San Diego cyclist killed; second Southern California fatality in just two days

Another day, another Southern California cycling fatality.

For the second time in just two days, a SoCal cyclist has been killed in a motor vehicle collision, as a 20-year old bike rider died after being hit by two cars on Wednesday.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on 61st Street at Imperial Avenue in the Encanto area around 3:05 pm when he hit by an eastbound car and knocked off his bike. He was then run over by a second eastbound vehicle and trapped underneath the car, where he died.

Police report that he ran the red light, and that both drivers remained at the scene and cooperated in the investigation. Comments on the UT story suggest he was riding a fixed-gear bike; no brakes are visible in the photo.

This is the seventh traffic-related cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County.

It’s also the second bicycling death in two days in which the rider is accused of going through a red light.

If you don’t learn anything else from reading this, remember this: Yes, you should always stop for every red light. But if you insist on running reds, never, ever go through a light when there are vehicles coming on the cross street.

You might as well be playing Russian roulette.

My deepest sympathy to the victim’s family and friends.

Update: Comments to the UT story indicate the victim was Francisco Porras; one comment identifies him as 17-years old instead of 20. Unfortunately, his Facebook page is private, but it does show him with the same bike shown in the news photos.

According to a comment that appears to have been left by his mother, he was a “lovable, courageous and responsible young man” who took care of his family and planned to enter the Marines after high school.

7 comments

  1. Mark says:

    As always, this means the motorist was driving too fast for the conditions on the road. If they couldn’t see a road user approaching from the side, or couldn’t stop in time, then they were driving too fast and should be held responsible.

    But, in my one run-in with someone from the “fixie” crowd, an idiot ran a red light, then flipped off the car who had the green light and almost hit him (but managed to stop in time). This incident left a bad taste in my mouth, and I was riding my bike at the time. In response, I didn’t say anything (not my style), but “dialed it up to 400w” and dropped the idiot (& his friend who did not run the light). I figured it would be embarrassing enough to have this fat clydesdale drop him.

  2. mark says:

    Hi; Love the blog; part of the daily routine… a thought; would it be possible to separate suicides (like today) from driver cited accidents? It’s really not fair to either riders or drivers to group them together… I avg. about 10K mls./yr… mas o menos (we Are in California)… and I’ve been hit hard twice… due to driver error/negligence (two zip codes away type thing)… actually not too bad considering the number of hours I put on the road each year… I DO ride with flashers on at ALL times of day… and am extremely wary of big iron… mdg

  3. Scott Mayer says:

    I’m a cyclist and a School Bus Driver Sadly I “think” I saw Francisco on his bike at Lincoln High School about 2:45 yesterday. I remember thinking “Cool fixie” Just makes me sad…..

  4. By definition, if a cyclist is killed by a driver, the cyclist ran a red light — didn’t you know that?

    And thanks to the commenter for suggesting this was suicide, because that’s exactly what the police would like us to believe. Most likely it was the car driver running the red light that killed the cyclist.

  5. Erik G. says:

    Please stop for Pedestrians in a crosswalk (marked or unmarked-look it up if you don’t understand)

    Stop for stop signs too until we can modify the law.

    It makes us all look bad when you don’t, and no, cycle cleats, etc. are not an excuse

  6. noname says:

    From my understanding, he was riding a fixed gear bike (that most likely did not have brakes) and could not stop in time, and either hit or was hit by a car, but it was the hit of a second car that caused his death. Please be respectful, it was all a tragic accident.

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