Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Update: 27-year old bike rider killed in Bellflower crash Monday afternoon; fifth SoCal bicycle death in 10 days

It’s already been a bad month for Southern California bicyclists.

And today it got worse.

According to the Press-Telegram, a 27-year old man was killed riding his bike in Bellflower Monday afternoon.

The paper reports the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by the driver of a truck at the intersection of Somerset Boulevard and Woodruff Avenue around 2:40 pm.

A Bellflower Facebook group says the victim was African American.

The driver remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

A street view of the intersection shows two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction. No word on which way the victim or the driver were going, or how the crash occurred.

A photo taken by Serena Grace shows an older SUV with the right rear window broken out, and pulling a trailer.

Photo by Serena Grace

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the fifth SoCal bicycling death in just the last ten days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 27-year old Bellflower resident Timothy Maurice Lewis.

The Press-Telegram reports that Lewis was riding against traffic on eastbound Somerset when he was hit struck by the driver of a truck traveling north on Woodruff.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred.

However, given the limited description, it’s most likely the truck driver, who hasn’t been identified, was turning right and didn’t see Lewis coming from the wrong direction. Otherwise, it would mean that one of the two had to have run the red light.

Lewis’ older sister has started a GoFundMe page to help pay his funeral expenses. So far, it’s raised just $265 of the $5,000 goal.

He leaves behind his long-time girlfriend, a five-year old daughter and a two month old son.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Timothy Maurice Lewis and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Serena Grace for the heads-up. 

Photo of Lewis’ ghost bike by Chris Goodwin.

 

Update: 67-year old bike rider dies days after Glassell Park collision

Sad news from Glassell Park, where a 67-year old man has died after his bike was stuck by an SUV driver earlier this week.

However, it’s unclear what day the crash happened.

According to The Eastsider, the victim, identified as Apolinar Venancio, was struck on Avenue 34 east of Eagle Rock Boulevard in LA’s Glassell Park neighborhood.

The crash occurred around 6:15 pm either Wednesday or Thursday; the story cites both days in different places.

Police report Vanancio was riding on the sidewalk along Avenue 34 when he allegedly rode out off the sidewalk between two cars, and into the path of the SUV. He was knocked to the street, suffering a head injury.

He died at a local hospital around 9:30 am Saturday, surrounded by his family.

The driver remained at the scene following the Glassell Park crash.

A street view shows a narrow, unmarked two lane roadway on 34th, with curbs along most of the street.

The question is where Vanancio came off the curb, and why he wouldn’t have been aware of the SUV bearing down on him, if the collision occurred as it was described by police.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/388-3746.

This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the fourth bicycling death in the seven county SoCal region in just the last eight days.

Update: A GoFundMe page for the man friends called Don Polo has raised over $2,200 of a $20,000 goal to pay his funeral expenses. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Apolinar Venancio and all his family. 

Thanks to Walk Eagle Rock for the heads-up. 

Photo of Apolinar “Don Polo” Venancio from the GoFundMe page; other photos courtesy of Felicia G.

 

Breaking News: Bicyclist killed this morning in Cypress collision

The Cypress Police Department is reporting that a bike rider was killed this morning.

Unfortunately, that’s about all they’re reporting.

According to the department, a crash was reported by several people at 6:06 am Thursday at the intersection of Ball Road and Walker Street in Cypress.

When officers arrived, they found the bike rider was already dead. The victim has not been identified in any way pending notification of next of kin.

The driver remained at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows an intersection with two lanes and left turn lanes in every direction, along with bike lanes on both Ball and Walker.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Cypress PD Officer Eric Mount at 714/229-6634.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 3rd that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

Update: Road bike rider killed in East San Diego County crash

A man has been killed riding a road bike in an unincorporated area east of San Diego.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim was riding south in the bike lane on Avocado Blvd just above Nabal Drive in the Casa del Oro neighborhood of San Diego County around 8 am. He reportedly swerved into the traffic lane, and was struck by a car driven by a 63-year old woman.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a regional trauma center, where he died from his injuries.

The only identifying information given is the make of his bike, a Masi Gran Corsa road bike.

As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver.

It’s possible that he may have swerved out of the bike lane to avoid an obstruction, or moved left to turn onto Nabal Drive without checking for traffic.

However, it’s also possible that the driver may have been speeding, or drifted into the bike lane and only assumed the he swerved in front her. The lack of physical evidence in bike crashes can make it difficult, if not impossible, to identify the exact point of impact.

Crashes like that are so common they are often referred to sarcastically as an SWSS, or Single Witness Suicide Swerves.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old La Mesa resident Daniel Lusteg

And yes, he was wearing a helmet. In this case, it was not enough to help.

Meanwhile, Frank Lehnerz forwards a Google image showing what might have made Lusteg swerve.

What hasn’t been mentioned is that if he swerved around this or any other object, it would suggest that the driver didn’t give a three-foot passing distance as required by law.

Otherwise, anything less than a swerve into the left turn lane shouldn’t have been enough to cause a collision. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Daniel Lusteg and his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski, Charles Schenck and Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up. 

 

35-year old San Pedro man killed in Long Beach collision Thursday morning

A San Pedro man rode his new e-bike to work for just the second time yesterday.

And the last.

According to the Long Beach Post, 35-year old Ben Rael — described by his brother as having “the biggest damn heart you can imagine” — had saved up for six months to buy the bike he lost his life riding.

The Press-Telegram reports Rael was riding west on the south sidewalk on 7th Street approaching Martin Luther King Jr. Ave around 6:35 am Thursday. Witnesses say he rode off the sidewalk and into the street against traffic, and was immediately struck by the driver of a large pickup.

