Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

60-year old bike rider dies one day after Imperial Beach crash

Sad news from the San Diego area, where a woman has died following a left-cross collision in Imperial Beach.

According to the Times of San Diego, 60-year old Kathleen Ann Cua was pronounced brain dead a day after she was hit by a left-turning driver.

And yes, she was wearing a helmet.

The crash occurred around 5:15 Saturday evening at the intersection of Palm Ave and 4th Street in Imperial Beach.

The Union-Tribune reports she was one of three people riding east in the bike lane on Palm, when she was struck by the driver of a car, crashing into the windshield. She was taken to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, where she died.

The driver remained at the scene, and police do not suspect he was under the influence.

However, he told investigators that he did not see Cua until she hit his windshield — which should be seen as a confession, rather than an excuse.

He also told the U-T he didn’t think Cua saw him before the impact, an odd statement considering his claim that didn’t even know she was there.

Evidently, he was somehow able to read her mind at the moment of impact. Or maybe he just saw a look of surprise as he slammed into her.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kathleen Ann Cua and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Morning Links: More details in Tour de Palm Springs crash, and what to do about overly courteous drivers

No victim blaming here.

After cyclist Mark Kristofferson was killed by a speeding driver while riding in the Tour de Palm Springs on Saturday, and another rider badly injured, participants say there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the crash.

Except for a bike-riding Palm Springs resident, who calls for better eduction for participants in the rules of the ride.

Even though accused killer Ronnie R. Huerta Jr. was allegedly traveling at over twice the 50 mph speed limit when he lost control and slammed into the victims.

And even though the two victims were doing nothing wrong, and reportedly riding exactly where they were supposed to be.

Nothing they did could have prevented the crash. Unless they had somehow been able to keep Huerta’s alleged foot off his alleged gas pedal. Or keep him out of his damn car to begin with.

Huerta was reportedly released on $75,000 bail on a single count of vehicular manslaughter, though that could change as prosecutors move forward.

Meanwhile, the other victim, 50-year old Alyson Lee Akers of Huntington Beach, was being treated for what was described as “major injuries,” including a head laceration.

Let’s all hope she makes a full and fast recovery.

And that Riverside County officially treat this case with the seriousness it deserves.

Let’s also hope that the ride organizers figure out some way to improve safety. Because two deaths in four years is two too many.

Photo courtesy of the LAPD Central Area Bike Unit.

………

Frequent contributor Mike Wilkinson writes for advice on how to handle the problem of friendly drivers who want to wave you through the intersection.

Dear Dr. BikinginLA:

My wife and I are enjoying a friendly disagreement about what to do when a driver yields their right of way to us. I say it’s confusing and maybe dangerous. She says the drivers are being courteous. We should smile, wave, and go for it.

Although I go to extra effort to ride according to the rules (and laws) of the road, I don’t have too much trouble waving and smiling in low-risk situations. An example would be meeting a driver at a four-way stop. If the driver waves me through, even if that driver was there first, my wife’s words ring in my ears, and I smile, wave, and start pedaling. My wife is very adamant: With all of the hostility from drivers that we hear about, if a driver is kind enough to yield their right of way, we should accept it graciously.

On the other hand, yesterday I encountered what I thought was a dangerous situation. I was on a small 25 mph residential street waiting to cross a 45 mph street with two lanes in each direction. To my surprise, a driver on the busy street stopped and waved me through. I didn’t go, because there were cars coming from the other direction. Soon there were other drivers behind the one who stopped, and the honking began. Eventually the driver who stopped drove away, but I think everyone involved was upset, some of them at me!

I think that in the long run it would be better if everyone took their right of way. We all know that the streets are crazy enough without someone trying to invent new rules, even if they are just trying to be courteous. However, in the real world, I’d be very interested to learn what your other readers have to say about drivers who yield their right of way.

Personally, I appreciate when drivers show me any courtesy, wanted or otherwise.

So I play it by ear. If there’s no one else on the road, I’ll usually wave my thanks and ride through; if not, I’ll wave the driver through while signaling my appreciation.

