Sometimes, all it takes is a single tragic error in judgement.
That was the case last night, as a bike rider lost his life apparently trying to beat a train in North San Diego County.
According to multiple sources, a 48-year old man, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a Sprinter light-rail train in an unincorporated area of Vista. The collision occurred at a railroad crossing at the intersection of Woodland Drive and South Santa Fe Avenue at 8:07 pm Monday.
According to witnesses, the warning gates had been down for more than 40 seconds, with the lights and bells activated, when the victim rode around the gates and onto the track. He was struck by oncoming the train, which had been sounding its horn as it approached the intersection.
The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
No explanation was given for why he attempted to cross the tracks despite multiple visual and audible warnings.
He was the third person killed by a train in the county in the last five days.
This is the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Diego County. He is also the third bike rider to be killed by a train in the seven-county SoCal region since the first of the year.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.
Thanks to Rick Risemberg for the heads-up.
I don’t normally report on bicycling fatalities that occur outside the SoCal region.
However, I’ve gotten multiple reports of a cyclist killed on Foxen Canyon Road in the Santa Maria area over the weekend.
According to the Santa Maria Times, the victim was a 33-year old Chula Vista resident, who was hit by a 16-year old driver in a truck pulling a horse trailer.
Now word is coming in that victim was Matthew O’Neil, a popular randonneur well known in SoCal riding circles. I’m told that a group of riders participating in the ultra-distance event came upon the scene shortly after the collision, and recognized the victim by his unique Bacchetta recumbent bike.
Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that the driver is the son of a woman involved in another fatal wreck on the same road in 2012.
Hopefully, we’ll have more information later.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew O’Neil and all his family and friends.
Thanks to Mike T for the link.