Sometimes it’s clear that something bad has happened.
But exactly what often isn’t clear for hours — or sometimes days — afterwards.
That’s what happened Wednesday morning when word broke of a serious collision involving a bike rider.
First reports from the CHP put the collision west of San Diego in El Cajon, then later reports placed it in Ramona — even though the two cities are miles from one another. That was followed by initial news reports in which a CHP spokesperson confirmed someone had died, but said it wasn’t clear if the victim was the cyclist or the driver.
It took until late Wednesday afternoon before it was clear what had really happened.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 54-year old Ramona resident Juan Perez Alarcon rode out of a dirt driveway on Warnock Drive at San Vicente Road just before 6:30 Wednesday morning, and directly into the path of a westbound car traveling at 45 mph. Other reports place the collision a long block away at Warnock Drive and Keyser Road.
Alarcon died at the scene shortly after the collision, despite the efforts of the driver and two others to tend to him.
No explanation is given for why he was apparently unable to see the oncoming car or stop before entering the roadway. However, judging from the satellite view, it’s possible the driver could have rounded the corner at San Vicente and gotten up to speed before either had a chance to react, if he’d been driving aggressively.
The paper notes he was not wearing a helmet, but does not say if he suffered a head injury. A side impact at that speed is unlikely to be survivable, with or without a helmet.
This is the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County. He is also the third cyclist to be killed in Ramona, with a population of under 21,000, in the past four years.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Juan Alarcon and his family.
Thanks to Marvin Davis for the heads-up.