And if I don’t feel safe, I’ll clip out of my pedal, put my foot down, and won’t budge until it’s safe for me to go. No matter how offended the driver gets.

However, I try not to brag about my Ph.D. in Advanced BS from Whatsamatta U.

………

Local

The intersection where 15-year old Saul Lopez was killed while riding to school two years ago has been renamed in his honor after receiving a number of safety improvements, including leading interval signals for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The LACBC will host a monthly slow ride beginning this Saturday.

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman will host a discussion on the future of transportation in Los Angeles at the Glendale Transportation Center this Saturday.

CiclaValley explores the newly extended bike lanes on Verdugo Ave in Burbank.

 

State

Caltrans’ white paper on the Future of Mobility in the years leading up to 2050 includes a section on bikeshare. But not on riding any other kind of bike.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says pedestrian fatalities continue to mount as the city drags its feet on Vision Zero. Not unlike another city I could mention a few hours to the north.

 

National

Oregon chefs are already gearing up for May’s three-day, 300-mile No Child Hungry ride along the California coast.

Riding while black. According to the Chicago Tribune, blacks, Latinos and whites each make up roughly a third of the city’s population — yet over half of all tickets issued to bike riders were written in predominantly black neighborhoods.

A Kentucky Op-Ed says the state should adopt a three-foot passing law, like 34 other states already have, including California.

Country star Luke Bryan is still one of us, gearing up with a new Trek despite breaking his collarbone in a 2016 bicycling fall.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show runs this coming weekend in Hartford CT.

 

International

Former LA Kings goalie and current Canadian hockey analyst Kellie Hrudey is one of us, too.

A British bicyclist gets six months for breaking the leg of a man in his 70s while riding drunk and brakeless on a train platform.

A British man lost his bicycle, mobile phone and laptop in a strong-arm robbery by three young men who pushed him into a stream.

A Scottish nonprofit group is helping refugees get settled in the country by providing them with bicycles.

An Irish writer says “Cyclist bashing is a popular sport among the less enlightened members of the commentariat.” And then proceeds to do exactly that, before concluding that too many cyclists have died.

Drivers in Kuala Lumpur call for the removal of new protected bike lanes, describing them as a safety hazard. Just like drivers in Los Angeles do.

Bicyclists in Yangon, Myanmar say riding a bike on city streets is like betting your life.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nice profile of America’s only men’s Olympic cycling gold medal winner, 1984 champ Alexi Grewal, told from the perspective of his new home in India.

A Rwandan paper looks at the rise of bike racing in the country.

A writer for Slate looks at Strava as a gateway drug, explaining how it got her into bike racing.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to do a story about sharing the road, don’t illustrate it with a photo of tandem time trial riders. How to be antisocial and take a group cycling vacation anyway.

And teenage Nazi spies on bikes may not just be a good premise for a WWII novel.

……..

Let’s finish with one last, larger look at that great, suitable-for-framing photo at the top of this page.

Photo courtesy of LAPD Central Bike Unit

Update: Man killed by alleged speeding driver in Tour de Palm Springs, 2nd rider injured; 2nd death in four years

It’s happened again.

One man was killed, and another bicyclist seriously injured, when they were struck by an allegedly speeding driver during today’s Tour de Palm Springs.

According to the Desert Sun, the victims were struck when a speeding driver lost control of his car on Dillon Road in Indio Hills, south of Tinker Road, around 9:25 am.

However, that location doesn’t show up using any map site.

The paper reports the driver came up from behind a number of cyclists as they were riding east on Dillon, allegedly traveling at over 100 mph — twice the posted speed limit. He veered onto the dirt shoulder on the wrong side of the road, lost control and veered back across the road to hit the two riders.

The crash reportedly occurred among the trailing riders on the century ride.

Fortynine-year old Lake Stevens, Washington, resident Mark Kristofferson died at the scene.

The other victim was airlifted with serious injuries, while the driver was transported to a local hospital by ambulance.

The case is still being investigated, and no charges have been filed at this time.

