And then it happened again.
Just three months and four days after Deborah Gresham was killed in a Stanton hit-and-run, another person riding a bicycle has lost his life to another fleeing driver, just two and a half miles away.
According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Beach Blvd in Stanton around 2:40 this morning by a driver who fled the scene.
He was transported to UCI Medical Center in Orange 17 minutes later, where he died shortly after arrival.
No word on how the collision occurred, if the victim had lights on his bike, or who may have been at fault. However, judging by the taco’ed rear wheel on the victim’s badly mangled beach cruiser, it appears he may have been struck from behind with considerable force.
Garden Grove police stopped a 44-year old man whose car matched the description of the suspect vehicle at 3:15 am. KCBS-2 reports he was arrested for an alleged probation violation, but as of midday, had not been charged with the hit-and-run, though an OC sheriff’s spokesperson said no other suspects were thought to be at large.
A satellite view shows a eight lane road with double left turn lanes on Beach Blvd, and four to five lanes with turn lanes on Chapman, depending on direction; the Register ranks it as one of the ten busiest intersections in Orange County.
This is the third confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County. It’s also the third in Stanton in less than 18 months, and the second on busy Beach Blvd.
To learn more about Deborah Gresham’s tragic death, read this heartbreaking piece by former Bicycling Magazine editor-in-chief Peter Flax.
Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as 38-year old Paul Hurst.
Update 2: The Orange County Register says Hurst was a transient; the area in which he was killed has a heavy homeless population, and a number of low cost hotels frequented by people with no fixed address.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Hurst and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and Robert Peppey for the heads-up.