The number of Southern California cyclists killed in the last week has now reached seven.
The horrifying bloodbath that began with the hit-and-run death of Angel Bojorquez in Rancho Sante Fe — or maybe the death of San Diego bike rider Theodore Jones, who succumbed on Saturday to injuries he suffered July 3rd — claimed yet another victim when a Temucula teacher was killed in a solo riding collision.
According to Temecula Patch, 41-year old Temecula resident Randy Pruett was riding with a regular weekly group ride sponsored by Jax Bicycle Center in Murrieta last Saturday. As he descended on Rice Canyon Road near Rainbow County Road east of Fallbrook, he blew a tire, sending off the road and colliding hard with a tree.
Pruett suffered severe internal abdominal injuries, resulting in massive blood loss; he died on Monday at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.
A memorial service is planned for next Monday at Sunridge Community Church, and Jax is sponsoring a memorial ride and blood drive on the 28th; details available on the Patch story.
Patch also reports that a memorial fund has been set up for his wife and daughter. Checks or cash can be brought or mailed to Jax at 26612 Margarita Rd., Murrieta, CA 92562.
I wish there was some common thread running through these seven deaths in this past week, by far the worst period for Southern California cyclists in my memory. Something we could point at as the problem, and do something about to halt this tragic carnage and prevent future deaths.
But if there is, I can’t find it.
Three of the cyclists were killed in hit-and-runs, one was hit by a speeding motorcyclist — though police seem poised to blame the victim. One rider apparently hit a car, while another was hit by one.
And one, Pruett, died in a solo collision, apparently the result of equipment failure.
All I know is that one death is too many; seven in seven days is a heartbreaking, infuriating obscenity.
This is the 36th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 9th in San Diego County. It’s also the seventh solo riding death since the first of the year.
My deepest condolences and prayers for Pruett and his family and friends.