Update: Experienced cyclist dies in Eagle Rock solo fall; 9th LA bicycling fatality this year

Sometimes, all it takes is a crack in the street to take a rider down.

That appears to be what happened last week in Eagle Rock, as a bike rider died in a solo fall on Colorado Blvd.

Details are still very sketchy. However, reports are that Edgardo Gabat, reported to be 55 or 56 years old, was riding on Colorado Blvd east of Figueroa last Thursday when his wheel got caught in a crack or seam in the pavement and he fell hard. He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he died some time later.

No other details are available at this time. And no word on whether he was wearing a helmet; this appears to be the sort of slow speed fall that bike helmets are designed for, as opposed to the often high speed impacts of traffic collisions.

A ghost bike ceremony will be held at the scene at 9 pm this evening.

This is the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in LA County. It’s also the 9th bike death in the City of Los Angeles, which compares to 11 in the city this time last year.

Update: According to Carlos Morales of the Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia, Gabat was a very experienced cyclist who always wore a helmet. He was also a popular member of Adobo Velo, Southern California’s largest Filipino-American cycling club. 

He also notes that the area around this intersection is notorious for poor pavement conditions, resulting in several traffic incidents involving cyclists. In fact, Morales is aware of at least one lawsuit that has been filed against the city by a bike rider who injured there. 

Update 2: In a comment below, Joseph Pagulo says that he was riding with Gabat, and that his fall came in the middle of a descent, so it did not occur at a slow speed.  

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Edgardo Gabat and all his loved ones.

24 comments

  1. Joseph Paguio says:

    I was there on this ride; Ed was wearing a helmet. The crash happened midway through the descent, so it wasn’t a slow-speed crash. Requiescat in pace, Ed.

  2. Jason says:

    I don’t know Edgardo but this is heart breaking and my thoughts go out to his family and friends. I live atop a hill that looks down on this crash site. In fact I see the ceremony happening right now. I myself am not in the bicycle community but I want to let you all know that there is no less than 1 serious bicycle accident at this very spot every year. I moved here 4 years ago and I must have seen ambulances and firetrucks attend to a fallen bicyclist 4 or 5 times. I’ve seen multiple cyclist sitting on the curb bloody and shaken. This is the same exact spot that Edgardo has fallen. Bicyclists pick up a lot of speed going down this hill. Please be careful out there. Rest in Peace, Edgardo.

  3. VR says:

    Just to show proof that Ed was an experience rider who always wear a helmet and a smile on his face.
    California Triple Crown

  4. Joshua Cohen says:

    I’d love to talk to any witnesses in this case. I have a case against the City for a defective roadway on Colorado in Eagle Rock.

    • Tracy Cortez says:

      Joshua,

      I was hurt in this exact spot. Broke both my arms and my nose. It was the same split in the road that launched me. If you are the same Joshua Cohen that is with CCM&S, then we are already in touch on a different issue so call me. If not, I’m happy to discuss this stretch of road with you and help others in any way I can.

  5. Mark Elliot says:

    Those riding through Beverly Hills, please report to Better Bike any injury you’ve suffered while riding on Santa Monica Boulevard. We’re collecting evidence of substandard conditions for legal notice to the city, and it would help to have documented examples of harm.

    Maybe with a sharpened focus on liability, City Hall will lift a finger to fix the corridor. Help us make our streets safe by signing-up to our bi-weekly email newsletter and we’ll keep you informed.

    • Anon says:

      There is a solution to these accidents? If you see a potential accident “gutters protruding, tree roots, unsealed crack, pothole, cracked pavement, slippery traffic direction paint, dimming/flickering traffic light, fast yellow lights that don’t allow cyclist ample time to cross”, and so forth. Photograph if possible, and send the potential documents certified mail to appropriate (city traffic engineer) and to the councilman/woman. In the event of a location be a major problem those documents could be evidence, of a cities lack. Maybe a follow up call documenting the official you speak to lodge the traffic hazard. I’m not sure if the city is obliged to show potential accident complaints filed by cyclists/citizens as public record. Just a thought?

  6. Larry says:

    I worked with Ed on the Space Shuttle Program at Boeing. I first met him in a Catia Class we had taken together on electrical wiring. Just saw him earlier this year at a get together luncheon. Always friendly and smiling. We will be sadly missed. May you rest in peace, Ed.

    God Bless,
    Larry

  7. Lisa says:

    I work in the building next to where the accident happened and the memorial now stands. We see bicyclists flying down Colorado in this area every day at extremely high speeds. Helmets can only do so much. Please slow down and be safe.

  8. ValleyBall1 says:

    Diyos pagpalain!

