Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Update: Bicyclist killed in Menifee collision; Riverside County bike fatalities twice as high as last year

A bad year for Riverside County bicyclists just keeps getting worse.

According to the Press-Enterprise, two cyclists were riding east on Domenigoni Parkway at Lindenberger Road in Menifee when they were rear-ended by a motorist around 5:20 pm. One rider, who has not been publicly identified, was killed, while the other was not seriously injured.

DailySoCal lists the location as Winchester, and describes the car as a single passenger vehicle driven by a man, who was cooperating with investigators.

No other details are available at this time.

A satellite view of the intersection shows what looks like a bike lane, suggesting the riders may have been in their own lane and should have been out of the way of through traffic when they were hit. No explanation was given for why the driver apparently drifted out of his or her lane to hit the riders.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Riverside County. That compares with just five in the county this time last year, and 12 for all of 2013.

Update: According to Menifee 24/7, the victim, described only as a man in his 50s, was declared dead at the scene.

The website also places the location at the top of a hill east of Lindenberger, and describes the roadway as the primary route between Menifee and Hemet. A photo shows a narrow, half-gutter bike lane or shoulder next to a thoroughfare with a 55 mph speed limit; however, Google’s street view shows a lane wide enough for two cyclists to ride abreast leading up the hill.

The site quotes Menifee resident Stephen Kaas as saying he was riding just ahead of the victim when the collision occurred.

I didn’t really see what happened,” Kaas said. “He was riding behind me. I just heard it and saw him flying through the air.

It’s unclear from the description whether the two cyclists were riding together, or if Kaas’ bike was struck, as well.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Cail at 951/210-1068.

Update 2: Menifee 24/7 has identified the victim as 55-year old Menifee resident Matthew Carp, who was riding in the bike lane with Stephen Kass when he was hit from behind by a car driven by 23-year old Luis Aranda Llamas of San Jacinto. 

Despite wearing a helmet, Carp suffered major head trauma and internal injuries. According to the site, Kass barely avoided injury himself. 

Llamas was reportedly driving at a high rate of speed when he hit Carp. While bike helmets can protect against injury at slower speeds, they aren’t designed to protect against high speed collisions, and do nothing to prevent injuries to other parts of the body.

Still no word on why Llamas drifted into the bike lane; he was booked for vehicular manslaughter and for displaying a fictitious license plate.

Update 3: More on the collision from a rider who lived nearby, and knew both the victim and his companion. Witnesses reported seeing the driver weaving in and out of the bike lane as if distracted; investigators seized his phone as evidence. Thanks to C Menjou for leaving the link in a comment below.

In a demonstration of just how hard this has struck the local community, Danny Gamboa tells me the city of Menifee reached out to ghost bike volunteers to request an installation in memory of Carp, and will be closing the street from 4 to 5 pm Saturday for a memorial. He also says the city recently removed a bike lane on another street, forcing riders onto Domenigoni where Carp was killed.

And in a heartbreaking tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, Carp’s oldest son apparently took his own life following his father’s death.

There are no words.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew and Cameron Carp and all their family and loved ones.

Thanks to Zak for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Famed LA pediatrician dies six months after bike collision; more from Santa Paula police chief

Where do you put the ghost bike for someone who died months after he was hit by a car?

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, when much loved LA pediatrician Paul Fleiss died this past weekend, it was due to complications from injuries he received when he was hit by a car six months earlier.

The father of infamous Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, he reportedly rode with a friend every Sunday until that collision. An earlier story from a Chicago paper — which has since disappeared from online — quoted a family cousin as saying he appeared to have been recovering from his injuries before having difficulty breathing on Saturday.

No word on how or where to collision occurred, or just what injuries the 80-year old rider suffered.

My prayers and condolences for Paul Fleiss and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

………

More on the controversy over Santa Paula’s bike-hating — and now dismissed — reserve cop Laura Weintraub, as the city’s police chief responds in the Santa Paula Times.

“The Chief of Police as well as the Santa Paula Police Department did not condone this video and are extremely embarrassed by it. This video did not and does not express the views of the Santa Paula Police Department nor the Chief of Police, Steve McLean,” the agency noted in a Sunday news release…

“Don’t hold us to Ms. Weintraub’s views, period,” McLean added…

“Some people are trying to paint us as anti-this or anti-that, especially bicyclists that we welcome here. We love them here and we treat them well… I don’t think we’ve ever given a recreational bicyclist a ticket ever. We’re fighting crime and drug dealers.”

