Another bike victim In San Bernardino; cyclist seriously injured in Chula Vista; and charges in October OC hit-and-run

Let’s hope bad news just comes in twos this time.

Less than 24 hours after news broke that a bike rider had lost his life at the hands of a drunk driver in Huntington Beach Wednesday night, news is coming in that another rider died earlier that evening, this time in San Bernardino.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the 43-year old cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding west on the 1200 block of West Kendall Drive around 6:40 pm when she swerved across the roadway. While riding against traffic in the number 1 (left) lane of the roadway, she was apparently hit head-on by an eastbound Mustang driven by a 20-year old woman.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on why she suddenly started riding against traffic. But let this serve as a reminder to never ride salmon — let alone in the middle of the roadway — and always be aware of other traffic on the roadway before making any sudden moves.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County.

My prayers and sympathy for the victim and all her loved ones.

………

More bad news comes from San Diego County, where a bike rider suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with a truck in Chula Vista.

According to San Diego’s 10News, the victim was apparently crossing the offramp to the southbound I-805 at Bonita Road when he was hit by a truck exiting the freeway around 10 pm Wednesday.

Google’s satellite view shows what appears to be a bike lane leading up to the offramp.

Police say the driver stayed at the scene and did not appear to be under the influence.

The station reports initial evidence suggests the rider was at fault. However, traffic exiting the freeway is required to yield to through traffic; unless the victim was riding against traffic or failed to observe a traffic signal, it’s hard to imagine how he could have been at fault.

If police are saying he did go through a red light, the question is whether there are any independent witnesses other than the truck driver to attest to that, and if the signalization provided enough time to get across the intersection.

Either way, it sounds like prayers or good wishes are in order once again.

………

Jeffrey Fylling forwards word that Orange County prosecutors have filed charges against the truck driver who killed 19-year old cyclist Manuel Morales Rodriguez last October.

Forty-eight year old Filemon Reynaga was to be arraigned on Friday on one count of felony hit-and-run causing death and a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Reynaga is accused of hitting Rodriguez as he pulled his semi truck out of an Anaheim driveway, then dragging the victim and his bike under his truck for up to 150 feet before fleeing the scene without stopping. Rodriguez was then hit by a second vehicle, which remained at the scene, and died as a result of inures suffered in the two collisions.

If convicted, Reynaga faces up to five years in state prison. He’s currently free on a ridiculously low $50,000 bail.

………

Finally, while we’re on the subject, I received this email from a rider troubled by all the recent bicycling deaths in Orange County, following the death of Matthew Liechty on Edwards Street in Huntington Beach on Wednesday. (Note: I added the links.)

But take fair warning. It’s a difficult read. And the last line hits like a punch in the gut.

Edwards became an alternate commute route for me after Roger Lippmann’s slaughter… until I realized that swinging over to PCH took me right past Becki Lee James’ house, which creeps me out. And now I’m disinclined take Goldenwest (whose “vicious hills” had become “gentle rollers” pretty quick after I abandoned the flat PCH commute) because I’ll picture the crunched-up Camry in the Ralph’s parking lot.

Have I ever passed this Matt Liechty on my commute? Was he the guy with the really, really bright headlamp? Were the distant sirens I heard last night responding to this incident?

What. the. holy. serious. fuck. Can’t I have a single fucking street on my commute where somebody hasn’t been slaughtered? Is that too much to ask?

And that piece you linked to recently about ghosts… I see those ghosts everywhere, sometimes in visual incarnations. New flowers on Lippmann’s memorial, a year and a half later? I hit the brakes and looked out at the sunshine sparkling on the water and wanted to apologize to him at the top of my lungs because he got a death sentence and his killer only got six years. Every time I pass 9th Street in Sunset Beach, every time, I still see the sea breeze blowing the ashes left behind by the flares set down for the investigation of Kenneth Prevatte’s death: gray ashes, grey asphalt, gray clouds. At 43rd & Wadsworth, where nobody from Perry’s office which announced it could be bothered to show up for a joke of a so-called press conference, I nearly caused a pile-up on RWNN last summer when I recognized the intersection as we entered it and idiotically froze, because I was seeing the ghost that no one else on that ride saw.

I see these ghosts because if I forget then I’ve left a rider behind and I can’t leave a rider behind.

7 comments

  1. billdsd says:

    Even if the bicyclist did run a red light, the motorist was required to yield before entering the roadway by CVC 21804.

    The only way that this could be construed as the fault of the bicyclists is if they were riding against traffic.

  2. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the cyclist who passed away.

  3. Articles like the one at the top of today’s post are one of the big reasons I want to see the bike in wrecks like this. I did see the bike in one “salmon” wreck back in 2010 that had a perfectly round front wheel and a tacoed rear wheel and a fork that was broken at the point the dropouts were welded to the rest of the fork. IOW the bike was hit from the back and tumbled so the front fork broke where it had been heat damaged. Nothing else in front of the seat post was bent or otherwise out of place. The chain stays were pushed to the right side of the bike.

    Seriously, I want to see this allegedly “salmon” bicycle.

  4. […] And STILL in CA. Another bike victim In San Bernardino; cyclist seriously injured in Chula Vista; and charges in Octo… […]

  5. Nancy Zeff says:

    On Aug. 27, 2013 my beloved sister was killed while riding her bicycle at the intersection of Newport Coast Drive and Pacific Coast Hwy. in Newport Beach. The 84 yr. old driver said, “I just didn’t see her.” Only someone who has tragically been through this experience can know this total devastation.
    Contrary to general precedent, the Orange County DA decided to charge the driver with vehicular manslaughter and we will go to trial in the coming months.
    The maximum penalty is one year in county jail. The law must be changed. Motorists must be held responsible with punishment that equals the crime. Cyclists must get involved.

    • bikinginla says:

      Nancy, I’m so sorry for your loss; I’ve yet to hear a single negative thing about Debra.

      Many members of the cycling community are fighting for stricter penalties for injuring or killing bicyclists or pedestrians, but it’s a hard battle in a society where few bike but nearly everyone drives.

      We have to get past the concept that collisions are just accidents, and “I didn’t see her” is an excuse, rather than a confession.

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