Update: Cyclist killed in Newport Beach collision; 7th cycling death in city since 2010

It’s happened again.

For the second time this year, and the 7th in the last four years, a bike rider has been killed in Newport Beach.

Unfortunately, details are still extremely limited.

However, Corona del Mar Today and Newport Beach Patch both report that the victim, identified publicly only as a man in his 30s, was hit by a passenger vehicle at the intersection of San Joaquin Hills Road and Marguerite Ave at 7:42 Wednesday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on which street the victim or the car that hit him were traveling on, or how the collision occurred.

The rider died just half a mile away, and on the same street, from where triathlete Amine Britel was killed by Danae Miller while riding his bike in 2011.

This is the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Orange County. It also matches the total of two cycling deaths in Newport Beach in 2010 and 2012.

Far too many for a city of just 87,000.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for the victim and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Update: The victim has been identified as 41-year old Paul Lin of Irvine. 

According to the Daily Pilot, Lin was turning left from northbound Marguerite onto San Joaquin when he was hit by a car traveling west on San Joaquin. 

Unconfirmed reports indicate Lin was riding with a group when he was killed. A comment from Leo90604 cites one of the other cyclists on the ride as blaming a short light cycle, as well as a driver that may or may not have slowed for the light.

I was able to get a hold of one of the people who was on this ride. The cyclist was turning left and from one of the riders, it is a fast changing light from yellow to red ( I have experienced protected left turn lanes change from green to yellow within 5 seconds)  He checked his left and did not see any oncoming car and he was hit from the right side as the light changed to green. If the cartruck was at a stop he would’ve seen the cyclist turning.

Meanwhile, the always excellent Corona del Mar Today is on top of the back story, detailing the too many bicycling fatalities that have occurred in the city since 2009.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Investigator Scott Grecco at (949) 644-3747 orsgrecco@nbpd.org.

Update 2: According to a comment by Elvis — and apparently confirmed in part by KCBS-2 — Lin was part of a Meetup group ride that had ridden to watch the sunset before returning via Marguerite and San Joaquin

28 comments

  1. JD says:

    We offer up our heartfelt prayers for the family and friends of the victim.

  2. Richard says:

    The Register has photos of the scene. It’s a road bike, all twisted and mangled, lying on the pavement. Could have been any one of us…damn…

  3. shark says:

    So sad. Would be nice if more details would come out so we know exactly what happened. Cars drive very fast in that area and many times don’t give any extra space if they don’t have to.

    As roadies, we risk our lives whenever we go out. There are always things we cannot control, but we need to make smart decisions to minimize that risk. Sunset was around 5 yesterday, so it was very dark when this happened. I hate the time change as much as anyone else, but when it’s too dark to ride it’s time to get the trainer out. If you’re a commuter, then there’s no way around it. But as recreational riders we increase the risk exponentially when we go out at peak traffic times and/or when it’s dark out.

    My thoughts go out to the family and friends.

    • ValleyBall1 says:

      I agree about mitigating risk, Shark, but sometimes that is the only time when people can ride. I mainly ride when it’s dark out but stay on bike trails and/or ride in less traveled areas, e.g., residential areas in Irvine.

      I read that this was a group ride. Does anyone know what ride/club?

  4. ValleyBall1 says:

    Our worst nightmare…again…

    I heard about this tragedy during this morning’s Coffee Crew ride in Irvine. That portion of San Joaquin Hills Road is pretty steep where bikes can easily hit 40+ mph going down the hill; you can only imagine how fast cars take it.

    God bless the victim and his/her family.

  5. Leo90604 says:

    I still do not have the actual details. I use to ride with this group from Meetup. This ride is a sunset ride and have always been a night ride on Wednesday. Group is safe and have the proper lights front and back. From the picture it looks like the cyclist was on a turning lane when struck and not at an intersection.

  6. David Huntsman says:

    I don’t know who was killed or whether he was riding along, commuting, going to the store or whatever. But I live a long few “blocks” away and ride and drive the road many times a day. And that’s the point. You can’t avoid it. There are all kinds of cyclists riding up and down San Joaquin Hills Rd at all hours. From roadies to UCI commuters to a couple of kids on fixes, believe it or not (and these are usually at night). Even a guy who works at Pavilions and commutes from somewhere on a beat up mountain bike. I see a lot of mountain bikers who have ridden the trails and are descending the road to get home. Back to the point: it’s the only road in town. Newport Coast doesn’t have side streets like real cities. It’s a bunch of gated communities tied to big, wide arterial roads like balloons tied to a stick.

  7. ValleyBall1 says:

    Update from the Corona Del Mar Today site:

    “Police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said today That police have determined that the bicyclist was travelling northbound on Marguerite, turning onto westbound San Joaquin Hills Road at the time of the collision, and the vehicle was travelling westbound on San Joaquin Hills Road.”

    • ValleyBall1 says:

      Based on this new information, it appears the cyclist was hit making a left onto SJH (heading down towards Fashion Island / Back Bay). I wonder who ran the red?

      • ValleyBall1 says:

        Meant “if” someone ran a light – sorry.

        • Bill says:

          Conflict was in middle of 3 west bound lanes. Assuming the light changed as he pedaled across 2/3 of SJH, the SUV with a green would only pick up side & wheel reflectors – not head or tail lights or reflectors. Did not see him, no skid marks, and came to stop ASAP past the intersection. Check your ride for reflective & side lights!

