Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

San Diego woman killed by alleged road raging, DUI hit-and-run driver

Sadly, a well-loved San Diego woman has died a day after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Mission Beach.

Sixty-nine-year old Maruta Gardner had reportedly gotten off her three-wheeled bike to remove some graffiti at the entrance to the jetty at 800 San Diego Place around 5:45 pm Friday, when an alleged road raging driver sped around to the right of another car, driving on the shoulder and slamming into Gardner.

She was hospitalized with a skull fracture and life threatening injuries, and passed away before 11 am Saturday.

The 23-year old driver, who has not been publicly identified, reportedly got out of his car to check the damage, and paused to look at Gardner before getting back into his car and speeding away. He was stopped by police a short distance later and was arrested suspicion of driving under the influence.

A retired educator, Gardner was well-loved within the local community, and recognized forgoing out of her way to help make it a better place. She had been honored by the city council last November for her years of service to the city.

She made a habit of riding her tricycle along the beach looking for graffiti with cleaning materials in tow.

Friday, it cost Gardner her life.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maruta Gardner and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Glendale bike rider attacked by SUV driver, and guilty plea in 100 mph Orange County DUI case

It’s happened again.

A woman riding her bike in Glendale is the latest bike rider to be the victim of an apparent intentional assault by the road raging driver of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on San Fernando Road near Magnolia Ave around 4:40 pm last Friday when the driver of an SUV allegedly pulled up next to her and swerved into her bike, striking her ankle.

After the victim yelled that she’d been hit, the driver yelled something back and swerved into her again, nearly crushing the rider between the SUV and a parked car after she turned her bike to avoid getting hit.

Police arrested 53-year old Glendale resident Nazik Ghazarian on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; she was taken into custody after another driver blocked her car while bystanders called police.

Meanwhile her legally blind husband, who was riding with her in the SUV, told police Ghazarian did nothing to “agitate” the cyclist.

The victim reported pain in her ankle, but declined treatment at the scene.

After all, who would get agitated over a little thing like multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon?

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The OC Register reports 20-year old Dominic Devin Carratt faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the DUI death of cyclist Haitham Gamal as the victim was riding home from work in April, 2014.

In a horrifying detail that wasn’t reported at the time, Carratt was going over 100 mph when he slammed into Gamal’s bike; he had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit, despite being just 19-years old at the time of the wreck.

According to the paper, he pled to a long list of charges.

Carratt pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing bodily injury and he admitted a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

………

Pro cycling’s governing body considers testing team bikes before each race to prevent motor doping. They should also stop the practice of allowing riders to switch bikes mid-race, which is the easiest way to get, and hide, a tampered bike.

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Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion directing LADOT to report on the implementation of the bicycle infrastructure in the City at this afternoon’s meeting. Based on recent progress, that could be a very short report.

Several dozen protesters associated with T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles gathered on Central Ave to fight a proposal from Councilmember Curren Price to remove the street from the Mobility Plan. Someone should tell Price not to judge a bikeway by what he’d be comfortable using; not everyone is looking for a quiet place to ride with their grandkids.

The maker of Lucky Brand jeans offers their own private bikeshare system for employees of their offices in DTLA.

High-end British bikewear maker Rapha pops up on Abbot Kinney for the next two months.

Caltrans presents alternatives to replace the Trancas Creek bridge on PCH in the ‘Bu; both versions include a wider shoulder to make room for bikes and pedestrians.

A Pasadena bike rider is in serious condition after he was hit head-on by a driver who veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Temple City will select a final design for Las Tunas Road at the city council meeting on Thursday; make your voice heard to ensure they choose the safest option for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

A group of Olympic cyclists and hopefuls, including the great Kristin Armstrong, urged middle school students in El Cajon to believe in themselves. And have fun.

A Berkeley OpEd says the city needs to work to provide greater safety for bicyclists.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a second bike rider has been killed in a collision this week.

 

National

A Portland study says a good bikeway network helps riders avoid dirty air.

Las Vegas’ coming bikeshare system will be just part of a new transportation innovation district in the downtown area.

Wyoming considers creating a committee to study a network of bike and pedestrian paths crossing the state. Having crisscrossed the state many times, safe bikeways through the mountains and prairies of the state would be absolutely amazing; you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden with a herd of wild antelope running alongside you.

The Kentucky state senate approves a three-foot passing bill, including a provision allowing drivers to cross the center line to pass cyclists, even in no passing zones, similar to the one vetoed by Governor Brown a few years ago.

Residents of Hoboken would rather double park than make room for bike lanes.

Jimmy Fallen is one of us, as he cruises sans skid lid through the Hamptons on a $6,000 fat bike.

A Savannah GA writer credits recent bike lanes with the city’s jump in bike commuting rates, but fears they’ve reached peak bike with no more bikeways on the agenda.

 

International

Road.cc offers a roundup of a number of new bikes from top makers, including a Look time trial bike that would be perfect for your morning commute.

If you build it, they will come. A Toronto study shows bicycling is up 300% on one street since a separated bike lane was installed; 38% of those riders didn’t use the street before the bike lane was built.

