Morning Links: Three OC bicyclists struck by callous distracted driver, and Russian doping doc wins at Oscars

Last night, I received the following email from Allyson Vought, describing a collision with a distracted driver that sent two bicyclists to the hospital.

But fortunately, could have been much worse.

Almost lost some friends today

Well, it was a close one today for me, and 2 friends were taken to hospital after being struck by a distracted driver. Luckily no death or dismemberments, only (if there is such a thing) a few broken bones, scrapes and bruises, one concussion, and 2 very destroyed bikes.

Here are the details.

There were 6 of us in the group and we were at the end of a 22 mile out and back putt putt. We were riding our usual Brea to Diamond Bar and back easy day cruise. The incident occurred at the corner of Imperial Hwy and Puente, just 1/2 mille from the finish at Linda’s house. We were southbound on Puente and had stopped at Imperial Hwy waiting for our green light. The light changed and I was out first after seeing traffic had stopped to the left and right. Tim was 2nd, Tom was 3rd, Sigrid, Tom’s wife, was 4th then Maralyn, and Linda were the last two.

I was mid-intersection when I heard heavy skidding and I had just a moment to look to my left and saw a Black Toyota Camry (I think) heading for all of us. I pushed it and closed my eyes waiting for the hit. She JUST missed me (I was lucky) and I heard thuds, yells and screams. Witnesses say that she hit Tim on the left corner sending him flying and Tom dead center where he was thrust into the windshield and thrown forward to the pavement about 25 feet. Sigrid hit the side of the car and went down. Linda and Maralyn were able to stop OK.

Lady was on the PHONE it seems and failed to see the traffic stopped in the 2 inside lanes and just proceed through a red light and into our group. We did not see her as she came from behind the stopped cars and was passing them on the outside (fast lane) and there was no way to see her until it was too late to do anything.

Attached  is a picture of the car (see above). You will see the white on the bumper, that was Tim’s destroyed Jelly Belly Focus, and the clean spots on the hood — that was Tom’s doings.

Tim had gotten up and was sitting on the center divider and seemed lucid. There was blood below his left ear and his hand was scrapped and bloody. It may be broken and he had to get 4 stitches to close the open wound on his head. Funny thing was I took his helmet from his head, his gloves, shoes, jacket, and jersey and got him to the ambulance. We were still sorting things out and before I got to the hospital he called me asking what had happened, how was his bike, and where were his things. He was in one of those knocked out but chatty zones it seems. No memory of anything.

Tom was on the ground and in pain. Luckily his wife and Maralyn are both nurses so he was in good hands to be sure until the EMS and the Brea police arrived. They were there in minutes and took great care of our friends. We had pleantly of witnesses and we all gave statements. Kudo’s to all and they were very thorough to be sure.

We were there for about an hour giving statements and I made sure to document the scene with photos. Finished the ride and then headed to the hospital, the Irvine Med Center in Orange. Took a few minutes to find Tim as he was just being checked in and Tom was already ensconced in a room with Sigrid by his side, He was resting after all of the scans and X-rays. Not sure what was broken as the results were not in, but he remembers the whole incident quite clearly.

Tim was brought to the adjacent room about 15 minutes later and still had no clue as to what had occurred. Was not a happy camper when I told him his bike was toast.

So, it was a lucky day in that we all survived.

The older woman driver never got got off the phone — for even one second and made no comments, showed no emotions, nor exhibited any concern to the welfare of our friends. Shock or what I am not sure, but it was sure bizarre. I asked the police if anyone had checked on her and they said they had. I also went so far as to go to her window and asked how she was (on the phone) — no reply — and she did not even look my way. I  told her not to worry as no one was killed thankfully…still no response.

I DO hope she is insured.

The callousness of not even getting off the phone, let alone getting out to check on the victims, is just unbelievable. Fortunately, the crash occurred in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime, and distracted driving, seriously.

But please, someone tell me again how dangerous all those entitled cyclists are.

………

The highlight of last night’s Oscar ceremony, at least from a cycling perspective, was the victory of the doping-themed Icarus in the best documentary category.

Oddly, the response from RT, aka Russia Today, to the film that exposed the country’s systematic doping and led to the loss of previous Olympic medals and banishment from last month’s winter Olympics, was something less than positive.

Go figure.

………

USA Today offers an inspiring story about an LA marathoner and cyclist who was paralyzed by a red light-running driver while riding her bike. And shortly afterwards, committed herself to training to compete in a Florida half-marathon as a handcyclist.

Although the story is just a tad late, since the race was run in January; she finished in 1:13:20.

And tragic that stories like this are even necessary.

………

Local

KPCC asks LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds if Vision Zero can really eliminate LA traffic deaths. Meanwhile, the Daily News says a lack of funding is setting Vision Zero up for failure.

Curbed calls for making the Oscar street closures permanent.

No, there won’t be a Marathon Crash Ride before next week’s LA Marathon, for the second straight year.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at plans for a lane reduction on Orange Grove Blvd; naturally, the traffic safety deniers want to keep the street free-flowing and dangerous.

 

State

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A 95-year old man just got his driver’s license renewed until he’s 100 — without even having to take a driver’s test.

Palo Alto residents demand the city halt plans for roundabouts, claiming they make the street more dangerous — even though studies show they reduce serious crashes up to 80%. Another case of traffic safety deniers opposing projects they don’t understand, without giving them time to succeed.

