Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Riverside bike rider killed in collision, driver suspected of drug use

It’s happened again.

A bike rider in Riverside has been killed in a collision with a driver suspected of being under the influence of prescription drugs.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a cyclist was riding west on California Avenue at Van Buren Blvd when he was hit by a 2014 Nissan Versa headed north on Van Buren around 5:40 this morning.

The victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital. He has been identified only as a 61-year old Riverside resident pending notification of next of kin.

The collision is still under investigation; however, the 52-year old driver was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence.

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

This is the 74 bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Riverside County this year; that compares with 12 in the county for all of last year. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in the city of Riverside since the first of the year.

Update: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as Riverside resident Ronald Williams.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ronald Williams and his loved ones.

Thanks to Mark Friis and Carlos Morales for the link.

Finally, the Foxen Canyon tragedy is complete, as a mother sits behind bars and a cyclist slowly slipped away

Maybe you remember.

It was a little over two-and-a-half years ago when a Los Olivos mother crossed the center line on Foxen Canyon Road near the city, and plowed her SUV into a group of cyclists while under the influence of prescription medication.

With her eight-month old daughter in the car.

Two of the eight cyclists, who were participating in a riding camp, were injured. One woman suffered arm and leg fractures; the other, 57-year old Gary Lynn Holmes, suffered serious brain injuries, and was still unresponsive when 32-year old Alicia Gilbert was charged in the collision three months later.

He never recovered.

Santa Barbara County prosecutors were clearly as incensed as local cyclists were, charging her with driving under the influence of a drug and causing bodily injury, failing to provide accurate information at the scene of an accident, child endangerment, false personification of another and driving with a suspended license.

Gilbert eventually accepted a plea bargain, pleading no contest to a single felony count of driving under the influence causing injury; she was sentenced to four years and four months in state prison.

Unlike most revolving door sentences that allow guilty parties to serve just a fraction of their time, sentencing guidelines require her to serve 85% of her sentence before she’s eligible for parole.

That works out to just over three years and eight months, making her up for parole in July, 2016; the state inmate locator confirms that she is still behind bars.

Her daughter, eight months old at the time of the collision, will be nearly five before she even has a chance to get out. And return to a daughter who will barely know her.

Meanwhile, Holmes, a former champion triathlete, remained unresponsive, and was returned to his Memphis-area hometown where he could be near family.

Sadly, Orange County Bicycle Coalition board member Barbara Danzi writes that he passed away earlier this month; a funeral notice confirms he died on October 15th.

She writes,

I knew Gary when I attended the same Tri camp in 2011. He was a great guy, full of stories of his 20+ Ironman races. He seemed to enjoy the training for the camaraderie as he would wait by the side of the road to cheer people on and take photos and video. His tri club members said that he would ride with anyone, anytime, anywhere, any speed.

As she points out, he was not from here.

But his life effectively ended as one of us, on a lonely, winding road outside of a picturesque California town, at the hands of a woman who couldn’t manage to stay out of her car when she was too stoned to drive.

There is simply no excuse, ever.

And the price paid by family and loved ones, of both the victim and his killer, is just too damn high.

My thanks to Barbara Danzi for the news, and my deepest prayers and sympathy for Gary Holmes and all his family and loved ones.

Morning Links: More criticism of the GHSA bike safety report; register now for SoCal state highway safety summit

More responses to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s report on bicycle safety, which we discussed here yesterday.

Bike Portland digs deep into the stats to show the report just doesn’t add up. Streetsblog says despite what the report says, the bike boom has been fantastic for bike safety.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking says those scary numbers the report cited for California add up to just 6.3 deaths per 10,000 bike commuters in the state, and that the real scary data is how little states spend on bike and pedestrian safety.

The Bike League says the tone deaf press release doesn’t even mention speeding or driving behavior, and yes, bicycle safety is a national issue. And People for Bikes suggests that the safety in numbers effect means biking has been getting dramatically safer as Americans ride more.

On the other hand, KPCC’s Airtalk keeps it superficial in discussing the matter.

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The State of California is updating its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, described as a “holistic, statewide plan” that coordinates the efforts of a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on the state’s roadways.

There are currently over 400 stakeholders participating in the process, from state and federal agencies to police departments, regional transportation agencies, tribal governments and private individuals.

