Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

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.

52-year old bike rider killed in Anaheim hit-and-run; driver captured following police chase and shooting

An Orange County man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike early Sunday morning. But for once, the driver didn’t get away.

According to the Orange County Register, 52-year old Anaheim resident Encarnacion Salazar Munoz was riding east on Ball Road, just east of Gilbert Street in unincorporated Anaheim, at 5:20 am when he was struck by an SUV headed in the same direction.

He died at the scene.

According to a CHP spokesman, the driver had veered into the the bike lane where Munoz was riding, and fled the scene after striking him.

KCBS-2 reports Anaheim police later spotted the driver, 25-year old Riverside resident Jason Roy Rocha, when they tried to pull him over for an unrelated traffic violation. Rocha fled from the police, losing the officers, until he crashed his Ford Expedition into a fence at the intersection of Seal Beach and Westminster boulevards in Seal Beach.

He reportedly came out of the SUV holding his arm as if he had a weapon; a Seal Beach cop responded by firing his gun, missing Rocha. He was taken into custody on suspicion of hit-and-run and driving under the influence.

Munoz leaves behind a wife and three kids. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay his funeral expenses; so far it has raised just $85 of the $25,000 goal.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, four of which have been hit-and-runs. He is the third person killed while riding in Orange County since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Encarnacion Salazar Munoz and his family. 

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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.

72-year old Torrance woman killed while riding on sidewalk

Sad news from Torrance, where a 72-year old woman was killed in a collision with a delivery truck.

According to the Daily Breeze, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike southbound on the west sidewalk of the 19600 block of Van Ness Ave when she was struck as the driver attempted to turn north on Van Ness.

However, there are no driveways on the west side of the street, and there does not appear to be a sidewalk on that side, which suggests she may have actually been on the east side of the street.

If that’s the case, the driver would have been looking for traffic to his left as he turned right, and may not have seen her approaching on the sidewalk to his right — even though he would appear to have had an unobstructed view.

Unfortunately, while riding on the sidewalk may appear to be safer than riding in the street, drivers tend to focus their attention on oncoming traffic, and may not notice someone coming towards them from the opposite direction.

Even though they should.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality this year, and the sixth in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her 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.

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.

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. 

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