Update: City of Industry cyclist killed in big rig truck collision; 15th L.A. County cycling fatality this year

Yet another bike rider has died in what’s turning out to be a horrible year for L.A. County cyclists.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that a bicyclist was killed in a collision with a big rig truck in the City of Industry around 3:05 this afternoon.

The unidentified male victim was reportedly riding on the wrong side of Valley Blvd just east of Hurley Street when he was struck by the truck and pronounced dead at the scene. The driver stopped after the collision and was cooperating with investigators; no other details are available at this time.

If you haven’t gotten the message yet, let this be a reminder to never, ever ride salmon.

Drivers aren’t looking for cyclists coming towards them; even if they see you, they may assume you’re riding with traffic, rather than against it. It also reduces reaction times, while dramatically increasing the impact of a collision.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California since the first of this year.

Remarkably, 15 of those collisions — 55% of all bicycling deaths in Southern California this year — have occurred Los Angeles County, which has averaged just under 24 cycling fatalities a year for the past several years.

Maybe it’s just a statistical blip that will average out before the year is over. But this is starting out to be an exceptionally deadly year for local bike riders, and we haven’t even reached the peak summer riding season.

Tthose numbers aren’t statistics, they’re people.

And far too many are dying this year.

My prayers and sympathy for the victim and his family.

Update: The Tribune identifies the victim as 55-year old Jose Munoz of La Puente. 

According to the Diamond Bar-Wlanut Patch, Munoz was riding east in the westbound lane of Valley Blvd when he was hit by a truck pulling out of the Alta Dena Dairy. Under those circumstances, it’s likely the driver would have been looking towards oncoming traffic as he exited the lot, and may not have looked back to his right before pulling out. 

10 comments

  1. Erik Griswold says:

    Encountered 2 Salmon riders in my auto-addiction just today. Both older Male Hispanic Whites (Before you pile on me, I am following the U.S. Census classification guidelines!)
    There needs to be mega outreach on this as the dynamic of passing a Salmon is vey very different and unexpected.

  2. This is getting semi-ridiculous. I sympathize with this man’s family and friends who may have known him. I don’t want to “blame the victim” but if there is a lack of skills or an incorrect perception safety that riding a certain way which could have resulted in a different outcome, then we as a cycling community need to speak out about it.

    I want to know if there is a program which can help educate riders in how to ride in traffic as safely as possible, and teach people the skills they need to know to survive on the road. If this program doesn’t exist it should be one of our bigger priorities as a cycling community, to reach out to as many as we can. This program should be held for free and as often as possible to educate the most people in this city. I have a lot of free time lately so I would love to help get something like this off the ground. tweet at or email me at my @username at gmail.com for thoughts.

    • Ralph says:

      I can’t speak for most places but a significant number of towns in the SF Bay area have signs on the back of the no parking signs that are posted for bike lanes telling salmon they are gong the wrong way. Not sure if it works or if some riders just don’t care. I try to educate the ones I see.

  3. Mark Uva says:

    I was just cycling down the street and had a salmon close in on me. At the last second I had to swerve left almost to the center divider to avoid a collision.

    They could pass out information on vehichular cycling. If you are from another country you should learn the traffic laws. How basic is it?

  4. Saw a non-helmeted teenager roll through a red light as I drove through an intersection on green and luckily I slowed enough to a near stop. Apparently he wasn’t paying attention as he was wearing earbuds in both ears and only looked at traffic after completing his turn. Just two blocks back I saw two cyclists riding salmon. Bike education and the employment of what could be termed as common sense is necessary before more people get hurt.

  5. Mrs. Moore says:

    Perhaps, it would’ve helped if a sign like the one posted in this blog
    http://streetsblog.net/2010/04/19/the-persistence-of-bike-salmon
    in Spanish would help mitigate the fatalities? A previous poster mentioned education? Yes. Since, the area this was rider was hit could use an education campaign for their workers. What bothers me about accidents like these – – is they can be prevented — through public service announcements (spanish radio/tv).

  6. JD says:

    The right side of such a vehicle has a notoriously large blind spot. Perhaps this was a contributing factor in the accident. Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

  7. […] Daily Carnage: Big Rig Hits Cyclist, 15th Bike Fatality in L.A. County This Year (Biking in L.A.) […]

  8. calwatch says:

    The eastbound lanes of Valley are on the other side of a median and are next to railroad tracks. Signals along this roadway are few and far between. If he was commuting to or from work he may have chosen not to cross the wide boulevard and get to the other side, especially in heavy afternoon traffic. It is also likely, given the high traffic levels westbound, that he was actually riding in the wide sidewalk at a speed faster than the pedestrian, and was pushed into the traffic lanes. The more knowledgable cyclists will use the parallel streets to the north to avoid the heavy truck traffic on Valley.

  9. AVC says:

    I work in the area and some times i ride my bike to work. I will tell you that i ride salmon for about two blocks on this section also. Only because there is no bike lane on the south side of the street. Or even a sidewalk. There is gravel from the train tracks. Also the city has added a third lane. So there is barely a shoulder with a 50mph speed limit.
    It was a horrible accident but I think the same outcome would have happened if the man was not on a bike and was walking. He just thought the driver saw him and the driver did not look both ways before pulling out. I just always try to watch out for the other guy and make sure they see me before crossing in front of anyone.

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