A bad week just keeps getting worse.
The Ventura County Star reports that a 68-year old bike rider was killed when he was hit by a massive SUV operated by an 18-year old driver.
The collision occurred around 8:35 last night on Pleasant Valley Road west of Terrace Ave in Oxnard. According to the paper, the victim was hit by the eastbound GMC Jimmy when he entered the roadway from the south side of the street.
However, there is is a clearly marked bike lane along the roadway, suggesting that the driver may have drifted into the bike lane to hit the rider from behind, or that the cyclist may have been forced into the traffic lane for some reason. It’s also possible that the rider may have crossed over the sidewalk to enter the street from the nearby residential area, though that should have placed him in the bike lane, rather than in the path of the truck.
The victim was pronounced dead after being transported to Ventura County Medical Center.
This is the 30th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, placing us far ahead of this time last year, when just 20 riders had died on SoCal streets. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in Ventura County, already exceeding the total of three for all of last year, and matching the total of four in 2011 — just five months into the year.
The victim is the third cyclist to die in Southern California in the last four days, two of which occurred in Ventura County.
My deepest sympathy for the victim and his family.
Thanks to Machico Yasuda for the heads-up.