Update: Road bike rider killed in East San Diego County crash

A man has been killed riding a road bike in an unincorporated area east of San Diego.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim was riding south in the bike lane on Avocado Blvd just above Nabal Drive in the Casa del Oro neighborhood of San Diego County around 8 am. He reportedly swerved into the traffic lane, and was struck by a car driven by a 63-year old woman.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a regional trauma center, where he died from his injuries.

The only identifying information given is the make of his bike, a Masi Gran Corsa road bike.

As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver.

It’s possible that he may have swerved out of the bike lane to avoid an obstruction, or moved left to turn onto Nabal Drive without checking for traffic.

However, it’s also possible that the driver may have been speeding, or drifted into the bike lane and only assumed the he swerved in front her. The lack of physical evidence in bike crashes can make it difficult, if not impossible, to identify the exact point of impact.

Crashes like that are so common they are often referred to sarcastically as an SWSS, or Single Witness Suicide Swerves.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old La Mesa resident Daniel Lusteg

And yes, he was wearing a helmet. In this case, it was not enough to help.

Meanwhile, Frank Lehnerz forwards a Google image showing what might have made Lusteg swerve.

What hasn’t been mentioned is that if he swerved around this or any other object, it would suggest that the driver didn’t give a three-foot passing distance as required by law.

Otherwise, anything less than a swerve into the left turn lane shouldn’t have been enough to cause a collision. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Daniel Lusteg and his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski, Charles Schenck and Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up. 

 

3 comments

  1. JJD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

  2. Seth D. Alford says:

    My sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones, too.

    I run front and back video cameras on every ride. My theory is that if a big enough percentage of bicyclists did this, drivers would start assuming all bicyclists had video and pay attention. And (knock wood) if something bad does happen, there’s video evidence for me or my loved ones to use. I got right hooked in 2013. Showed the video to the police officer who cited the driver. His insurance paid.

  3. Vox_Populi says:

    My condolences to the family and friends.

    Just a thought. This collision involved a
    60+, woman. There is an issue with the
    gentrification of our population and it’s
    putting cyclists in danger. I will be 55
    I think it’s time to hang up my wheels,
    it’s just getting to dangerous out there.

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