Owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance killed in late December collision in Playa Vista

It’s not always enough to know that something bad happened. And sometimes, confirming it can be very difficult to do.

That was the case here, as we first reported the death of Anthony Barnes on January 18th, but were unable to get official confirmation until now.

The LA County Coroner’s office confirmed today that Barnes, better known as Tony, was killed in a traffic collision in LA’s Playa Vista neighborhood on December 29th of last year.

According to sources with the LAPD, Barnes was attempting to cross Jefferson Blvd northbound near Inglewood Blvd around 8:50 am when he was struck by a car headed east on Jefferson. After the impact, his bike continued onto the westbound side of the street, where he was struck again by a second vehicle.

He was taken to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he was pronounced dead.

The police report that both drivers immediately stopped and attempted to render aid, and that multiple witnesses assisted in the investigation.

The initial conclusion was that Barnes failed to observe the right-of-way. However, the collision remains under investigation.

A satellite view shows a wide, six lane street on Jefferson, which would have been very busy at that hour.

Tony Barnes was the owner of the Bicycle Ambulance bike shop on Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica, and had a reputation as a very caring, giving and helpful person. A Facebook post describes how he took a young man under his wing when he wanted to learn how to fix bikes, allowing him to shadow Barnes as he worked in the shop to develop his skills.

A GoFundMe page started by his daughter describes him as a mechanic on the successful US Cycling Team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and the fastest wrench in the West.

As of this writing, the page has raised a little less than $2900 of the $5,000 goal to help defray funeral expenses and help keep his daughter in the home they rented while she remains in school.

Maybe we can help her meet that goal.

I’m also told the bike shop will remain open, at least for the time being.

Barnes’ death raises the umber of bicycling fatalities in Southern California last year to 73, 33 of which were in Los Angeles County. This is also the 13th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tony Barnes and all his loved ones. 

Thank you to everyone who alerted me to this death and helped in tracking down the facts and putting this story together. 

4 comments

  1. David Huntsman says:

    This is really sad to hear. I worked with Tony at Marina del Rey Bike Shop on Lincoln Blvd. in the eighties. He was a good mechanic and a gentleman. Quick with a joke and a smile. He used to fix “bus-boy bikes” for free, even paying for tubes when one couldn’t be patched. I know he will be sorely missed.

  2. This is very sad news. My sympathies go to his loved ones.

  3. JD says:

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

  4. richard barragan says:

    My God, I taken my bike there a few times recently and haven’t seen there. Now I know why. How sad. He was such a nice man, always smiling. Very reasonable prices for services. I’m going to miss him.

    Faithful customer

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