An Oceanside bike rider is dead following an inexplicable swerve onto the wrong side of a roadway late Tuesday evening.
According to multiple sources, the 54-year old victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding his bike on the westbound side of State Route 76 near Frazee Road when he veered onto the wrong side of the road around 8:50 pm; another source places the collision east of the Towne Center mall, some distance from Frazee.
One driver reportedly swerved onto the shoulder to avoid the rider, but a second driver didn’t have time to react and hit the victim’s bike, apparently at high speed given the 55 mph speed limit. He was pinned under the SUV as several people rushed to help.
Police report alcohol was suspected to be a factor, implying that the bike rider may have been drinking.
However, drunk or not, it’s hard to understand how someone would unintentionally swerve such a great distance, from the right shoulder across two lanes of traffic and a wide median, and onto the other side of the road. Which suggests he may have been trying to turn around or cross the roadway for some reason.
This is the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Diego County. That compares with 43 in SoCal last year, and four in the county this time last year.
Update: The Union-Tribune reports the victim is a local homeless man; he reportedly smelled of alcohol. The driver who hit him had also been drinking, but passed a breath test.
Update 2: the victim has been identified as Mark Jacoby; the San Diego Medical Examiner’s office describes him as a 54-year old transient.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mark Jacoby and his loved ones.