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.
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.