Update: Cyclist killed in Indian Wells DUI was bi-coastal neurologist and Lyme Disease specialist

A 52-year old cyclist was killed by an alleged drunk driver in Indian Wells Saturday night.

According to numerous reports, Palm Desert resident Gerald Weiss was riding westbound on Fred Waring Drive south of Cook Street around 9:45 pm when he was hit from behind by a car driven by 24-year old Christopher Eugene Stocman of La Quinta.

Stocman, who stayed at the scene, was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

This is the 21st cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth already this year in Riverside County.

No further information is available at this time. Anyone with information is urged to call the Indian Wells Police Department Traffic Bureau at 760/836-1600.

This is the 21st cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy to Weiss and his family.

Update: According to a comment from Tracy Will, Gerald Weiss was a leading neurologist specializing in the treatment of Lyme Disease.

Dr. Gerald Weiss was a world renowned neurologist and Lyme Disease specialist. People traveled all over the country to seek his expertise. Not only does he leave behind many grieving patients, he leaves behind two young sons and a wife. This is an unimaginable tragedy. I am shattered at this news and in total shock.

A Google search reveals a neurologist named Gerald Brett Weiss M.D. with a practice in La Quinta — less than five miles from the site where Weiss was killed — as well as a practice in Norwalk CT. Dr. Weiss as on the staff of JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, with a former specialty in Lyme Disease.

Unfortunately, there has been no follow-up from the local press providing any additional information on Dr. Weiss or how the collision occurred. Maybe they’ll get around to it now that the weekend is over.

27 comments

  1. DanaPointer says:

    Looks like very poorly constructed road from google, no shoulder, no bike lane and not even sidewalk?

  2. Tracy Will says:

    Dr. Gerald Weiss was a world renowned neurologist and Lyme Disease specialist. People traveled all over the country to seek his expertise. Not only does he leave behind many grieving patients, he leaves behind two young sons and a wife. This is an unimaginable tragedy. I am shattered at this news and in total shock.

  3. GM Weiss says:

    BH”M

    A tragedy to lose this father, son, husband & skilled member of the medical profession.

    May the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

    GM Weiss
    NYC

  4. DanaPointer says:

    OK, I withdraw my earlier comment, if the above google maps link is correct as far as the location, there is a bike lane, so awaiting further details as they emerge.

  5. Erik Griswold says:

    I am surprised that Fred Waring Drive does not have those Bike and Golf Cart Lanes that Greater Palm Springs is known for.

  6. Trish McCleary says:

    Dr. Weiss was a brilliant man who saved my life! He will be missed. My prayers go out to his family.

  7. This is a very sad accident. Condolences to Dr. Weiss’ family. There must be a greater emphasis on alcohol education. Too many drivers drink alcohol, then get in their cars. How many lives will be lost before we find a solution? I am not sure that DUI laws and the random stops by police officers should they see a driver weaving are the answer. Better public transportation, bike lanes that are separated from the road by bot dots, education of young people re responsible alcohol use cost only a fraction of the loss of an innocent life. These accidents are predictable…they happen all the time. Maybe we can work towards a solution.

  8. mark h says:

    I went to elementary school with him and he and I spent quite a bit of time riding bikes and hanging out. Neither of us was in the “in crowd” and Gerry never cared. I remember his mother always having iced coffee on hand and those east coast clear vinyl covers on the couch. I remember the humidity laden basement with a ping-pong table. I remember him working hard in his father’s grocery store. I remember him being pretty quiet and unassuming. We stayed in contact through college and went our separate ways. Our mothers stayed in contact. He was a friend and I wish his family my condolences …

    • Howard says:

      Mark H, I share those memories as well, including the vinyl covers. Gerald was a great guy. I moved away after the flood, but would see him, Larry and his parents eating many times at the Woodlands Inn. This is very sad.

    • Lawrence weiss says:

      I am gerald’s brother and am completely shattered. I do not get y anybody would drink to xcess and get in a car to drive. By this time in our society just about everybody knows this is something you do not do. The drunk driver must b charged as a murderer , as simple as that. Wonderful character affirmations are totally irrelevant and really, who the F cares.

      • Diane Worthington says:

        Lawrence, I’m so sorry for your loss. I actually know your pain!!! I lost my brother April 18th in Palm Dessert. My brother too was on a bike doing the right thing and the driver ran a red light…Im so sorry for you and your family!!!

  9. wwww says:

    This is very sad news, my regards go out to his wife and two young sons

  10. Hank W says:

    I’ve been best friends with one of his sons for years and am deeply hurt by this news. I never knew him well but Dr. Weiss was a quiet, smart and thoughtful man. His kids loved him and his family as well as friends are devastated by this. I don’t know Christopher but I agree with the other comments here and he needs to be an example to others not to drink and drive. A family was torn apart because e decided to get drunk and go home. He made a bad decision and now he needs to suffer in prison for taking a life and destroying the lives of his wife and children. It’s time for the police to stop pussyfooting around and to take a stand against driving under the influence

  11. Tammi Cameron says:

    Such a brilliant life taken away way too soon!! Dr. Weiss was my Lyme doctor over here in CT before he moved away last year. He wanted to keep treating me even after he left but my fear of flying claimed otherwise. He was more than just my doctor…he was also a friend. I have never in my life had a doctor more caring, laid back and knowledgeable than Dr. Weiss. You could talk to this man about everything..like he was your own brother or father. I am sooo thankful that he was able to give me my life back from Lyme Disease. And I am sooo honored to have been one of his hundreds of patients. The Lyme community has truly lost one important person. RIP Dr. Weiss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this horrible time.

