Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Ebike rider killed in Stanton crash; driver left scene before returning

This has been a deadly week for SoCal bicyclists.

In the wake of two previously reported fatal collisions in Oxnard and Sun Valley on Sunday and Monday, two other riders lost their lives in Orange County on Monday.

The first of these occurred near the intersection of Cerritos and Magnolia avenues in Stanton around 1:50 pm.

The Orange County Register reports 79-year old Anaheim resident Tam Nguyen was struck by the driver of a car while riding his ebike. He was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center, where he died sometime later.

The driver, who has not been publicly identified, stopped in a nearby parking lot before returning. Police do not believe he or she was under the influence.

There’s no word on exactly where the crash occurred, which street Nguyen was on, or how the crash happened.

A street view doesn’t help, since we don’t know where the crash took place.

Nguyen was initially unidentified at the time of his death. Which should once again serve as a tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

This is at least the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: Peter Flax points out that Cerritos was recommended for a Complete Streets makeover, but rejected due to political concerns. 

He also points out that it is the same street where Debra Gresham was killed two years ago

Let’s hope Orange County is held accountable for not fixing it. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tam Nguyen and all his loved ones. 

 

Oxnard man killed after allegedly swerving his bike in front of bus

An Oxnard man was killed when he was hit by a bus while riding his bike Monday afternoon.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding in the eastbound bike lane on Gonzales Road west of Lantana Street when he allegedly veered in front of a transit bus around 4:13 pm.

The victim, who was identified only as a 60-year old Oxnard man, was pronounced dead after being taken to Ventura County Medical Center.

Video from the scene shows debris strewn across the left lane, with the bike coming to rest near the center median.

A street view shows a four lane road with a center divider, and a curbside bike lane.

As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver, since the victim is unable to tell his side of the story. However, the fact that a photo from the Star showed the victim’s bike resting just beyond a left turn bay adds credence to the suggestion that he may have somehow turned in front of the bus.

No brake marks are visible in any of the photos which would indicate where the bus was prior to the impact.

This is at least the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

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

 

 

Update: Man killed in hit-and-run while riding in Sun Valley bike lane

Now it’s confirmed.

This morning we mentioned a late night news report from KABC-7, which said a man had been killed in an apparent hit-and-run in Sun Valley on Sunday.

Now their brief story has finally been posted online.

The Los Angeles Daily News adds more details, indicating the victim was riding east in the bike lane on Strathern Street at Bellingham Avenue in Sun Valley when he was rear-ended by the driver of a dark colored SUV around 8:30 pm.

The driver reportedly stopped for a few moments before fleeing the scene.

Paramedics took the victim, publicly identified only as a 45-year old man, to Holy Cross Hospital, where he died.

Judging by photos on the Daily News story, he does not appear to have had lights on his mountain bike, though you can see wheel reflectors in some photos.

A street view shows a two lane road with bike lanes on either side on Strathern, with a 35 mph speed limit and minimal street lighting approaching the uncontrolled intersection.

Some reports place the crash scene in North Hollywood, though most call it Sun Valley.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The LA Daily News identified the victim as 45-year old Panorama City resident Roberto Perez.

The story also confirms that he didn’t have lights on his bike, and was riding on a dark street wearing dark clothing. Local riders gathered for Wednesday’s ghost bike installation complained about the dark conditions on the bike lane. 

Like any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles, there is an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Javier Avila, of the Valley Traffic Division at 818/644-8034, or the LAPD tip line at 877/527-3247.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Roberto Perez and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Steve S for forwarding the Daily News piece, and the photo of Perez’ ghost bike.

 

Morning Links: LADOT is working on bike lanes and bike paths after all, and a bike rider was killed in Sun Valley

Maybe the apparent lack of action on LA bike lanes isn’t as bad as it seems.

The list of active bike projects at LADOT contains a lot of surprises. Like the fact that the city is actually working on bike projects.

One that immediately jumps out is project 89 on Santa Monica Blvd, which is in the planning stages to close the gap between the existing LA bike lanes that end at Century City, and the new green bike lanes in Beverly Hills.

That will take some creative engineering, especially eastbound where bike riders have to make the jump to cross over the right lanes of traffic exiting onto Little Santa Monica without getting killed by impatient LA drivers.

Not to mention the westbound bike lane as it travels past the Waldorf Astoria and Hilton hotels in Beverly Hills, which is more often used as a parking and loading zone than an actual lane for bike travel.

