This isn’t the news any of us wanted to come home to after a beautiful SoCal Sunday.
According to the Southwest Riverside News Network, 56-year old Orange resident Susan Stripko was killed while riding in Huntington Beach early this morning.
Citing the paywall-blocked Orange County Register as its source, the news site says Stripko was attempting to cross busy Yorktown Ave on or near Beach Blvd at 12:08 am Sunday when she was hit by a white 2002 Silverado pickup truck traveling east on Yorktown.
The story does not say which direction she was going, or if she had lights on her bike. Nor does it suggest how fast the driver was going, whether the intersection was lighted, or any other factor that may have contributed to the collision or shed light on how it might have occurred.
The Orange County Coroner’s office describes her as a pedestrian, which could suggest she may have been walking, rather than riding her bike at the time of the collision, and places the collision site east of Beach Blvd.
However, police reports sometimes refer to bicyclists as pedestrians on bikes, for reasons which will forever escape me, so that may or may not mean anything.
Stripko was pronounced dead at UCI Medical Center in Orange less than an hour later, as 12:55 am. The driver reportedly remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators, and no arrest was made or citations issued.
However the Injury Law Central website places the collision one block further east at the uncontrolled intersection of Yorktown and Worchester; based on the conflicting reports, it could have happened anywhere between the two intersections.
Stripko leaves behind a daughter and two sons.
This is the 31st bicycling collision in Southern California since the first of the year, yet just the 3rd I’m aware of in Orange County this year, which normally averages over one bicycling death per month.
Remarkably, it’s also the at least the sixth cycling fatality in Huntingon Beach since late December 2010, making the small city of just under 200,000 one of most dangerous places to ride a bike in the entire seven county SoCal region.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Susan Stripko and all her loved ones.
Update: I’ve received confirmation from multiple sources that the collision occurred at Worchester, rather than Beach Blvd. I’m also told Stripko had a medical condition that made it painful to walk or bike, and fatigue may have slowed her in crossing the street.