  12. sHARON says:

    hE WAS MY dOCTOR, FRIEND AND JUST A WONDERFUL PERSON WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING TO HELP YOU. IS FAMILY IS LOVELY – WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT THEM HE JUST LIT UP. HE LEFT THE EAST COAST TO GET AWAY FROM SOME BAD LUCK – HE WAS SO HAPPY TO BE STARTING A NEW. THE BOYS WILL MISS HIM GREATLY, BUT I AM SURE THEY WILL LIVE UP TO EVERY DREAM THEIR DAD HAD FOR THEM. aND MRS WEISS, WELL WE WILL CALL HER AND SUPPORT HER THROUGH THIS HORRIBLE TIME IN THEIR LIVES.

  13. Bob says:

    How many people need to die before all you Bikers realize you DO NOT BIKE ON HIGHWAYS – PERIOD. Friends don’t let friends ride bike on major roads. WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!!!!! Who in their right mind bikes inches again I SAID INCHES away from 3000 poungs of metal going 60 mph. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

    • bikinginla says:

      I don’t know, Bob. How many people have to be killed by careless, distracted or drunk drivers before people wake up and realize they’re at the wheel of a dangerous machine and have to drive safely and alertly?

      Personally, I think motorists are capable of driving safely. You obviously disagree.

      A safe cyclist doesn’t face any risk from a safe driver, on a highway or anywhere else. So maybe you should focus on how you drive, and not get so apoplectic about where someone else legally rides.

      Oh, and if you’re passing cyclists inches away at 60 mph, you’re not driving safely. And you’re breaking the law, which requires at least a safe passing distance — if not a minimum three or more feet — in every state of the Union.

      • Steve G. says:

        Bob, I totally agree. In this instance, a biker elected to ride his bike on a road with the speed limit of 50 mph in a poorly lit area and no bike lane. This is a tragedy in so many levels. Unfortunately, this driver’s life will be effected forever and the family of the victim will be effected forever. I am troubled by the idea that an intelligent and highly educated man would ride a bike on such a dark dark street, at a quarter to 10 at night. I drove this street to determine my own opinion. I don’t know whether having been under the influence had any effect on what happened here. You simply cannot see a bicyclist in this spot. What a tragedy to all involved.

        • Steve G. says:

          To Bikinginla,

          Please do me a favor before you past judgment on this young man. Go drive the street at 10 at night and please note, the NO bicyclist sign a quarter to half a mile before with no bike lane. I could be sober as a judge and would greatly fear that I could hit a bicyclist at that spot.

          • bikinginla says:

            Sorry, Steve. I’ve been driving for over 35 years, and have never encountered a situation short of a blizzard or severe fog that would have prevented me from seeing a bicyclist on the roadway, no matter how dark.

            If the driver’s car had lights, he was capable of seeing other road users; if not, he should not have been driving.

            And exactly what young man am I passing judgement on? It was the Indian Wells PD that arrested him for suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide, not me. If you have an issue with the charges, I’d suggest you take it up with them or the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

            • Steve G. says:

              Geez, you must be amazing!

            • billdsd says:

              It’s sad when basic competence is ridiculed as “amazing”.

              There’s nothing amazing about it. Look ahead. Pay attention. I’ve been driving for 33 years. I’ve never run into anything. I’ve never had a close call with a bicyclist because I always give them lots of space.

              Quite frankly, I can’t understand how you think that they are hard to see when they are in front of you. I can sort of understand difficulties with blind spots and cross traffic but directly in front of you? Are you kidding?

            • bikinginla says:

              Not at all, Steve. Anyone who focuses on the road ahead of them is capable of driving safely. If you or anyone else can’t manage that, it’s time to turn in your drivers license. Too many people die on our roads already.

              Oh, and Steve? There’s no excuse for driving drunk. Ever.

          • billdsd says:

            It would be illegal for there to be a “no bicycles” sign there since it is not a controlled access highway. Such a sign would not be legally binding. The road is straight. There is no excuse for not seeing a bicyclist there and there is never an excuse for DUI.

    • billdsd says:

      Inches Bob? When you are passing an 18 wheeler or a bus, do you pass within inches of it or do you maintain a safe distance to make certain that you don’t collide with it?

      If drivers can’t leave safe passing distance then they are violating the law, CVC 21750. Motorists are required to drive safely around slower traffic including bicyclists.

      I’ve been riding on major roads for almost 3 decades, but I know how to do it safely because I have the proper training.

      http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CyclistLorax
      http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/animations/

  14. Dave H says:

    A fair bet that Bob will also be keen on compeelling cyclists to clad themselves in every type of protection rather than the fundamental detail of managing the risk. In the workplace, in the home, we have hazards which present risk of death or injury, ad the best practice in safety is to remove or reduce the risk rather than pile on the safety kit.

    Like guns, cars are dangerous pieces of equipment that deliver injury death or damage when used badly. But the idea of everyone having to wear bulletproof clothing is clearly not the way to deal with the problem of people misusing firearms, and so we should adopt the same approach with cars, manage the cause, and not those affected.

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