Santa Paula, said McLean, “Is a friendly town that has made accommodations for bicyclists,” including the Bike Trail where there are racks for riders to park and secure their bikes and visit the downtown.

“I’ve been here a year,” said McLean, “and we’ve never had an incident with a bicyclist…”

……..

Cities throughout California are bypassing Caltrans to install protected bike lanes, LA included; the state bill to officially legalize such lanes continues to move forward.

Meanwhile, a Delaware study (pdf) shows they’re good for business.

……..

Local

Even pedestrians aren’t safe from hit-and-run drivers on LA sidewalks.

Meetings will be held tonight, tomorrow and Thursday to help plan how to integrate buses and bikes with the new Expo Line extension into Santa Monica.

Redondo Beach is finally preparing to tear down the wall that marks the end of the Hermosa Beach Strand, allowing the bike path to be extended south along the harbor.

 

State

Rose petals cover PCH like tears for the fallen at last weekend’s memorial ride for John Colvin and Debra Deem.

Santa Barbara police promise strict enforcement during the city’s popular, but unsanctioned, Fiesta Cruiser Ride. Meanwhile, the city’s bicycle coalition buys their headquarters building, while morning the death of a long-time advocate.

Silicon Valley cyclist fights greedy insurance companies after getting screwed following a bike collision in 2007.

 

National

Donations are being sought for an Oregon framebuilder seriously injured in a solo fall last weekend; Rob English won Best in Show in last years North American Handbuilt Bike Show.

Sixteen teams are announced for Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge next month.

Advice from my hometown on what to do if you’re in or see a bike crash.

Central Texas cyclists ask the public to protect the rights and safety of bike riders.

A Chicago alderman proposes putting Segways in bike lanes, which isn’t likely to go over well with the city’s bicyclists.

A dispute between legal and illegal rental bike vendors in New York’s Central Park leads to threats of decapitation.

 

International

The BBC looks at a new folding e-bike, and uses the opportunity to take a slap at American soccer fans.

A writer for the Telegraph asks if the law is too soft on drivers who kill cyclists. The answer there, as here, is yes.

Aussie cyclists go beyond creating a bicycle PAC to form their own political party.

 

Finally…

It’s now legal to ride three sheets to the wind in Hungary. A fun piece, as a Chicago bike blogger takes her dog on a ride fit for a king.

And I can’t help it. When Dennis Christopher — yes, that Dennis Christopher — retweets my comment about Breaking Away, it just kind of makes my month.

 

Update: Pomona bike rider killed by suspected drunk driver early Saturday morning; 5th cyclist killed in the city in 17 months

This is not the news we wanted to start the weekend.

According to the Daily Bulletin, a bike rider was killed by a suspected drunk driver in Pomona early this morning.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s or 50s, was riding north on Garey Avenue when he was rear-ended by a white 2011 BMW 3351 just north of Philadelphia Street at 2:32 am. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died shortly later.

The driver, 25-year old Chino resident Rick Kyujin Lee, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving causing death and vehicular manslaughter.

The Daily Bulletin says the victim was riding on the right shoulder, while KABC-7 places him near the shoulder. However, a street view shows a typical four lane street with a center median, but no apparent shoulder; he may have been hugging the curb to the far right.

If they haven’t yet, someone will inevitably question in the comments why anyone would be riding a bike at that hour. Of course, bike riders travel at all hours of the day or night for all kinds of reasons, just as drivers do; it’s possible the victim may have been leaving work or coming home from a night out, or just out for a late night ride.

Given the frequent lack of follow-up, we may never know.

That said, the early morning hours after the bars close is one of the most dangerous times to ride due to the high number of drunks on the road at that time, requiring riders to be extra alert.

There’s also no mention of whether the victim had lights and reflectors on his bike, as required at that hour. However, the police and press usually go out of their way to mention the lack of lights if a rider wasn’t using them.

And the victim could have been lit up like a Christmas tree and still been unable to avoid a driver apparently unable to control his car and keep it from drifting to the right.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County. And it’s the 5th bike death in Pomona since the death of Ivan Aguilar in February of last year, suggesting that the city may have a serious safety problem.

Update: The victim has been identified as 57-year old Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno and all his loved ones.

 

 

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Canoga Park, apparently the innocent victim of a two-car collision

Once again, a bike rider appears to have been the tragic collateral damage of someone else’s collision.

According to KTLA-5, a woman in her 40s, whose identity has not been publicly released, was riding her bike on the 7100 block of North Shoup Ave just below Sherman Way around 4 pm, when she was somehow involved in a collision with two motor vehicles.