Now we’ll have to get West Hollywood to close the gap on their side where the bike lanes are missing on last block or two east of Doheny.

Then there’s the fact that LADOT is finally working on a handful of Bicycle Friendly Streets, which appeared to have been all but forgotten. It’s not exactly the third-level bicycle network we were promised in the 2010 bike plan, but it’s a start.

It’s also interesting to see that 4th Street is once again considered a Bicycle Friendly Street, after former Councilmember Tom LaBonge bungled the initial rollout. And somehow got local residents to oppose a plan that would have significantly benefitted them.

So far it appears to be nothing but mini roundabouts, but again, it’s a start.

I’ll look forward to the Mid City Low Stress corridors, which may finally provide a comfortable north/south route in and out of Hollywood. Although I’m not sure how low stress it will be when you have to keep jumping from one street to another.

And I’m not thrilled that the only east/west project in Hollywood is currently considered inactive.

There are a number of other projects throughout the city, from bike paths to bike lanes, separate, protected or otherwise.

I don’t think anyone will look at this and think LA is finally justifying its status as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.

But it’s good to finally see things moving forward again.

Click either photo to increase size. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up. 

……….

Today’s photo is a reminder how not to lock your bike. This half-eaten bike along the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd in Century City was locked with decent U-lock. But only through the frame, allowing the thief to take both wheels. We may never know why they left the rear tire — and an extra seat.

………

KABC-7 reported last night that a bike rider was killed in an apparent hit-and-run in Sun Valley on Sunday. However, the story was not online as of this writing, and no details are currently available.

We’ll try to catch up on the story when there’s more information.

………

Local

Downtown LA’s Spring Street has been upgraded to a left side, parking protected bike lane. Although not everyone seems to have gotten the memo.

National Public Radio profiles popular DTLA band Vignes Rooftop Revival, who bike, walk or skate to all their gigs, because they want to.

A Santa Monica architect, who is clearly no fan of e-scooters, says the city is conducting an uncontrolled experiment by foisting the “dangerous machines” on the public.

LA County is planning a bike and pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Blvd, the final link in the 13-mile Park to Playa Trail, which promises to connect Baldwin Hills to the beach by 2020.

SoCal Cycling talks with Dayna Galbreath of SAFE and Finish the Ride.

 

State

The CHP is starting a year-long campaign to improve bike and pedestrian safety. The question is whether they’ll focus on getting people to drive safely around bike riders and walkers, or continue their long tradition of victim blaming.

Twelve Wounded Warriors finished a month-long ride across the US when they pedaled into San Diego yesterday.

Moving story from San Francisco, where a bike rider tracked down the friends of a fallen bicyclist looking for closure, after coming on the scene moments after the crash and comforting the victim.

 

National

Bicycling provides an athlete’s guide to CDB, the portion of cannabis that won’t get you high. My personal experience is that CBD is great for stopping muscle cramps and soothing aching muscles, but not so good for pain control.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver becomes just the latest the plow through a group of protesters, something conservative lawmakers have been pushing to make legal in several states. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists in Fargo ND don’t appear to have any objection the city quadrupling fines for some bicycle traffic violations — to a whopping $20; most will remain at $5.

Volunteers in Dubuque, Iowa prepare hot meals for the homeless, then deliver them by bicycle throughout the downtown area.

Even in bike friendly Madison WI, “undocumented and other minority residents” struggle to find safe routes to ride in areas unserved by the city’s extensive network of bike paths, trails and bike lanes.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Chicago bike rider was severely beaten by a road raging driver, after attempting to run the rider down when he yelled at the driver for cutting into a protected bike lane, nearly hitting him. On the other hand, the rider chased down the driver to confront him when he had several opportunities to defuse the situation and let the police deal with it.

Chicago finds it can’t fire a bike racing paramedic, despite two separate convictions for bike theft — including participating in a theft ring that stole $48,000 worth bikes and parts from a freight train.

A Minnesota girl credits her bike helmet with saving her life when she was hit by a semi. The truck jackknifed and ended up on top of her leg, breaking her femur, clavicle and pelvis; she also ended up with concussion and a collapsed lung.

A Minnesota bicyclist captures shocking video of a bike rider running a stop sign — after a long line of drivers do the same. But maybe that’s the point. Personally, I always stop, or at least slow to a crawl, for stop signs. But the most important thing is to always observe the right-of-way. 

