Frank Peters of cdmCyclist forwards word of another cycling fatality in Newport Beach in less than 24 hours.
According to the Newport Beach Police Department, a 57-year old Irvine woman was riding north on Newport Coast Drive between Ocean Vista Drive and Vista Ridge Drive when she was hit from behind by a pickup truck at around 9:45 am. She was apparently riding in a bike lane, on a street with a 60 mph speed limit.
The driver fled without stopping, continuing northbound on Newport Coast.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where she later died of her injuries.
The suspect vehicle is described as a black full-sized pickup truck, possibly a 2001-04 Toyota Tacoma, with significant damage to the front end.
Anyone with information is urged to contact NBPD Traffic Investigator Eric Little at (949) 644-3746 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County — all but one the result of traffic collisions — and the second cycling fatality in Newport Beach in less than 24 hours.
It’s also the 12th hit-and-run death of a cyclist in Southern California in 2012.
My deepest sympathy for the victim and her loved ones.
Thanks to Frank Peters, David Huntsman and Amy Senk of CdM Today for the heads-up.
Some of the comments below, and others I’ve seen expressed elsewhere, point the finger at poorly designed, high speed streets with traffic lanes that are too wide, encouraging drivers to speed even above the already excessive speed limits, in this case and too many others. Newport Beach, and the other Orange County cities, needs to take a long, hard look at themselves and question just how many fatalities they’re willing to accept before redesigning roadways to work for everyone.
Not just overly aggressive drivers.
Update 3: I’m told Ritz/Champion was riding with her husband when she was killed, and that the discrepancy in names may have been the result of keeping her name for professional purposes following her marriage.