62-year old crosswalk rider killed in Santa Ana left cross collision

Bad news from Santa Ana.

I learned late last night from a source in Orange County that a bike rider was killed in a left cross while riding in a crosswalk Monday evening.

The victim, identified by the Orange County Coroner as 62-year old Robert Horton, was riding in a crosswalk along 17th Street when he hit by a car turning left onto the northbound I-5 Freeway onramp around 5:20 pm.

He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead at 6:06 pm.

Presumably, Horton was riding on the sidewalk when he rode into the crosswalk; no word on which side of the street he was on or which direction he was riding.

Riding on the sidewalk is banned in the downtown area in Santa Ana; whether that would apply along the freeway is unclear. Depending on how the local police apply the confusing laws on riding in a crosswalk, he could be blamed for the collision if he was riding against traffic.

However, looking at Google Earth, it’s unclear how the driver could have made a legal left turn onto either onramp, since they appear to be designed for right turns only, with left turns blocked by the median.

And while the Orange County Register identifies the make and model of the car, there’s no word on the driver. Or even if the car had one.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Orange County. That compares with 38 and eight, respectively, this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Horton and his family. 

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

3 comments

  1. It’s stupid that we can’t ride on the sidewalk. Some of those streets are just too dangerous for anything but motor vehicles.

    • Bill Sellin says:

      Actually Timothy, this bicyclist may have been riding on the side walk – where are less visible and inconsequential to traffic, resulting in the motorists turning across his path when he was in the cross WALK. If so, he could have dismounted & WALKED into the cross walk & might have been seen by the unnamed motorist in time. Riding predictable & legally as part of traffic makes us far more visible; edge riding and sidewalk riding are very risky.

  2. Ed Rubinstein says:

    Ted,

    The intersection you describe is a few blocks from my law office and I pass it on my way to work. There is no left turn permitted from 17th Street to Northbound I-5. There is both a sign and a median partially blocking such a turn. In downtown Santa Ana riding on the sidewalk is more common than riding on the street.
    Ed R.

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