Archive for Update

Update: Pico Rivera bike rider left to die by hit-and-run driver in early morning crash

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a heartless cowardly driver in Los Angeles County.

According to KABC-7, the victim, who the coroner said appeared to be a woman in her 30s, was found by someone passing by the Pico Rivera crime scene shortly after 2 am this morning.

The Whittier Daily News places the wreck on Rosemead Blvd south of Rex Road; photos from the scene show a retaining wall, which would appear to put it at or near the railroad overpass between Rex and Slauson.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she died.

KTLA-5 reports that evidence from the scene suggests she may have been riding on the sidewalk when the car jumped the curb and struck her.

Sheriff’s investigators say there are no apparent witnesses. However, based on debris from the crash site, they’re looking for a dark green Honda Accord, 2003 to 2007, with significant front end damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station at 562/949-2421.

This is the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the seventh in Los Angeles County; nearly half of the deaths in the county have been hit-and-runs.

Given the hour, the driver should be assumed to have been under the influence at the time of the wreck.

Once found, he or she should face a second degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim to die in the street, rather than call for the prompt medical attention that might have saved her life.

Of course, since hit-and-runs are seldom taken seriously in LA County, that’s not likely to happen.

Update: The LA Times reports a suspect was arrested after deputies pulled over a 2005 Honda Accord for several vehicle violations two miles from the crash site, and saw extensive damage to the front end that matched the suspect vehicle. 

Twenty-one-year old Berta Ramirez of Pico Rivera was arrested, and was being held on $50,000 bond.

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

Update: Man in 30s killed riding his bike in La Palma Monday night

A man has been killed in a bicycling collision in the small OC community of La Palma.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim was struck by a car driven by an 18-year old woman, while riding on La Palma Avenue just west of Moody Street around 10:45 pm.

The Orange County coroner reports he was taken to UCI Medical Center, where he died at 11:16 pm. He has been identified only as a man in his 30s.

The driver remained at the scene and called 911. She is not suspected of being under the influence.

No details are available on how the collision may have occurred; the Register says it is unclear if he was using a crosswalk at the time of the crash.

A streetview shows two lanes in both directions on La Palma with a center divider and left turn lane in both directions, with the same on Moody. There are curbside bike lanes on both streets.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Orange County; he is the first bicyclist killed in La Palma since at least 2011.

Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as 52-year old La Palma resident David Garcia. Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Garcia and his loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in North Hollywood Monday evening showing a kindness to a stranger

Sad news tonight, as yet another bike rider has been killed in LA County.

Unfortunately, very little information is available at this time.

According to the LA Daily News, a bike rider was killed in a collision at 12500 Strathern Street, at the intersection with Whitsett Ave. KCBS-2 places the time of the wreck at 6:31 pm.

The victim died at the scene.

There’s no word on the identity, age or sex of the victim or the driver, or on how or why the crash occurred.

A street view shows both Strathern and Whitsett are four-lane streets with left turn lanes, controlled by a traffic signal; there are parks on both sides of Strathern on the west side of the intersection.

This is the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; all but one of which have occurred in Los Angeles County. It’s also the second fatal crash involving a bike rider in the City of LA since the first of the year.

Update: Now that a few details are in, the story seems even sadder. 

According to a source with the LAPD, the victim was riding his bicycle southbound on Strathern when he saw a basketball roll into the street from the nearby park. So he walked his bike to the middle of the street, laid it down to toss the ball to someone on the sidewalk, and was struck by a van. 

He died at the scene. 

His death will go down in the official stats as a pedestrian, rather than a bicyclist, since he was not on his bike at the time of the crash. But he was one of us, doing what so many of us have done so many times in an attempt to show a little kindness and courtesy to a stranger.

The driver was not suspected of being under the influence; no word on whether he or she will be cited for the crash. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 54-year old Stanley Martin Digerose.

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

Update: LA bike rider killed in Eastside hit-and-run, driver detained by residents after crashing into parked cars

Another bike rider has been killed by a heartless coward who tried to flee the scene.

But this time, he didn’t get very far.

According to My News LA, a 35-year old Los Angeles resident was rear-ended by the driver of an SUV at 7:31 last night, on Concourse Avenue just past Allston Street in Montebello.

However, Google identifies the the location as being in East LA, which is supported by the CHP responding to the crash instead of the Montebello PD.

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

The driver attempted to flee, but crashed into a number of parked vehicles a few blocks away, where he was detained by local residents until CHP officers took him into custody. They identify him as 35-year old Montebello resident John F. Salvidar, noting that he did not appear to be under the influence.

A street view shows a divided roadway with a single lane in each direction on Concourse, with a 30 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s East LA office at 323/980-4600.

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

Update: The San Gabriel Valley Tribune places the location on the border between Montebello and East LA, and gives the age of the driver as 18, not 35.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Jefferey Corden of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jefferey Corden and his loved ones.

Thanks to Rory Montenegro for the heads-up.

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: 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.

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.

Update: Teenage bike rider killed in collision between 2 vehicles; 2nd bicyclist killed in Pacoima in 3 weeks

Another bike rider has been killed in Pacoima, the second in less than a month.

Just three weeks after a still-publicly unidentified rider was killed crossing Foothill Blvd, a teenage boy has lost his life as a result of a collision between two motorists.

The victim was riding near the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street around 7:30 am when a pickup and SUV collided, and he became trapped under the truck.

He died at the scene shortly after being freed from the truck by LA firefighters.

A woman driving one of the vehicles was transported to a local hospital in good condition after suffering a minor injury.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time. There’s no word on how the collision occurred or where the victim was riding at the time of the crash. However, given the hour, it’s likely he was riding to school; the crash occurred just one block from a charter school.

A street view shows two lanes in both direction on Glenoaks, with a center left turn lane and bike lanes in both directions; Vaughn is a two lane residential street with the intersection controlled with a red light.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 10th in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The LAPD reports the collision occurred when one of the vehicles allegedly ran the red light on Glenoaks and crashed into the other as it traveled west on Vaughn with the green light.

The force of the impact knocked them into the south crosswalk, where they crashed into the victim as he was riding west with the light.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 15-year old San Fernando resident Samuel Lopez; as suspected, he was a 10th grade student on his way to school at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center.

Update 3: As a comment from Meliss points out, his name has been corrected to Saul Lopez.

KNBC-4 offers a touching report on Saul and his death, while a GoFundMe account has raised nearly $27,000 in just one day, far surpassing the $15,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Saul Lopez and all his loved ones.

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