Yet another bike rider has lost his life to a suspected drunk driver.
According to the Orange County Register, the 30-something victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was riding south on PCH in Dana Point around 11:14 last night when he was hit from behind. The car, a 2001 Acura, then overturned, injuring both of the people inside.
The victim was pronounced death at the scene, while the driver and his passenger were both taken to a local hospital with head trauma. And yes, alcohol use is suspected of playing a role in the collision.
The collision occurred on PCH near Green Lantern; a satellite view shows a clearly marked, if intermittent, bike lane, with a posted 35 mph speed limit. The story does not say which side of Green Lantern it happened on.
This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Orange County; that compares with just two in the county this time last year.
At least three of the Orange County deaths have involved drugs or alcohol, compared to a quarter of the deaths throughout Southern California.
Update: The victim has been identified as 38-year old Dana Point resident Haitham Gamal. The driver has been identified only as a 19-year old Dana Point man; his passenger was 18.
As an underage driver, any alcohol in the blood would be a violation of the law.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Haitham Gamal and his loved ones.