23-year old bike rider killed last week in Granada Hills truck collision

Today is turning into a very sad day.

Last Thursday, I received a secondhand report that a bicyclist had been killed in Granada Hills earlier in the week. Since then, I’ve been working with Asher M to confirm the report, without success

Sadly, that came today, when the LAPD’s bike liaison for the Valley Traffic Division confirmed that that a rider was killed last week.

According to his email, the victim was crossing Nordhoff Street while riding north on Petit Ave when multiple witnesses report he went through the red light while riding against traffic, and was struck by a vehicle.

No time was given for the collision.

Asher was able to track down Facebook and Instagram pages identifying the victim as 23-year old Andrew Fang. A memorial post indicates he was on his way home from school when he was hit by a truck, and died in the hospital the following day.

A fund has been established to help his family cover the unexpected costs relating to his death. As of today, it has raised a little over $3,800 of the $10,000 goal.

This is the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles. That compares with 16 in the county and four in the city this time last year.

Update: The wreck occurred at 7:50 pm, so visibility may have been an issue, as well.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andrew Fang and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Asher M, whose assistance was invaluable.

21 comments

  1. Asher M says:

    One of the more eerie parts of this is just how under the radar such traffic fatalities are – I only heard about it because a friend of mine is a friend of the deceased, and knew I had taken up city cycling recently, and wanted to ensure my safety (thanks Marvin V), and relayed news of the death. Despite near incessant searching, there was zero media or official coverage of Fang’s death.

    • Margaret says:

      Asher, So true. As you know, Ricky Montoya’s death in February by the Air Force Base in El Segundo went unreported by the local media. I live nearby and if weren’t for Ted and Danny Gamboa, I would have only vaguely known through the neighborhood grapevine that, ‘someone on a bike was hit’.

      • Asher M says:

        Yeah, and I only heard about Montoya’s death by seeing his ghost bike right on my doorstep… I wish there were a centralized public listing of all traffic fatalities, by bike, car, pedestrian, flying carpet, whatever. Despite Ted’s herculean efforts, I can’t imagine every local cyclist death is captured here.

        • bikinginla says:

          I know for a fact I miss some; based on previous years, I seem to undercount bicycling fatalities by roughly 10%, on average.

          Cases like this are my biggest fear. Without constant digging from Asher and myself, we would have never known about this one.

          And I may have found out about another one just tonight that may have happened earlier this year; I’ve asked for more information to confirm whether the victim had a bike.

        • Margaret says:

          Great idea.

  2. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Fang.

  3. Gary Gallerie says:

    Bicyclist ran a red light. Sorry for the family and for the guy that hit him. Imagine how he feels for killing someone. I live in Venice where 95% of the cyclists run stop signs. Good luck to them. Check out the traffic circle at Main St. and Windward Av.

    • Asher M says:

      Gary, it sounds like driving in Venice Beach has you frustrated. Have you considered biking there instead? That might ease your auto-induced frustration.

    • bikinginla says:

      If you look a little closer, you’ll find that most drivers roll through stops signs, too — usually about the same speed bike riders do. And many drivers don’t even bother to slow down, even in residential areas.

      We live in a society where basic traffic regulations are almost universally ignored by people on four wheels, two wheels and two feet. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to tragic consequences.

  4. Rick C says:

    I live a couple houses from where the accident happened. I heard it and ran out to see what happened. I held him as he regained consciousness and until the paramedics arrived. This was a tragic but avoidable accident. I say this because I too was struck and run over by a car when I was 14. I too was going against traffic and crossed a red light at night. I had really hoped he would have survived but it wasn’t until I saw the memorial on the corner that I realized he hadn’t. My condolences go out to his family. We all need to be careful on the road, riders AND drivers. Though I don’t ride a bike anymore, I do ride a motorcycle, and believe me, we are just as invisible and just as vulnerable.

    • bikinginla says:

      You got it exactly right. Too many of us are too casual about how we use the roads; we all need to pay attention, and ride and drive safely.

      And thank you for caring enough to comfort a stranger in need.

    • Asher M says:

      Thank you for helping out.

      I think that in all the cheering for better bike infrastructure, the importance of education gets lost. People think that because they can pedal, they know how to ride – that couldn’t be further from the truth, no matter how many protected bike lanes there are.

      As a society, we don’t feel that way about driving, certainly. While I don’t favor mandatory bike licensing, the need for cyclist education is at least as dire, as it is for a car, if you have any regard for your own life. Even though vehicular cycling is dubious as a model on which to design infrastructure, it’s still an essential skill for the individual rider. Disobeying traffic laws may or may not expose you to much greater danger, but it takes a discerning eye to figure out which. For one, it takes familiarity with local streets to figure out. And, a 7 lane street, presumably with plenty of 40-50+ mph traffic, as in the case of Fang, is never a good place for running a red light across. I think his death was preventable had he taken a good cycling class or had a friend ride with him occasionally and tell him that antics like that are idiotic.

      • Friend says:

        I am not trying to bring in negative energy but you know what it’s not very fair to say what Andrew did was idiotic. Andrew had a great head on his shoulders.. Did you even know him? Do you know what traffic looked like at that moment of the accident? How dare you make a comment implying he was not educated on bike safety and in turn had no regard for his life… Andrew was not careless and I am willing to bet he had a “discerning eye” just because he may have ran a red light on his bike and even if it was against traffic I doubt he saw the situation as very dangerous and certainly not life threatening (This was a Marine we are talking about)!

        • Asher M says:

          I didn’t speak critically of him as a person, I cannot as I didn’t know him – just that the singular act of crossing a busy, fast seven lane street at night on a red light where there are plenty of cars was ill advised. And of course, everyone has their split second lapses in judgment, I do on a daily basis.

        • bikinginla says:

          Very sorry for your loss. I’ve been through it myself, losing a friend I grew up with to a drunk driver.

          That said, what your friend did was clearly the wrong thing, at the wrong time. I’m sure, as you say, he thought he was doing the safest thing, as we all do when we ride. However, riding on the wrong side is seldom the right choice, nor going through a red light, no matter how it may appear.

          It took me years to learn how to ride safely through trial and error, so I don’t judge other riders. Bike training courses such as those offered through LCI’s trained by the League of American Bicyclists, or the Cycling Savvy courses, are the best way to shorten the process and learn bike safety in as little as a few hours.

          It could save your life.

        • Mikayla says:

          Ugh I hate how I’m reading all of these now, but I was one of Andrews closest friends. The important thing is, is that we knew him, these people reading this report didn’t.

    • Sandra Yelgy Parada says:

      Rick, Thank you so much for helping Fang!
      You were at that moment his angel and I honor you for that. Fang was my son’s best friend, as well as a son to our family. We are very sad, but he is and will for ever in our hearts!

    • Mikayla says:

      That was one of my closest and most dearest friends ever…..thank you so much for being there for him and helping him. I miss him more and
      More everyday. Thank you again for helping.

  5. sharyn says:

    nordhoff st {intersection petit ave} where andrew was hit is notorious for accidents . The memorial that was put in place is beautiful, I hope it will remind all of us to slow down no matter where we are, and what we are doing. I I have lived in this neighborhood all of my life, and cannot even begin to tell you how many accidents I have witnessed here.

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