An exceptionally compassionate Canadian family urges the court to sentence a hit-and-run driver to probation instead of jail for the death of a bike rider.

A candidate for mayor of London says bicycling in the city is quite safe, even though he won’t let his own teenage daughters do it.

Social media blows up when an English rail station operator suggests a traveler and his family should just leave their bikes at home.

Britain’s leading bike retailer is accused of sexism for saying a men’s bike is great for riding on pavement or trails, while the women’s version is good for visiting Auntie Doris.

A South African cyclist is visiting all 19 of the country’s national parks, riding over 3,700 miles in 80 days to raise funds for orphaned rhinos. Meanwhile, a Durban DJ learns the hard way not to make fun of fallen cyclists on Facebook.

A 24-year old Chinese man who once walked across the US is planning to bike from San Francisco to China on a pilgrimage to “explore the ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century and the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China’s interconnectedness with the world.” Oh, well if that’s all.

 

Finally…

Bashing people and cars is not the correct use for a cable bike lock; then again, neither is locking your bike with one for more than a few minutes. Seriously, don’t stab someone if you think he stole your bike; at least that’s better than how they treat bike thieves in Bali, though.

And British police appear to be looking for a maniacal bike-borne pedestrian pusher with multiple personalities.

 

Mountain biker dies of apparent heart attack in Crystal Cove State Beach

The Orange County Register is reporting that a mountain bike rider has died of natural causes in Crystal Cove State Beach.

The victim was riding in the park with a group of cyclists when he collapsed around 9 am Sunday.

His companions began CPR, and both paramedics, and a fire department flight medic lowered onto the trail attempted to resuscitate him from full cardiac arrest. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene after a prolonged effort to save his life.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County; two of those have been the result of natural causes.

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

And condolences to his companions who tried to save his life.

Woman killed by drunk driver while walking bike across Sepulveda Blvd in Manhattan Beach

There’s something seriously wrong when a woman can’t even walk her bike across a street without getting killed by an underage drunk driver.

That’s exactly what happened in Manhattan Beach last night, according to the Daily Breeze.

Thirty-one year old Manhattan Beach resident Amory Borgens was crossing on the 400 block of S. Sepulveda Blvd about 12:20 this morning when she was hit by a speeding car. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

The 20-year old driver remained at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

However, it’s unclear exactly where the collision occurred, since the story places it near Tennyson Street, which would be the 600 block of South Sepulveda.

satellite view shows no crosswalks in a four block stretch of the busy six-lane street between Artesia Blvd and Longfellow Drive. Regardless, a crosswalk is presumed to exist at every intersection not marked by a No Crossing sign, whether or not one has been painted on the street.

Intentionally or not, the article, which was written by the City News Service, indulges in a remarkable degree of victim blaming, stating it was a “crash between Borgens and a speeding 2003 Toyota Corolla,” and “Borgens was in the roadway when she was struck.”

It’s hard to cross any street without being in it. And she didn’t crash into anything, she was run down by a speeding car.

It should also be noted that the legal alcohol allowed for anyone under the age of 21 is zero.

This is the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County already this year. And it’s the first bicycling fatality in Manhattan Beach in at least the last five years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amory Borgens and all her loved ones.

Bike rider killed in South LA collision last week

Sometimes bad news never makes the news.

According to the South LA Sheriff’s Department, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a car last Tuesday, Jan. 26th, at the intersection of Ocean Gate Avenue and 132nd Street in unincorporated LA County. The victim was taken to a local hospital.

Unfortunately, no other details are available.

A street view shows a pair of quiet residential streets; matching that up with the photo in the sheriff’s post suggests that the driver was headed west on 132nd.

A comment to the post says the victim was a boy; she also says the driver had the right-of-way, but may have been speeding. However, there’s no way to verify the comment.

This is the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the third in Los Angeles County. That compares with just two in SoCal this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his family.

Thanks to GhostBikes for the heads-up.

Update: Mountain biker found dead after search in Angeles National Forest

An overnight ground and air search for a missing mountain biker led to bad news in the hills above Altadena.

According to KCBS-2, a Torrance man was found dead in the Angeles National Forrest around 10:30 Saturday morning, after going missing while riding on Friday.

The victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead after his body was discovered on the Brown Mountain Truck Trail.

There were no apparent signs of trauma, which suggests he may have died of natural causes, or perhaps succumbed to exposure from being lost on the mountainside overnight.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Pasadena Star News reports that, contrary to the earlier report, the victim did show trauma consistent with a fall. His body was discovered a short distance from his bike, which had been spotted by a hiker around 10 am about three miles up the trail. 

He had gone for a ride Friday morning; a search was initiated at 9 pm Friday when his cellphone was traced to an SUV parked at the trailhead.

Update 2: SFV Media identifies the victim as 49-year old Torrance resident Evan Bruce Sisson. The site reports he was discovered partway down a cliff, with his bike at the base.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Evan Bruce Sisson and his loved ones.

Update: Bicyclist killed Tuesday in Ojai Valley

This has got to stop.

