Make that 51.
The ever growing body count of Southern California bicyclists continues to rise, as an Orange County bike rider died Monday morning following a Saturday collision.
According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, 40-year old Stanton resident Alberto Ramos was riding at the intersection of Dale and Cerritos Avenues in Stanton when he was struck by a small SUV at 10:20 pm on Saturday, July 20th. I’m told he died at UCI Medical Center in Orange without regaining consciousness.
His death came less than three weeks before his 41st birthday.
A source tells me the driver was arrested at the scene, which would suggest a possible DUI. However, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department refused to provide any information about the driver or any possible charges.
No other information is available at this time.
This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, which compares with 41 this time last year. It’s also the 7th bicycling death in Orange County this year, as the county maintains its deadly one-a-month average of cycling fatalities.
That increase over last year is due entirely to a dramatic jump in fatalities in Los Angeles County, which has suffered 10 more deaths than this time last year.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alberto Ramos and his family.
Update: The driver who was arrested has been identified as Charles Edward Bennett, who faces charges of driving on a suspended license, felony possession of a controlled substance & misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.
Remarkably, he was released from jail on July 29th — despite a previous failure to appear on charges of driving on a suspended license & failure to provide proof of insurance from an arrest last March.
Needless to say, he failed to appear for his most recent court date scheduled for August 5th, and is now listed as a fugitive.