A San Francisco paper looks at the efforts of car advocates to convert a hard-won bike lane on the Richmond Bridge to car use, allowing bike riders to have limited access only when drivers don’t want it, and bizarrely describing that as sharing the road. Maybe someone should tell them about induced demand, let alone complete streets.

 

National

It’s easy to forget that service members from other countries have fought, and been injured, in Afghanistan; two British veterans will ride down the left coast from Oregon to Mexico to raise funs for a charity for injured vets.

A new paper blames vehicular cycling for a 40-year delay in building bike infrastructure in the US.

A writer with the Denver Post says he doesn’t want ebikes on bikeways “already packed with the unaware, the inconsiderate and the distracted.” Then again, he doesn’t want those people on the paths, either.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park will allow mountain bikes on a two-mile section of a lakefront bike path for the first time.

A New York counclimember says he feels threatened and intimidated by bicyclists angry that he backed out of his promised support for a protected bike lane.

DC-area bike shops have joined the boycott of Vista Outdoor over their gun and ammunition subsidiaries.

 

International

A Halifax, Canada business association opposes a prospective protected bike lane because it would mean the loss of 55 parking spaces, and would rather locate it on the sidewalk. Never mind that it could bring hundreds more customers on bikes. Or that using sidewalk space for a bike lane would mean a less walkable business district, which would probably have a far greater negative impact than losing a few parking spaces.

A Canadian city is just the latest choose parking over a protected bike lane, disappointing local bicyclists who feel threatened on the streets.

The Guardian talks with the founder of women’s bike brand Liv Cycling, who says shrinking and pinking women’s bikes isn’t good enough.

UK Parliament ministers are prepared to propose a new crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, in response to a recent case where a careless bicyclist killed a pedestrian. The Guardian responds that judging people by their means of transport brings out the worst in everyone.

British running great Roger Bannister was one of us; the first man to break the four-minute mile took up bicycling after he had to stop running in 1975 following a car crash.

A British radio host says stop targeting bicyclists, because they’re the real victims.

Ireland opens a 26-mile crushed gravel rail-to-trail conversion.

A cyclist in Kathmandu, Nepal says he loves riding a bicycle and he’s going to keep on riding, despite the country’s deep reverence for the west and its motor vehicles.

South African police make an arrest in the hit-and-run death of a rugby team manager who was killed while warming up for a bike race.

An Aussie letter writer complains about a presumed liability proposal, saying it would only benefit a whining, arrogant minority of cyclists who don’t pay for the roads, at the expense of those poor, put-upon people in cars. No, really.

A Kuala Lumpur writer can’t believe the city would put in a bike lane, since the only ones who won’t be using it are the ones on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

No, those testosterone patches that showed up on the doorstep of Team Sky in 2011 didn’t get there by accident. But sure, the era of doping is over. Right.

Speaking of Team Sky, a British commission concludes that Bradley Wiggins use of a banned corticosteroid under a therapeutic use exemption contributed to his win in the 2012 Tour de France, accusing the team of crossing an ethical line.

The race director for the Giro d’Italia says the race isn’t getting rid of podium girls, and says dropping them, as the Vuelta has done and the Tour de France is considering, is just a passing trend. In other words, not treating women as a trophy for men to win, and showing respect for them — and women cyclists — is just a fad. Nothing sexist about that.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Saturday’s sloppy but exciting Strade Bianche.; Belgium’s Wout van Aert overcame leg cramps to make the podium.

American Tejay Van Garderen is out after crashing into a team car on the first day of the Paris-Nice stage race; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured.

Over 1,600 competitors are expected for next weekend’s two-stage Tour of Murrieta.

 

Finally…

When you want to stop a law that benefits bike riders, find one to oppose it. Forget bike polo; it’s time to try unicycle hockey.

And now you can buy your very own stolen dockless bikeshare bike.

………

Thanks to George W for his generous contribution to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcome.

 

6 comments

  1. JEFFREY says:

    The driver of the honda should have been arrested on the spot.

  2. Richard Rosenthal says:

    The cyclists that were hit are members of Lightning Velo in Long Beach. I ride will all of them…all are good, careful riders who were doing nothing wrong.

  3. I’m very thankful that no lives were lost!

  4. Tom Sexton says:

    I was the one who broke the windshield and am typing w a broken arm. We were N. Bound on Puente and were stopped at the red light at Imperial.
    The light changed green (E and W bound traffic had stopped) and we proceeded across the intersection and the driver came thru the red light going Eastbound on Imperial. She apparently never saw the light because she didn’t begin to brake until she was in the intersection. You can see by the photo she stopped when she was completely thru the intersection and into the crosswalk on the opposite side of the intersection. You can actually see her skid marks begin about midway thru the intersection.
    I went into the windshield when she initially hit me and she carried me on the car until she stopped at which point I flew another 15 or 20 feet. When this picture was taken I was to the left in front of the car and on the other side of the crosswalk.
    I had plenty of medical advice on-scene and lots of first aid myself so I made a point of not moving and as soon as I stopped cursing (since I was cursing I knew I was breathing) I started to look for bones and blood and I didn’t see any. I then slowly started wiggle my fingers and toes and knew I could feel everything. By the time PD and FD showed up I was pretty calm as I knew I wasn’t hurt as much as I could have been so I just relaxed and let the experts do their thing.
    Just adding my perspective to what has already been provided. One additional point: We were in the ER for about 6 hours and at some point I asked for something for pain and was told, ‘Sorry, we’re out of just about everything’… I thought they were full of it until I read the LA Times today. This is a bad time to be in pain.

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