Update — third cyclist killed in OC last weekend; Newport Beach hit-and-run driver charged

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is reporting that a cyclist was killed in a Buena Park traffic collision last weekend.

According to the site, the male rider, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, collided with a motor vehicle while riding on Artesia Blvd east of Stanton Ave around 7:45 pm Sunday.

No other details are available at this time.

This follows the death of nutritionist Sarah Leaf while riding on East Coast Highway on Friday, and Dr. Catherine Campion Ritz in a hit-and-run on Saturday.

The driver who killed Campion Ritz has been charged with felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence; prosecutors are asking for $100,000 bond. Reports are that he was allowed to keep driving despite a conviction for possession of a controlled substance, and a host of driving offenses that were dismissed as a result of his guilty plea.

And that is exactly how authorities help keep dangerous drivers on the streets until they finally kill someone.

In addition, another Orange County rider died last Wednesday from injuries suffered in an apparent solo fall on August 31st, and a 52-year old Riverside cyclist was killed in a collision with a minibus on Friday.

This is the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County — including four OC riders who have died in the last week.

My heartfelt prayers for the victim and his family.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Update: the Orange County Coroner confirms the fatality, without naming the victim; thanks to CK for the link.

Update 2: The OCBC has confirmed that the rider who was killed on Sunday was a 51-year old male resident of Buena Park. He was riding without lights or reflective gear, despite the full darkness at that hour, and was not wearing a helmet; whether that could have made a difference is still to be determined.

3 comments

  1. Duan says:

    I’m telling you, the court system should have these people with multiple driving offenses etc ride public transit and/or a bike. that’s it. Then they will truly learn what it feels like to be vulnerable and it gets these dangerous people out of 2-3 ton cars and onto a bike where they stand a better chance of hurting themselves vs innocent victims

  2. George C. says:

    Great idea… Everyone needs to know how it feels…

  3. CK says:

    OC Coroner’s site confirms the information on OC Bike Coalition:

    http://ws.ocsd.org/EServices/PressReleases_Default.aspx
    Case #: 12-03625-MR

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