Details are still very sketchy; the best clue to what happened comes from a fire department spokesperson who described it as “a two-car accident also involving a bicyclist.”

The rider was killed at the scene; at least one other person was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.

An aerial photo showed the victim covered by a tarp on the sidewalk, her mangled bike resting against the curb in front of the two vehicles that were apparently involved, one of which ended up on the sidewalk.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st in the County of Los Angeles. She is also the 7th bike rider to lose her life in the City of Los Angeles this year.

Update: A writer for the Huffington Post who lives in the neighborhood fills in some of the missing details. 

Linda Milazzo reports seeing news of the collision on her Twitter feed, then driving to the collision site after seeing a helicopter hovering overhead.

According to Milazzo, the victim was standing on the sidewalk next to her bike when a northbound car turning left onto Sherman Way collided with a car driving south on Shoup; the second car went onto the sidewalk where it struck the victim, who suffered “multiple traumatic injuries to her face and body.”

The victim wasn’t wearing a helmet; Milazzo was told no when she asked an investigator for the Coroner’s office if that could have made a difference. 

And this is why you should always carry ID when you ride. The victim, identified only as a woman around 40 years old, didn’t have any with her. While authorities think they know who she is, final identification will have to wait for confirmation from fingerprints or dental records next week.

Update 2: The LAPD Valley Traffic Division reports that it was a DUI collision. And while the victim has not yet been publicly identified, a comment from Jocelyne below says she knew the victim, who was most likely standing on the corner waiting for a bus; suggesting that the bike may not have been hers.

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

Thanks to Melissa Pamer for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed at deadly Fullerton intersection; second cyclist killed at same location since 2012

Some locations are more dangerous than others.

Which seems to be the case here, as a bike rider was killed in a collision at the intersection of Bastanchury Road and Morelia Avenue in Fullerton at 12:04 Saturday afternoon. Initial reports indicated he had been critically injured; however, according to the Orange County Register, he passed away at 3:45 pm after being taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange.

The OC Coroner’s office identifies the victim as 19-year old Anaheim resident Rafael Correa, Jr, and places the location at where the Juanita Cooke Greenbelt Trail intersects with Bastanchury, suggesting the Correa was coming off the dirt trail when the collision occurred.

Remarkably, this is the exact same location where La Habra resident Richard Paine was killed in a  hit-and-run after exiting the bike trail two years ago this week. Which suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the design of the intersection itself.

Both the Register and the coroner’s office suggest Correa collided with a vehicle, implying that he may have come off the hill leading to the intersection and been unable to slow or stop in time on the dirt surface.

Regardless of cause or who was at fault, Fullerton officials should take a close look at the site to determine what can be done to prevent any future incidents. One death is a tragedy; two in the same location, in a similar manner, suggests a serious design failure.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County, which compares to six in the county this time last year.

In fact, the total is early equal to the 12 deaths in Orange County in all of 2013. It’s also the third bicycling fatality in Fullerton in just the last two years.

Update: The Orange County Register confirms that Correa was riding downhill on the bike trail, and was unable to stop before sliding into the roadway and crashing into an eastbound car on Bastanchury.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Fullerton PD Traffic Bureau at 714/738-6812.

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Correa, Jr and all his loved ones.

 

Sad news, as 15-year old Canyon Lake bike rider declared brain dead; 50th SoCal cycling fatality this year

The news did not look good last night.

And today, our worst fears were confirmed as news came that a 15-year old bike rider was declared brain dead following a Tuesday collision in Canyon Lake.

As noted earlier, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported yesterday that the rider suffered major injuries when he broadsided a Cadillac Escalade after crossing into an intersection following a steep descent on a side street.

The collision occurred around 4:30 pm on Tuesday in the 22800 block of Vacation Drive; based on the satellite view, it appears he must have been descending from Old Wrangler Road.

As of Wednesday morning, the victim was hospitalized in critical condition with major head trauma. The impact was hard enough that the side airbags deployed on the SUV; the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

The Friday Flyer reported today that the victim, Sam Siroky of Canyon Lake, was declared brain dead Wednesday evening. According to his father, his body was being kept alive so his organs could be harvested for transplant.

Matthew Siroky says the family thanks everyone for their wonderful support, and they want something positive to come out of this terrible circumstance. Matthew says, “We know Sam would want to help as many people as possible, so we are donating his organs.”

A website has been established to help cover his memorial and medical expenses.

