alexander's little PR/spin machine here is sickening. How about a public apology instead? How about taking responsibility for your actions instead of lawyering up?    

Cindy
Cindy

well said JSC, probably the most articulate of all the posts! thank you for caring enough to post!  I knew Shawn as well...

Juicr14
Juicr14

Shawn was my uncle. I will miss him dearly. Too bad I had to miss his funeral

Marcy
Marcy

The word "accidental" means the event wasn't intentional.  

For example, most drunk drivers don't intend to crash into someone and kill them.

But that something wasn't intentional doesn't mean it wasn't the result of someone's intentional act of NEGLIGENCE.  Such as texting while driving or being intoxicated while driving.

It's long past time that we STOP making the excuse that it was "just an accident" and start holding people responsible for their IRRESPONSIBLE acts of negligence.  This is not a case of someone killed because a meteor struck them or a tree blew down on top of them, this was a completely avoidable tragedy and almost certainly the FAULT of someone.

Goodgulf
Goodgulf

Ummmmm yeaaaahhhhh.  Because putting the onus on the victim is how things should be done.

Marcy
Marcy

He was riding on in a lane that was designed for bikes only.

The solution to irresponsible drivers isn't to to remove everyone who ISN'T irresponsible from the road.

David Huntsman
David Huntsman

Ahh, the old "we drive recklessly on the public right-of-way, so you shouldn't be here" argument. Literally, what you are saying is, "if you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk..."

Cindy
Cindy

he was on a BIKE PATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Getreal
Getreal

you are a COMPLETE MORON! Period. The end.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 traffic accidents happen. THEY ARE ACCIDENTS. For whatever reason the lady hit the guy on the bike. It happens. It's sad, but how does it factor into a murder?

Evensonjim
Evensonjim

You are comparing a traffic accident to a man that shoots multiple people in the head?!! Get a grip on the realilty of the world we live in. Malicious acts deserve different reprocusions than accidents. It is amazing to me that people are so quick to prosecute without the knowledge to do so. Should we throw everyone that survives a traffic accident in prison? I'm sure most people,  at the very least, know someone that has survived a traffic accident whether they were at fault or not!!

David Huntsman
David Huntsman

Driving in a bike lane is illegal in AZ. Not a matter of improper lane change, but driving in a lane she's not allowed to drive in.

JSC
JSC

It is possible she did not violate any laws, but that does not mean she should not face any consequences.  Laws (and the consequences of breaking them) are often created and amended in response to issues that have already occurred, i.e. did not exist previously.  If in this case no laws were violated, then I would propose the law should be amended.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 oh?
I see so a little white line with a small usually 2 foot wide lane is really the solution to the problem in the first place?
AZ has everything ass backwards.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 I have yet to drive on a sidewalk.. when I do you can tell me to keep off of one you ignorant mother fucker.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 you mean the bike lanes along the road? That isn't a bike path that I Was talking about.

Marcy
Marcy

So if someone is DRUNK and gets into an "accident" that's no big deal because they didn't DELIBERATELY kill someone?

You're part of the problem PTCGAZ.

People need to be held responsible for their actions.

Cindy
Cindy

you are pathetic!!!!!

David Huntsman
David Huntsman

Ahhh. Sorry. It's an old ironic bumper sticker from the seventies. You must be young. Very young.

Goodgulf
Goodgulf

 No, both require choices.  The choice to drive drunk, or the choice to drive while distracted.  Nice vocabulary there BTW.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 what? I am part of the problem? I don't drive drunk. Driving drunk is separate from a traffic accident you fucking moron.

Goodgulf
Goodgulf

 No, it's murder if it's intentional.  it matters not whether a gun or a car.  The opposite applies to manslaughter.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 me pathetic. No, you are.

Traffic accidents usually result in manslaughter convictions. The purpose of a car is not to murder people. That is the distinction for me between murder and not. Like if you shoot someone with a gun that equals murder... but not if you hit someone by accident with a car.

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