Update — Bike rider killed in Coachella collision

On a day when LA bike riders safely celebrated one of the city’s most iconic streets, the news from further east was much more troubling.

According to the Desert Sun, an unidentified bike rider was killed in a collision with a pickup at 6:30 Sunday evening at the intersection of Vista del Norte and Dillon Road. The paper reports the victim died at the scene, and that drug or alcohol use did not play a role in the collision.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

This is the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Riverside County already this year, compared to just two in the county this time last year.

And it’s a reminder that too many of our streets remain dangerous for those who choose to travel unprotected by a few tons of glass and steel.

Update: The Desert Sun has identified the victim as 48-year old Atwater resident Larry Dale Taylor. According to the Riverside County coroner, he was wearing a helmet, which may or may not be relevant depending on the victim’s injuries and how the collision occurred.

 Thanks to attorney James Johnson for the heads-up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Larry Taylor and his loved ones.

Update 2: KESQ.com report that Taylor was riding east on the shoulder of Vista Del Norte just west of Dillon Road when he inexplicably turned left directly in front of the pickup in what sounds like a classic SWSS.*

Reports like that should always be taken with a grain of salt, unless there are independent witnesses other than the driver, which is not clear in this case. Often when the victim is unable to give his side of the story, police are forced to rely on statements from the driver, who has an inherent interest in seeing his or her actions in the best possible light.

It’s always possible that instead of the victim turning in front of the vehicle, the driver may have drifted to the right or not seen the cyclist riding in front of him.

*Single Witness Suicide Swerve

4 comments

  1. Roy Oh says:

    How unfortunate it is that one human, who in his or her zeal for the pursuit of enjoyment of life, must rely entirely upon another human’s propensity to respect the first’s right to do so in order to survive and ultimately reap the rewards of the self imposed quest of purity and excellence.

  2. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

  3. ValleyBall1 says:

    I rode TPC and Dillon a couple weeks ago. That particular stretch of the road is pretty rough with tons of trucks and big rigs entering and exiting the 10 freeway. I can see where this might have happened. God bless the victim and those involved.

  4. Until more cyclists start using rear facing video cams we won’t know what really happened in most of these cases.

    Either scenario is possible – cyclist inexplicably moved left; motorist ran into overlooked cyclist at the side-of-the-road. In either case the motorist is in violation of CVC 21750, which requires motorists to “pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle”. Definite fail in this regard here.

    That said, cyclists should know that their risk to this type of risk can be mitigated with some defensive bicycle driving practices:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=426504604124665&set=a.426486414126484.1073741830.281417585300035&type=3&theater

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