80-year old Long Beach bike rider killed in collision with medical van

Would an 80-year old bike rider really run a red light?

That’s what we’re being asked to believe, after a cyclist lost his life on a Long Beach intersection Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, 80-year old Long Beach resident Mariano Carasaquit Libron was riding in the crosswalk on eastbound 16th Street, attempting to cross Long Beach Boulevard, when he was hit by a medical van.

The collision occurred at 1:27 pm as Libron reportedly ran the red light in front of the southbound transport vehicle driven by a 24-year old Long Beach resident. The Orange County Register reports responding officers found him lying unconscious in the roadway; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The satellite view shows a very wide six lane intersection, divided by two railroad tracks and a center median.

While anyone can make a mistake, it seems to strain credibility that an 80-year old man conservative enough to ride in a crosswalk — and presumably, on the sidewalk leading up to it — would blow through a light directly in front of oncoming traffic.

What seems far more likely is that the light may have changed while a slow-riding Libron was already in the intersection, and the transport driver somehow failed to see the rider directly in front of him after the light turned green as he approached the corner.

It’s also possible that the driver of the van may have been the only surviving witness; unless there were independent witnesses, investigators only have his word that the light was green.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Collision Investigation Detail Detective Steve Fox at 562/570-7355.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County. This is also the eighth bike rider to die in Long Beach in the last four years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mariano Libron and all his loved ones.

7 comments

  1. iNLand fIEts says:

    Does the City of Long Beach have any cameras at the intersection or the surrounding ones? Are there any cameras at adjacent businesses residents? I wouldn’t be surprised to find a less-than-thorough search for those sources until after it’s probably “too late”.

  2. Erik Griswold says:

    Correction: Those are the Blue Line’s Light Rail tracks. A 2006 Econoline? I wonder if the brakes have ever been replaced…wait, let me guess that the LBPD didn’t impound the van to have it thoroughly inspected?

  3. Rachel Libron-Duerme says:

    I thank you for writing up. Justice will prevail. My dad don’t deserve this! He deserves justice!

    • bikinginla says:

      Rachel, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your father deserved better than to lose his life just for riding a bike. And the way this has been described in the press just doesn’t add up. I know you’re grieving now, but I’d strongly urge you to talk to a lawyer; it may be the only way to get justice for your father.

      Please accept my condolences and prayers for all your family.

  4. JD says:

    We offer up our prayers for the family and friends of Mr. Libron.

  5. James says:

    Long Beach blvd. is an ugly, brutal shade-free highway, hostile to pedestrians who routinely have to dodge cars that fail to yield to them in crosswalks. One might think that a street with a light rail line would be a half-way urban place but this “boulevard” feels like a slightly narrower version of harbor blvd. in Orange County. Driving along it one can easily fall into inattentiveness and day dream for miles – clearly the auto-centric traffic engineers succeeded in making it feel like a highway. If you have the misfortune to spend any amount of time on the street you will see pedestrians, often elderly fail to make it across before the short pedestrian phase ends and you will also see motorists drive through crosswalks totally oblivious to the pedestrians still crossing the street. Most cyclists who use this street are sidewalk riders who seem cautious and almost always yield their right of way to motorists making right hand turns. On this street cyclists are timid bullied pedestrians on bicycles. I’ve seen it all when driving on this street: at red light cars behind me overtake me to run a red light, often passing me on the right, I’ve been honked at for yielding to pedestrians, nearly broadsided by cars running a red light, I’ve seen countless sidewalk and doorzone cyclists get cut off with inches to spare by a car making a right hand turn. I’ve tried walking on this street but the lack of shade, the endless strip malls, regular driveways and drivers trying to run me down make for a pretty miserable experience.
    I would also point out that the blue line has a reputation for being unusually prone to delays caused by collisions with motor vehicles. The city of Long Beach also refuses to give light rail traffic signal priority. This is a pretty common practice when light rail is installed. This current state of Long Beach blvd. is yet another example of how Long Beach destroyed itself in an attempt to be more like Orange County.

  6. […] in CA Ted Rogers reports on another elderly cyclist killed apparently by bad infrastructure. 80-year old Long Beach bike rider killed in collision with medical van and Bicyclist killed in Long Beach collision There are two theories on this one that I will present […]

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