Looks like there may be justice for fallen cyclist Andy Garcia.
And the riding companions who were injured with him.
Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports that 21-year old Wendy Villegas was arraigned last week for the hit-and-run collision that left Garcia sprawled in the roadway, where he was hit and killed by a second vehicle.
Fortunately, the judge seems to be taking the case very seriously.
Not only is Villegas facing a sentence of between 5 – 7 and 10 – 15 years, but the unnamed judge wanted nothing to do with her lawyer’s complaints that an ankle monitor would cramp his client’s lifestyle.
Not to mention her choice of fashionable footwear.
According to them, the judge told Villegas she will wear the device because she is a danger to society. As such, she is no longer able to drive a vehicle, must obey a curfew, and is obligated to appear in court by 4 p.m. today (Oct. 11) to both pay for the monitor and have it placed around her ankle. Should she choose not to do so, the judge advised, a warrant would be issued for her arrest, she would be placed in custody, and her bail would be revoked.
Villegas was still drunk when she was taken into custody hours after dragging Garcia’s bike several hundred feet beneath her car.
Meanwhile, Sulaiman reports the survivors have been deeply affected by the collision. Mario Lopez suffered fractures to his back and leg, and now requires a walker and back brace to get around, painfully.
And Ule Melgar, the other rider hit by Villegas’ car, suffered severe road rash and leg pain; fortunately for him, his backpack broke his fall.
The other riders in the group have to live with watching their friend killed before their eyes.
As do the occupants of the car that took his life after Villegas left him sprawled in the road.
A memorial carwash will be held this Saturday in Garcia’s memory, and to raise funds for his family.
Ever think there might be a reason why a cyclist might flip off a friendly driver just trying to give a helpful honk?
Evidently, a thought like that has never passed through the head of Chicago Sun Times, Men’s Health and ESPN.com columnist Andy Frye.
In what he (mis)labels as satire, Frye reports a recent incident in which he drove up behind a bike rider who apparently didn’t know he was there. So he “tooted” his horn lightly.
Guess I should have known better. Not that I expected a waive from the cyclist, nor did I expect him to stop and say thank you, but I didn’t expect him to give me the one-finger salute in a long, protracted, five-second long flip-off accompanied by a scornful face.
Suddenly I was the bad guy, and apparently an archetype that embodied everything that is wrong with society, at least in the eyes of this self-proclaimed roadhog radical. I had become “The Man” and perhaps a symbol of an oppressive oil-oligarchy, hellbent on usurping all that is good by bumping this free-spirited city cyclist off the road.
I never knew a single digit could convey so much deep meaning.
And “The Man?” Seriously?
What, is it 1968 all over again?
Meanwhile, I’ve scoured my car horn, but can’t find the light toot setting, let alone the friendly warning button. Call me crazy, but I always thought car horns make the same sound regardless of your intent in honking.
So how, exactly, was the rider supposed to gauge the supposed purpose behind Frye’s honk? Especially when even the most well-intentioned honk sounds loud and angry to anyone not encased in couple tons of relatively soundproofed glass and steel.
Chances are, the rider already knew Frye’s car was there; loud, hulking vehicles are kind of hard to hide, even without looking. And if not, all he managed to do was scare the crap out of the poor guy by hitting his horn behind an unsuspecting rider.
Under the same circumstances, I probably would have flipped him off too. And I guarantee I would have known he was there long before his misguided finger hit the horn.
And he’d know I was there long after.
So for anyone else as clueless as the self-proclaimed bike-riding Frye, never, ever honk at a cyclist. It will almost never be taken well, regardless of what’s hidden in your heart of hearts.
And as Bike Snob so succinctly pointed out, that old cliché of “I own — or ride — a bike too…” is the moral equivalent of “Some of my best friends are (insert ethnicity here)…”
This coming Saturday should be a major drag in Huntington Park.
The city is teaming with the LACBC and Wolfpack Hustle to host a bike drag race compete with full support, including barricades, medical emergency response teams and police services. Registration is just $10 — and free for HP residents.