As part of the update process, a Southern California summit will be held to collect public input on how to improve safety on the state’s roadways.

November 12, 2014
8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
California State University, Los Angeles
Golden Eagle Student Union
 

Advance registration is required no later than November 5th at

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1821831/California-SHSP-Development-Summits

Thanks to Alan for the heads-up.

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Local

Metro gets the ball rolling on South LA’s much needed Rail to River bikeway.

A writer for City Watch bizarrely asks if LA’s walkable streets and bike lanes are only for the creative class, before arguing that the streets will be incomplete if they don’t include street food vendors.

Writing for Streetsblog, former city council candidate Odysseus Bostick asks if Los Angeles can fix roads and sidewalks, invest in rail and bike share, and complete other needed infrastructure projects without raising taxes. Good question.

 

State

After five long years, Newport Beach unanimously approved the new Bicycle Master Plan. Maybe this will finally provide some much needed safety improvements down there.

San Diego plans to change the way residents get to work in the next 21 years.

A San Jose State University art exhibit documents a student’s bike tour down Highway 1.

 

National

Auto-centric magazine Road & Track surprisingly admits America is losing the war on distracted driving.

A cyclist rides a single speed from LA to Charleston SC in 27 days to raise awareness of human trafficking.

You can have Kevin Costner’s bike from American Flyers for a cool $40 grand. No offense, but for that price you can have damn near any bike you want.

Great idea, as the University of Louisville gives over 1,000 students $400 vouchers redeemable at local bike shops when they agree not to buy a campus parking permit for at least two years. Are you listening, parking-challenged UCLA?

A DC website asks if city residents will be willing to make the unpopular decisions necessary for Vision Zero to succeed. LA needs to ask itself the same question, now that it’s finally official policy here.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to ride in the rain, which is about as much winter as we ever get around here.

British employers should do more to ensure bike safety, as a significant proportion of road deaths and injuries are caused by work vehicles.

London’s Express offers ten, uh, make that six tips for safe winter riding.

Cycling Central argues that women riders don’t need their own Tour de France, but should have a pro tour of their own somewhere else. Probably because that would make it easier for TV and the press to ignore.

Bicycling is even booming in the land of Putin, as Russian cyclists bring bike culture to Moscow.

Life is cheap in Singapore, as a driver gets a whopping two weeks in jail for the death of a cyclist. But at least he won’t be driving — legally, anyway — for the next three years.

 

Finally…

No bikes involved, as Michigan man in a zombie costume tries to scare passing motorists, with predictable results; police are still looking for the driver. Speaking of which, you’ll need this bike for the coming zombie apocalypse.

And Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports on the 2nd Annual South Bay Cycling Awards in his own inimitable style, tongue planted deeply in cheek.

 

Morning Links: Governors’ safety group discovers rising bike fatality rates, but fails to provide necessary context

For the past few years, I’ve joined with a few others to wave the red flag warning about a dramatic increase in bicycling fatalities.

Now finally, a national organization has joined us in sounding the alarm.

A new study on bicycle safety from the Governors Highway Safety Administration cites a 16% increase in bicycling fatalities in just three years, from 2010 to 2012.

The Times’ Jerry Hirsch offers a detailed, yet easy to understand report on their findings.

The problem is, the study presents the bare stats without the necessary context for them to have any real meaning or usefulness.

For instance, they note that 69% of bicycling fatalities occur in urban areas, which correlates to a 62% increase in bike commuting since 2000. But fail to note that the 16% increase in overall bicycling fatalities no doubt corresponds to an increase in overall bicycling rates.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that bicycling is actually getting safer, since no one has any clue how much ridership has increased in that same three-year period, since virtually no one bothers to count it.

Though there are a few exceptions.

They also say that California has the highest number of bicycling fatalities, with Florida coming in second. However, they fail to mention that California has the largest population of any state, so it could be reasonably expected to have the most fatalities.

They repeat the same mistake in observing that six states — California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas — represent 54% of all bicycling fatalities. Yet don’t bother to point out that those are also the five most populated states, with Michigan coming in at a close ninth, representing over a third of the US population and most of the major urban centers.

