Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Bicyclist killed in Wilmington big rig hit-and-run Friday morning

Finally, and sadly, we have confirmation. 

Friday morning, I received an email from Richard Rosenthal saying that he had seen what appeared to be the aftermath of a bicycling collision on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

He was on his way to work when he saw the street blocked in both directions, a police tent pitched on the median, and a bicycle lying next to it. 

Despite reaching out to a number of sources, I was only able to confirm that someone had died there, but not what happened or whether the victim was riding a bike at the time.

Now we know. 

According to KTLA-5, a man was crossing Anaheim near Sampson Ave when his bike somehow struck the right rear side of a semi-truck headed west on Anaheim. 

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver reportedly continued without stopping. However, if the crash happened the way the station describes, it’s possible he or she may not have been aware of it. 

Although it’s hard to understand why a bicyclist would have ridden into the side of large truck like that, or how he ended up on the center median if he hit the right side of a westbound truck.

It seems more likely that he may have been riding across the street when the driver cut him off, knowingly or otherwise.

Police are looking for a truck with a light-colored cab and dark brown trailer. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles. 

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayer for the victim and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.

    

Update: Rancho Mirage bicyclist killed by speeding driver in possible road rage incident

Call it an act of self-defense. 

If you believe the driver, that is. 

According to Palm Springs TV station News Channel 3, a bike rider was killed in Rancho Mirage this morning by a speeding driver, who claims he was trying to get away from someone who was attempting to run him off the road. 

Sure, let’s go with that. 

The victim was struck at the intersection of Ramon Road and Rattler Road around 6:49 am. A photographer for the station who witnessed the crash reported that the victim was rear-ended as he was riding east on Ramon Road, with the force of the impact sending him cartwheeling through the air. 

He died at the scene. A Facebook post identifies him as road cyclist Will Campbell

The young driver of the white Honda Accord reportedly overcorrected as he was speeding down the road, swerving to the right and slamming into Campbell’s bike. He was handcuffed and taken into custody. 

Another driver reportedly stopped at a gas station a little further down the road, lending credence to reports that a second vehicle was involved. 

While road rage is a possibility, street racing is as well, especially since the crash occurred near a high school. 

street view shows Ramon Road is a six lane virtual highway, with a bike lane on the eastbound side. The street has a 55 mph speed limit, which the reporter at the scene says drivers frequently exceed.

This is at least the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Campbell’s death is the second fatal bicycling crash in Rancho Mirage this year, and the fifth on deadly Ramon Road since 2015. 

Update: A party will be held at 5 pm tomorrow at the La Quinta Brewery to celebrate Will Campbell’s life.

My deepest sympathy and prayer for Will Campbell and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Update: 78-year old man dies two days after Huntington Beach crash

The Orange County Register is reporting that a man has died following a crash in Huntington Beach.

According to the paper, 78-year old Huntington Beach resident Charles Kam was riding on an unidentified street in the city when his bike was struck by a vehicle at 8:42 am Sunday.

Kam was taken to a local hospital, where he died Tuesday night.

No other information is available at this time.

There’s no word on how or where the crash occurred, or on the identity of the driver. Or if the vehicle that struck Kam even had one, for that matter.

Hopefully the Huntington Beach police will release more information soon. Because frankly, anyone who’s still riding at 78 deserves more than just four sentences in the local paper.

This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The Daily Pilot places the location of the crash at the intersection of Edwards Street and Varsity Drive.

Kam was riding east on Varsity Drive when he was struck by a 28-year old woman in a Jeep Cherokee; she remained at the scene. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Investigator Tai Huynh at 714/536-5666 or Officer Robert Frahm at 714/536-5663.

Correction: The Register had originally spelled the victim’s name as Cam, rather than Kam. I have changed this story to correct the spelling.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Charles Kam and his loved ones. 

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

 

 

Bike rider killed in Victorville crash; few details available

Yet another bike rider has been killed on the unforgiving streets of Southern California.