A Boston public radio station attempts to untangle the science on bicycling and sexual dysfunction, as one San Diego doctor insists there’s a connection, despite several studies showing just the opposite.

The Boston Globe considers what to do about the advent of e-scooters, comparing them to the disruption caused by the introduction of bicycles in the late 1800s.

The New York Times promotes the Dutch Reach to prevent doorings.

Interesting idea. Philadelphia is considering plans for a prototype bike corral in front of fire hydrants to provide additional bike parking and keep drivers from parking in front of them.

The Baltimore bishop convicted of killing a bicyclist in a drunken hit-and-run three years ago could be released from prison as soon as next month, after asking a judge to change her consecutive sentences to concurrent terms instead.

No shit. Regional traffic planners take issue with Maryland’s plans to make bike riders share a lane with 50 mph traffic on a bridge over the Potomac.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains the value of a bespoke bike frame.

A new device makes it wheelie easy to ride on one wheel.

The European Union allows a quadrupling of power for ebikes, from 250 to 1,000 watts, but keeps maximum assist speeds capped at 15 mph.

Ed Ryder forwards this story of a London woman who found her stolen bike online, and stole it back when the police refused to help

New handlebar lights currently raising funds on Kickstarter promise to reduce unsafe passing with red and while lights that stay on all the time, then change to orange to signal turns. The lights were featured on a British show similar to Shark Tank.

A bike rider in the UK has an uncomfortably close encounter with a felled tree. Someone might want to teach the crew how to block a traffic lane before they bring a tree down in it. Just a suggestion.

Seriously? After he was caught on video driving through a bike lane and jumping a curb in an attempt to run down a bike rider on the sidewalk, a Dublin cab driver defends his actions by claiming he was simply trying to apprehend the bicyclist for reaching out to break his mirror as he rode by. Because apparently, people on bicycles are just randomly destructive for no apparent reason.

An Irish writer suggests taking a bike tour of Mallorca, Spain. And overcomes his aversion to spandex in the process.

Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor is one of us, using his bike to train for last Saturday’s fight. Maybe he needs to train harder to fight in the ring, and less out of it.

Evidently, its against the law to ride a bicycle while under the influence in Ireland, after a man was fined the equivalent of $265 for riding into traffic while “highly intoxicated.

More proof that we all face the same problems wherever we ride. A hit-and-run driver in Malta was sentenced to three years behind bars for driving off when he hit a bike rider, after telling his passenger to just calm down.

Police in India arrested 42 people for driving on cycle tracks. We could use some of that here. Or maybe a lot of it.

An Aussie rider discovers the social side of bicycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Canadian cyclist Michael Woods has arrived, after the 31-year old former running finished third at the worlds.

VeloNews talks with ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis about his plans to start a Continental level cycling team using the funds he got from the feds’ lawsuit against America’s other ex-Tour de France winner.

 

Finally…

Seriously, stop calling non-ebikes “analog.” Consider this a guide for your next spooky Halloween-themed LA bike ride.

And this is what happens when your NASCAR competitors know you’re a passionate bicyclist, and ask for a dozen road bikes.

 

San Diego bike rider killed after going through red light; third SoCal bicyclist killed this week

A San Diego-area man has been killed while riding his bike, the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this week.

According to the Union-Tribune, the 44-year old victim was struck by the driver of a pickup truck in Chula Vista around 10 pm last night.

The paper reports the collision occurred at Second Avenue and Palomar Street, where witnesses say the victim, who has not been publicly identified, went through the red light on southbound Second.

However, San Diego’s NBC-7 says he was traveling east on Palomar, which would mean the driver was on Second.

He suffered severe head and injuries, and died after being taken to a local hospital.

The 22-year old driver stayed at the scene; police don’t believe drugs or alcohol use was a factor.

A street view shows a four lane road with left turn bays on Palomar, and a two lane street on Second. Palomar has a 35 mph speed limit, while residential Second should have a 25 mph limit.

The severity of the victim’s injuries, despite wearing a helmet, would suggest that the driver may have been traveling faster than that.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

It comes after a bicyclist was killed in LA’s San Fernando Valley on Monday, and another was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run in Torrance yesterday.

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

Update: Bike rider killed on Winnetka Blvd in the San Fernando Valley

Word is just breaking that a man in his 60’s was killed yesterday while riding his bike in the Winnetka neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.

