Update: 40-something cyclist killed in DTLA; second rider to die on Alameda Street in the last six months

More bad news, this time from Downtown Los Angeles.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim, identified only as a man in his early 40s, was hit and killed by a flatbed tractor trailer on Alameda just south of 20th Street at 1:10 pm Monday.

The police report says the cyclist was riding with traffic on southbound Alameda Street when he was sideswiped by the driver; he fell into the roadway, where he was run over by the truck’s rear wheels.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators; he was not suspected of being under the influence. Several vehicles initially stopped at the scene, but the drivers did not remain to talk to police.

According to Carlos Morales of the Eastside Bike Club, witnesses said the victim, who was riding a cruiser bike, was hugging the curb when the driver attempted to squeeze past in the same lane.

And clearly, failed.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713 or Detective Felix Padilla at 213/486-0753. You can also call the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/486-8344.

This is the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd in Los Angeles County. It’s also the eighth bike death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year, and the second cycling fatality on Alameda Street since February of this year.

Update: The Long Beach Post has identified the victim as 42-year old Long Beach resident Jarone Bartee; thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jarone Bartee and his family. 

Thanks to Carlos Morales of the Eastside Bike Club for the heads-up.

12 comments

  1. JD says:

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

  2. JD says:

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

  3. […] Tractor Trailer Kills DTLA Cyclist (Biking in LA, LAT) […]

  4. D. Malcolm Carson says:

    Sad. Besides of the obvious fact that we need better bicycling infrastructure, we desperately need some better bicycling education in this town. I see so many bicyclists riding as this person evidently did, hugging the curb on fast-moving streets. Inevitably drivers are going to take that as an invitation to pass on the left without changing lanes, and inevitably the several inch margin of error is going to be insufficient in far too many cases. You have to either take enough space that cars/trucks know to go around, or stay on the sidewalk. Riding along the gutter with inches of spaces on either side is a recipe for certain death.

  5. Breana Trevino says:

    If anyone witnessed this accident please come forward. People did stop at the time of the accident, but didn’t stay to speak to police. We need witnesses.
    Also, please be respectful. He was not from this area and most likely didn’t know it was legal to ride on the sidewalk there. Where he is from it’s the law to ride on the street.
    Also, there was an overgrown bush at the site of the accident. It seems he may not have been able to avoid getting hit. There is an investigation being done.
    Please remember that a son/father/ grandfather/ brother/ friend lost his life. Thank you.

  6. Gary Cziko says:

    Here is a typical L.A. cyclist riding along the edge of Santa Monica Boulevard in L.A. this morning. A gray-haired woman in apparently good physical condition as I did not have to slow down all that much to stay behind her for the video.

    She was at times in the gutter so close to the curb that she was at risk of striking her pedal against the curb and going down in front of a passing motorist (I suspect she stopped pedaling in the underpass so that she could ride straighter just inches from the curb).

    Sometimes I mention to such cyclists as I pass something like “It’s much nicer with lots more room out here in the lane” but I didn’t this morning. Now I feel bad I that didn’t as she risks the same fate as yesterday’s crushed cyclist on Alameda Street. Now I’m thinking of carrying copies of the article about this cycling fatality and handing it out to such cyclists I encounter. Perhaps the loss of his life might help other cyclists keep theirs.

    http://vimeo.com/102665681

  7. Serena Grace says:

    I stopped by yesterday morning at his ghost bike to pay my respects, then stopped by this evening again and the ghost bike was gone. Most likely stolen. =(

  8. Serge Issakov says:

    The idea that bicyclists should ride at the road edge in order to share lanes is deadly.

    • bikinginla says:

      I have to agree. I know many people think they’re being safer by hugging the curb, but everyone should ride at least a few feet into the lane, if not in the center.

      • Joe B says:

        I agree with you.

        But no matter how much you tell cyclists to ride in the middle of the lane, the vast majority will return to the gutter the first time they get buzzed or harassed by a motorist — which will happen about five minutes after they first try taking the lane.

        Sure, we need to educate cyclists. But we also need to punish motorists who use their cars as weapons, and unfortunately I don’t think our police force is interested in taking on that task.

        • Capitulation to physical threats is natural and understandable. But even intentional buzzing and harassment, let alone unintentional close passing, is not like someone pointing a gun at you and demanding your wallet. Everybody gets what’s happening in a holdup – ignorance and misunderstanding are not factors.

          The population of CA is approaching 40M.
          If 1/2 are motorists, that’s about 20 million motorists. If cyclists comprise 1/2 of 1% of the population, that’s about 200,000 cyclists in CA.

          Now imagine the most effective (but still realistic) anti-buzzing/anti-harassment law enforcement campaign you can. How would it look? What would it do? What percentage of motorists would be reached? What percentage of motorists would change their behavior? How would the likelihood of any one cyclist being buzzed or harassed change?

          Don’t get me wrong, it’s important that law enforcement address this when it can. I just don’t see it as an effective means to significantly reduce the buzzing/harassment experienced by any one cyclist.

          What IS effective in terms of reducing buzzing and harassment that that one cyclist experiences, is changing that cyclist’s behavior. That I know for a fact, basically by following this:

          https://www.facebook.com/BicyclistsBelongInTheTrafficLane/photos/a.426486414126484.1073741830.281417585300035/428499737258485/?type=3&theater

          So we have about 20 million motorists who are mostly unconcerned if even aware of the problem of cyclist buzzing. They’re very difficult to reach and unmotivated.

          On the other hand, we have about 200 thousand cylcists who are very concerned and motivated to get the situation addressed.

          What if we could get each of the 200 thousand to understand the a far more effective solution is available through changes in their own behavior than by trying to change the psyche and behavior of 20 million motorists?

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