Rael was apparently thrown into the back of the truck, where the driver performed CPR until paramedics arrived; he died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

Police said alcohol was not a factor.

However, damage to the truck, and Rael’s shattered bicycle, suggest that speed may have been. It’s possible that the driver may have been speeding, or that Rael may have been traveling at a high speed when they hit head on.

Or both.

Either could explain why he apparently rode out directly into the path of an oncoming truck, which is the lingering question in explaining what happened.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ben Rael and all his family and loved ones.

 

Bike rider dies after collision on a San Diego freeway early Tuesday morning

Earlier this week, we mentioned a bike rider had suffered major injuries when he was hit by a driver on a San Diego freeway.

Sadly, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim died of his injuries the next day.

According to the paper, 53-year old San Diego resident David Sheridan was struck by the driver of a Toyota Camry around 5:15 am on the southbound State Route 163, near the transition to State Route 52 in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood.

Earlier reports indicated the driver’s car was traveling at 60 mph as she transitioned from westbound SR-52 to southbound SR-163. She crashed into Sheridan’s bicycle after the driver ahead of her swerved to avoid Sheridan as he rode in the traffic lane ahead of her.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died at 11:38 am Wednesday.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

There’s no explanation given for why Sheridan would have been riding on a major freeway where bicycles are not allowed.

A satellite view shows a four lane freeway on the southbound side, with a double transition lane entering from both directions of SR-52.

It’s possible Sheridan may have been riding on the shoulder of the freeway, and was caught in traffic when he tried to cross the entrance lanes. However, that is just speculation.

There’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike at that pre-dawn hour. The U-T also notes that he was wearing a helmet, even though it wouldn’t have done a damn bit of good under those circumstances.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

And this is the third SoCal bike rider killed while riding on a freeway in recent memory.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Sheridan and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

 

Breaking News: Bike rider killed in Cudahy collision; few details available

Sometimes, bad news never makes the news.

The East Los Angeles Station of the LA County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that a man died after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in Cudahy on Saturday.

The victim, described only as an adult Hispanic man, was riding east on Santa Ana Street at Atlantic Avenue at 11:50 am, when he made a left turn onto Atlantic Ave.

He was stuck by the driver of a 2010 Dodge Charger traveling west on Santa Ana after apparently turning into the path of the car.

He taken to a nearby hospital with a major head injury, and died following surgery.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows one lane in each direction on Santa Ana with a right turn lane eastbound at Atlantic, and left and right turn lanes in the opposite direction.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in LA County.

Update: The victim’s family has identified him as Bellflower resident Daniel Romero; he died just 10 days after his 23rd birthday.  

At this time, a crowdfunding campaign to help pay his funeral expenses has raised a little over $2,100 of the $10,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Daniel Romero and his loved ones. 

Bike rider killed in early morning Perris collision on Friday the 13th

Note: Due to this death in Perris last week, and Monday’s fatality in El Cajon, there won’t be any Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on everything tomorrow.

Somehow, we missed this one last weekend.

According to the Riverside County News Source, a bike rider was killed in a pre-dawn collision in Perris Friday morning.

The victim, identified as 30-year old Perris resident Raul Sangerman Otiz, was attempting to cross Perris Blvd on or near the Ramona Expressway when he was stuck by the driver of a northbound vehicle around 5:45 am Friday.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries.

A street view shows northbound Perris Blvd has two through lanes, with a right turn bay and double left turn lanes; the southbound side has three through lanes with both left and right turn lanes.

There’s no word on which direction Otiz was traveling, or which party had the right-of-way. Either Otiz or the unidentified driver had to have gone through the red light, although it’s possible the light could have changed while he was crossing the wide intersection before he could get to the other side.

Police do not suspect that drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.

This is at least the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raul Sangerman Otiz and all his loved ones.

 

Man killed in El Cajon bicycling collision Monday night, press blames the victim

Note: Due to tonight’s breaking news, and the discovery of another fatal bike crash in Perris last week, there won’t be any Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on everything tomorrow.

An El Cajon bike rider died after being stuck by the driver of a pickup Monday night.

Yet somehow, the San Diego paper managed to wait until the second sentence before blaming the victim.

Parroting the coroner’s press release, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 40-year old Jason Wilcox was struck around 10:30 p.m Monday when “he rode into the intersection of Second Street and Pepper Drive” in El Cajon without a helmet.

According to the paper, the driver “traveled into the intersection at the same time” at a high rate of speed, and was unable to stop in time.

Wilcox, who is described as a transient, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died of multiple blunt force injuries 50 minutes later.

There’s no word on which direction either Wilcox or the unidentified driver were traveling.

However, a street view shows a four lane roadway on Second with a 45 mph speed limit and a bike lane on either side, with the intersection controlled by a traffic signal in each direction.

That means either the victim or the driver went through the red light; the way the Union-Tribune’s story is written, it implies that Wilcox was at fault. However, there is nothing in the coroner’s press release to suggest that.

The statement that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed also suggests he was exceeding the 45 mph speed limit.

It should be noted that few homeless people have, let alone use, bike helmets. And even the best bike helmet won’t prevent injuries to other parts of the body; a high-speed collision with a truck is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County. It’s also the second in El Cajon in the last three months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Wilcox and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up. 

Screen shot of the coroner’s press release

Arrests announced in the double South LA hit-and-runs that killed Frederick Frazier, and injured Quatrell Stallings

No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday. 

………

We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.

Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.

Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.

However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.

Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.

From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.

She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.

She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.

According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.

Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.

Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.

The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.

Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.

Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.

“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.

“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.

KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.

“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”

No one does.

There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.

But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.

Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog. 

………

Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.

The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.

Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.

She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.

Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.

According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,

They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.

Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.

Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.

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