The victim was reportedly riding his bike in the crosswalk on westbound Lanark Street crossing Winnetka Ave when he was struck by the driver of a 2001 Toyota Corolla around 6:30 pm.

He was taken to Northridge Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A street view shows a wide four lane roadway on Winnetka, with a center left turn lane and a bike lane in both directions, and an uncontrolled crosswalk on the west side.

No other details are available at this time.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

A ghost bike ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 9 pm tomorrow night. (Note: This originally said it would be held on Tuesday, but it will be Wednesday, instead.)

Update: According to a source with the LAPD, the victim is an unidentified, 72-year old ebike rider.

He was struck when he rode off the north sidewalk on Lanark into the crosswalk, and was struck by a driver headed north on Winnetka. 

This is yet another reminder of the dangers of sidewalk riding. Drivers often aren’t looking for you there, so you have to assume they don’t see you. Even if you have the right-of-way, it’s often safer to wait until cross traffic has passed. 

And always carry some form of ID. This crash is even more tragic knowing that the victim’s loved ones may have no idea he was killed.

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

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Steve for the heads-up. Photo of the victim’s ghost bike from Steve.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in early morning Torrance hit-and-run

Yet another person riding a bike has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

According to KTLA-5, police responded to a report of a crash involving a bicyclist in Torrance around 5 am today.

KCBS-2/KCAL-9 reports the victim wasn’t breathing when officers found him lying in the street at Hawthorne Boulevard and 227th Street. They attempted CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

He has been identified only as an adult male.

Police are looking for a tan or light gold 2006 to 2009 Toyota 4-Runner with front-end damage and part of the bumper missing. A security camera may have captured video of the crash and could show the suspect vehicle.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two lane residential street controlled with a stop sign on 227th, while Hawthorne has four wide lanes in each direction with no traffic signals for several blocks, allowing drivers to go as fast as traffic will allow.

Which means he or she could have probably traveled as fast as he or she wanted at that hour.

Just to be clear, there is simply no excuse, ever, for hit-and-run.

Drivers who leave their victims to die in the street should face a charge of felony murder, because they made a conscious decision to let a human being die rather than make a simple call for help.

Maybe then this hit-and-run epidemic would finally stop.

This is at least the 34rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: KNBC-4 reports the victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified, was a man in his 40s. 

They also say the speed limit on that stretch of Hawthorne is 45 mph. Chances are the driver was going faster. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 32-year old Jonathan Valbuena, who is described as being homeless. Which does not change tragedy or outrage in the slightest. 

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

Thanks to Brian McCarthy and Serena Grace for the heads-up.

 

Woman killed in Lancaster bike crash earlier this month

Somehow, we missed this news earlier this month.

Looking for information about yesterday’s fatal collision in Lancaster uncovered news of a woman who was killed while riding her bike in the same city on Monday, August 13th.

According to the Antelope Valley Times, the victim, identified only as a Hispanic woman in her 50s, was riding north in the bike lanes on Sierra Highway below Oldfield Street when she was struck and killed.

The paper reports that she attempted to cross the five lane Sierra Highway, unexpectedly swerving left in front of an oncoming driver traveling in the same direction.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries.

A statement from the sheriff’s department said it doesn’t appear that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, nor was excessive speed.

As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses to the crash. Drivers who drift to the right or fail to see a bike rider often assume the victim must have swerved in front of them, when that’s not always the case.

Anyone with information is urged to call traffic investigators at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station at 661/ 948-8466.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Bike rider killed in Lancaster rear-end collision Saturday morning

A man was killed Saturday morning when he was the victim of a rear-end collision in Lancaster.

According to a news release from the LA County Sheriff’s Department, the victim was struck from behind while riding his bicycle west on Avenue K east of Stanridge Ave around 6 am.

A driver traveling in the same direction reportedly swerved into the bike lane, throwing him forward. However, there are no bike lanes visible in a street view or satellite image of the seven lane street.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The male driver apparently stayed at the scene. The report says it does not appear that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, although authorities are investigating whether speed played a role.

It’s unclear what the speed limit is on the street. However, the straight roadway and wide lanes, with long segments uninterrupted by traffic signals, would appear to encourage high speeds, regardless of the posted speed.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Traffic Investigators at 661/948-8466.

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.

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

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.

 

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