Both stories note that Siroky was not wearing a helmet, even though that’s required for all cyclists below the age of 18 under California law.

It’s possible a helmet may have made a difference in this case, since he died of brain injuries; however, given the apparent force of the impact, it may not have made a difference.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and ninth in Riverside County; that compares with just five in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sam Siroky and all his family.

Update: Young boy killed in San Bernardino bicycling collision

Every every traffic death is needless; every bicycling fatality is heartbreaking.

But some tug a little harder on the heartstrings.

Like yesterday’s collision that took the life of a 79-year old bike rider in Chino, at an age when he had more than earned to right to a far more peaceful end. And today, when a wreck in San Bernardino left parents grieving a son who will never come home.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a boy around seven or eight years old was hit by a pickup around 1:20 this afternoon. Initial reports indicated that he was rushed to a hospital after suffering major injuries, where he died sometime later.

The collision occurred at or near the offramp to the eastbound 210 Freeway at Del Rosa Avenue. Presumably, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding across the intersection when he was hit by the truck exiting the freeway; however, as too often happens with news reports from the county, no explanation is given for how or why the wreck happened.

The intersection is controlled by a traffic light, but authorities were unsure who had the right-of-way or if the victim was riding in the crosswalk. A satellite view shows a crosswalk connecting the sidewalk on either side of the off-ramp, which is where he was most likely riding.

He was reportedly riding with another boy, who apparently did not see the collision despite being positioned behind him.

Now a young boy will never grow up, and a family must somehow find a way to go on without him.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year. and the 6th in San Bernardino County. And as noted above, the second cycling death in the county in the past two days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 12-year old Tewon Woods, presumably of San Bernardino.

And a fund has been established to help pay his burial expenses. A tragedy like this shouldn’t be allowed to break his family financially. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Tewon Woods and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to attorney James Johnson and the IE Biking Alliance for the heads-up.

79-year old bike rider killed in Chino; SoCal cycling fatalities up slightly over last year

Word is just coming in that a 79-year old bike rider was killed in a Chino collision earlier today.

According to the Press-Enterprise, Manuel Vera Ortega was struck by Silverado pickup at noon Tuesday somewhere south of the intersection of Central and Washington Avenues. He was taken to a nearby medical center where he died less than an hour later.

The truck, driven by 73-year old William Parkinson of Chino, was traveling south on Central; no word on which direction Ortega was traveling or where he was on the roadway. And no other details on how the collision may have occurred.

A satellite view shows a five lane divided boulevard with no bike lanes, and only one visible driveway on the southbound side.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Bernardino County; that compares with 45 SoCal deaths and four in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manual Ortega and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link.

 

 

Downey bike rider killed in collision with Metro Blue Line

Word broke late Saturday night that a cyclist may have killed in a collision with a Metro Blue Line train in the Florence neighborhood of Los Angeles.

KABC-7 tweeted that a bike rider had been killed crossing the tracks at East Gage and Holmes Avenues, citing a report from the CHP. However, while the Highway Patrol dispatch confirmed a fatality, it did not identify the victim as a bike rider.

Any question was resolved Sunday evening when KCBS-2 confirmed that a 51-year old Downey resident was killed when he rode his bike in front of the train, which was traveling at 50 mph at the time. At that speed, such a collision is unlikely to be survivable; he was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:01 pm.

The victim was not publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.

No word on why he did not see or hear the train approaching, or whether the crossing arms were working properly.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the sixth cycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

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

 

Update: Bike rider killed in close pass on Mt. Baldy Road last Saturday

No name.

One lousy paragraph.

Evidently, that’s all the life of a Fontana cyclist is worth, as the Claremont Courier reports a bike rider was killed on Mt. Baldy Road last Saturday.

According to the paper, the 59-year old victim was riding south on Mt. Baldy Road near Evey Canyon around 7 am on Saturday, June 14th, when a 77-year old driver attempted to pass him. She hit him with the passenger side mirror of her SUV, knocking him to the ground with great force.

He died after being airlifted to USC Medical Center with severe head trauma. The paper notes that he suffered the injuries despite wearing a helmet, which suggests a significant impact.

No other information is available at this time, including the names of the victim and driver.

The collision is still under investigation. However, even without the new three-foot passing law going into effect until September, this would appear to be a clear case of unsafe passing at the very least.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th in Los Angeles County.

Update: Comments from Cheryl and Sierra Ornelas identify the victim as Carlos Vasquez, who was riding with his son at the time of the collision.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carlos Vasquez and his loved ones.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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