Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Update: Man killed in rear-end collision in Santa Monica while riding on LA County’s killer highway

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on PCH.

According to the Daily News, a man in his 20s was riding north on the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway around 7 pm when he was struck from behind.

A press release from the Santa Monica Police Department places the initial call at 7:03 pm.

The victim died at the scene. He has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.

No word on whether he was using lights at the time of the crash, which came nearly 45 minutes after sunset.

The driver initially fled the scene, but returned shortly later, which should be considered hit-and-run, but probably won’t be. Police are investigating why the driver failed to stop after the crash.

The person driving, who has not been identified in any way, is not currently suspected of being impaired; no word on whether distraction was involved, or why the driver failed to see someone on a bike directly in front of them.

A street view shows a six-lane highway with a center left turn lane, where drivers frequently exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Investigators Pace or Olson at 310/458-8954; or call the SMPD at 310/458-8491.

At least 13 people have been killed riding bicycles on PCH in Los Angeles County since 2005; eight of those have been killed on the deadly northern section of the highway running through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu.

This collision occurred roughly across the street from where Erin Galligan was killed while riding home from work in a 2012 hit-and-run; that driver still hasn’t been caught.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County; he’s also the first bike rider to be killed in Santa Monica since Galligan’s death.

Update: The victim has been identified as 23-year old Kazumasa Nozaki

Still no word on what may have led to the crash.

Update 2: 

I received the following email from Carrie Wick, who was one of the first people on the scene after the crash. She reports the driver did not return of his own accord, as the police suggested, and that the police have not been forthcoming about the crash. 

I am contacting you regarding a fatal hit and run incident my friend Kinya Claiborne and I witnessed on PCH Sundaynight where a 23-year-old pedestrian/ bicyclist named Kazumasa Nozaki was struck from the rear and killed by a driver who fled the scene. Perhaps you’re interested in looking into the incident.

Kinya and I were traveling southbound down PCH on October 15 around 7pm, when we noticed debris and a bike in the roadway along with a pedestrian who was laid flat in the east-northbound lane. The victim had significant head trauma and his body was bleeding and distorted. We were the first responders on the scene to provide aid to the victim, who was non-responsive and we called 911 for assistance.

There were several other witnesses including two men who were driving directly behind the driver who struck the pedestrian. They followed the driver, who fled the scene in a white BMW, for 5-10 minutes down PCH honking their horn in an attempt to get the driver to stop. As they were following the driver the witnesses called 911 to report the hit and run, providing the driver’s license plate number and location of the driver. The witnesses took pictures of the car and returned to the scene to provide their statement and evidence in person directly to the police.

There was also a couple on the scene who were driving northbound on PCH and witnessed the bicycle flying in the air when the pedestrian was struck from behind. They also provided their statement to the police on the scene.

There are a lot of inaccuracies being reported. The LAPD/SMPD statement implies the driver fled the scene and returned on his own vs. a hit and run, where the driver immediately fled the scene of a fatal collision. An officer on the scene announced, “We got him”, from the men tracking down the driver and the reporting of the license plate and location to the police.

Also, LAPD/SMPD have not acknowledged any of the witnesses or their statements, including the men who witness the hit and run, tracked down the driver, reported it via 911 and provided a statement to the police on the scene. Authorities are acting like the witnesses and hit and run incident never existed as evident in the press release issued by SMPD on October 16.

It seems as though the LAPD and SMPD have taken a lax approach with completing a thorough investigation and have clearly omitted key facts and witness reports from the fatal hit and run incident. This man does not have a voice any longer and can’t fight for himself, so we will try to on his behalf.

She also reports that the bike was so badly mangled from the impact that it was impossible to tell if he was using lights and reflectors. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kazumasa Nozaki and his loved ones.

Yucca Valley bike rider killed in rear-end collision yesterday; 50th SoCal bicycling death this year

It should be safe to ride a bike on the shoulder of a roadway in broad daylight.

But that wasn’t the case yesterday morning, when a man was killed while riding his bike next to Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.

According to Z107.7 News, 52-year old David Delorisses Rodriguez was riding on the eastbound shoulder just east of Prescott Ave when he was rear-ended by a driver around 10:31 am.

Rodriguez was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree in full cardiac arrest, where he died of his injuries.

The driver remained at the scene.

A street view shows a 4-lane desert highway with a crumbling paved shoulder. The roadway has a 50 mph speed limit; California drivers typically exceed such limits by 10 to 15 mph.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Bernardino County. That compares to 61 in SoCal this time last year, and seven in the county.

