I’ve just received word that a long-time member of the Los Angeles Wheelmen died on as a result of a solo collision last week.
According to an email that was forwarded to me, Larry Schellhase was riding with his wife Cathy and some friends in Redondo Beach on Thursday. As they were riding on Catalina just south of Emerald, not far from the pier, Larry apparently hit some metal debris that was laying in the roadway and went over his handlebars.
The writer reports that he landed face first and motionless on the roadway, bleeding from the nose and barely breathing. Paramedics arrived within minutes and began manual CPR before taking Larry to the hospital, along with his wife.
Unfortunately, he died on Sunday, reportedly as a result of a broken neck.
What appears to be Larry Shellhase’s Facebook page lists him as a graduate of Lynwood High and Cal State LA in 1961 and 1966, respectively. Meanwhile, the L.A. Wheelmen’s website shows him as the 2008 winner of the Jack Flynn Trophy for “long-time service to the club and to cycling.”
I’ve reached out to the author of the email for permission to use what he wrote, as well as photos of the debris that apparently caused the collision.
This is the 12th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared with 20 traffic-related cycling deaths this time last year, and the second in Los Angeles County.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Larry Schellhase, and all his family and loved ones.
Update: Redondo Beach Patch confirms that the 68-year old Schellhase died as a result of injuries to his head and neck. Police are seeking witness; anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Bill Turner at 310-379-2477 extension 2721 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Hannon, president of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, forwards word that one of their members thinks the metal objects that Schellhase ran into may have been clamps used to secure the tent for a recent termite treatment on Catalina Ave.
Update 2: I mistakenly wrote that this was the 10th cycling fatality in in Southern California this year; it’s actually the 12th.
Update 3: The Daily Breeze reports on Schellhase’s death, placing the time of the collision at 12:40 pm; he was on his way back from a regular Thursday morning ride from the Marina to Rat Beach in Torrance when he fell.