Far more meaningful is the fact that bicycling deaths represent just over 4% of all traffic fatalities in California, twice the national average. At least that figure is in context, and clearly sends a message that far too many bike riders are dying here in the late, great Golden State.

Now that’s something we can work with to demand safer streets.

Unfortunately, it goes on.

The study observes that two-thirds of fatally injured bike riders weren’t wearing helmets in 2012. Which sounds significant, until you consider that nowhere do they attempt to determine how many of those fatal injuries resulted from head wounds.

Helmets are useful items — I never ride without mine — but they are designed to protect against relatively slow speed impacts, not high speed traffic collisions. And they don’t do anything to protect against internal injuries or bleeding.

It is worth nothing that 28% of the bike riders over the age of 16 that were killed in 2012 were over the legal limit for drunk driving. A clear indication that booze and bikes don’t mix, since it impairs your judgment and slows your reflexes — exactly the opposite of the skills you need to survive on the streets.

On the other hand, I would much rather see drunks ride their bikes, where they are a danger primarily to themselves, than get behind the wheel of a car and pose a danger to everyone around them.

Finally, the study correctly notes that our current roadway system was not designed with bicyclists and pedestrians in mind, and that integrating the streets poses challenges. They conclude that cyclists are safest on separated cycle paths, but note that such separated facilities are rarely feasible.

That’s true.

But only because our current leadership doesn’t have the courage or political will to make it happen.

It hasn’t proven to be a problem in places with strong leaders committed to improving safety on our streets, like New York and Chicago, which have somehow found a way to shoehorn those “infeasible” bikeways onto the streets, for the benefit of everyone — cyclists and drivers alike.

I’m not saying the study has no value. It clearly points out that too many of us are dying on American — and Californian — streets.

Then again, one is one too many.

And it’s long past time we did something about it.

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A new PSA gets people across LA to promise not to text and drive. Or at least to lie about it, anyway.

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Local

LA Bike Trains helps Los Angeles bike riders get to work safely while inspiring similar programs around the country.

The LAPD and USC’s DPS take victim blaming to a new level, attempting to protect bike riders and pedestrians by — wait for it — ticketing bike riders and pedestrians, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines. And bizarrely, they ticket a cyclist for entering an intersection while the red Don’t Walk hand is flashing, which is just as legal for bicyclists as it is for motorists.

A new UCLA study points out the many public health and economic benefits of pathways along LA’s rivers; improving health and fitness is a lot cheaper than treating diseases like obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

A Vancouverite goes bicycling on some of the best bikeways the City of Angels has to offer, and not surprisingly, finds it not to her liking.

Calbike invites you to party with them at the Queen Mary next Monday.

 

State

Good news, as San Diego’s recent Ocean Beach hit-and-run victim is making a remarkable recovery from a major traumatic brain injury.

A Stockton teen has his bike stolen in a strong arm robbery.

San Francisco’s blast to the auto-centric past Prop L is called a right-wing attack on bicycling and safe streets.

A San Francisco bike rider gets shot in the foot.

Sad news, as a Cupertino teen is killed by a big-rig gravel truck while riding to school Monday morning.

 

National

Scary news, as a writer for City Lab says your U-lock is pretty much useless.

New York cuts speed limits to 25 mph in all five boroughs to improve safety; needless to say, not everyone approves. If LA’s leaders had the courage to do that and actually enforce it — which they don’t — it would not only improve safety but most likely, traffic flow as well.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber ride through New York on their family-sized Dutch bike.

Bicyclists have to invent devices to overcome bad road planning.

In an OpEd piece for the Washington Post, a cyclist asks why people who don’t drive have to subsidize parking for those who do. Maybe we deserve a discount on rent and shopping.

Russell Crowe rides a bike to the set of his new movie in Atlanta.

 

International

The Guardian asks if it’s possible to look stylish while riding to work; not to spoil the surprise, but it would be a very short story if the answer was no.

Once again, saying they just didn’t see a cyclist proves to be the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, as not one, but two Brit drivers get off after claiming the sun was in their eyes.

Caught on video: A rare double — and possibly triple — bird, as a UK cyclist and motorist flip each other off after the later drives right at the former.

