Last night, I saw a brief notice from the Ventura Star that a cyclist had been injured in a collision in Camarillo on Saturday afternoon.
This morning, the worst fears were confirmed when the story changed to report that the rider had died at a local medical center.
No details are available at this time, other than the collision with an SUV occurred around 1:15 pm at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Freedom Park Drive.
This is the third cycling death reported so far this year in Ventura County, and the 31st in Southern California.
Thanks to DC for the tip.
Update: the cyclist has been identified as 76-year old John H. Dillingham Jr. of Camarillo.
According to the Star, Dillingham was attempting to turn onto Freedom Park Drive from Pleasant Valley Road when when he was hit by a car driven by 63-year old Eva Labrador of Oxnard. Yet the paper also says he “accidently” veered into the eastbound lane in front of Labrador’s SUV; she was reportedly driving at 55 mph and unable to avoid him.
Unfortunately, the story does not explain which direction Dillingham was riding, or what the speed limit is on that stretch of roadway. Reading between the lines, it sounds as if he was riding east on the shoulder of the road, and moved into the traffic lane to make his turn; however, that is pure supposition based on the minimal description and the satellite photo of the scene.
It is important to remember is that, unless the police have other witnesses, the only description of how the collision unfolded could be coming from the driver.
Unfortunately, Dillingham isn’t around to defend his actions or explain his version of events.
My condolences to his family and friends.
Update: TQ reports that Dillingham was riding with a friend, so hopefully the investigators are getting both sides of the story. And Will Campbell does what I didn’t, checking Google’s street view to discover a speed limit sign indicating the limit near the park is 50 mph.