This the second death in the 20-year history of the Tour de Palm Springs. It comes just four years after 55-year old La Vonne Koester of Alta Loma was killed during the 2014 edition of annual event, when she allegedly ran a stop sign.

However, other reports indicated that a driver had stopped to wave a group of riders through the intersection, when a second driver came up from behind and was unable to stop before plowing into the riders.

No one was ever charged in that case.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County.

Update: The Desert Sun has updated their story to say 21-year old Desert Hot Springs resident Ronnie R. Huerta Jr. has been arrested on a charge of vehicular manslaughter.

The story also corrects Kristofferson’s age as 49, rather than 54 as originally reported; that change has been made to this story, as well.

The second victim has been identified as 50-year old Alyson Lee Akers of Huntington Beach. She is being treated for what is described as major injuries, including a head laceration.

Huerta was also treated for moderate injuries before being taken to jail on the manslaughter charge, where he is currently being held.

Update 2: At the request of Mark Kristofferson’s family, I have removed a bike cam video of the crash scene taken half an hour after the collision, which briefly showed the tarp covering his body. 

Update 3: According to the Desert Sun, CHP investigators report the driver did not appear to be under the influence at the time of the crash, but are still waiting for the results of drug and alcohol tests. 

Huerta was released on $75,000 bond, and isn’t expected to appear in court until April. 

The crash location was corrected to Dillon Road near Avenue 30. The story reports that there were several police officers stationed at key intersections along the route, but none along the 25-mile stretch where the crash occurred.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mark Kristofferson and his loved ones. And best wishes to Alyson Lee Akers for a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Tom Morash and Wes R for the heads-up.

Bike rider killed in collision with Expo Line train in South LA; another critically injured

Sad news from South LA, where a bike rider has died following a collision with the Expo Line.

KTLA-5 initially reported last night that two pedestrians were struck by a train in University Park east of USC, around 9 pm Tuesday. The story was later amended to say one of the victims had a bicycle.

Now LA West Media has reported that one victim has died after being transported to a hospital, while the other victim is in critical condition.

Neither has been publicly identified at this time.

According to the report, three males were riding their bikes on Jefferson Blvd near Flower Street, when they attempted to cross the Expo Line tracks despite an approaching train.

The first rider made it. The other two were hit by the empty Expo train, which was on a test run.

This is one more heartbreaking reminder to never attempt to cross train tracks after the warning alarms sound or the gates close.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 323/421-2500.

This is the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County. The other LA County death occurred in South LA, as well.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. And prayers and best wishes for the recovery of the second victim. 

 

Homeless man killed riding bike in San Diego’s Mission Valley; same location another homeless man killed in 2015

A homeless man lost his life Tuesday night in what appears to be a tragic case of deja vu.

According to Fox-5 San Diego, the victim, identified only as a homeless man in his 50s, was struck by a car at 6:15 pm Tuesday in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

He was reportedly trying to ride his bike across the 8800 block of Friars Road near Rio Bonita Way when he was hit by the driver of the car, who claimed he could not see the darkly clad rider until it was too late.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports he suffered a number of open fractures, and died after being transported to a hospital.

A street view shows a busy six lane roadway, with bike lanes of widely varying widths.

Police reported he was crossing Friars Road “outside of a crosswalk.” However, there doesn’t appear to be a crosswalk, or any other safe crossings, anywhere in the vicinity.

This comes a little over two years after another homeless man, 65-year old Matthew Driggers, was killed walking his bike across Friars in almost exactly the same location.

Which suggests that something has to be done to provide a safe way to cross a badly designed and inherently dangerous street.

And more has to be done to protect the most vulnerable and invisible members of society.

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

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

Redlands bike rider dies two days after crash in Highlands

News broke Monday night that a bike rider had suffered life threatening injuries in a Highland crash on Saturday.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The San Bernardino Sun reports the victim was struck by a pickup on Palm Avenue south of Third Street around 7:30 pm Saturday; he passed away from his injuries Monday afternoon.

The San Bernardino County coroner identified him as 34-year old Redlands resident Brandon Mayberry.