Caught on video: In case you’ve been wondering how the new Fly6 rear facing bike cam and tail light works, a Sydney cyclist catches a rear view of a major flip following a collision; he wasn’t badly hurt but his bike is a goner.

Two years after a Kiwi cyclist warned about the installation of bollards on a bike path, they’re being removed after his wife was seriously injured falling on them.

 

Finally…

A simple 25 question quiz to determine if you’re overly obsessed with cycling; looks like I’m only mildly obsessed. Halloween costumes for you and your bike. And a new bike tire promises to never go flat because it doesn’t have any air in it.

 

Correction: Bike rider survives East LA collision with critical injuries

News is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in East Los Angeles this afternoon.

According to My News LA, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Indiana and Percy Streets in East Los Angeles around 1:45 pm. Unfortunately, he or she died while being transported to a hospital.

A street view show a two lane street with businesses on Indiana below Percy, and an unlaned street on Percy; neither appears to have any bicycling infrastructure.

More information as it becomes available.

Update: It wasn’t apparent from the street view, however, there is a middle school on the northwest corner of this intersection; Erick Huerta, aka El Random Hero, tells me traffic is often heavy in the area as a result. 

Update 2: An earlier report from KNBC-4 shows an arial view of the collision, with a road bike just in front of, or partially under, the left front fender of an older burgundy sedan. The car is positioned over the center line, and angled to suggest the car was turning left.

However, they place the collision site a block south at Indiana Street and Whittier Blvd.

There are also at least two hospitals in the immediate area; however, neither appears to be a trauma center. 

Correction: I’ve just gotten off the phone with Carlos Morales of the East Side Bike Club, who informs me that earlier reports were incorrect.

Carlos, who also owns Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia, explained that he spoke with the CHP officer who investigated the collision, and was told that the victim was still alive as of Tuesday morning, although in extremely critical condition. 

According to the officer, the collision actually occurred on 4th Street near Indiana and Whittier, which I am unable to find on the map. When a driver on 4th stopped to allow another vehicle to exit the alley, the cyclist passed around him on the left side, crossing over the center line, and was hit head-on by a car coming in the opposite direction. 

The victim, described only as a Hispanic male in his 20s, was transported to a hospital with severe head trauma. And no, he was not wearing a helmet, though it is unclear if it could have made a difference in this case.

Unfortunately, the prognosis doesn’t sound good; your prayers or good wishes are definitely in order in this case. 

My sincere apologies for the error.

Update: Seven-year old e-bike rider killed by ice cream truck in South LA; driver attacked by bystanders

Just heartbreaking.

Several media sources are reporting that a seven-year old boy has died after falling under an ice cream truck.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding a motorcycle-style e-bike when he fell under the rear wheels of the truck.

According to KABC-7, he was riding next to the slow moving truck, and possibly holding on to it, before falling for an unknown reason. The LA Times reports that police consider it an “unfortunate accident,” though the investigation is still ongoing.

He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, but died at 9:15 pm after emergency surgery.

However, in a report on KNBC-4, which is not available online as of this writing, a man identified as the victim’s uncle said the boy was walking his bike next to the truck, rather than riding, in an attempt to catch up to his older brother. And that the truck had been traveling too fast for the neighborhood street.

To make matters worse, the driver suffered minor injuries after he and his truck were attacked by people in the area who threw bricks at the truck and threatened him with a knife.

According to the man claiming to be the victim’s uncle, the attackers included the boy’s mother.

This is the 74th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th in the County of Los Angeles; it’s also the 10th in the City of LA.

Update: The victim has been identified as Jamarion Thomas. Meanwhile, the Times reports that family members dispute the version of events given by the police, as noted above, insisting that he was walking his bike and was too small to hold onto the truck, even if he wanted to.

Update: As this story has developed, it has become clear that Jamarion Thomas was not riding or walking a bicycle when he was killed, since his bike didn’t have pedals. Instead, it was a toy motorcycle powered by a battery.

This does not make his death any less tragic, but it does mean it does not belong among the statistics for bicycling fatalities.

As a result, I have removed his name from this year’s total. That returns the number of SoCal bicycling fatalities to 73 for this year, with 28 in LA County and the 9th in the City of Los Angeles. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jamarion Thomas and his family.

Update: Bike rider killed in Newport Beach; DUI driver faces murder charge

For once, the charges fit the crime.

