Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Update: Bicyclist killed in Menifee collision; Riverside County bike fatalities twice as high as last year

A bad year for Riverside County bicyclists just keeps getting worse.

According to the Press-Enterprise, two cyclists were riding east on Domenigoni Parkway at Lindenberger Road in Menifee when they were rear-ended by a motorist around 5:20 pm. One rider, who has not been publicly identified, was killed, while the other was not seriously injured.

DailySoCal lists the location as Winchester, and describes the car as a single passenger vehicle driven by a man, who was cooperating with investigators.

No other details are available at this time.

A satellite view of the intersection shows what looks like a bike lane, suggesting the riders may have been in their own lane and should have been out of the way of through traffic when they were hit. No explanation was given for why the driver apparently drifted out of his or her lane to hit the riders.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Riverside County. That compares with just five in the county this time last year, and 12 for all of 2013.

Update: According to Menifee 24/7, the victim, described only as a man in his 50s, was declared dead at the scene.

The website also places the location at the top of a hill east of Lindenberger, and describes the roadway as the primary route between Menifee and Hemet. A photo shows a narrow, half-gutter bike lane or shoulder next to a thoroughfare with a 55 mph speed limit; however, Google’s street view shows a lane wide enough for two cyclists to ride abreast leading up the hill.

The site quotes Menifee resident Stephen Kaas as saying he was riding just ahead of the victim when the collision occurred.

I didn’t really see what happened,” Kaas said. “He was riding behind me. I just heard it and saw him flying through the air.

It’s unclear from the description whether the two cyclists were riding together, or if Kaas’ bike was struck, as well.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Cail at 951/210-1068.

Update 2: Menifee 24/7 has identified the victim as 55-year old Menifee resident Matthew Carp, who was riding in the bike lane with Stephen Kass when he was hit from behind by a car driven by 23-year old Luis Aranda Llamas of San Jacinto. 

Despite wearing a helmet, Carp suffered major head trauma and internal injuries. According to the site, Kass barely avoided injury himself. 

Llamas was reportedly driving at a high rate of speed when he hit Carp. While bike helmets can protect against injury at slower speeds, they aren’t designed to protect against high speed collisions, and do nothing to prevent injuries to other parts of the body.

Still no word on why Llamas drifted into the bike lane; he was booked for vehicular manslaughter and for displaying a fictitious license plate.

Update 3: More on the collision from a rider who lived nearby, and knew both the victim and his companion. Witnesses reported seeing the driver weaving in and out of the bike lane as if distracted; investigators seized his phone as evidence. Thanks to C Menjou for leaving the link in a comment below.

In a demonstration of just how hard this has struck the local community, Danny Gamboa tells me the city of Menifee reached out to ghost bike volunteers to request an installation in memory of Carp, and will be closing the street from 4 to 5 pm Saturday for a memorial. He also says the city recently removed a bike lane on another street, forcing riders onto Domenigoni where Carp was killed.

And in a heartbreaking tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, Carp’s oldest son apparently took his own life following his father’s death.

There are no words.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew and Cameron Carp and all their family and loved ones.

Thanks to Zak for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Famed LA pediatrician dies six months after bike collision; more from Santa Paula police chief

Where do you put the ghost bike for someone who died months after he was hit by a car?

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, when much loved LA pediatrician Paul Fleiss died this past weekend, it was due to complications from injuries he received when he was hit by a car six months earlier.

The father of infamous Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, he reportedly rode with a friend every Sunday until that collision. An earlier story from a Chicago paper — which has since disappeared from online — quoted a family cousin as saying he appeared to have been recovering from his injuries before having difficulty breathing on Saturday.

No word on how or where to collision occurred, or just what injuries the 80-year old rider suffered.

My prayers and condolences for Paul Fleiss and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

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More on the controversy over Santa Paula’s bike-hating — and now dismissed — reserve cop Laura Weintraub, as the city’s police chief responds in the Santa Paula Times.

“The Chief of Police as well as the Santa Paula Police Department did not condone this video and are extremely embarrassed by it. This video did not and does not express the views of the Santa Paula Police Department nor the Chief of Police, Steve McLean,” the agency noted in a Sunday news release…

“Don’t hold us to Ms. Weintraub’s views, period,” McLean added…

“Some people are trying to paint us as anti-this or anti-that, especially bicyclists that we welcome here. We love them here and we treat them well… I don’t think we’ve ever given a recreational bicyclist a ticket ever. We’re fighting crime and drug dealers.”

Santa Paula, said McLean, “Is a friendly town that has made accommodations for bicyclists,” including the Bike Trail where there are racks for riders to park and secure their bikes and visit the downtown.

