Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Morning Links: An open letter on LA’s Vision Zero Action Plan, and OC hit-and-run victim needs your help

The Vision Zero Alliance has written an open letter to the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, which will consider the city’s proposed Vision Zero Action Plan at today’s meeting.

While they support the city’s efforts to eliminate traffic deaths, the Alliance, described as “a coalition of over 20 community organizations dedicated to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries in Los Angeles,” takes issue with some parts of the plan.

The Action Plan serves as a critical step to ensuring that the Vision Zero initiative remains grounded in transparency, accountability, and evaluation. It also represents the City’s commitment to protecting the safety of all road users. The Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance applauds LADOT for its efforts in completing the Action Plan, which reflects extensive coordination among multiple agencies and organizations. We particularly appreciate the department’s ongoing commitment to engaging with and being accessible to the Vision Zero Alliance throughout the development of the Action Plan.

However, we remain unsatisfied with a number of elements of the plan. Our primary concerns relate to enforcement, data transparency, and community engagement. Additionally, we are worried by the lack of attention paid to speed and to the weak commitment in funding.

I’m particularly glad they share some of the concerns I’ve expressed, which are reflected in that last sentence.

We have additional concerns regarding speed and funding. Despite vehicle speed being a primary predictor of crash severity, the Action Plan lacks a bold and coherent strategy to manage it. We appreciate that the City intends to “consider legislation on automated speed enforcement” in 2017, but would like to see a more comprehensive set of actions to address local control of speed limits and the implementation of engineering projects specifically intended to slow traffic. We are also displeased with the low level of funding allocated to Vision Zero projects this year. A serious commitment to ending deaths and severe injuries on Los Angeles streets demands serious funding. Only with a realistic investment in robust engineering projects, education, engagement, and enforcement will Los Angeles ever realize Vision Zero.

It’s worth reading the full letter.

And demanding that the city adopt a plan that is fair for everyone, and will truly take the steps necessary to end the plague of traffic violence in out city.

………

An Orange County bike rider needs your help.

The Orange County Register reports that Steve Schenkenberger, a father of five from San Juan Capistrano, was struck by a hit-and-run driver near Niguel Road and Ridgeway Avenue on Super Bowl Sunday.

Newport Beach Patch is more specific, placing the time of the crash at around 8:56 pm. There were no reported witnesses, he was found by passersby who called for help. Luckily, one of those was a paramedic and his wife, who cared for him until help arrived; she describes it in heartbreaking detail.

According to a fundraising website, Schenkenberger suffered injuries throughout the left side of his body, along with a severe brain injury resulting in emergency surgery. He’s reportedly improving, but remains unconscious and heavily sedated.

As of this writing, the fund had raised over $34,000 of the $100,000 goal to help pay what are sure to be massive medical expenses, as well as care for his family, for which he is the sole provider.

Clearly, they have a long way to go.

Anyone with information about the crash or driver is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Aliso Viejo.

Thanks to Rod Daryabigi and Lois for the heads-up.

………

Frenchman Roger Walkowiak, the world’s oldest surviving Tour de France winner, passed away Tuesday at 89; the unheralded son of a Polish factory worker won the 1956 Tour with a solo breakaway on the famed Croix de Fer.

Cycling Weekly talks with 19-year old US junior cyclist Adrien Costa, calling him the next Greg LeMond. Sad that they had to go all the way back to the 1980s to find a scandal-free American cycling icon to compare him to.

VeloNews looks at the dangers of Tramadol, a less potent opioid painkiller that’s legal to race on under current doping rules.

………

Local

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC is working on a beautification project to increase capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on the Trousdale Parkway entrance to the campus.

A sidewalk-raging Santa Clarita transient was arrested on suspicion of vandalism for throwing an object at a driver who had apparently cut him off as he existed a driveway.

 

State

A California sustainable transportation website launches a new series titled Bicyclists Are Human. Something that shouldn’t have to be said, but too often does.

Six California rides make the list of the nation’s 15 top Gran Fondos, including the Malibu Gran Fondo, and the one-year old Phil’s Cookie Fondo hosted by LA’s own former pro and cookie monster Phil Gaimon.

San Diego cyclists hope to repurpose a boarded up 1940s building next to a bike path as a bicycle center.

Ebikes are moving into Santa Cruz. And La Quinta, too.

A 56-year old bike rider in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district faces charges after allegedly punching a 20-year old woman and rifling through her pockets.