Last night, we linked to news that an Orange County bike rider had been hit by a vehicle Sunday evening. Sadly, the Newport Beach police announced this morning that the victim died later that night.

According to the police report, 30-year old Fountain Valley resident Shaun Eagleson was riding west on East Coast Highway just east of the Los Trancos entrance to Crystal Cove State Park when he was rear-ended by a pickup truck around 5:03 pm.

He was taken to a local trauma center for treatment, where he succumbed to his injuries at around 9:45 Sunday night.

The driver, identified as 23-year old Neil Storm Stephany of Huntington Beach, fled the scene, but was arrested shortly afterwards near the intersection of Newport Center Drive and East Coast Highway. He was taken into custody on charges of including Felony DUI (causing Great Bodily Injury), Hit and Run, Narcotics Possession and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; bail was initially set at $100,000.

The charges were later amended to include one count of murder, based on Stephany’s previous DUI conviction. According to the press release,

Further investigation revealed that Mr. Stephany has a prior conviction for Driving Under the Influence.  In California, a previous DUI conviction, and the subsequent required alcohol education, is considered an adequate indicator to suggest “implied malice” in subsequent DUI arrests involving the death of another party.  That fact, combined with Mr. Eagelson’s passing, lead Newport Beach Police to change Mr. Stephany’s booking charges to include 187 PC – Murder.  Mr. Stephany is currently being held without bail.

 

Yes, they even revoked his bail.

And they added one more thought that can’t be repeated enough.

Driving Under the Influence is a serious crime, with the potential for tragic and fatal consequences.  It is also completely preventable. The Newport Beach Police Department urges all members of the Community to make responsible decisions and to avoid getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or prescription medications.

Newport Beach police are still investigating the case; anyone with information is urged to contact Investigator Eric Little at 949-644-3746 or elittle@nbpd.org.

Nice to find a police department and prosecutors that take traffic crimes seriously for a change. Let’s hope they don’t plead this one away.

This is the 73rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Orange County; that compares to 12 in the county for all of last year. And it’s at least the eighth fatal bike collision in Newport Beach in just the last five years.

Update: The Orange County Register reports Stephany has an extensive criminal record, with prior convictions for felony assault, possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell, in addition to the prior DUI.

He is also currently facing a charge for domestic violence.

With a background like that, it’s possible that a murder conviction in this case could be his third strike, resulting in life in prison.

Update 2: A fund has been established to help pay funeral costs; in just one day, it’s already raised over half of the $15,000; thanks to Olivia Eagleson and Chris Nguyen for the link. 

Meanwhile, Corona del Mar Today reports that Neil Stephany was formally charged with murder, as well as felony counts of hit and run causing permanent injury or death, and possession of a controlled substance, identified as SUBOXONE sublingual films.

Chris Nguyen also says in his comment that Shaun Eagleson was an avid reader of this site, which makes this one even more personal and heartbreaking for me.

Update 3: The following comment appeared on the original story about the collision on the Corona del Mar website; if true, it raises a lot of very uncomfortable questions. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the tip. 

I think this accident could be prevented and this was the fault of Laguna Beach Police and paramedic. I was following the driver who hit the bicyclist and killed him, from Laguna Canyon in Laguna Beach and I noticed that he drives out of control. Immediately I contacted 911 and gave his license plate number, but 911 kept me waiting for 6 minutes and asking not important questions and finally they told me since you reached the Newport Beach we have to transfer to Newport Beach department. Instead of wasting time they could send immediately someone to catch this guy before he kills someone. But they didn’t and I saw that the driver hit the poor bicyclist. I pull over and contacted for paramedic it took for them about 10 to 15 minutes to show up and they were not at rush at all. I told them to hurry up the bicyclist is bleeding from head. And I don’t know with having so many closer trauma center why they took him to Mission Viejo Hospital which end up that young man dye at age of 30? big question for me….. who is really responsible for his death Laguna Beach Police, Paramedic or both?

