Unrelenting pace of cycling fatalities continues as Laguna Hills cyclist killed in OCTA bus right hook

It’s happened again.

Just a week after the riding deaths of Sherrie Norton and Robert Hyndman — and critical injuries to two Long Beach riders — an Orange County cyclist has been killed in a right hook collision while riding in a crosswalk.

The Orange County Register offers a confusing description of the collision. But apparently, the cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on Paseo de Valencia around 5 pm Saturday, either on the wrong side of the roadway, or more likely, on the sidewalk facing southbound traffic.

As he attempted to cross Alicia Parkway, he was struck and killed an Orange County Transportation Authority bus turning west onto Alicia from southbound Paseo de Valencia.

No other details are available at this time.

However, the driver should have been able to see the cyclist, as the rider appears to have been coming directly towards him in the crosswalk.

The paper notes that the OC Sheriff’s department is continuing to investigate the collision.

This is the 10th confirmed cycling fatality in Orange County this year, and 64th confirmed traffic-related bike fatality in Southern California since the start of the year. That compares with an average of 10 bicycling deaths in Orange County for the last two years on record (2008 and 2009), and 55 in Southern California over the same period.

However, it should be noted that the 5-year average for both is much higher, at 13 and 68.2 respectively.

……..

As long as we’re sharing bad news, an 18-year old cyclist was the victim of a hit-and-run in East Long Beach. Fortunately, his injuries were non-life threatening, although that does not necessarily mean he didn’t suffer serious injuries.

Police are looking for an oversized, dark-colored pick-up with possible damage to the passenger-side front or side window. Anyone with information can contact authorities at www.tipsoft.com

And an 82-year old Mendocino cyclist was killed when he was hit from behind while riding on the shoulder of Highway 1; he was hit by a pick-up operated by an 18-year old driver who drifted off the roadway, hitting the victim at 55 mph.

I want to say that someone still riding at 82 deserves better than that.

But so does every other cyclist, no matter how old.

9 comments

  1. Carl says:

    I want to thank our Govenor Gerry Brown for NOT passing the 3FT LAW! He said that AAA and the CHP said it would be dangerous to CARS because it also said auto traffic would have to pass @ 15 mph. I am holding Gov Brown responsible for the cycling Deaths when involve pass cyclists. It is unnecessary! AAA is only looking at the increase of rear end accidents. The CHP is clueless about roadways where cyclists ride. They patrol freeways mostly.
    After an adjustment period drivers would change their behaviors and pass cyclists safely.
    POLICE that are writing tickets ALREADY have this law of passing at 15 mph and giving a wide space. I say BICYCLIST DESERVE THAT TOO. I AM SICK OF THE CAR CENTRIC MIND SET! Please write too govenor Brown and ask him the pass this law next time it hits his desk. Thank you.

  2. Traecy says:

    The bike rider was wrong to be riding in the wrong direction and maybe on the sidewalk. Both of those things are against the law. The bus operator has to watch his right side mirror in order to clear the curb on the right side. The could cause the driver to not see the bike rider.
    People that ride bikes need to follow the law just like other vehicles.
    It is a shame that peoples lifes are affected when things like this happen. I feel sorry for the family of the person who died and for the family of the driver of the bus.

    • bikinginla says:

      Careful, Traecy. While it is dangerous — and illegal — to ride a bike against traffic in the roadway, the legality of riding on the sidewalk is decided on a city by city basis. For instance, it is perfectly legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, but illegal right across the city limits in Santa Monica.

      I have no idea whether sidewalk riding is allowed in Laguna Hills; the city’s website makes no mention of bicycling. However, there is no right or wrong way on a sidewalk; just like pedestrians, cyclists are allowed to ride a sidewalk in either direction where it’s legal.

      And while you’re point about watching his mirror is well taken, the highest priority of any driver remains watching out for people and vehicles directly in front of them, especially in a crosswalk. No vehicle operator should ever move forward if he or she can’t see ahead for whatever reason.

  3. Bruce says:

    Riding a bike on the sidewalk is legal in Laguna Hills. See section 11-32.020 D
    http://www.codepublishing.com/CA/LagunaHills/

  4. Nate says:

    regardless if it’s legal or not. It’s still dangerous to ride on the sidewalk, especially riding into traffic. It’s because motorists pulling out of driveways and that are turning right at a stop sign or signal are not looking for cyclists on the right of them. they are looking for traffic coming from the left.

  5. J. Anczarski says:

    My son John was killed by a careless (admittingly partially blind) driver on Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico last year. My son was 19 years old and riding to raise money for breast cancer research. No charges were filed against the driver which is unbelievable to me. I can’t believe how the importance of the lives of bicyclists is diminished when it comes to filing charges against the drivers who kill them. This was my son and all evidence shows he was doing everything right yet this man got away with murder.

    • bikinginla says:

      Unfortunately, I’m well aware of John’s case. There is no excuse for the lack of charges. Tribal police clearly botched the investigation; then again, it’s always been hard for outsiders to get justice on the reservation, where state authorities don’t have jurisdiction.

      My heart goes out to you, and my prayers for John and all your family.

      • J. Anczarski says:

        Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Actually the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U. S. Attorney’s Office have the power to bring charges before the grand jury but that did not happen because they said there was a lack of evidence. In my opinion there is alot of evidence available from what I have seen. The world is changing and it is not for the better when an innocent person can be run off the highway and killed and there is no justice.

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