The Victor Valley News reports that a man in his early 20s was riding north on 1st Ave between Sholic and Winona Streets in Victorville, when he was struck by the driver of an SUV around 7:08 pm Tuesday.

Despite the efforts of a nurse and other bystanders, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A pair of boxing gloves were found by his side.

Police didn’t hesitate to blame the victim, who has not been publicly identified, for dressing in black, and said he “did not appear to have the proper safety equipment for riding at night.”

That would appear to be a reference to not having lights and/or reflectors on his bike, though that is not clear.

The driver remained at the scene, and did not appear to be under the influence. There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or what direction he was driving.

A street view shows a two lane road with dirt shoulders, and no visible street lights.

This is at least the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

Bike rider killed in Beaumont hit-and-run; alleged DUI driver arrested on murder charge

A man has been killed in a Beaumont crash, and an alleged drunk driver is behind bars.

And probably will be for a very long time.

According to the Beaumont-Banning Patch, 60-year old Banning resident Dale Ramquist was riding on Oak Valley Parkway near Palmer Avenue around 5:50 pm Sunday when he was run down from behind.

The driver of the pickup reportedly drifted into the bike lane Ramquist was riding in due to his level of intoxication. He fled the scene, then returned an hour and a half later.

Police arrested 25-year old Beaumont resident Kyle Lee Anson on suspicion of felony murder, hit-and-run and driving under the influence.

The murder count suggests that he has a previous DUI, and had received a Watson warning stating that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

And yes, Ramquist was wearing a helmet, and had lights on his road bike.

Anyone with information is urged to contact CHP Officer Darren Meyer at 951/769-2000.

This is at least the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dale Ramquist and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Marven Norman for the heads-up.

 

Update: Bike rider dies four days after he was rear-ended in Long Beach crash

People on bikes are taught to take the lane to improve their visibility and safety.

Sometimes that’s not enough.

And sometimes, all the doctors and nurses in world aren’t enough to undo the damage that can result.

According to a release from the Long Beach Police Department, 39-year old Crestline resident Bryan Lembke died Sunday, four days after he was struck by a driver.

Lembke was riding in the center of the right lane on westbound Spring Street through El Dorado Park around 4:40 am last Thursday, when he was run down from behind by a driver as he approached the San Gabriel River.

In other words, he was exactly where he was supposed to be. And was rear-ended anyway.

He suffered major injuries to his head and body, and was taken to a local hospital where he died.

The driver is identified only as a 53-year old man from Cypress. He remained at the scene, and was released pending further investigation.

No word on whether Lembke had lights and reflectors on his bike in the early morning darkness. And no word on whether police have obtained a warrant to check the driver’s phone to see if he was driving distracted.

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident Investigation Detective Sirilo Garcia at 562/570-7355. Anonymous tips may be submitted through LA Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800/222-TIPS (8477) or visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: A comment below from the mother of Lembke’s son indicates that he did have front and rear blinking lights on his bike, as well as a solid white headlamp on his helmet. 

A crowdfunding campaign raising funds for his son’s education has raised over $15,000 of the $25,000 goal.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bryan Lembke and all his loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up. 

 

Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza died, 2 days after he was struck allegedly stoned driver in Mission Viejo

In the end, a man who spent 18 years saving others couldn’t be saved himself.

News broke this morning that Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza had died, two days after he was after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver while riding in Mission Viejo.

Kreza was training for an Ironman Triathlon when his bike was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp around 8 am Saturday on Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos.

He was reportedly hit from behind as he was riding in the bike lane on eastbound Alicia Parkway, suffering critical wounds to the head and body.

The Costa Mesa Fire Department had reported that he was unresponsive as a Sunday afternoon, and surrounded by family and friends.

Scarp remained at the scene. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI after police found multiple prescription medications in his car. At last report he was being held on $100,000 bond, pending a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

Kreza leaves behind a wife and three young daughters.

This is made even more tragic, not just because of the families he leaves behind — both his own and the close-knit firefighter community — but because so many of us owe our lives to the men and women who devote theirs to saving others.

He died, sadly and needlessly, not in a courageous effort to rescue someone else, but as one of us.