A San Francisco bike shop owner is crowdfunding a parklet he wants to build in front of his store.

An injured San Francisco bike rider offers a reminder that rain-filled puddles can disguise hidden dangers.

 

National

Here’s a chance to get technical, as VeloNews explains how differences in bicycle geometry affect how a bike rides and handles.

A British Columbia researcher says bicycle education in the US is in desperate need of an update, questioning whether bicyclists are really safer riding in the traffic lane.

Wired says ride your bike like a kid and make it fun again. Which is a great idea, except they get most of it wrong. Spandex clothing is actually designed to wick away sweat, while reducing wind resistance and chafing; flat pedals only allow you to apply force on the down stroke, reducing efficiency. And the health benefits of riding far outweigh any risk of heart damage from extreme training, which most people will never do anyway.

Colorado cyclists will have to keep stopping for stop signs, as a bill to approve the Idaho Stop Law in the state, legalizing what many bike riders already do, was killed in a legislative committee; a Durango paper blames Senate Republicans.

The Texas Medical Alliance gave away 400 bike helmets to four and five-year olds.

Wisconsin cycling icon Chris Kegel passed away from a rare form of liver cancer; the owner of a regional chain of bike shops had been on the founding boards of PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists.

A bike-riding Illinois reporter is suing the local police department for false arrest after they busted him for filming them. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in public, whether the actions of police or anyone else, as long as you don’t interfere with an officer in the conduct of his or her duties. And no, standing across the street recording an arrest is not interfering.

A cyclist in Illinois ask why bikes can’t evolve like cars have. Except pretty much all the improvements he calls for are available in one form or another, from disk brakes and belt drives to automatic gearing.

Bicycling rates continue to climb in New York despite slower growth in the city core, as riders respond to the continued expansion of the city’s bicycle network.

Why is it always Florida? A man in his late teens or early 20s exposed himself to a group of people by going naked from the waist down, then took a public poop before riding away on his bike.

 

International

Two brothers from Mexico are planning to ride the entire west coast of the US from Tijuana to Vancouver, in part to challenge stereotypes of Millennials as apathetic and superficial.

A Canadian city legalizes scofflaw cyclists by designating the raised roadways they’re already riding on as cycling facilities.

Caught on video: A bus driver with the official title of Britain’s Most Hated Cyclist catches a woman FaceTiming behind the wheel.

British police finally capture a bike-riding serial groper who allegedly attacked 24 women.

In yet another attack on bicyclists from London’s bike-hating Daily Mail, a writer asks if anywhere is safe from the Lycra louts. Cycling Weekly responds that it includes every anti-cycling cliché known to the human race, and some new ones, too.

A new Scottish safety campaign urges drivers to slow down.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 77-year old British man will ride the full route of this year’s Giro d’Italia, covering 2,100 miles across Italy.

A British writer rides through the tip of Africa on the first South African Eroica.

A 15-year old junior cyclist finds himself a man without a country after forfeiting his German passport, then getting booted out of a Malaysian school.

A Philippine website looks at the causes of road rage and what drivers can do about it. Which can apply to those of us on two wheels, too.

 

Finally…

Four words: speed dating on bikes. If you’re going to buy a hacksaw to cut a bike lock, don’t try to return it afterwards — and make sure it’s not a bait bike.

And make sure your damn shoe fits before you get behind the wheel.

 

Owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance killed in late December collision in Playa Vista

It’s not always enough to know that something bad happened. And sometimes, confirming it can be very difficult to do.

That was the case here, as we first reported the death of Anthony Barnes on January 18th, but were unable to get official confirmation until now.

The LA County Coroner’s office confirmed today that Barnes, better known as Tony, was killed in a traffic collision in LA’s Playa Vista neighborhood on December 29th of last year.

According to sources with the LAPD, Barnes was attempting to cross Jefferson Blvd northbound near Inglewood Blvd around 8:50 am when he was struck by a car headed east on Jefferson. After the impact, his bike continued onto the westbound side of the street, where he was struck again by a second vehicle.

He was taken to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he was pronounced dead.

The police report that both drivers immediately stopped and attempted to render aid, and that multiple witnesses assisted in the investigation.

The initial conclusion was that Barnes failed to observe the right-of-way. However, the collision remains under investigation.

A satellite view shows a wide, six lane street on Jefferson, which would have been very busy at that hour.

