Breaking news: Laguna Beach bike rider dies following last night’s collision

Bad news from Laguna Beach.

According to the Laguna Beach Independent, 55-year old John Greg Colvin has died of the injuries he suffered when he was hit while riding on the Coast Highway Tuesday night.

The Orange County Register had reported last night that a then-unidenfied rider was critically injured when he was hit by a car on Coast Highway near Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach around 7 pm.

The Independent places the time of the collision at 6:56 pm, when the northbound bicycle was rear-ended while traveling in the right lane.

Colvin was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he later died.

Apparently, there’s some confusion over whether the 19-year old Prius driver fled the scene. The Register says he stopped nearby; however, the Independent says a witness followed him to El Morro Elementary School, where he was detained by police.

Google Maps places the school a full mile north of the collision site.

Drivers are required to remain at the scene and render aid in the event of a collision. Even though driving to another location a mile away would appear to be a clear violation of the law, the driver was not arrested or cited.

This is the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Orange County; that compares to just three in the county this time last year.

Update: A press release from Laguna Beach-based EventMover Inc. announced the hiring of John Colvin in 2012; LinkedIn identifies him as a member of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. However, without the middle name, there’s no assurance it’s the same person.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Colvin and all his loved ones.

8 comments

  1. ValleyBall1 says:

    PCH is such a beautiful rode to ride but it is, unfortunately, a highway with tons of speeding cars and traffic. I’m guilty of riding it until I can get to the HB boardwalk or SART. NB on PCH at 7pm is brutal with the sun and, at times, makes it almost impossible to see northbound. The sun sets around 8pm so it’s quite possible that the driver never even saw Mr. Colvin. God bless the Colvin family and all those involved in yet another cycling tragedy.

    Yesterday was a bad day for OC cyclists as I heard of two other collisions – both in Irvine – yesterday. Thankfully, however, both were minor: one with a broken collar bone and the other with a concussion.

    • Nancy Zeff says:

      My precious sister, Debra, was killed while riding her bicycle on Aug. 27, 2013, at PCH and Newport Coast Drive. The 84-year old motorist who killed her said that he ‘did not see her’.
      Our family is devastated and will not recover from her loss. Debra lived in Laguna Beach for over 20 years, was a highly successful attorney, an active member of the community, and and expert cyclist.
      The OC DA has pressed charges of vehicular manslaughter and the trial is set to begin Aug. 6, 2014. It has been shown that a show of support and outrage by members of the community may influence the Court. I am requesting a strong show of support and outrage at the Courthouse on Aug. 6 to show the Court that it is NOT OK TO KILL CYCLISTS.
      Thank you,
      Nancy Zeff
      (303) 444-1861

  2. Lois says:

    John was a member of the Newport Coast Triathlon Team.

  3. James says:

    I imagine Laguna Beach’s response to this totally predictable collision will be to do nothing or discourage cycling on PCH.

  4. Don says:

    Agree, PCH NB at that time of day and this time of year – the sun can be right in your eyes. Even a slightly distracted driver could miss seeing a biker until it’s too late. But, the damage to the car was severe (you can see it on OC Register.com). No way you didn’t know you hit someone once it happens. El Morrow Elementary school is well over a mile away. There are lots of places to pull over on the shoulder before that point — it just seems very strange that the driver was not ticketed at the time and was not held by police, but apparently released from the scene.

    • ValleyBall1 says:

      Yes, do doubt the driver knew he hit someone (or at least something). IMO, it’s a felony hit and run so I can’t fathom why, at a bare minimum, the driver was not ticketed. It’d be interesting to know the driver’s background, e.g., family in politics, law enforcement, etc.

  5. tony says:

    I came upon the scene and the sun was definitely directly ahead and very bright. The bicycle came to rest in the bike lane. There is a wide bike lane there and no obstructions and about nearly 100 yards of straightaway up hill after the last curve the car encountered.

    I assume that the car must have crossed into the bike lane because there would have been no reason for the bike to be in the traffic lane.

    With that much sun glare you have to really concentrate to see ahead. eL Moro is actually the first safe place to pull off PCH so I can see how an officer could give a panicked driver the benefit of the doubt.

    • Trikewomyn says:

      You stop, blocking the lane and render aid…you do not drive away. No excuses. All drivers who leave the scene of an accident should be arrested and taken into custody. We need a uniform law about this despicable behavior.

      When I was a kid, hit and run was the lowest of the low, resulting in prison time, even if you were not originally at fault.

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