Archive for Update

Update: Bike rider killed in collision with Metro bus in LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood

For the second time in less than two weeks, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro bus.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by the bus around 3:15 pm Monday near Crenshaw Boulevard and Brynhurst Avenue. He or she became pinned underneath, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Crenshaw, with the street narrowed due to construction on the Crenshaw Line on the center median.

This comes just ten days after 13-year old Ciara Smith was killed when she was hit by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach.

This is the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: David Wolfberg provides more information about this tragedy, along with photos from the site. 

The ghost bike was placed last night.  We learned from after-the-crash witnesses that the bike and victim had been dragged for half a block on southbound Crenshaw before stopping just north of Brynhurst – literally between a billboard for a personal injury attorney service to the north on the east side of Crenshaw (“Don’t wait, Call 8!” you can see on the street view) and the Harrison-Ross Mortuary on the west/south.    Apparently there’s also a pedestrian & bike safety billboard on the other side of of the personal injury one – I’ll check that tonight.
The Google Map view (see street view link above) from January still holds except the cones are gone – so, two lanes of not so great pavement between curb and k-rails.  There’s even a worn out sharrow in front of Highly Favored Hair Studio.  Last night, instead of slowing down for a construction zone, cars were speeding and speeding up as they passed us, and we nearly witnessed another crash as a car stopped just north of the ghost bike to pick up a passenger from the sidewalk.  I worry not just for cyclists, but for everyone here including construction workers who park (in a heavily guarded lot) a block down on the NW corner of Crenshaw and 48th then must cross into the construction area.
We’re told the victim was male.   A reply on NextDoor indicates the victim was a minor.  We had guessed, given the timing, that it was a kid biking home from school.  I don’t want to speculate too much, but it did not look like an intersection crash where the bike flew in from out of nowhere.  I could picture a rider trying to hug the curb and coming across the rough patch adjacent to the sharrow (check street view at 4427 Crenshaw) and faltering in front of the bus.

Update: According to a comment by the victim’s sister, his name is Luis Alvarez, a 21-year old resident of Cicero, Illinois. The family has started a GoFundMe account to bring him back home and pay funeral expenses. 

According to the LAPD’s South Traffic bike liaison, Alvarez apparently passed the bus on the right, then was hit by the bus when he attempted to move back to the right to make a right turn onto Brynhurst. There’s no word yet on whether the bus was stopped or moving prior to the crash; however, a street view does not show a bus stop on that corner. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Alvarez and all his loved ones.

 

Update: Altadena bike rider dies weeks after an apparent solo fall, possibly caused by old-style speed bumps

Correction: New information changes the location of this crash, meaning the old-style speed bumps were not the cause of this crash. See the update at the end of this story for the latest details. 

An experienced bike rider has died two weeks after he fell on an Altadena street.

The victim was reportedly riding on Holliston Ave when he fell due to rubber speed bumps a little over two weeks ago.

The man, identified on Facebook as Dick Wood, was reportedly conscious immediately following the fall, and identified the older-style speed bumps as the cause of his crash.

The exact date and location of the fall are unclear at this time. However, someone who lives on North Holliston confirms that there are rubber speed bumps on the lower section of the roadway.

Wood was described by numerous sources as a very experienced and well-liked rider in his 70s who had ridden across the US and participated with the weekly ROC ride at Stan’s Bike Shops when it was located in Monrovia; it has since moved to Azusa.

It’s speculated that he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the speed bumps before going over his handlebars, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

This is the 18th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. Five of those have been the result of solo falls; that compares with two for all of last year.

Update: I have been informed that Wood is believed to have fallen on Holliston below New York Ave. A street view shows an odd speed bump made of what appears to be rubber tiles on the street south of New York; while there appear to be channels in the speed bump, it looks like a high bump that could easily upset a bike if the rider missed the channels for whatever reason. 

Photo courtesy of Ellen Steel

He reportedly was alone at the time of the crash, and died of head trauma this past Saturday. He’s described as a very experienced rider who had ridden across the US more than once.

Update: A comment from a local resident places the site of the crash as Holliston Avenue between Altadena Drive & Mendocino Avenue; a ghost bike has been placed at 2401 N. Holliston, one block above Mendocino. 

As he notes, these appear to be modern speed cushions, which are lower and longer than the old speed bumps, with grooves that should have allowed safe passage of a bicycle.

It’s hard to understand how these would have caused the crash, as Wood reportedly said. 