“I’ve been here a year,” said McLean, “and we’ve never had an incident with a bicyclist…”

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Cities throughout California are bypassing Caltrans to install protected bike lanes, LA included; the state bill to officially legalize such lanes continues to move forward.

Meanwhile, a Delaware study (pdf) shows they’re good for business.

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Local

Even pedestrians aren’t safe from hit-and-run drivers on LA sidewalks.

Meetings will be held tonight, tomorrow and Thursday to help plan how to integrate buses and bikes with the new Expo Line extension into Santa Monica.

Redondo Beach is finally preparing to tear down the wall that marks the end of the Hermosa Beach Strand, allowing the bike path to be extended south along the harbor.

 

State

Rose petals cover PCH like tears for the fallen at last weekend’s memorial ride for John Colvin and Debra Deem.

Santa Barbara police promise strict enforcement during the city’s popular, but unsanctioned, Fiesta Cruiser Ride. Meanwhile, the city’s bicycle coalition buys their headquarters building, while morning the death of a long-time advocate.

Silicon Valley cyclist fights greedy insurance companies after getting screwed following a bike collision in 2007.

 

National

Donations are being sought for an Oregon framebuilder seriously injured in a solo fall last weekend; Rob English won Best in Show in last years North American Handbuilt Bike Show.

Sixteen teams are announced for Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge next month.

Advice from my hometown on what to do if you’re in or see a bike crash.

Central Texas cyclists ask the public to protect the rights and safety of bike riders.

A Chicago alderman proposes putting Segways in bike lanes, which isn’t likely to go over well with the city’s bicyclists.

A dispute between legal and illegal rental bike vendors in New York’s Central Park leads to threats of decapitation.

 

International

The BBC looks at a new folding e-bike, and uses the opportunity to take a slap at American soccer fans.

A writer for the Telegraph asks if the law is too soft on drivers who kill cyclists. The answer there, as here, is yes.

Aussie cyclists go beyond creating a bicycle PAC to form their own political party.

 

Finally…

It’s now legal to ride three sheets to the wind in Hungary. A fun piece, as a Chicago bike blogger takes her dog on a ride fit for a king.

And I can’t help it. When Dennis Christopher — yes, that Dennis Christopher — retweets my comment about Breaking Away, it just kind of makes my month.

 

Update: Pomona bike rider killed by suspected drunk driver early Saturday morning; 5th cyclist killed in the city in 17 months

This is not the news we wanted to start the weekend.

According to the Daily Bulletin, a bike rider was killed by a suspected drunk driver in Pomona early this morning.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s or 50s, was riding north on Garey Avenue when he was rear-ended by a white 2011 BMW 3351 just north of Philadelphia Street at 2:32 am. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died shortly later.

The driver, 25-year old Chino resident Rick Kyujin Lee, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving causing death and vehicular manslaughter.

The Daily Bulletin says the victim was riding on the right shoulder, while KABC-7 places him near the shoulder. However, a street view shows a typical four lane street with a center median, but no apparent shoulder; he may have been hugging the curb to the far right.

If they haven’t yet, someone will inevitably question in the comments why anyone would be riding a bike at that hour. Of course, bike riders travel at all hours of the day or night for all kinds of reasons, just as drivers do; it’s possible the victim may have been leaving work or coming home from a night out, or just out for a late night ride.

Given the frequent lack of follow-up, we may never know.

That said, the early morning hours after the bars close is one of the most dangerous times to ride due to the high number of drunks on the road at that time, requiring riders to be extra alert.

There’s also no mention of whether the victim had lights and reflectors on his bike, as required at that hour. However, the police and press usually go out of their way to mention the lack of lights if a rider wasn’t using them.

And the victim could have been lit up like a Christmas tree and still been unable to avoid a driver apparently unable to control his car and keep it from drifting to the right.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County. And it’s the 5th bike death in Pomona since the death of Ivan Aguilar in February of last year, suggesting that the city may have a serious safety problem.

Update: The victim has been identified as 57-year old Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno and all his loved ones.

 

 

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Canoga Park, apparently the innocent victim of a two-car collision

Once again, a bike rider appears to have been the tragic collateral damage of someone else’s collision.

According to KTLA-5, a woman in her 40s, whose identity has not been publicly released, was riding her bike on the 7100 block of North Shoup Ave just below Sherman Way around 4 pm, when she was somehow involved in a collision with two motor vehicles.

Details are still very sketchy; the best clue to what happened comes from a fire department spokesperson who described it as “a two-car accident also involving a bicyclist.”

The rider was killed at the scene; at least one other person was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.