According to the coroner, the crash occurred as Mayberry was riding north on Palm, and was rear-ended by the driver of the truck.

The driver reportedly stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Palm with a center turn lane, and what appears to be bike lanes on either side.

Anyone with information about the crash is urged to contact Highland Police Department Deputy Kyle Glozer at 909/425-9793.

This is the 4th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy for Brandon Mayberry and all his loved ones.

59-year old bike rider killed in South LA crash; driver fled in second car

Sad news from South LA, where a man in his 60s was killed in a crash with a van driver.

Although there’s some dispute as to what actually happened.

According to KTLA-5, the victim was riding west on 49th Street near Compton Ave around 5 pm when he allegedly fell in front of the van, and was run over by the driver.

The driver, described as a black woman in her 20s, initially stopped to render aid before fleeing the scene with two men in a white vehicle.

Witnesses struggled to free the victim from under the van; he died after being taken to a hospital.

He was identified as 59-year old Thomas Demetrius Adams, a resident of the Central-Alameda neighborhood.

However, in a story that’s not currently online, KNBC-4 reports the driver was exiting a driveway, and failed to see Adams before backing into him.

The station says the woman tried to help Adams at first, but fled the scene with two men who arrived in another vehicle.

Either way, it’s hit-and-run. And an innocent man is dead.

This is the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and first in LA County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Demetrius Adams and all his loved ones.

 

Santa Ana mountain bike rider collapsed and died in front of South Coast Global Medical Center

Even being in exactly the right place at the right time isn’t always enough.

The Orange County Register is reporting that a man, who has not been publicly identified, collapsed with riding his mountain bike on South Bristol Street in Santa Ana around 6:30 this morning.

He fell directly in front of the South Coast Global Medical Center, and was eventually taken inside where he was pronounced dead.

There’s no word on why he collapsed or the cause of death.

According to the paper, so many motorists stopped to help the victim that police initially thought he must have been hit by one of them.

Too often we only hear about the conflicts between people on bikes and in cars, whether verbal or physical, intentional or otherwise. As sad as this news is, it’s heartwarming to see that there are still people who care about others on our streets.

This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County.

Unfortunately, issues medical issues like this can arise at any time, often with little or no warning. So let this be a reminder to see your doctor on a regular basis, especially if you’re older or have health issues, to ensure that you’re healthy enough to ride.

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

Morning Links: SoCal bike deaths drop, green bike lanes coming to Mar Vista, and cycling won’t make you limp

Sixty-two.

That’s the number of people who died riding their bikes in Southern California last year.

Which is an improvement in some ways, because it represents a significant drop from the 73 people killed in the seven-county area last year. And an even bigger drop from the 86 people killed in 2014.

But it’s still 62 too many.

LA Curbed examines last year’s deaths, including the 26 people who died in Los Angeles County last year, including my fears of what’s behind the decline.

And be forewarned before you venture into the comments there, or on Reddit.

………

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin forwards word that the protected bike lanes that were installed on Venice Blvd as part of the Mar Vista Great Streets project will be getting green paint to make them more obvious to some of the more oblivious drivers and bike riders.

As we’ve noted here before, these bike lanes were installed as a one-year pilot project, with adjustments made as needed when issues arise, or opportunities for improvements become evident.

This sounds like a little of both.

………

Relax, guys.

A new study from UC San Francisco says riding a bike does not cause erectile dysfunction or infertility.

In fact, the study showed that not only does cycling not affect men’s sexual or urinary health, but that men who rode over 25 miles a day actually had better erectile function.

So you can spend all the time you want in the saddle and still get it up have kids.

………

Local

You can’t ride on the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica, but you may be able to ride in a park over it someday.

A West Hollywood study suggests a number of safety improvements that could reduce bicycle and pedestrian crashes on Fountain Ave by 25% to 55%. However, bike lanes don’t appear to be among the recommendations; the street currently has sharrows despite the heavy, often high-speed traffic.

 

State

The bicyclist who posted video of the massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail now wishes he’d been a little more sensitive.