Tony Barnes was the owner of the Bicycle Ambulance bike shop on Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica, and had a reputation as a very caring, giving and helpful person. A Facebook post describes how he took a young man under his wing when he wanted to learn how to fix bikes, allowing him to shadow Barnes as he worked in the shop to develop his skills.

A GoFundMe page started by his daughter describes him as a mechanic on the successful US Cycling Team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and the fastest wrench in the West.

As of this writing, the page has raised a little less than $2900 of the $5,000 goal to help defray funeral expenses and help keep his daughter in the home they rented while she remains in school.

Maybe we can help her meet that goal.

I’m also told the bike shop will remain open, at least for the time being.

Barnes’ death raises the umber of bicycling fatalities in Southern California last year to 73, 33 of which were in Los Angeles County. This is also the 13th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tony Barnes and all his loved ones. 

Thank you to everyone who alerted me to this death and helped in tracking down the facts and putting this story together. 

Update: Bike rider killed in Whittier hit-and-run this morning; police looking for woman in newer pearl-colored Lexus

Yet another person has been left to die by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

According to the Whittier Police Department, a man was riding a bicycle on the 9100 block of Calmeda Ave when he was struck by the driver of a newer pearl-colored Lexus around 7:30 this morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene.

The woman who struck him fled the scene, and was last seen traveling west on Lambert Road.

Calmeda is a two lane residential street which should provide a safe place to ride. However, it connects two major streets and could offer a convenient cut-through route to avoid rush hour traffic.

The car is described as a four door with tinted windows and paper license plates, and is likely to have front end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Richard Jensen at 562/567-9261, Officer Esteban Medina at 562/567-9259 or the Whittier police Crime Tipline at 562/567-9299.

Once she’s caught, she should face a lifetime ban on driving as well as a lengthy prison sentence. Anyone without the common decency to stop for another human being, let alone observe the law, doesn’t belong on the streets.

Let’s hope that one day lawmakers, prosecutors, judges and the DMV will finally figure out that out.

This is the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh fatal bike crash in Whittier in the last four years.

Update: According to a reporter for KABC-7, the victim, who was on a BMX bike, was dragged 600 to 800 feet by his killer. Let that sink in — at least the length of two football fields. 

That should elevate the case from simple felony hit-and-run to second degree murder. But it won’t.

Update 2: KTLA-5 confirms the victim was dragged across two city blocks, while police report the bike rider appears to have done nothing wrong that would have caused the crash.

Update 3: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Whittier resident Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

Update 4: KCBS-2 reports Rodriguez was killed when one driver paused to let him go by, and a driver following behind went around the stopped car, hitting him head-on. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Agustin Rodriguez Jr. and his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.  

Update: Bike rider killed in early morning Stanton hit-and-run

And then it happened again.

Just three months and four days after Deborah Gresham was killed in a Stanton hit-and-run, another person riding a bicycle has lost his life to another fleeing driver, just two and a half miles away.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Beach Blvd in Stanton around 2:40 this morning by a driver who fled the scene.

He was transported to UCI Medical Center in Orange 17 minutes later, where he died shortly after arrival.

No word on how the collision occurred, if the victim had lights on his bike, or who may have been at fault. However, judging by the taco’ed rear wheel on the victim’s badly mangled beach cruiser, it appears he may have been struck from behind with considerable force.

Garden Grove police stopped a 44-year old man whose car matched the description of the suspect vehicle at 3:15 am. KCBS-2 reports he was arrested for an alleged probation violation, but as of midday, had not been charged with the hit-and-run, though an OC sheriff’s spokesperson said no other suspects were thought to be at large.

A satellite view shows a eight lane road with double left turn lanes on Beach Blvd, and four to five lanes with turn lanes on Chapman, depending on direction; the Register ranks it as one of the ten busiest intersections in Orange County.

This is the third confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County. It’s also the third in Stanton in less than 18 months, and the second on busy Beach Blvd.

To learn more about Deborah Gresham’s tragic death, read this heartbreaking piece by former Bicycling Magazine editor-in-chief Peter Flax.

Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as 38-year old Paul Hurst.

Update 2: The Orange County Register says Hurst was a transient; the area in which he was killed has a heavy homeless population, and a number of low cost hotels frequented by people with no fixed address.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Hurst and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and Robert Peppey for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Bike the Vote endorses Creed, possible SaMo heartbreak, and San Fran fights Chinese bikeshare

The first shoe has dropped in the race for city council in CD5.