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

 

Update: 57-year old Hemet woman left to die in San Jacinto hit-and-run

Yet another bike rider has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver, left to die on the side of a road just outside San Jacinto in Riverside County.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the victim was found on lying on the eastbound side of the Ramona Expressway, about 590 feet east of Alessandro Avenue, and pronounced dead at 6:26 am.

She was identified as 57-year old Hemet resident Vivian Thomas.

There’s no word on how long she may have been there, or if she might have survived her injuries if the driver had stopped and called for help, as required by law.

Let alone basic human decency.

If and when the hit-and-run driver is caught, he or she should face a 2nd degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to let the victim die. But probably won’t.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Riverside County.

Seventeen of those SoCal deaths have been the result of hit-and-run.

Update: The Press-Enterprise reports Thomas was struck from behind by a Chevrolet or GMC truck or SUV. She had been dead about six hours when she was found, placing the time of the crash sometime around or before midnight. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP San Gorgonio Pass office at 951/769-2000.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Vivian Thomas and all her loved ones.

 

Breaking news: Bike rider killed by apparent drunk driver on Imperial Highway in Hawthorne

The Hawthorne Police Department is reporting that a bike rider was killed crossing Imperial Highway Saturday afternoon.

According to a press release from the department, the victim was riding south across the roadway on the 4300 block of West Imperial Highway when he was struck by a westbound car around 3:50 pm.

He was thrown approximately 100 feet, which suggests he was struck at a significant rate of speed. The car veered into the center median before slamming into a palm tree, sheering it off at the base.

The victim, who hasn’t been identified, was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he later died.

Thirty-year old Hawthorne resident Andrew Figueroa was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drunk driving, and could face a manslaughter charge.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three lanes in each direction, with an unsignalized intersection at either end of the block.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective John Dixon of the Hawthorne Police Department Traffic Bureau at 310/349-2701.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 21st in Los Angeles County.

And it should be yet another reminder to always carry ID whenever you ride.

Update: Bicyclist killed in fall on Santiago Canyon Road Wednesday

More bad news.

According to the Orange County Register, a 56-year old Aliso Viejo man was killed when he fell off his bike on Santiago Canyon Road on Wednesday.

The paper reports he suffered significant injuries when he fell west of the 241 Freeway, suggesting he may have been traveling at a high rate of speed.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Photos from the scene show around eight to ten other riders waiting as police investigate, suggesting he may have been on a group ride when he crashed.

He is the third SoCal cyclist whose death has come to light in the past 24 hours, all of whom appear to have been involved in solo crashes or falls while riding with a group.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Orange County. It’s also at least the third fatal bike crash on Santiago Canyon in the last six years.

Update: I’m told the victim was Aliso Viejo resident John Smith; reports indicate his front tire blew out after hitting a sharp rock at 40 mph.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Smith and all his loved ones.

 

Update: LA County Sheriff’s Deputy dies after falling in San Diego century ride

Sad news from San Diego, where a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy died nearly two weeks after falling in a century ride.

Brian Villa, a 29-year veteran of the department, fell while riding in the Orange County Wheelmen’s Amtrak Century on September 9th.

He suffered a severe head injury, and was taken to a local hospital in grave condition; he was taken off life support and passed away on the 21st.

The crash apparently occurred somewhere between Solano Beach and Torrey Pines in San Diego County.

Villa was training for the annual Police Unity Tour. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.

A ride will be held in Irvine on October 28th to raise funds for his family, while a GoFundMe page has raised over $25,000, $10,000 more than the $15,000 goal.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the fourth in San Diego County. Six of those have been the result of solo falls.

Update: I’m told Villa was 56 years old, and may have been a resident of Orange County. He had participated in the Unity Tour in 2015.

A source places the location at 200 Camino Del Mar in Del Mar. The photo of the site below showing a deep pothole suggests why he may have crashed.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Brian Villa and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Bill Sellin, Ellen Steel and Greg “Sarge” Christopherson for the heads-up.

Photo from GoFundMe page

Update: 78-year old Bicycle Club of Irvine member killed in Laguna Canyon crash

Patch is reporting that there was a fatal collision involving a bike rider in Lake Forest this morning.

According to the site, the victim was riding with other bicyclists near the intersection of State Route 133 and Lake Forest Drive when he was hit by a car around 10 am this morning.