          • bikinginla says:

            Good point. The law requires a headlight that can also be seen from the side, as well as reflectors on the wheels, ankles or pedals.

            I always ride with ankle straps at night; they’re light enough that you forget they’re there, while the up and down movement of your pedals calls attention to your presence.

  8. Leo90604 says:

    I was able to get a hold of one of the people who was on this ride. The cyclist was turning left and from one of the riders, it is a fast changing light from yellow to red ( I have experienced protected left turn lanes change from green to yellow within 5 seconds) He checked his left and did not see any oncoming car and he was hit from the right side as the light changed to green. If the cartruck was at a stop he would’ve seen the cyclist turning.

    • David Huntsman says:

      I believe the left turn lanes turn green, but only stay green if they sense a car. This seems to happen throughout Newport Coast where, for the most part, the left arrow won’t trigger unless a car is present. Cyclists can rarely trigger the left turn arrow. Sometimes a car pulls up behind a cyclist in the left turn lane, and then the left turn arrow stays green (protecting the intersection until the car passes). But a cyclist following a car does not get the same protection and must immediately tailgate the car before the left turn arrow ends (leaving him in the intersection – unprotected from cross traffic). That is my personal experience and that has been related to me by many other cyclists.

  9. Richard says:

    From the description of the collision, it sounds like one of those things where the driver anticipates the light turning from red to green, and slows enough to be at the intersection just as he gets the green light (we’ve all done that). The cyclist may have been a little too late, and the car a little too early, with tragic consequences.

  10. ValleyBall1 says:

    Someone commented on Corona del Mar Today that the cyclist ran the red, which aligns with Leo’s comment above, i.e., a fast light requiring a last second effort. It appears to have been bad timing all around…

    I think we’ve all been on group rides where people have blown through reds to keep up with a fast group so this could have been any of us. Be careful out there folks and use your best judgment out on the roads.

    • markinirvine says:

      Who is this “someone” and how does s/he know what happened? Was s/he present? I know the rider in question and he was careful, cautious and smart. I think reserving comment until all the facts are know would be a wiser approach.

      • ValleyBall1 says:

        A website admin actually asked that same question but the OP has not responded. I agree on the approach and wish the Lin family tons of prayers.

        • markinirvine says:

          Thanks, VB1. Paul was a careful, GOOD rider, and it would have been very unlike him to do something dangerous or foolish. I am hoping that more information comes out as NBPD continue to investigate – in my view, NBPD had better continue to investigate.

  11. Cleave Law says:

    First, sympathies and condolences to Paul Lin’s family and friends. It is a tragedy regardless of the circumstances.

    I have rarely made the left turn from northbound Marguerite Avenue to westbound San Joaquin Hills Road, but I have made the right turn hundreds (thousands?) of times. I have also ridden westbound San Joaquin Hills through that intersection hundreds (thousands?) of times.

    IMHO, the biggest problem with that intersection is the speed limit on San Joaquin Hills Road — 55 MPH! This Google Maps photo (http://bit.ly/1bjvBAW) shows the last speed limit sign on westbound San Joaquin Hills before reaching Marguerite.

    The cause of the problem is the State of California, Department of Transportation, Policy Directive (http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/signtech/signdel/policy/09-04.pdf) that requires speed limits to be at the 85th-percentile of a traffic survey of vehicle speeds. There can be exceptions to the policy, but the vast majority of roads have speed limits based on this policy.

    For this tragic situation, you have people driving cars down the hill towards the intersection at a minimum of 55 MPH — probably more like 60-65 MPH. Combine that with nighttime visibility and you have conditions that leave no room for error on a driver’s, cyclist’s, or pedestrian’s part.

    As David Huntsman noted, that area is frequented by numerous and all kinds of bicycle riders. It is basically a residential area with streets that have freeway speed limits. Remember when the national speed limit was 55 MPH?

    If California is going to be truly bike-friendly, we have to change Traffic Operations Policy Directive 09-04.

  12. […] Update: Cyclist killed in Newport Beach collision; 7th cycling death … […]

  13. […] Update: Cyclist killed in Newport Beach collision; 7th cycling death … […]

  14. JH says:

    Here are a few things cyclists who ride up or down (east or west) on San Joaquin Hills Road, even once, should think about.

    Dozens of cars, trucks and SUVs going 50+ mph will be approaching you from behind, and passing within inches of you and your bike, every minute.

    A high percentage of the drivers of these vehicles will be drunk, under the influence of some drug, talking on a cell phone, texting, cutting other drivers off, speeding, tailgating, gazing at the scenery, glancing in the rear view mirrors, putting on lipstick, looking for something they just dropped on the floor, searching through a bag, purse or glove compartment, playing with the dog, completely unaware of your presence in the bike lane, or just plain stupid!

    The same is true for Pacific Coast Highway and many other crowded, high speed limit roadways where, in my humble opinion, like freeways, it makes no sense to permit bicycles.

    Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of all the riders who have died.

    Former rider.

    The same is true for Pacific Coast Highway

    The same is true for Pacific Coast Highway

    • Richard says:

      I live in Long Beach and ride to the Huntington Beach/Newport Beach area all the time; both solo and with the club I ride with. When I’m on PCH, I’m always aware of the danger, but I chose not to focus on it, because if I did, I’d probably never leave the house.

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