60-year old bike rider dies one day after Imperial Beach crash

Sad news from the San Diego area, where a woman has died following a left-cross collision in Imperial Beach.

According to the Times of San Diego, 60-year old Kathleen Ann Cua was pronounced brain dead a day after she was hit by a left-turning driver.

And yes, she was wearing a helmet.

The crash occurred around 5:15 Saturday evening at the intersection of Palm Ave and 4th Street in Imperial Beach.

The Union-Tribune reports she was one of three people riding east in the bike lane on Palm, when she was struck by the driver of a car, crashing into the windshield. She was taken to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, where she died.

The driver remained at the scene, and police do not suspect he was under the influence.

However, he told investigators that he did not see Cua until she hit his windshield — which should be seen as a confession, rather than an excuse.

He also told the U-T he didn’t think Cua saw him before the impact, an odd statement considering his claim that didn’t even know she was there.

Evidently, he was somehow able to read her mind at the moment of impact. Or maybe he just saw a look of surprise as he slammed into her.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kathleen Ann Cua and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

8 comments

  1. Serge Issakov says:

    My condolences Kathleen’s family and friends.

    Totally the motorist’s fault, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that bike lanes encourage precarious inconspicuous roadway positioning, especially at approaches to intersections. And “protection” wouldn’t help at all, and probably would exacerbate the situation.

    • Karen Wilson says:

      I agree the way the bike lanes at an intersection are set up the driver has to cross over the bike lane to turn right. My son was killed in that scenario by a distracted driver who didn’t see him as as the driver was crossing the bike lane. I say something needs to be done about that set up to protect the bicyclists. I tried looking into it but the lawyer and street expert in AZ said that’s the way it is across the country. Well if that’s true they need to change that.

      • How horrible, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I agree the way roadways are set up are generally not safe for bicyclists due to all the inattentive drivers out there.

        • Serge Issakov says:

          Drivers seem to notice be much better at noticing me when I’m riding clearly in the regular traffic lane than if I’m in a bike lane.

          Bike lanes guide us to ride in space where we’re much more likely to be overlooked.

  2. JJD says:

    We offer up our prayers for the family and friends of Ms. Cua.

  3. I like “Look of surprise.” But I prefer “Look of Scathing Rebuke.”

  4. Flehnerz says:

    Reading those articles is infuriating because they keep quoting the motorist as claiming the bicyclist didn’t see him. Why does that matter? The cyclists had the right of way and the left turning motorist had an obligation to yield to all oncoming traffic which to the surprise of typical “journalists” include bicyclists. Same with the helmet nonsense. It doesn’t matter whether the bicyclists were wearing helmets or not. Helmets won’t magically prevent the events that led to the crash. I also really want to know, was the bicyclist hit the first in the group or the last? In other words did the motorist see and yield to two of them but missed the third or did he not see any of them and only one bicyclist was hit and the other two were able to dodge the crash? These are important things so called journalists should be looking into when they write these articles.

    The motorist probably had the sun in his eyes as he was traveling westbound at a time when the angle of the sun is low in the sky. It’s not excuse for not using a state-of-the-art sun visor, or ensuring one’s windshield is clean and glare free though.

  5. So sad, such a tragedy. And just a few blocks away from the safe Bayshore Bikeway trail along San Diego Bay. I don’t know their route but even if they had been on that trail sometimes you need to go on roadways to get to restaurants or other attractions. Cars and bikes do not mix; good infrastructure reduces the risk but it’s still a dangerous place to be; there’s too many distracted drivers on the roads.

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