Identified only as an adult man, he was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No other information is available at this time.

If confirmed, this would be the 45th bicycling collision in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Orange County.

Update: The Orange County Register tells a completely different story. 

According to the Register, a 78-year old man was killed when he crashed his bike into the back of a car parked on the right shoulder while riding south on Laguna Canyon Road around 9:51 am.

My News LA places the location near Lake Forest Drive in Irvine, as shown in the original map. 

The victim has not been publicly identified. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Gary Thomsen, a member of the Bicycle Club of Irvine

He was on the club’s regular Tuesday morning ride when he crashed into a Caltrans truck that was stopped on the shoulder, possibly after suffering a medical emergency. 

The group doubled back when they learned of the crash, and discovered a doctor had already stopped and was performing CPR, to no avail.

His neighbors Sandi and John Carpenter offered a remembrance and a photo of Thompsen. 

Gary and Fern were married for 54 years.  They have three children and two grandsons.

He was always athletic, played football in college, then began running and after
retiring from IBM he became an active cyclist.  He loved working on bikes and decided to go to the Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs Colorado and be certified.  He volunteered at the Bone Adventure Dog Day Care Center  for many years.  He and Leigh loved to travel.

Gary being the kind, gentle person became our local go-to bike mechanic in the neighborhood as he was always willing to help.  He was dubbed the “Fix bike for a beer” man.

He will be deeply missed by many.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gary Thomsen and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Lois and John for the heads-up; thanks to Bill Sellin for the update.

Update: Bike rider killed in Lake Elsinore, no details available

A bike rider was killed in Lake Elsinore early Sunday morning. Unfortunately, almost no information is available.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the victim was struck by a vehicle on the 32000 block of Mission Trail in Lake Elsinore at 2:39 am, and died at the scene.

A street view shows a divided commercial roadway with two lanes in each direction, and a poorly marked painted bike lane on each side.

No information has been released about the victim or how the crash occurred.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality this year, and the fifth in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 57-year old Edward Carrothers; no word on where he lived. The occurred on Mission Trail near Sedco Blvd, which is several blocks south of where it was placed by the original report. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Edward Carrothers and his loved ones.

 

Update: Phelan man killed in bicycling collision Friday afternoon

The San Bernardino County coroner is reporting that a man was killed while riding his bike in Phelan.

And as usual for the Inland Empire, there are few details to explain what happened.

According to a story in the Victorville Daily Press based on that report, 26-year old Phelan resident Damian Chase Frazier was riding on Johnson Road just north of the aqueduct when he struck by a passing vehicle sometime Friday afternoon.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 3 pm.

No word on the time of the crash, or who, if anyone, was driving the unidentified vehicle. Let alone whether they remained at the scene, or whether any tickets or charges may be pending.

A street view shows a narrow two-lane roadway with a mostly gravel shoulder; it’s unclear if Frazier was on the roadway at the time of the crash.

This is the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in San Bernardino County.

Update: According to the Victor Valley News, 23-year old Wrightwood resident Sage Aaron Jones Goodman was arrested by CHP officers for fleeing the scene just after 6 pm Friday.

He was being held on $250,000 bond on charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI alcohol or drugs causing bodily injury, and hit-and-run causing death or injury.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been established to help pay for Frazier’s funeral expenses; as of Wednesday it had raise $1,240 of the $20,000 goal.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Damian Chase Frazier and all his loved ones. 

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Fountain Valley hit-and-run

Yet another bike rider has been killed by a heartless coward who fled the scene, this time in Fountain Valley.

According to multiple sources, 41-year old Fountain Valley resident Bihn Ngo was riding a mountain bike north on Brookhurst Street just south of Ellis Ave when he was struck at 12:54 am.

He was reportedly riding in the curb lane when he was struck from behind and thrown 50 to 60 feet into a parked car.

The driver fled north on Brookhurst, and was last seen turning right onto Ellis.

Police are looking for a red 1990s Ford Mustang with damage to the front end. Anyone with information is urged to call the Fountain Valley Police DepartKent at 714/593-4485.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County.

It’s also the second fatal hit-and-run in Fountain Valley in the last three weeks, following the death of popular Orange County runner Juan Garcia; an arrest was made in that case.

Update: According to KTLA-5, 25-year old Huntington Beach resident Justin German was arrested later the same day after a tip from someone who recognized the car. Thanks to Peter for the heads-up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bihn Ngo and his loved ones.

 

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