Meanwhile, another source says that he passed away on Saturday, May 6th.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dick Wood and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Wesley Reutimann, Tim Rutt and Ellen Steel for helping with this story.

Update: Teenage girl killed by Metro bus on PCH in Redondo Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed another victim. And a lack of bicycle infrastructure may be at least partially to blame.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 13-year old girl, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike with a friend when she somehow swerved in front of, or into, a Metro bus around 5:40 pm on Pacific Coast Highway at Knob Hill Ave in Redondo Beach.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports a witness said she swerved in front of the bus, while initial reports suggest she rode into the side of the bus, according to a Metro spokesperson. The bus was operated by a subcontractor, MV Transportation, rather than Metro itself.

However, the South Bay’s Easy Reader, which places the time of the crash as 4:40 pm, cites a local business owner who says the girls were coasting their bicycles along the sidewalk before riding out into traffic.

They also note that the collision was partially captured on security camera, while observing that the bus had the green light as it approached Knob Hill on southbound PCH.

The other girl was unharmed.

A street view shows a commercial roadway on PCH with two lanes in each direction and a center left turn lane, with a wide sidewalk along side.

Meanwhile, a Twitter photo on the KTLA-5 report shows the victim’s bike resting on the curb on the northwest corner, while police blockade the center Knob Hill alongside PCH, suggesting she may have ridden off the handicapped ramp into the intersection. However, it’s unclear how that would have placed her in the path of the bus.

The lack of safe bicycling infrastructure on PCH may have contributed to the crash by encouraging the girls to ride on the sidewalk instead of the street, where they would have been more visible to the driver. And may not have had to dart into the path of the bus.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. And while it’s at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Redondo Beach since 2010, it’s the first in the last five years.

Update: The victim has been identified as 13-year old Ciara Smith of Redondo Beach, a student at Parras Middle School. 

Update 2: The community turns out to mourn her death.

Update 3: KCBS-2 reports the crash may have been a result of misaligned crosswalks due to the single diagonal cut handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps aligned with the crosswalk. 

Some of her classmates brought flowers and wore bright clothes in her favorite colors of teal, mint green and blue.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ciara Smith and all her family and loved ones.

Update: Man dies after apparent right hook in Temecula Wednesday night

Sad news from Temecula, where a man on a bicycle died following a Wednesday night collision.

According to the Valley News, the victim was struck by a truck driver who was turning right from eastbound Temecula Parkway to Pechanga Parkway around 8:52 pm last night.

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies responding to the scene found the man, who has not been publicly identified, lying in the roadway suffering from major injuries. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died today.

There was no indication that alcohol was a factor.

Based on the limited description, it would appear the rider was the victim of a right hook. However, there’s no word on where the victim was riding at the time of the crash.

A satellite view shows a major intersection with seven through lanes and two right turn lanes on Temecula, which suggests that he may have been riding on the sidewalk and rode off into the crosswalk. However, that is just a guess at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Carpenter at the Temecula Police Department at 951/696-3000.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 56-year old John Napolitano.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Napolitano and his loved ones.

Update: Popular cyclist dies nearly three weeks after hitting a pothole during weekly Montrose Ride

Last week, the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee debated whether to patch potholes or fund Vision Zero projects, ultimately deciding in favor of safety over street repair.

Today, we got a painful reminder that sometimes it’s the same thing.

Word broke on Facebook today that Edgar Lim passed away last week, nearly three weeks after he suffered catastrophic injuries hitting a pothole.

According to a post by Freddie Arellano, Lim died at 8:35 pm last Wednesday, after being injured while riding on March 11th.

A post by Steven W Hansen indicates Lim was participating in the weekly 8 am Montrose Ride when he hit what Hansen describes as a huge, unavoidable pothole near 1510 Huntington Dr in Alhambra during the first few miles of the ride.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

Hansen reports the pothole had been patched a week later, too late to save the very popular rider.

This is the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County.

Update: I’ve received second-hand reports from people who were on the March 11th ride that Lim may have lost control to avoid hitting the pothole, striking his head on the curb. However, even if that is the case, the pothole would have been the proximate cause of the crash, since he would not have swerved if it hadn’t been there. 

As Albert Lakes points out below, though, we don’t have all the facts at this point; all we can do is consider the limited information that is available and draw our own conclusions.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Edgar Lim and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the heads-up.

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.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 45-year old Pico Rivera resident Suzanne Corona. Her accused killer was released on bail a day after the crash. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Suzanne Corona 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.  

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