If you assume it is true, how did the truck make that turn from the right turn lane? It is impossible. The radius is too tight. If anyone should know that, you should and so should the Commander. So what was the position of the truck prior to making the turn? Do you really think the Commander knows at that point in time. Heck no! Yet he talks into the camera as though the does. And you should agree that missing information is huge in determining fault.
The statement of the truck driver can be proven or disproven through an accident reconstruction using computer simulation. If you know how accident recon experts works, they can take the skid marks, the arch of the skid marks, the length of the truck, the wheel base of the truck and trailer axles and make a pinpoint recreation of the turn. Their computer can easily extend the arch of the skid marks into the street and redraw the angle of the truck as it entered Vallon. They know exactly where the cyclist struck the truck because his body was stuck in the truck. They know the tire that locked up or made the skid mark. Also, with the computer simulation, they could figure where in the street that impact took place. All that information is available to the Sheriff Dept, yet the Commander neglected to research it in advance of placing blame on the cyclist. Why?
With that computer information available, why would the Commander assume the truck driver is telling the truth. Why not tell the public it is under investigation?
Let me ask you this: Do you think it matters where, how and when the truck initiated its turn when placing fault? I do.
I recently asked if a car abruptly turned in front of a cyclist and hit him while pulling into a driveway or parking space, would the car be at fault. It was said that the car would be responsible because he was changing lanes and he should have looked back to make sure his lane change was safe to make. Well, that same rule applies to the truck driver.
I think we can make a better assumption of what took place. The Commander's assumption of the truck being against the curb and the skilled cyclist riding up the 24" gap between the truck and the curb at 45mph is absurd. All while not passing in the two open lanes to the left of the truck. Yes, the Commander's scenario is just stupid.
What likely happened is that the truck was in the #1 or #2 lane prior to the turn. When the cyclist rounded the turn he saw the truck stationary. As he approached the truck it veered left to make a larger radius right turn onto Vallon. The cyclist saw the truck veer to the left so he chose the right side to make the pass. Or, the truck was in the #1 lane which forced the cyclist to pass on the right. Suddenly, after the cyclist was committed to the pass on the right, the truck swerved to the right. After that the door was closed on the cyclist and his fate was sealed.
The conclusion: My scenario is possible, likely and provable. The Commander's is extremely unlikely, impossible and disprovable. Remember, downhill traffic has the right of way over traffic pulling in front of them. One must consider the speed, momentum and inertia of downhill traffic and their lack of stopping ability. Thus the law.
No matter how you dice it, the truck driver did not use his mirrors prudently.
Oh, and at 50mph, a bike can stop for that intersection because I have done it many times. Therefore, the truck was initially in a position to give the cyclist a green light on passing it, but instead the truck made an abrupt redirecting move after the bike was in his rear view mirror.
This is accident recon 101.