An aerial photo showed the victim covered by a tarp on the sidewalk, her mangled bike resting against the curb in front of the two vehicles that were apparently involved, one of which ended up on the sidewalk.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st in the County of Los Angeles. She is also the 7th bike rider to lose her life in the City of Los Angeles this year.

Update: A writer for the Huffington Post who lives in the neighborhood fills in some of the missing details. 

Linda Milazzo reports seeing news of the collision on her Twitter feed, then driving to the collision site after seeing a helicopter hovering overhead.

According to Milazzo, the victim was standing on the sidewalk next to her bike when a northbound car turning left onto Sherman Way collided with a car driving south on Shoup; the second car went onto the sidewalk where it struck the victim, who suffered “multiple traumatic injuries to her face and body.”

The victim wasn’t wearing a helmet; Milazzo was told no when she asked an investigator for the Coroner’s office if that could have made a difference. 

And this is why you should always carry ID when you ride. The victim, identified only as a woman around 40 years old, didn’t have any with her. While authorities think they know who she is, final identification will have to wait for confirmation from fingerprints or dental records next week.

Update 2: The LAPD Valley Traffic Division reports that it was a DUI collision. And while the victim has not yet been publicly identified, a comment from Jocelyne below says she knew the victim, who was most likely standing on the corner waiting for a bus; suggesting that the bike may not have been hers.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

Thanks to Melissa Pamer for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Bike rider collateral damage in Compton drive-by, moving memorial to fallen cyclist Milt Olin

Sad news from Compton, as a woman riding her bike was killed in a drive-by shooting on the 800 block of West Cherry Street around 1 pm Monday.

LAist suggests she may not have been the intended target, but just happened to be riding by when the shooter(s) targeted a group of people standing in a driveway.

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After the ghost bike for fallen cyclist and former Napster CEO Milt Olin was removed recently — over the wishes of local officials — family members install a new one with a moving message for all of us.

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Former winner Andy Schleck is out of the Tour de France after crashing into a spectator, while Chris Froome may have dodged a bullet and the peloton rides through the ghostly remnants of the Great War.

Just thinking the other day I was thinking the Tour should ride through the Channel Tunnel — aka Chunnel — from the UK to France. Now it turns out Froome just did.

Meanwhile, the world’s best women are racing, too, as Marianne Vos wins stage four of the Giro Rosa and retains the leader’s jersey.

A little closer to home, Erica Allar and Ken Hanson win the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, as Rahsaan Bahati puts you right in the middle of the last three laps; thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Local

The LACBC offers free ride marshal training this Saturday.

The third annual Clitoral Mass — yes, you read that right — rolls on August 16th.

What a difference two feet make, as Pasadena gets a new buffered bike lane.

Long Beach’s Third Street needs a facelift to improve safety for cyclists and motorists.

The Beach Babe Bicycling Classic comes back to Long Beach this weekend.

Pedal Love and Women Talk Bikes talk bikes on Bike Talk.

 

State

A Saratoga drunken hit-and-run driver gets out of prison with orders to never drive again for leaving a bike rider with permanent injuries. And immediately goes back to driving drunk and fleeing the scene.

A San Francisco supervisor considers lowering speed limits in the City by the Bay.

We’ve mentioned this one before. But if you haven’t yet, sign the petition to support Andy’s Law to increase penalties for hit-and-run; thanks to Mario Gastelum for the reminder.

 

National

How to pay for innovative bicycling infrastructure (pdf).

Bike share programs reduce the risk for all riders, despite a misleading study suggesting the opposite.

Off-duty Albuquerque fireman uses the inner tube from an injured rider’s bike to save her life, if not her leg.

Louisiana prison inmates fix bikes seized by New Orleans police to donate to children.

New Jersey considers a $500 fine for any motorist who commits a traffic violation resulting in a collision with a bike rider.

Jerry Seinfeld rides a bike in New York, but the Mail can’t get over his toned arms.

Evidently, any DC bike rider who doesn’t want to get killed — or needs a boost up a steep hill — is a bully.

Confused — or maybe just confusing — Athens GA writer says there must be some truth to the scofflaw cyclist trope, even though he’s never seen one. And even then, not all bike riders should be held responsible for the actions of a few, unless maybe they should.

 

International

Ghost bikes come to Uruguay.

A British Columbia bike thief returns a boys stolen bike with a note apologizing for being such a drunken fool.

Toronto gets serious about parking in bike lanes.

A London bike rider says hell isn’t other people, it’s other bike riders. Especially the ones on Boris bikes. Then again, maybe other bike riders aren’t really the problem after all.

Caught on video: Gut-wrenching first-person view of a head-on cycling collision; fortunately, the rider survived with broken bones.