Ebike maker Haibike is moving to Simi Valley after relocating to Denver just a year ago.

Santa Maria considers a makeover of its downtown to create a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Although they may discover that a $300,000 grant doesn’t go very far.

Bike Bakersfield has a new executive director.

The mayor of Mountain View is one of us, riding his bike around town and taking his helmet with him into meetings.

An armored truck hit a tree in San Francisco after driving down a separated bike lane instead of the traffic lane.

It’s always polite to fist-bump the cop who manages to chase you down on your bike before busting you for possession.

 

National

Bicycling profiles Ben Serotta as he returns to framebuilding, and examines what fear does to your body when some jerk nearly runs you off the road.

HuffPo considers how bicyclists got screwed out of their measly $20 a month bike commuting benefit in the new GOP tax bill, while drivers got to keep a $255 monthly deduction.

The people who work behind the scenes keeping dockless bikeshare working are getting screwed by the outsourcing gig economy. Or at least the ones working for Ofo.

An Idaho self-help author turns his attention advising drivers on how to coexist with bicyclists, with surprisingly good results.

Talk about a bad business deal. A Montana man is busted after buying an $1,800 stolen bicycle for $600, then pawning it for $200 three days later.

A Minneapolis paper discovers the lack of women working in bike shops — which also leads to a lack of women shopping in them.

A New York advocacy group says congestion pricing is the only way to reach zero traffic fatalities in the city, by getting more cars off the street. Something that hasn’t even been discussed in Los Angeles, where drivers would probably riot if anyone actually tried to pry them out of their cars.

This is how it’s supposed to be done. A DC-area county will build protected bike lanes for bicyclists who won’t be able to use a popular bike path during construction for a light rail line.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a trailer from Florida’s Jack the Bike Man, who gives thousands of refurbished bikes to kids every Christmas.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. After Calgary built out a complete protected bike lane network in the downtown area, the percentage of women riders rose to 25%. Which is still far too low, but at least it’s headed in the right direction.

A Montreal writer pens an ode to orphan bikes, which are forced to spend the winter cold, alone and unloved.

A London art exhibit features miniature landscapes of bike routes the artist has traveled.

A woman in the UK writes about how she fell in love with riding a bike after getting on one for the first time in 40 years.

A Brit writer relates how he failed four basic safety lessons on his first day as an amateur bike rider. Which somehow implies the rest of us are getting paid for it.

British police are looking for a bike rider who pushed a 17-year old girl over as she was walking in a bike lane. Don’t do that. Ever. Period.

After an Aussie cyclist barely avoids getting sucked under a semi, she’s victimized again by abusive online comments.

The “menace” of joyriding Malaysian stunt bicyclists is spreading across the country, despite a crash last year that killed eight teenage riders, and another that killed two others last week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new French book suggests that Lance was doping his bike as well as his blood.

USA Today looks at the debate over testosterone testing of transgender women, two of whom are hoping to make the US Olympic cycling team, on opposite sides of the debate.

Belgian cyclist Tim Wellens says inhaler use is wrong, despite pulling out of last year’s Tour de France with breathing problems.

Sad news from the UK, where a man who had been battling depression hung himself four days after he failed to finish a 24-hour bike race.

 

Finally…

How to pedal without ever leaving home or having to deal with other humans. Seriously, how big a bike pump will it take to inflate that thing?

And this is why you stop traffic before putting up the finish gate.

Bike rider killed in Muscoy hit-and-run; first SoCal bicycling death of 2018

That didn’t take long.

The first Southern California bicycling fatality of 2018 came just an hour into the new year.

As did the first fatal hit-and-run.

According to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office, a bike rider was struck by a driver around 1:05 am on the 3600 block of N. Cajon Blvd in Muscoy.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene less than 20 minutes later.

The driver fled the scene, apparently without stopping. No information is available on the suspect or the suspect vehicle at this time.

There’s also no information on how the collision occurred.

A street view shows a two-lane highway with a center turn lane, and no paved shoulder on either side.

This is the first Southern California bicycling fatality of 2018, and the first in San Bernardino County.

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

 

 

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