This disagreement about "accident" and "blame" is the tip of a philosophical debate which has been going on for decades (at least). A couple of quick points worth touching on:
- Blame does not have to add up to 100% - it depends on the perspective of the "blamer". E.g. from our perspective as cyclists on a cycle forum it may be appropriate for us to apportion all of the blame to the cyclist as he apparently did something stupid, illegal and reckless and we can adjust our own behavior accordingly to everyone's future benefit. But, if I were the parent of the toddler and I had discussed with her nanny the danger of allowing my daughter onto the path unsupervised because of reckless idiots on bikes and she allowed the situation to unfold as it did I might apportion some blame to the nanny, some to the cyclist and some to myself (for employing a careless nanny). I might even shuffle some of the "blame" in the direction of my daughter if I had warned her of the dangers, harsh though it sounds, if I thought that she was at the stage where it was appropriate for her to start taking some responsibility for her actions. This apportioning of "blame" (it is a bad word really) does not have to add up to 100%. From the perspective of the toddler she might blame her mother mostly, figuring that the world is full of dangers and it is her responsibility to protect her from them. Others might blame the designers of the shared cycle path. Chomsky might blame American right wing Republicans (he would find some sort of credible sounding argument).
- You can define an accident as being an unknown unknown, an unknown or a known..... etc. In this instance it could be argued that the cyclist was on shakier moral ground (given that he should have been aware of the risks but didn't seem to give a damn as though toddlers running on pavements were nothing more than insects) than someone who went out deliberately to run someone over (who would have at least acknowledged the humanity of his/her victim). This is not my stance but is a respectable position in philosophy circles.
Anyway, in short, there is some truth in what most people are posting on here but as usual the views have become entrenched and seemingly polar opposite.