In addition, participants and spectators are invited to give your input on the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan at the LACBC booth.
More on Mayor Garcetti’s plan for Great Streets, which doesn’t exactly jibe with proposed plans for a deadly virtual freeway on the Hyperion-Glendale bridge complex. The Times says men downplay the risks of texting and driving; oddly, I see more women texting behind the wheel, myself. Rick Risemberg reports riding in Portland is sort of like having CicLAvia every day. UCLA makes progress on their 2006 bike plan; I’d be happy if the red light on westbound Charles E. Young at the entrance off Sunset Blvd would just recognize my bike. The artist behind those incredible gates on the LA River. Governor Brown vetoes a poison pill bill that would have effectively halted a surface route for the long-planned extension of the 710 Freeway, but signs Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s bill extending the statute of limitations in hit-and-run cases. Celebrate the newly bike-friendly Colorado Blvd on Saturday the 26th. A little 80-year old lady from Pasadena hits a salmon cyclist head on in broad daylight. Bike thefts spike in Torrance. Long Beach is scheduled to hold their bike count this week.
Bike Newport Beach introduces a bootleg bike master plan. After losing both his legs in Afghanistan, a San Diego vet rides 160 miles for charity. Thousand Oaks is striping roadways to reduce collision — not accident — rates, thank you. A Lake County CA cyclist is killed in a head-on collision with a sheriff’s deputy speeding in response to a reported home invasion. The musician behind last year’s viral hit Bike Path Love is arrested for DUI after colliding with a pedestrian. San Francisco firefighters are worried bike lanes and traffic calming are narrowing the city’s streets too much.
Elly Blue calls for putting a kickstand and other crap — her word, not mine — on your bike. Your helmet could text for help the next time you wipe out. Tacoma WA is ordered to pay nearly a quarter million dollars to a cyclist who did a face plant after getting a wheel caught in a crack in a bike lane. An Arizona writer says life is cheap in Tucson, at least when it comes to cyclists and pedestrians; evidently, it’s not just Tucson, as an El Mirage driver drags a rider 108 feet down the street before fleeing. A string of bad decisions is blamed for Boise bike and pedestrian collisions; then again, isn’t that the primary cause of virtually every collision? A Texas cyclist discovers the downside of riding into a closed national wildlife refuge during the government shutdown. Indianapolis residents want a butt ugly bike sculpture removed; it’s supposed to look like Kurt Vonnegut but instead looks like a tangled jumble on a pole. A New Hampshire woman administered fentanyl to calm down a young driver hours before she plowed into a group ride, killing two cyclists; I was given fentanyl for outpatient surgery a few years back, and was completely and totally unable to get out of bed for the next three days, let alone drive. A year after a liver transplant saved his life, a Boston area cyclist loses it to a hit-and-run driver. The Wall Street Journal questions the risks of unsanctioned bike races as they rise in popularity. NYC bike advocates predict even more bike lanes in the city. A New York rider ends up with nerve damage after being cuffed by police for running a red light. Don’t ride onto a Pittsburgh parade route, even if you’re in the bike lane. Sometimes you have to — politely — explain the law to the cops, like this rider did.
Hermes introduces an $11,000 handmade carbon fiber bike for casual cyclists with more dollars than sense. Will robocars be good for bike riders? British bike rider is escorted off the equivalent of the 5 Freeway, in the rain, no less. Brit track cyclist tracks down his stolen bike on Facebook. The women’s Tour of Britain receives equal standing with the men’s race, while UK’s Olympic champion women’s pursuit team calls for a women’s Tour de France. A USC professor — no, not that USC, the Australian one — determines cyclist safety is degraded because roads weren’t designed for cyclists’ needs; well, duh. Ride South Africa’s wine routes on your next vacation. An 81-year old Aussie man rides 30 miles a day; I want to be like him when I grow up. A New Zealand cyclist is dead, and two others injured, because a driver didn’t bother to wear his contacts and only saw two of the group of 10 riders he plowed into.