This is not the news anyone wants for Bike Week.
Or any other time for that matter.
Unfortunately, it took until this afternoon to get official confirmation.
According to the police report, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north in the west crosswalk on Hobart at approximately 3:07 pm Wednesday when he was struck by a car headed west on Hollywood.
The impact apparently knocked him into a parked car on the north curb, before falling back into the street. He died at the scene.
LAist reports that the crosswalk has a blinking yellow light to warn drivers that someone is crossing. However, it’s unclear if it was working at the time, or if the rider had activated it.
They also quote a comment from a Reddit thread indicating that the driver was taking an 84-year old grandmother to the hospital; however, while there are several hospitals nearby, they are all in the opposite direction from which the car was headed.
It’s unclear from the description who might have been at fault.
It’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, which means it is also legal to ride in the crosswalk.
However, the LAPD interprets the law as requiring cyclists to ride in the direction of traffic when they enter a crosswalk. In this case, that would have required the victim to cross on the east side of Hobart, but the only crosswalk is on the west side.
On the other hand, unless the victim was traveling at a high rate of speed, the driver should have had time to see him and react before he reached the opposite side of the road.
If there’s a lesson to learn from this, it’s that you should never count on drivers seeing you and stopping in time, in a crosswalk or anywhere else; always wait until they actually stop before trying to cross in front of them.
This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.
That compares with 41 in the seven county SoCal region this time last year, and 17 in the county. However, it’s one more than in the City of LA on this date in 2014.
Update: The victim’s granddaughter has identified him as Thomas Galvan Munoz, a resident of the area for 30 years who rode his bike through the streets of LA every day.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Galvan Munoz and his loved ones.
Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.