Archive for Update

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. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Jorge Alvarez.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Alvarez 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.

Update: Bike rider killed in Sunland crash; second rider killed on Foothill Blvd in less than a week

Yet another bike rider has been killed on deadly Foothill Blvd.

Just days after a bicyclist was killed on Foothill Blvd in Pacoima, another rider has lost his life in a crash just five miles away in Sunland.

According to the Daily News, a man was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on a 9100 block of Foothill Blvd at 5:15 pm Tuesday.

The victim, who has been identified only as a man approximately 60 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver remained at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a wide road with two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane, with a 40 mph speed limit and no bike lanes.

This is the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 27th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the ninth in the City of Los Angeles. And this is the fourth bicyclist killed on Foothill Blvd in just the last three years.

Update: According to the LAPD, the victim, who has still not been publicly identified, was struck from behind while riding on the eastbound shoulder of Foothill Blvd.

The driver remained at the scene and called for help. He or she was found at fault for the crash, and the case will be presented to the DA’s office to determine if charges will be filed. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Jeffrey Knopp.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jeffrey Knopp and his loved ones. 

Update: Woman killed riding her bicycle in Stanton collision; driver arrested

The Orange County Register is reporting that a 44-year old Stanton woman was killed in a collision Friday night.

According to the paper, Deborah Gresham was riding her bike on Cerritos Ave east of Knott Ave at 7:35 pm when she was stuck by a vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The male driver, who has not been identified, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time. No word on how the crash occurred, or why OC sheriff’s deputies appear to have taken the unusual step of arresting the driver at the scene.

A street view shows a five lane roadway with two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane, with a wide right lane where parking is prohibited.

Given the location east of the intersection, it’s possible that she was rear-ended, or could have been struck by someone entering or leaving a driveway..

This is the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 10th in Orange County; it’s also the third in Stanton in the past four years. That compares with 62 in SoCal this time last year, and 16 in Orange County.

Update: City News Service identifies the driver as Ricardo Hernandez Sandoval, who is being held on $100,000 bond on suspicion of felony hit and run, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

A source in Orange County reports he was followed to his home by horrified witnesses, where he was arrested less than an hour after the crash. 

Gresham was in the westbound lanes when she was struck, literally within sight of her home. 

Meanwhile, the Orange County Register identifies her as the founder of a Walking Dead fan site on Facebook with 20,000 followers worldwide. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Deborah Gresham and all her loved ones. 

 

Update: Bike rider dies of heart attack during Long Beach Marathon; was board member of Lightening Velo

The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that a man apparently died as a result of what was described as a major medical emergency during the bicycle segment of today’s Long Beach Marathon.

According to the paper, the man, who has not been publicly identified, suffered a cardiac arrest while riding near the intersection of Ocean Blvd and Prospect Ave in Belmont Shore at 6:30 am Sunday.

Despite the effort of paramedics, he was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

Update: News like this is always tragic; it somehow seems even worse when it’s someone who’s well known in the cycling community.

While the victim still has not been publicly identified, I received the following email from Richard Rosenthal Monday evening.

I was on the ride with my girlfriend, and we both witnessed the paramedics giving CPR to a cyclist on ground. It really shook my up, as he was a older man in full kit, much as I am. It was on my mind the remainder of the ride, and when I found out Monday morning that the cyclist had died I was even more shaken.
The news just got worse for me personally. I found out that the deceased was my friend Steve Hernandez. We both served together on the Board of Directors of Lightning Velo in Long Beach. Steve was one of the kindest people I have ever met….an imposing bear of a man with long hair and beard, but his personality couldn’t have been more opposite. Always quick with a smile and a laugh, he was one of the most beloved members of our club, and he will be missed sorely.

Update: The LA County coroner’s office confirms his identity as 59-year old Steven Hernandez.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Hernandez and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa and Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.

Update: 22-year old Jurupa Valley bike rider killed in early morning hit-and-run

A Riverside County became the latest bicyclist to be murdered by a hit-and-run driver, in what is becoming an epidemic in Southern California.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 22-year old Jurupa Valley resident Forrest Holmes was killed in a collision at the intersection of Limonite Ave and Lucretia Ave in Jurupa Valley around 2 am today.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No information is available on how the wreck occurred, and there’s no description of the driver or the suspect vehicle.

A street view shows a wide, four lane roadway on Limonite, with a an un-striped residential street on Lucretia; they meet at a T-intersection controlled by a traffic light. None of which means anything without knowing what happened.

This is 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Riverside County.

It’s also the third fatal hit-and-run involving a SoCal bike rider in the past week, and the fifth in just the last five weeks.

Update: KABC-7 reports Holmes was an aspiring minister, and had gotten up early to minister to day laborers at a local Home Depot. 

The station places the site of the collision on Limonite, less than a half mile west of Lucretia, rather than at the intersection itself. After he was struck from behind, other drivers comforted him as he lay dying after the driver fled the scene. 

A gofundme page has been established to help pay for his funeral expenses; as of this time, it has raised a little over $1,100 of the $5,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Forrest Holmes and his family and friends.

Update: 20-year old bike rider killed in Inglewood hit-and-run

Not again.

Just hours after news broke of a fatal hit-and-run on PCH Monday night, word comes that another bicyclist was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver in Inglewood just hours later.

According to the Daily Breeze, 20-year old William McGee was hit by a vehicle around 2:25 this morning at Crenshaw Boulevard and 109th Street. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died soon after.

No other information is available at this time, and no details were provided on the driver or the vehicle involved.

A street view shows a divided four lane street on Crenshaw, while 109th is a narrow residential street that enters on a T-intersection controlled by a red light.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Inglewood Police Department at 310/412-5211.

There’s no excuse, ever, for leaving another human being to die in the street. If the driver is found, he or she should face a 2nd degree murder charge, along with a permanent loss of driving privileges.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 23rd in Los Angeles County this year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports a burning van was found nearby with damage consistent with hitting a bicyclist, suggesting the driver had set it on fire to coverup the crime.

The youngest of three sons, McGee had just celebrated his 20th birthday six days before he was killed.

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My deepest sympathy and prayers for William McGee and all his loved ones.

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