For the fourth time in the last four days, bike rider has been killed in a SoCal collision, this time in Ventura County.

According to the Ventura County Star, a man was hit by a box truck while riding his bike in the Meiners Oaks area of the Ojai Valley just before 1:30 pm Tuesday, as the driver was leaving a private parking lot on East El Roblar Drive east of Felix Drive.

The victim was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His identification has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver remained at the scene.

There’s no word on where the victim was on the road or which direction he was riding, or which direction the driver was turning. A street view shows a two lane roadway with a parking lane on either side and a 25 mph speed limit, though that would not seem to be a factor in this case.

Anyone with information is urged to call 477-4100.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old Ojai resident Christopher Angelos.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Angelos and his loved ones.

Update: Bicyclist killed in Santa Ana collision Monday evening

More bad news, as a bike rider was killed crossing a street in Santa Ana.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck around 6:07 pm at the intersection of 17th and La Bonita Streets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The New Santa Ana website reports he was north on La Bonita when he was hit by a pick-up; no word on which direction the truck was going.

The driver remained at the scene, and cited darkness as the reason he did not see the victim until it was too late. He was not suspected of being under the influence.

However, according to Google Maps, that address doesn’t exist, although it appears to be the intersection of La Bonita and Westminster Ave, which becomes 17th east of the Santa Ana River.

Assuming that is the correct location, a satellite view shows an uncontrolled six lane street on Westminster, with a 45 mph speed limit and the sort of wide lanes that too often encourage speeding. There is a stop sign on La Bonita at Westminster.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike. But there are street lights at the intersection, so the rider should have been visible if they were working. So the question becomes why the driver didn’t see the victim before it was too late.

Anyone with information is urged to call Investigator Bao of the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8214.

This is the eight bicycling collision in Southern California already this year, and second in Orange County. It’s also the fifth in Santa Ana in just the last two years.

Update: The Register has identified the victim as 77-year old Huntington Beach resident Thuc Van Nguyen.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thuc Van Nguyen and his loved ones.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Update: Riverside bike rider killed in Sunday collision

Sometimes the news reports are as infuriating as the news itself.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a bike rider was struck and killed at the intersection of Meadowbrook Lane and Jurupa Avenue last night.

The police say the victim, who has been identified only as a man, was headed north on Meadowbrook when he “steered” into the intersection around 7:40 pm, and was struck by the eastbound pickup, whose driver was reportedly unable to stop in time.

The question is what does that mean? The implication is the victim was turning onto Jurupa; however, he also may have been attempting to cross and swerved to avoid the truck at the last minute.

The other question is why wasn’t the driver able to stop in time?

The police press release implies that the cyclist may have run the stop sign on Meadowbrook and ridden out into the path of the truck on the uncontrolled street, where the driver would have the right-of-way. However, that would depend on whether there were independent witnesses other than the driver who saw the victim ride out in front of the truck.

It’s also possible that he may have come to a stop, and simply misjudged the speed of the truck before riding onto the five lane, 45 mph street, or that the driver was speeding, giving the illusion that he had time to turn or cross the street. Or maybe the driver just wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t see the cyclist until it was too late.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Detective Ken Madsen at 951/826-8723.

Hopefully their investigation will go a lot deeper than what’s contained in their press release.

This is the 7th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year,* and the first in Riverside County. It’s also the eight bicycling fatality in Riverside in just the last two years.

Update: Raw video from the scene shows the truck stopped in the center turn lane just beyond the intersection, with the bike stuck underneath, suggesting that the victim was crossing the street when he was struck. It also shows an open bottle of vodka standing upright next to his covered body, implying that he may have been drinking. But be forewarned, the video is very difficult to watch.

*I’ve added the death of a teenager who was killed while walking his bike on the train tracks near Oxnard.

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

Update: 44-year old bike rider killed in Spring Valley collision

Word is just coming in that a bike rider has died following a collision in the La Presa neighborhood of Spring Valley, east of San Diego.

Unfortunately, very few details are available at this time.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the victim suffered severe injuries when he was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Jamacha Blvd and San Miguel Street at 6:07 pm today, and died after being taken to a trauma center.

No information is available on the identity of the victim, or how the collision occurred, though the paper notes the driver remained at the scene.

A satellite view shows a narrow, gutter zone bike lane in each direction on Jamacha, with San Miguel entering from a small hill, controlled by a stop sign. There appears to be a 45 mph speed limit on Jamacha.

This is the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego county.

Update: The Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 44-year old Spring Valley resident Raymond Brown. 

The paper reports he was struck by a westbound SUV as the driver was approaching San Miguel Street; a CHP spokesperson said it was unclear which direction Brown was riding or who was at fault. 

However, there’s no word on exactly where the collision occurred; unless the driver was within 100 feet of the intersection, he should not have been driving in the bike lane — assuming that’s where the victim was riding. And even in that case, a cyclist in the bike lane would have the right-of-way.

The paper also notes that Brown was wearing a helmet, even though a collision at the speed posted for the roadway is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raymond Brown and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

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