Dressing up in spandex beats sleeping with the secretary. Then again, who says you can’t do both?

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying homemade bombs on your bike to celebrate the 4th, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk. Esquire says Lance may not be in hell, but at least he’s in Purgatory.

And ride without fear; it turns out bike riding doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction or infertility after all.

 

Update: Mountain biker dies from solo fall at Snow Summit

Not every bicycling fatality involves another vehicle.

Sadly, sometimes all it take is one bad fall.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, 54-year old Valencia resident Mario Steven Cruz was riding on a downhill trail at the Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear on Friday morning when he fell from his bike. He was not breathing when an off-duty ski patrol member arrived at the scene around 9:35 am.

Cruz was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died the next day around 10:35 am.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in San Bernardino County; he is also the third bike rider to die in the county in just the last week.

Update: In tragic news for a department that has already suffered too much loss in recent months, Brion reports in a comment below that Cruz is a retired LAPD Motor Officer.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Cruz and his family.

 

Update: Bike rider killed at deadly Fullerton intersection; second cyclist killed at same location since 2012

Some locations are more dangerous than others.

Which seems to be the case here, as a bike rider was killed in a collision at the intersection of Bastanchury Road and Morelia Avenue in Fullerton at 12:04 Saturday afternoon. Initial reports indicated he had been critically injured; however, according to the Orange County Register, he passed away at 3:45 pm after being taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange.

The OC Coroner’s office identifies the victim as 19-year old Anaheim resident Rafael Correa, Jr, and places the location at where the Juanita Cooke Greenbelt Trail intersects with Bastanchury, suggesting the Correa was coming off the dirt trail when the collision occurred.

Remarkably, this is the exact same location where La Habra resident Richard Paine was killed in a  hit-and-run after exiting the bike trail two years ago this week. Which suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the design of the intersection itself.

Both the Register and the coroner’s office suggest Correa collided with a vehicle, implying that he may have come off the hill leading to the intersection and been unable to slow or stop in time on the dirt surface.

Regardless of cause or who was at fault, Fullerton officials should take a close look at the site to determine what can be done to prevent any future incidents. One death is a tragedy; two in the same location, in a similar manner, suggests a serious design failure.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County, which compares to six in the county this time last year.

In fact, the total is early equal to the 12 deaths in Orange County in all of 2013. It’s also the third bicycling fatality in Fullerton in just the last two years.

Update: The Orange County Register confirms that Correa was riding downhill on the bike trail, and was unable to stop before sliding into the roadway and crashing into an eastbound car on Bastanchury.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Fullerton PD Traffic Bureau at 714/738-6812.

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Correa, Jr and all his loved ones.

 

Sad news, as 15-year old Canyon Lake bike rider declared brain dead; 50th SoCal cycling fatality this year

The news did not look good last night.

And today, our worst fears were confirmed as news came that a 15-year old bike rider was declared brain dead following a Tuesday collision in Canyon Lake.

As noted earlier, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported yesterday that the rider suffered major injuries when he broadsided a Cadillac Escalade after crossing into an intersection following a steep descent on a side street.

The collision occurred around 4:30 pm on Tuesday in the 22800 block of Vacation Drive; based on the satellite view, it appears he must have been descending from Old Wrangler Road.

As of Wednesday morning, the victim was hospitalized in critical condition with major head trauma. The impact was hard enough that the side airbags deployed on the SUV; the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

The Friday Flyer reported today that the victim, Sam Siroky of Canyon Lake, was declared brain dead Wednesday evening. According to his father, his body was being kept alive so his organs could be harvested for transplant.

Matthew Siroky says the family thanks everyone for their wonderful support, and they want something positive to come out of this terrible circumstance. Matthew says, “We know Sam would want to help as many people as possible, so we are donating his organs.”

A website has been established to help cover his memorial and medical expenses.

Both stories note that Siroky was not wearing a helmet, even though that’s required for all cyclists below the age of 18 under California law.

It’s possible a helmet may have made a difference in this case, since he died of brain injuries; however, given the apparent force of the impact, it may not have made a difference.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and ninth in Riverside County; that compares with just five in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sam Siroky and all his family.

Morning Links: Making up the law on PCH, Olin ghost bike goes missing, and Canyon Lake cyclist critically injured

Once again, a sheriff’s deputy is caught on video making up traffic law on PCH.

For anyone unclear on the concept — law enforcement included — bike riders are allowed to ride in the traffic lane under California law, and allowed to take the full lane if it’s not wide enough to safely share with a motor vehicle.

And there is nothing in state law banning cyclists from riding two or more abreast as long as they stay in a single, non-sharable lane on a multi-lane roadway.

