Update: Cyclist killed near Cal Poly Pomona; third Pomona bicycling fatality this year

What the hell is happening in Pomona?

News is just breaking this morning of yet another bicycling fatality in Pomona, the third so far this year — putting it on the near one-a-month pace more typically shown by San Diego and Orange Counties. Not a city of just 150,000.

According to KABC-7, the rider, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding east on Valley Blvd near Dupont Street just after midnight when he crossed over the westbound lanes and was hit by a white Mercedes Benz. The driver, 25-year old William Johnson of Beaumont, allegedly drove on for some distance before stopping to call the police.

The victim died at the scene. The station reports that the area is very dark at night; no word on whether he had lights or reflectors on his bike.

The location is near DeVry University and not far from Cal Poly Pomona, where Ivan Aguilar was killed riding to campus earlier this year; another rider died in an apparent fall in March.

KTLA-5 identifies the bike as a Schwinn 10-speed, which was badly mangled in the crash. The car had a dented hood and broken windshield.

And no, KTLA, the driver’s actions are not exactly what a motorist should do in the event of a collision. Drivers are expected to remain at the scene of a collision and render aid to the victim, not leave him bleeding in the street, then call police after driving away.

Yes, there are circumstances in which motorists are allowed to drive to a safer location before stopping; whether that happened here is unclear at this time.

Johnson has been interviewed by the police, and has not been placed under arrest at this time. The investigation is still ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to call Pomona police at 909-620-2081.

This is the 15th 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and remarkably, the ninth in Los Angeles County; that compares to just two in L.A. County this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the victim and his family. 

Thanks to Alan Thompson and Kevin Yuskoff for the heads-up.

Update: the Banning-Beaumont Patch says the still-unidentified victim was in his 40s.

Update 2: Details continue to trickle in, as the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin describes the victim as a Hispanic man in his 40s. The paper also notes that the collision take place just west of a billboard with Metro’s new Every Lane is a Bike Lane safety campaign; for whatever reason, it didn’t help this time.

Update 3: I’ve just become aware of another bicycling fatality which occurred in Apple Valley on March 1st, in which 56-year old Kevin Olin was rear-ended while riding in a bike lane. That raises the total number of 2013 Southern California bicycling fatalities to 16.

6 comments

  1. mahythesis says:

    Thanks for continuing to post these disturbingly tragic warnings of the dangers none of us should have to face out there.
    Truly, our “civilizations” have a lot more work to do.

  2. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

  3. Tom says:

    The driver is clearly negligent , and I want to make it absolutely clear that I am in NO way “blaming the victim”, BUT …

    In my town, I periodically see hispanic men riding bikes late at night, probably coming home from their jobs as food service workers. Invariably, they don’t wear helmets, rarely have lights, and are violating several other “common sense” bike safety practices.
    Sad … too bad there aren’t some bike safety programs aimed at this category of cyclists.

  4. johnr says:

    The east bound bicyclist crossed over into the westbound traffic lanes, thus going against traffic! While the motorist should have immediately stopped, it is clear that the bicyclist was clearly at fault here. Those riding bicycles are required to follow the same traffic laws as other motor vehicles, thus not allowed to drive on the wrong side of the road!

  5. gwkatthdammned says:

    I want to know the name of the man who “fell” off his bike in front of a cop car so hard tht his shoe cameoff and his head cracked open on the pavement at Ganesha park in march.I was at the scene and I think it’s pretty fucking crazy tht the officer at the scene didn’t even attempt to question two witnesses(me and my friend) and then have some crap story about how it wasn’t clear if it was.a hit n run..(well was the involved present ?duuuuh not present or present uninvolved…unknown)seems like cops trying to get to the bottom of something(and when aren’t they trying to get to the nothing of something?I’ll tell u wen,wen they already KNOW wtf went down

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