On May 8, 2018, Robert Kwok was honored to hold a press conference on the Rice University bicycle fatality involving our client’s late-wife, Sudipta Roy, and to bring attention to bicycle safety.
Mr. Kwok led the press conference with these remarks:
“Around 11:55am on Tuesday April 24, 2018, 30-year old Sudipta Roy was struck and killed while riding her bicycle on Sunset while making the long dangerous crossing over Main street to Hermann Park and her home. She had made this same journey from studying at the Rice library and meeting her husband, Rice Professor Dr. Ujjal Bhattacharjee every day – hundreds of times. The same route every day.
But on this day, Sudipta approached the intersection of Sunset and Main with a green light and a white crosswalk walk symbol. She entered the intersection, but this time was suddenly and without warning struck by a dump truck making a right turn – his right rear wheel grabbing her front tire and pulling her down and crushing her, to death. Our experts believe the dump truck never saw her and never tried to avoid her – no evasive action, no skid marks – even though she was next to him in a marked crosswalk. This kind of turn is so common it has it’s own name – a “right turn hook.” It’s a bicyclists worst nightmare, and the big truck always wins. And yet the dump truck had a legal duty to yield the right of way to Sudipta under 2 statutes – Texas Transportation Code and the Vulnerable Road User Laws.”
Kwok legal team member Garrett Wilson then highlighted the applicable Texas Statute requiring the dump truck to yield the right of way to Sudipta. Next, Kwok legal team member Ryan Loya highlighted the applicable Vulnerable Road User law requiring the dump truck to yield the right of way to Sudipta.
Kwok continued, “We are here because the investigating officers made a rush to judgment – one that many of you reported – that somehow this crash was Sudipta’s fault. Over the past 25 years, my firm has represented 10’s of thousands of crash victims, many of them vulnerable road users. Some permanently injured, most of them killed. It’s easy to blame the victim, especially when they’re dead. That’s why Dr. Bhattacharjee hired my firm – to cooperate with HPD’s investigation and conduct our own parallel investigation – to clear Sudipta’s name. Because Sudipta did not cause her own death.
Sudipta was an expert cyclist, riding since she was 5 years old. Physically fit, excellent balance doing yoga and exercise. Familiar with the roads and this particular crossing. Familiar with the rules of the road, she knew the crosswalk was a safe zone for pedestrians and bikes. Especially in the Rice university area. In fact, the posted signs say people and bikes share the crosswalks – and Sudipta knew that because she had ridden that way was hundreds if not thousands of times.
Why a law firm? Because we have access to and relationships with the top experts in the country, accident reconstructionist, law enforcement, city/state officials, university professors, and bike law experts, and we will continue to consult with them to prove Sudipta was lawfully in the crosswalk and was lawfully in the intersection when she was mowed down by a dump truck making a right turn hook, tragically ending her vibrant meaningful life.
The objective of our representation: conduct a fair investigation applying all the facts and applicable law, which will clear Ms. Roy’s name and honor her memory
We will speak for Sudipta since she cannot speak for herself.
In the process we hope to achieve – Social justice – highlight bicycle safety, Texas law, vulnerable road user laws, encourage the City to make that intersection safer for cyclists.”
At which time Mr. Kwok turned the time over to Mary Natoli with Rice U Cycling and Triathlon for her reaction to Sudipta’s death and remarks on bicycle safety.
Next, John Long with Bike Houston gave his reaction to Sudipta’s death and remarks on bicycle safety.
A question and answer with the major networks and cameras rolling continued until the conference was adjourned. For more details, see the news articles posted below.
For entire footage of today’s press conference please click here.