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Someone has taken the ghost bike for fallen cyclist and Napster CEO Milt Olin, despite efforts of the City of Calabasas to maintain it. And still no word about the results of the investigation into Olin’s death or whether the sheriff’s deputy who killed him will face charges.

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More bad news from the Inland Empire, as a 15-year old Canyon Lake cyclist suffers critical injuries after broadsiding an SUV at the base of a steep descent. The impact was hard enough that the vehicle’s airbags deployed.

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Local

Some of DTLA’s larger new buildings feature more bike than car parking.

New LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds says it’s time to slow LA traffic to a more human scale, and may bring big changes to the city.

Meanwhile, LADOT has completed 50 miles of road diets in the last 15 years, and has finally budgeted for a citywide network of bicycle wayfinding signs.

Discovering the Ballona Creek bike path.

Sounds like fun. Metro and CICLE sponsor a Downtown LA Film History Ride on July 19th; maybe they’ll visit the Spring Street green lane gutted at the request of Hollywood filmmakers.

 

State

Newport Beach unveils the city’s draft bicycle plan, which will be under discussion when the Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee meets on Monday.

Nice. San Clemente approves a two-way bike path along the coast highway, as well as bike lanes for riders who want to remain on the roadway.

Seriously? San Diego is the only California city named to USA Today’s list of the 10 best cities for bicycling. No mention of Long Beach, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Davis, Palo Alto or any other CA towns.

 

National

Your bike is finally welcome on Amtrak.

Fading bike lanes send a message of disrespect from motorists.

A bike safety educator takes issue with the Bike League’s recent report showing 40% of bicycling fatalities over a 12-month period involved hit-from-behind collisions; thanks to Karen Karabell for the heads-up.

The feds are investigating a sabotaged Aspen CO bike trail after someone hid nail-studded boards on the path. Except it’s the Bureau of Land Management doing the investigating, not the FBI.

Life is cheap in Colorado, as a hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist from my hometown gets four years probation and one year of work release.

A new deal could save New York’s Citi Bike bike share program.

 

International

How can you tell when police investigations are biased against bike riders? When they conclude cyclists are at fault in over three-quarters of all bike collisions.

The key to encouraging alternative transportation is to make private cars the least efficient mode of transport.

Maybe wheel-suckers don’t suck after all. Drafting cuts wind resistance up to 49%, while reducing drag for the lead rider by 5%. And it turns out shaving your legs really does make you faster.

A UK man is riding across Africa following the death of his parents from cancer.

Bicycling is booming in Bangkok, even if it puts bike riders in the danger zone.

 

Finally…

An LA cop watches as a red light-running driver threatens a pedestrian, then blames the walker for blocking the road. And no matter how mad you may be, your bike deserves better than to be thrown onto the hood of a driver’s car; maybe they can charge him with bicycle cruelty.

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Just a quick reminder. Bikes are usually the most efficient way to get in and out of your local fireworks display. Just ride with extra care, because drivers will be focused on finding that elusive parking space or beating the crowd home instead of looking for you.

Update: Young boy killed in San Bernardino bicycling collision

Every every traffic death is needless; every bicycling fatality is heartbreaking.

But some tug a little harder on the heartstrings.

Like yesterday’s collision that took the life of a 79-year old bike rider in Chino, at an age when he had more than earned to right to a far more peaceful end. And today, when a wreck in San Bernardino left parents grieving a son who will never come home.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a boy around seven or eight years old was hit by a pickup around 1:20 this afternoon. Initial reports indicated that he was rushed to a hospital after suffering major injuries, where he died sometime later.

The collision occurred at or near the offramp to the eastbound 210 Freeway at Del Rosa Avenue. Presumably, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding across the intersection when he was hit by the truck exiting the freeway; however, as too often happens with news reports from the county, no explanation is given for how or why the wreck happened.

The intersection is controlled by a traffic light, but authorities were unsure who had the right-of-way or if the victim was riding in the crosswalk. A satellite view shows a crosswalk connecting the sidewalk on either side of the off-ramp, which is where he was most likely riding.

He was reportedly riding with another boy, who apparently did not see the collision despite being positioned behind him.

Now a young boy will never grow up, and a family must somehow find a way to go on without him.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year. and the 6th in San Bernardino County. And as noted above, the second cycling death in the county in the past two days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 12-year old Tewon Woods, presumably of San Bernardino.

And a fund has been established to help pay his burial expenses. A tragedy like this shouldn’t be allowed to break his family financially. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Tewon Woods and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to attorney James Johnson and the IE Biking Alliance for the heads-up.

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