An older bike rider has died after a collision, this time in Fillmore.
According to the Ventura County Star, 81-year old Gudalupe Cruz was hit by a tractor-trailer as he road through an intersection in Fillmore around 8:30 am on Wednesday. He was taken to Ventura County Medical Center, where he died later.
A dispatch from the Ventura County Sheriff Department states that the driver of the truck had stopped for a red light at the intersection of Ventura and C Streets, headed west on Ventura. When the light turned green, the driver, Victor Lieja, pulled forward just as Cruz entered the intersection on the wrong side of the street, apparently running the red light.
However, as always in such cases, the report should be taken with a grain of salt.
Unless there were independent witnesses to the collision, the only person able to tell police what happened is the driver involved. Cruz may or may not have seen things differently if he’d been able to share his version of events.
It’s hard to imagine that an 81-year old man would run a red light directly in front of a semi-truck — especially when riding on the wrong side of the street would have placed him mere feet from the truck’s massive grill.
However, it is possible. Riding in the wrong direction, Cruz may not have seen the traffic signal, particularly if the truck had been pulled forward in the intersection, blocking his view of the light.
This is the 22nd cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.
My prayers and condolences for Cruz and his family and loved ones.
Update: Making this case just that much more tragic, at the time he was killed, Cruz was on his way to meet his wife at a mass for their son, who was killed five years ago.