Bicyclist Sideswiped and Run Over on State Route 1

Synopsis

Facts: On May 26, 2009, Claire Diepenbrock was riding her bicycle northbound on Shoreline Highway (State Route 1) between Laurel Way and Tennessee Avenue in Marin County when she was struck by an intoxicated motorist. Diepenbrock was knocked off her bicycle and fell into the roadway where she was struck by a second motorist.

Diepenbrock asserted claims against both drivers who struck her as well as the State of California for failing to maintain the highway shoulder and the neighboring property owner who allowed driveway gravel to spill out into the roadway making the highway more dangerous for cyclists. The intoxicated driver was also prosecuted by the Marin County District Attorneys' Office.

Diepenbrock suffered injuries including: traumatic brain injury; fractured radial head of her left arm; multiple rib fractures; pulmonary contusion/hemorrhage; bilateral clavicle fractures; fractured the petrous temporal bone & mastoid region; fractured her squamous left temporal bone at the lateral margin of the middle cranial fossa; sustained a mildly displaced fracture of the left occipital condyle; mildly displaced fracture of the right transverse process of C7; permanent loss of vision in her left eye due to optic nerve damage; inability to close her right due to cranial nerve damage; and cranial nerve VII palsy. First responders did not believe that Diepenbrock would survive her injuries.

Diepenbrock spent months in intensive care followed by months of in hospital rehabilitative therapy. Diepenbrock had to re-learn how to walk and talk.

Diepenbrock had a remarkable recovery, successfully reentered the workforce, and due to hard work and determination returned to competing in extreme endurance sports.

Resolution: $3,679,080 in Settlements and Restitution