Update 4: Sandra Eagleson, the wife of the victim, describes just how much she has lost as she becomes a widow at just 31 years old. Meanwhile, the OC Weekly details Stephany’s priors; I’m told by someone with knowledge of the case that he has “fuck the police” tattooed on his forehead, along with a swastika on the back of his head.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Shaun Eagleson and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Frank Peters, Patrick Pascal, Lois and Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: A rough weekend for bike riders in San Diego and Orange Counties; the Times talks war on cars

We’ve got a lot of news to get to after a busy weekend.

But if you don’t like reading about the bad things that can happen when people on two wheels share the road with those on four, skip the next two sections.

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Too much bad news from San Diego this weekend.

No three-foot passing distance here, as a bike rider suffers a broken arm when he’s clipped by the foot peg of a passing motorcycle.

A San Diego cyclist is seriously injured when a car veers into the bike lane he was in while riding next to friends competing in a triathlon.

Her family pleads for the driver to come forward, as a hit-and-run victim remains in the ICU with a traumatic brain injury a week after she was run down by a heartless coward. A fund established in her name has raised $13,000 out of a goal of $25,000.

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Then again, the news from Orange County isn’t much better.

A 13-year old Huntington Beach boy is seriously injured when he’s hit by not one, but two Mercedes cars.

An Orange County cyclist suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a suspected drunk driver while riding on PCH Sunday evening. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling and Lois for the heads-up.

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News for all you low riders, as BentRider reports on Recumbent Cycle-Con 2014; thanks to LA BAC member David Wolfberg for the tip.

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Scary news when it comes to painted bike lanes, as a recent UK study shows they don’t make any difference in drivers’ passing distance. If the drivers even notice them.

On the other hand, a new survey shows overwhelming support for London bikeways.

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Local

The LA Times says it will take strong leadership to put cyclists, pedestrians and transit users on an equal footing with drivers in order to avoid a war on motorists. Maybe it’s time we all dropped the phrase “war on cars/drivers/motorists,” since the only victims of this mythical war are the ones on foot or two wheels.

The LA Register correctly points out that cyclists aren’t legally required to carry ID — although it’s always a good idea to have something with you, just in case.

Bike the Vote LA offers a bike oriented voter’s guide, but wisely avoids endorsing our bike-unfriendl, and anti-hit-and-run reform governor.

 

State

I want to be just like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Mission Viejo man rides 80 miles on his 80th birthday — and one more for good measure.

Newport Beach’s proposed Bicycle Master Plan goes before the city council.

Two-hundred brightly lighted cyclists celebrate Cycledelic in Palm Springs.

Just a little bias here, as the San Francisco Chronicle claims a proposition in the city’s upcoming election will put buses, bikes and pedestrians on the fast track while moving cars to the slow lane.

Over 100 Stockton riders turn out for the fifth annual San Joaquin Bike Festival.

 

National

Utah’s Bamboo Cyclist gets four years for running a non-bike related Ponzi scheme.

Laramie WY, where I used to get run off the road by pickup driving cowboys on a regular basis, is now among the top 10 towns for bike commuting, with a nearly 7% mode share.

Evidently, the life of an Iowa cyclist is worth less than the bike he was riding under current state law.

Good idea. A new Michigan law requires driver education courses to include instruction on bike and motorcycle laws.

A fire hose came loose from a Toledo fire truck on an emergency run, and yanked off the rear wheel of a bike while it was being ridden down the street; fortunately, the rider escaped with scrapes and a broken leg.

Arterial streets make up just 15% of New York roadways, but account for over half of the city’s bike and pedestrian collisions. I suspect the same thing would hold true here.

A writer for the New York Times says if cities want to encourage bicycling, they need to lose the emphasis on bike helmets.

A prominent New York investment banker doors a cyclist, then throws his business card to the limo driver and takes off running.

Evidently, Charleston police have a habit of blaming the victims in deadly bicycling collisions, regardless who is actually at fault.

 

International

Unbelievable. A UK milkman continued on his route after running down a bike rider. And gets a measly £3,000 fine — the equivalent of just $4,800.

Bicycling hits the mainstream as leading British fashion designer Ted Baker unveils his line of haute bikewear. Though I’ll pass on the hip-brushing sport coat paired with above-the-knee shorts.

Zac Efron celebrates his birthday by biking through the streets of Amsterdam.

Sounds like fun. A new bike tour promises to take you through the former East Germany from Berlin to Dresden.