Typical of LA’s gerrymandered council districts, the sprawling Westside district stretches east from Sepulveda to nearly encircle Beverly Hills, before reaching north to the San Fernando Valley west of Sepulveda.

For the past eight years it’s been represented by career politician Paul Koretz, who moved into the district once he was termed out of the state assembly, after serving on the West Hollywood city council.

It was Koretz who single-handedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of a small group of wealthy homeowners, followed by inciting a council vote to remove the lanes from the city’s mobility plan. And stating there would be no bike lanes as part of the Great Streets program in Westwood Village.

Yet he oddly still claims to support bicycling.

His reasoning is that Westwood, which is included in LA’s High Injury Network under the Vision Zero plan, is too dangerous for bike riders. So his solution is to keep it dangerous, and shunt all those riders who currently use it as the most direct route between the Expo Line and the UCLA campus onto other less practical alternatives.

And with the exception of Motor Blvd, he has failed to implement any of the major bike lanes called for in the city’s Mobility Plan.

So it should come as no surprise that Bike the Vote LA has endorsed his challenger, Jesse Creed, in the March election over the incumbent Koretz.

You can read Creed’s responses to Bike the Vote’s candidate survey at the above link, and find Koretz’ responses here, along with that of a third candidate, Mark Herd.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown offers a good analysis of both the candidates, and Bike the Vote’s endorsement.

But the bottom line is that Koretz has had eight years to prove his support for bicycling is more than just talk. But his actions, particularly on Westwood Blvd, have proven otherwise.

………

Heartbreaking news, as there’s an unconfirmed report that the owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance shop was killed while riding to work recently. I’m working on getting official confirmation; if anyone has any information, please let me know.

Update: A comment from Chris, along with an email from Brian Nilsen, confirms that a GoFundMe page raising funds to defray funeral expenses has been set up by the son of Tony Barnes, the owner of Bicycle Ambulance. There is also a ghost bike in Barnes honor at South Centinela Ave and Jefferson Blvd in Playa Vista. I’ve reached to the LAPD for more information.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

………

San Francisco is threatening legal action to stop a Chinese app-based bikeshare provider from “dumping” thousands of rental bikes on the city’s streets without the proper planning or permits.

In other words, doing exactly what Uber did in moving into new markets, by establishing their ride hailing service first and dealing with the paperwork later.

But then, Uber was cars. And wasn’t Chinese.

And wasn’t threatening to disrupt the city’s existing dock-based bikeshare.

On the other hand, the problem with China’s app-based bikeshare model is that people are abandoning the bikes, resulting in a 500-bike pile in the city of Shenzhen.

………

Calbike will host a webinar at 11 am today to discuss a grant program which could expand the use of ebikes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

………

An LGBT website says trans cyclist Jillian Bearden is receiving both praise and uninformed criticism as she continues to break barriers.

Cycling Weekly says fewer, but bigger races could save cycling in France.

………

Local

The LA Rams may need some help, but at least the new head coach rides his bike to work. Thanks to Josh for the link.

The LACBC is calling for bike riders to submit comments on a proposed redesign of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills by this Friday; the section under consideration currently has painted bike lanes, which the coalition would like to see upgraded to parking protected lanes.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Planning & Policy Director.

The latest Bike Talk features former bike shop owners Josef Bray-Ali and TJ Flexer discussing the demise of the local bike shop.

 

State

Westminster police are on the lookout for a bike-riding burglar.

A San Diego Navy vet got a new $3,000 bike for Christmas after his was totaled when he did a face plant last September. Then someone stole off his car it after his first ride.

San Diego has secured funding to begin design work on a crucial link between the Chollas Creek bike path and the planned 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway; the path would allow residents of lower-income areas to safely cross the I-5 and I-15 interchange and get to jobs in the downtown area.

No bias here. A Bakersfield bike rider gets hit by a drunk driver who flees the scene. Yet police still blame the victim for wearing dark clothing and not riding in a crosswalk — even though there was no reason for her to even be in crosswalk.

A Menlo Park cyclist says a new bike project would only benefit a small number of bike riders at the expense of most bicyclists and the rest of the city.

Caught on video: An East Bay cyclist leaves his bike cam going when he stops for mid-ride coffee, and catches a high-end bike thief red-handed.

 

National

Bicycling says riding inside doesn’t have to suck anymore. But it’s still inside, and the bikes still don’t move.

