Another OC cyclist killed, another giant yawn from the local press

One hundred words.

That all the life of an Orange County cyclist was worth today.

Allen Earl Miller, a 55-year old cyclist from Costa Mesa, was riding north on Temescal Canyon Road south of Indian Truck Trail between Corona and Lake Elsinore around 2:40 yesterday afternoon when a Ford SUV driven by Scott Reis drifted off the road for unknown reasons and struck him from behind; Miller died at the scene.

According to the Orange County Register, which offered the best coverage, no one has been arrested; the CHP is still investigating. Neither of the people in the truck were injured.

It took the Register exactly 100 words to tell the story, not counting the headline. The sum total of a life, nothing more than name, age and cause of death.

A story so insignificant, it didn’t make the first 10 pages of news stories in a Google search last night or again this morning. And didn’t even make the news at all just a few miles north in L.A. — then again, neither did the tragic death of Jorge Alvarado.

It’s only another death on the roads.

Only another cyclist killed.

………

Chances are, I still wouldn’t have know about Miller’s death if the Claremont Cyclist hadn’t picked up the story.

I cringed when I saw the image of the Ghost Bike on his site, because it meant another cyclist had died. And I hope Michael will forgive me for quoting liberally from his post. But he has something important to say.

Explain to me again how someone just drifts “off the road for an unknown reason”….  I do not think I will ever understand why there is not more widespread outrage over these incidents. Just because a cyclist has lost his life, does not mean this is solely a cycling concern – it is a societal concern. This driver could just as easily have drifted the other direction for an unknown reason, hitting a car head on instead. Indeed most crashes involving cars are with other cars, not bikes, not pedestrians. Getting and keeping people who cannot, or will not, take driving seriously off the roads benefits everyone, not just cyclists.

………

Metro leaks the date for the upcoming CicLAvia; evidently, I broke the story and didn’t even know it. So when they make the official announcement, everybody act surprised, okay?

………

A great view of Highland Park as seen from a bike on a clear, sunny SoCal day. The LACBC gears up for their best ever River Ride. Metro began a bike count and survey on Tuesday. San Francisco cyclists are urged to shop locally by bike. A cyclist says she’s never seen a rider stop for a stop sign; I assume that means she doesn’t, either. CNN takes note of the conflict between cyclists and drivers on America’s roads. A New Jersey cyclist is dragged 30 feet under the SUV of a right-hooking driver who just didn’t see him, which makes it okay, right? A New York blogger comes home to discover a bike-loving friend has been seriously injured in a collision. If bicycle safety is a two-way street, why do all the articles seem to focus on wearing a helmet? A Huntsville, Alabama editorial urges both cyclists and drivers to use the roads more carefully. North Carolina cyclists debate a proposed law that would limit them to riding no more than two abreast, and just single file when cars are passing. A Detroit cyclist is critically injured when a driver hits him, then gets out of his car to pull the rider off his windshield and remove his license plates before fleeing the scene. Evidently, someone’s stealing bikes from bloggers; just a week after Witch on a Bicycle had his handmade custom bike stolen, another blogger loses hers when a thief unbolts the scaffolding she’d locked it to. Maybe they should have watched this Brit Beat the Thief video first. An Oxfordshire doctor on a five-year round-the-world bike tour only makes it through Europe before his knee gives out. Giro riders complain about being forced to sit down to a midnight meal.

Finally, the Mounties always get their man — even if it’s just for riding without a helmet.

11 comments

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  3. Michael says:

    If not for a posting on a mountain bike forum, of all places, I would have been unaware of the incident as well. Priorities are out of balance and have been for a long time. And no, I certainly do not mind the use of the quote.

  4. la rider says:

    Wow after reading the comments on the oc register, I’ve realized why I don’t like Orange County. The people suck. Most of the people blame the bike rider? We all know the driver was probably texting or using their cell phone. Drivers do not just drift from their lane at 2:40 in the afternoon.

    Can we send this incident to Oprah, she is our biggest ally right now.

  5. la rider says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_Japan_by_year

    In a country where you are held responsible as a driver for any incident that you are involved in versus the US where driving is a right that involves no consequences.

    As a reference, last years fatality total was 33,000. When you adjust for population, the fatality rate is 3 times more than Japan.

  6. Stacey Cooper says:

    Allan Earl Miller was my uncle, although estranged from my family we loved him nonetheless. He has always been an avid bicyclist. He had two children and a grandchild. He had two sisters and a brother and both his parents are still here with us today. He stood by me when my mother (his sister) was in a horrible car accident, ironic that a car, driver, has killed him. Please be careful and know that cars kill people

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks for letting us know about your uncle, Stacey. When something like this happens, it affects the entire cycling community. I know countless other riders join my in offering our condolences to you and your entire family.

  7. Allan says:

    “Reis drifted off the road for an unknown reason and hit Miller, according to the CHP.”

    What kind of investigating is this???? It’s unknown cause the driver can’t speak or what? How does someone get off like this? I need to try this next time I do a moving violation! I don’t know why I did it officer. “Well that’s good enough for us”.

    My condolences to the family. I hope you can forgive the society we live in.

  8. Alan Earl Miller was my brother. He was a good man with a huge heart. He participated in so many charity bike rides that I can’t count. He loved bike riding. Ironically in Nov of 2009 he got a ticket for not having his head lamp on at night on his bicycle. I wonder if Reis even got a ticket for killing my brother!!

    • bikinginla says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. No one should ever die just for riding a bike. I don’t know how someone could drift off the road and kill another human being without facing charges; hopefully when the investigation is complete your brother will receive justice.

  9. [...] 2010: SUV driver drifts off the road and hits cyclist from [...]

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