A crowdfunding campaign for his family has raised over $126,000 in just two days, more than five times the original $25,000 goal.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mike Kreza and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Steve S and Steven Bonadio for the heads-up.

 

 

Update: Driver arrested on murder charge for intentionally running down a Claremont bike rider

Wrecks are seldom accidents.

But they’re usually not on purpose, either.

Yet that was the case in Claremont today, where a driver is facing a murder charge for intentionally running down a woman as she rode in a bike lane.

According to the Daily Bulletin, 54-year old Leslie Pray was riding north along the 1900 block of North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive around 11:30 am today when she was deliberately struck by the driver of a 1996 station wagon.

Pray was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested 61-year old Claremont resident Sandra Wicksted at a nearby hospital after a brief investigation.

There’s no word on how — or why — the crash happened, or whether the two women knew each other.

Wicksted is being held on $2 million bond. Then again, if she could pay that, she probably wouldn’t be driving a 22-year old station wagon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Claremont Police Department at 909/399-5411.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

And the first one that was, allegedly, on purpose.

Update: KABC-7 reports that Wicksted was driving in the opposite direction on Mills, and swerved across the road to strike Pray’s bicycle.

The presence of skid marks on the street demonstrates her path across the road, as well as indicating she was braking as she crossed the roadway. Which is odd for a driver who was attempting to hit someone. 

However, the station also says other bike riders told police that Wicksted had swerved towards them just moments before she killed Pray.

She is also suspected of being under the influence; several empty liquor bottles were found in her car after the crash.

Tragically, Pray had just started riding a bike this summer.

Update 2: A ghost bike will be installed at 7 pm today

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

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Megan Lynch for the heads-up. Photo by Erik Griswold. 

Unidentified man killed in Van Nuys hit-and-run; suspect arrested nearby

Another day, another fatal hit-and-run on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

In what’s rapidly becoming an everyday occurrence, a man was killed riding his bicycle in an early morning crash, and left to die by the heartless killer who ran him down.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the hit-and-run was reported around 3:45 am at Haskell Ave and Stagg Street.

When police arrived, they found the victim dead at the scene next to his crumpled fat tired bicycle, after being thrown approximately 40 feet from where he was rear-ended.

The belligerent, and apparently intoxicated, driver was arrested about a mile away at Woodley Ave and Satticoy Street near the Van Nuys Airport, with the arrest filmed as it happened by KTTV Fox11.

He insisted that he is in the army and serving our country, demanding the officers respect him while swearing at them and refusing to obey orders. However, police suspect the camo uniform he wore was nothing more than a Halloween costume.

KTTV places the time of the crash at around 3:15 am. At that hour, it’s most likely that the victim was either homeless, or riding to or from work.

No word on whether he had lights on his bike, how fast the driver was going, or what direction they were traveling.

A ghost bike will be installed at 7 pm Friday.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that this hit-and-run epidemic will continue until our elected officials finally care enough to actually do something about it.

Or more likely, when we do.

So if you haven’t already demanded action from your state legislators, maybe it’s time to start.

This is at least the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Brother of state legislator killed in Buena Park bike collision on Monday

Another Orange County bike rider lost his life on Monday, in what was an exceptionally deadly two days for SoCal bicyclists.

The Orange County Register reports, almost as an aside, that the 52-year old brother of California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva was killed riding his bike in Buena Park.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Darlington Avenue and Artesia Boulevard when Raymond William Jaso was hit by the driver of a pickup around 6:18 pm.

No other information is available at this time.

Jaso was homeless following a longtime battle with alcoholism; he recently began drinking again after walking away from a county-run treatment program.

It’s not clear if that may have contributed to the crash.

His homelessness, and struggles with alcohol and mental health issues, should do nothing to diminish the tragedy of Jaso’s life or death.

Quirk-Silva writes movingly about the loss of her brother.

Jaso’s death follows fatal collisions in Oxnard and Sun Valley on Sunday and Monday, as well as a second Orange County death in Stanton on Monday.

This is at least the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

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