A Seattle website says the city owes residents an apology and their $1.4 million back after buying the city’s troubled bikeshare program, then unceremoniously killing it just before the long weekend. But there’s still a desire for bikeshare if it’s done right.

A French company rode their 3D-printed bike over 600 miles from Las Vegas to San Francisco to prove it works.

The war on bikes continues, as an Arizona bicyclist was shot repeatedly with BB guns by a man and woman in a passing car, with the couple’s child in the backseat. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

A homeless man says refurbishing bikes at a Utah collective to give to others has given purpose to his life.

A Colorado letter writer says “stupid is as stupid does” in deciding whether to ride on the roadways with motor vehicle traffic, suggesting — or rather, outright stating — that bikes don’t belong on public streets. I’d apply that same aphorism to people who can’t resist the urge to share their particular anti-bike bias with the rest of the world; saying it’s not safe to share the roads with motor vehicles is really just saying that people are incapable of driving safely, which I refuse to believe.

Wisconsin police bust a pair of bike thieves and reclaim a stolen bike that was being sold on Craigslist; the victim had been given the bike by her grandmother.

Chicago bike riders continue to ride through the winter as part of a two-week challenge. Oddly, no one seem to consider doing something like that here in Southern California, where the weather is much more conducive to year-round riding.

Blocked bike lanes remain a big problem in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And pretty much everywhere else.

President-elect Trump’s traditional inaugural walk will be on a DC bike path.

 

International

Now that a Canadian reporter has recovered from a near-fatal bike crash, she says it was one of the best experiences of her life, because it changed her for the better. And yes, she plans to ride again.

Toronto is studying near-miss incidents, as well as actual collisions, before and after bike lanes were installed on a major street, in order to get a more complete look at how safety has changed.

London cabbies bring traffic to a standstill to protest plans to close a key junction to motor vehicles; cyclists argue that taxis are one of the biggest causes of congestion and drivers are just supporting “the right to poison Londoners.”

A self-described bike lane-skeptic member of the British parliament questions whether bike lanes are the reason London traffic congestion has gotten worse, and if they are causing an increase in pollution as a result.

Scotland promises a more ambitious and innovative approach to cycling, as council leaders promise to play a huge role in encouraging ridership; the country plans to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2020.

 

Finally…

Filming yourself riding a bike on a Buddhist temple is probably not the best way to win friends in a foreign country. And not even wheelie-popping former Super Bowl winners are safe on a bike.

Update: NoHo bike rider killed after falling in front of car last week

Sadly, some crashes never make the news.

That was the case in North Hollywood last week, when a bike rider was killed after falling in front of a car that had changed lanes to go around him.

According to an officer with the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, the 50-year old victim was riding south on Coldwater Canyon Ave near Saticoy Street last Tuesday, riding with one hand while holding a cup of coffee in the other. When he moved left to go around a parked car, he clipped the car’s mirror and fell into the left lane, where he was hit by the car.

Tragically, the driver had seen him, and had already moved left to give him a safe passing distance.

No word yet on the victim’s identification, what time the crash occurred or whether he died at the scene.

This should be a reminder to stay out of the door zone, and hold onto your handlebars as if your life depends on it. Because sometimes, it does.

This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County. It’s also the first in the city of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 52-year old Efrain Molina; the crash occurred at 5:55 am on Coldwater between Elwood and Saticoy.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Efrain Molina and his loved ones. 

Update: Willowbrook bike rider killed by Blue Line train; first SoCal bike death in 2017

That didn’t take long.

Just six days into the new year, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro Blue Line train, marking the first SoCal bicycling fatality of 2017.

According to the LA Daily News, the victim was crossing the tracks at Willowbrook Avenue and El Segundo Boulevard in unincorporated Willowbrook when he was stuck by the northbound train around 6:55 this morning.

He died at the scene.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The Daily News describes him only as a man in his 50s, while a CHP spokesperson, in a video on the LA Times website, calls him a 35 to 45-year old Hispanic male.

There’s no word on whether he rode through the crossing gates, or if he was somehow caught on the tracks when the train came through. The Times video shows the crossing gates and warning lights were working after the crash.

This should be yet another warning to always wait until the crossing gates go up before attempting to cross train tracks, regardless of whether it appears to be safe.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 52-year old Downey resident Esequiel Flores.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esequiel Flores and his loved ones. 