Bicycling is gaining popularity in Delhi, despite the city’s deadly streets.

Tragically, the New Zealand cyclist who rode into a pothole suffered a broken neck, but may owe his life to the dog who stayed with him and barked for help for seven hours. Now that’s a good dog.

Fall is tweed season, even in Jakarta, Indonesia, which hosted its first ever tweed ride — attracting even the Norwegian and Danish ambassadors.

 

And finally…

Maybe she’s got long ears. An Austrian cyclist warming up for a time trial is shot by a hunter who mistook her for a hare. ‘Tis the season, as zombies on bikes take over Key West.

And a new Aussie study shows how to benefit from wheelsuckers.

 

Bike rider dies following Montbello collision on Thursday

More bad news.

Word is just coming in that a bike rider has died after being struck by a car in Montbello yesterday.

Seventy-one-year old Julio Fuentes Mendoza was riding on Lincoln Ave around 6 pm when he was hit by a vehicle. He was taken to County USC, where he passed away sometime today.

The driver remained at the scene; no other details are available at this time.

A ghost bike ceremony will be held at the site on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the exact time and location of the ceremony in advance.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julio Mendoza and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Carlos Morales of Stan’s Bike Shop for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in Agoura Hills

Photo of the collision scene courtesy of Chris Willig

Photo of the collision scene courtesy of Chris Willig

I’m just getting word of a fatal bicycling collision just outside of Agoura Hills last night.

Details are still sparse, however, a bike rider identified only as Pete was struck and killed at the intersection of Kanan Road and Triunfo Canyon Road in unincorparated LA County sometime yesterday evening.

The victim was well known and liked in the area; local residents report he was often seen riding his bike through the canyons, though usually without lights.

Sadly, he leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters. He reportedly didn’t have insurance; a fund will be set up to help pay funeral expenses.

Hopefully, we’ll get more information soon.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 27th in Los Angeles County.

Update: Chris Willig reports the victim’s full name is Pete Young. He was struck by a Prius headed south on Kanan around 7:16 pm, at which time it would have been full darkness, and was tended to by a doctor who lives in the area before EMTs arrived.

Willig also forwards a video — which I’m not posting due to the graphic nature of the collision scene — which shows a debris field strewn roughly 30 to 40 feet from the intersection to the right shoulder.

It would appear Young was riding just to the right of the through lane as it crossed the intersection, and that the driver would have to have drifted out of the traffic lane to hit him, and continued towards the right shoulder after the collision.

As always, the question is why. 

Update 2: Evidently, pictures can be deceiving. According to a spokesperson for the CHP, Young was traveling west on Triunfo when he allegedly rode through a stop sign and was struck by a Kia — not a Prius — driven by a 19-year old driver. The driver, who was reportedly an emotional mess following the incident, stayed at the scene and attempted to help Young. 

Meanwhile, a fund has been established to help defray funeral expenses for Young’s family; as of 2:30 pm today, it has already raised $1000 of the $7500 goal. 

Update 3: Area resident Chris Willig offers more insights into the collision.

The CHP spokesperson is mistaken about the travel direction, Young was eastbound on Triunfo (where it doglegs to the south) preparing to make a left turn onto northbound Kanan (it is a skewed “T” intersection with Kanan headed briefly to the southeast). Young’s family lived on the south of Kanan off Mulholland, he worked on the north side and frequently made this trip. The attached aerial is top north (and unfortunately doesn’t show the recent restriping).

The impact point is to the right of the regular travel lane by several feet and would have be a “T”-bone type of hit. Since the travel lane is one lane width in front (to the southwest) of the stop limit line, it is plausible he stopped and then moved forward. The vehicle seems to have been to the right of the travel lane. This could have been the principal cause of the collision, catching Young off guard in what he might have thought was a “safe” zone.

Kanan transitions from one-lane in each direction to 2 south-bound and and one north bound lane. The right lane at the intersection are meant for turns only, but frequently through traffic violates this. We recently got the county to modify the intersection striping to make this more clear. Despite the new paint, drivers are still intent on the relatively long steep grade in front of them, lunging for more speed and the wider road ahead.

CollisionSite_PeteYoung

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Pete Young and and all his family. 

Thanks to Chris Willig and Leland Tang for their help with this story.

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