  9. Marilou and Rey says:

    Very disheartening news!
    May God grant Ed’s family and all who are mourning, strength and solace at this very difficult time.
    Our prayers for his soul to rest in peace!

  10. […] in CA is this wreck report via Ted Rogers of BikingInLA. Update: Experienced cyclist dies in Eagle Rock solo fall; 9th LA bicycling fatality this year The wreck is being blamed on bad pavement that caught the cyclist’s front tire and pulled the […]

  11. Roger says:

    It’s a treasure to be friend of Ed for 20 some years, and so devastating to lost a dear friend so sudden. Happy and Blessed to have spent 4 months till his last days here in Seattle till end of July. My prayers and deepest sympathy goes out to rest of your family….I know your riding high now with GOD looking down smiling as always…rest now in peace my friend ….you’ll always live forever in my heart

  12. Noel Nabor says:

    I knew Ed for two years. He was one of the members of Adobo Velo that i got close with when i joined the club in July 2012. We started riding Double Century Rides last year in pursuit of completing of our first California Triple Crown, 3 double century rides in a year. But we ended up doing 5 doubles and 1 volunteer, so we earned our CTC 1000 Gold. Ed is a very kind person. He never wanted to hear any negative comments regarding other members of our club. He is quick to offer help, in fact whenever we have a club picnic he always volunteer to chop the lechon and serve his fellow cyclist. He is one of a kind type of a person. I will never ever forget Ed Gabat. Ride in Paradise my Friend

  13. Bobby L says:

    My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Edgardo, I feel and share your pain, I lost my brother Jose ‘joey’ Cuellar to solo bike fall as well over a year ago about a mile or so from where Edgardo fell, so it hits home, these accidents are terrible tragedies that shatter our individual worlds to the core, I’m saddened to hear Edgardo suffered the same fate, we all know our time is limited and although I don’t know Edgardo personally I know my brother passed away doing something he enjoyed, the same could be said for Edgardo, Ride In Peace.

    • Maria says:

      Hello my name is Maria H. I’m so sorry for your loss. I am wondering if your brother Joey is the one I’m thinking of, he lived in Highland Park. He had a younger brother named Bobby and a sister Belinda. He went to Franklin High during the late 80s. I knew him during 89-93. I hope it is not the Joey I’m thinking of. Thank you for your reply and so sorry to bother you.

  14. Saul says:

    In late March I fell, possibly at the same exact spot, after my front wheel caught in seam between two expanses of concrete pavement, heading west towards Figueroa. I was with a partner and travelling at about 20 mph. I broke six ribs, punctured my right lung, resulting in a pneumothorax and a hemothorax. I also suffered an AC separation of my right shoulder. I was hospitalized for six days. My helmet did its job, and a scan revealed no brain damage. I also learned that my dentist, a serious cyclist, fractured his clavicle at that same stretch of Colorado Blvd. I was lucky. I recovered and I am riding regularly. But we have to take action to remove these very serious dangers from our roadways.

    • Julie says:

      Unfortunately, I too was a victim of this exact stretch of road this summer, breaking my wrist and knocking a tooth loose when my front tire was caught in the seam between lanes. I had ridden this stretch dozens of times, and I was wearing my helmet (which did its job, thank goodness). I would like to become more of an advocate for safe roads in this area and be of help to any efforts to improve the road for cyclists. I am sorry I was not up to taking this on during my recovery and help prevent this accident. I am heart broken for Edgardo’s family. I am so sorry for your loss.

  15. Gregory says:

    The ghost bike in memory of Edguardo is outside my office. I have see a number of bike accidents there because of the uneven plates. The city was aware of the danger and did nothing.
    There is now filler between the plates. A cheap mend that is short of a proper fix but should make it much safer.
    A shame so many have been hurt and killed before something was done.

  16. Steve says:

    I fractured my collarbone and shoulder blade in this exact spot on 9/11/2011. I was knocked out for a couple of hours, and now have a big chunk of titanium and 7 or 8 screws in my shoulder. A quiet Sunday morning, no traffic, a nice long hill — then I woke up in Huntington Memorial.

    Is there some sort of standard signage to warn cyclists of dangerous areas like this?

  17. Calais says:

    I share the road with you all, I have a moto and car and have been looking at purchasing a bike.
    Accidents happen a lot. But I feel the last couple weeks have been tough. Driving home to Eagle Rock I passed the fresh memorial for Ed. It’s so sad. My thought are with his friends and family.
    That road is nasty and needs to be fixed!! Road conditions need to be safe for the vehicles on them and by the definition of the law, bikes are vehicles.
    Please be safe out there!! I hate seeing those white bikes.

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