Update: Hit-and-run driver critically injures Hyde Park bike rider; LAPD fails to send hit-and-run alert or mention reward

Once again, a heartless coward has left a South LA bike rider bleeding in the street.

According to press release from the LAPD, a 35-year old man was riding some sort of motorized bicycle on 48th Street at Ninth Ave in the Hype Park neighborhood around 3:40 Monday afternoon when he was struck by a car driven by an unidentified driver.

The driver had been parked at the eastbound curb when he suddenly pulled out, turning left across the traffic lanes and into the path of the westbound bike rider, in a crash captured by a security cam.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

There are bike lanes in both direction on 48th, though it appears he was traveling in the through lane at or near the speed of traffic.

Police are looking for a burgundy or red late 1990s Oldsmobile Cutlass four door sedan. The department reports the two people in the car had just left Kenny’s Liquor, where they were captured on security footage.

The driver is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, between 180 and 200 pounds with dark hair. He was seen wearing a gray baseball cap, a gray jacket, white t-shirt, and blue jeans.

The passenger is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, with black hair and a mustache. He was seen wearing a red long sleeve shirt, black pants, and brown shoes.

Anyone with information urged to call LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500.

Oddly, the press release does not mention the city’s standing reward program providing up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers; in this case, it provides an automatic $25,000 reward for a collision resulting in a severe injury.

It’s also strange that the LAPD did not use LA’s hit-and-run alert system that was approved by the city council early last year alerting the public to be on the lookout for suspect vehicles. For some reason, the department seems reluctant to use the program, even though it was created for cases exactly like this.

There is also a statewide program that was signed into law last year allowing hit-and-run alerts on state highway signs.

Maybe someday the LAPD will actually use some of the tools available to them to enlist the public’s help to catch people like this.

We can dream, right?

Update: Police have made an arrest in the case.

Update 2: In an LAPD press conference, South LA detectives identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Gabrail Hasan, the father of nine kids under 15. 

The tattoo artist and vice president of the LA DTM (Doing the Most) Motorized Bike Club remains in critical condition in the ICU following emergency surgery for a crushed aorta.

Seventeen year old student killed in Norwalk collision on Thursday

This is not the news anyone wanted on the eve of Christmas and Chanukah.

According to the Whittier Daily News, a 17-year old boy was killed riding his bicycle home from a friend’s home on Thursday.

Unfortunately, not many details are available at this time. The paper reports Chandler Ray was struck by a car sometime in the evening at the intersection of Studebaker Road and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk.

No word on how or when it happened, whether the driver remained at the scene or if he or she was detained by police. And no information on whether Ray died at the scene or was taken to a local hospital.

A street view shows what appears to be a busy intersection with four through lanes in each direction controlled by a traffic light, and left and right turn lanes on Firestone. As usual, there are no bike lanes in any direction.

The paper describes Chandler Ray as a popular and outspoken member of the Sante Fe High School football team.

A Go Fund Me account established in his name has already raised over $11,000 more than the $10,000 goal. It’s heartbreaking to think his family will never observe another holiday season without sadness.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 32nd in Los Angeles County. He is also the third bike rider to die in Norwalk since 2014.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chandler Ray and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in South LA hit-and-run Monday night; one-third of all LA bike fatalities have been hit-and-runs

Yet another heartless coward has left his victim to die on LA streets.

This time in South LA, on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim was riding east on 33rd Street when he attempted to cross the intersection at Central Ave around 7pm Monday. He was struck by the driver of a dark passenger vehicle headed south in the left lane on Central.

The driver immediately fled the scene, leaving the victim bleeding in the street; he was taken to USC Medical Center where he died of his injuries.

He is identified only as a Hispanic man in his late 40s or early 50s. There’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike, how fast the driver was going or why he couldn’t stop in time to avoid the collision.

A street view shows a four lane street on Central Ave, with an offset intersection controlled only by stop signs on 33rd.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713.

This comes just 12 days after another rider was killed in a hit-and-run less than a mile away at Central Ave and Washington Blvd; that driver was arrested in Glendale later that day as he tried to hide the damage to his car. And it’s the third fatal bicycling collision on Central Ave in the last three years, each of which involved a driver who fled the scene.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 12th in the City of Los Angeles; a full third of those have been hit-and-runs.

Update: Community members have released video showing the actual collision, but be forewarned, it’s very difficult to watch. The driver does not appear to have even slowed down following the crash. 

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

%d bloggers like this: