Tag Archive for bike collision

Exclusive — What really happened in the Mulholland motorcycle crash that took out two bike riders

You knew there had to be more to the story.

The video of the now infamous Mulholland motorcycle crash that took out two bicyclists is rapidly going viral around the world. Soon to be joined by this view of the same collision from the perspective of a motorcyclist trailing the rider who rear-ended the two bikes.

Area resident Chris Willig forwards word that the collision occurred at the aptly named Deadman’s Turn on a section of Mulholland called The Snake by the motorcycling community, and the Rock Store Climb by bicyclists. According to Willig, and another comment from Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, it’s common for photographers and videographers to position their camera’s there to capture the action.

As Willig put it,

Photographers are there every weekend to capture the parade of cars, motorcycles and cyclists on this particular turn since it approaches 270°. Things happen at this point because drivers aren’t use to negotiating a turn like this.

Speculation has centered on a phenomenon known as target fixation as the cause of the collision, in which riders are unable to avoid whatever they are most focused on.

However, Byron of Bike Hugger points out the camera flash clearly visible in the trailing bike cam video, suggesting that the rider was looking for the photographer rather than focusing on the road ahead of him. Putting the best possible spin on it, it’s also possible that he was distracted by the camera flash, causing him to be out of position on the curve.

According to a source with inside knowledge of the situation, who prefers to remain anonymous, the bike riders were part of an informal ride of roughly 20 to 25 people, including retired pro cyclist and bikewear manufacturer George Hincapie. Hincapie was reportedly some distance ahead when the riders were hit, and may not have been aware of the collision.

This person was following the riders in a sag wagon when they got a call about the collision, and informed two nearby law enforcement officers who were having a car towed from a previous collision. They also stopped to pick up a participant in the ride who was between them and the scene of the collision approximately a quarter-mile ahead.

Good move on their part, since the rider they picked up happened to be the Chief Medical Officer for the Amgen Tour of California, who got right to work moving the more injured of the two riders to a safer position across the roadway.

The first rider to get hit was not part of the ride; he was an unlucky Brit who happened to fall in with the other riders at the wrong place and time. Word is he was not seriously injured; he was taken to a local hospital as a precaution and released the same day.

He may have been fortunate that the motorcyclist hit him almost directly from behind, cushioning the fall as he can be seen landing in the leather-clad rider’s lap.

Amazingly, the second rider, who was part of the riding group, walked away with just a few bruises. I’m told he was riding again the next day, albeit on a borrowed bike.

The motorcycle rider did not have registration for his bike with him, which is why it can be seen being towed at the end of the video.

No word yet on whether charges will be filed; however, my source reports that the police officers on the scene conducted a thorough investigation, including viewing the video of the collision.

But if charges aren’t filed, police will have a lot of explaining to do.

Update: The second video has been removed from You Tube, undoubtedly after realizing that it can, and most likely will, be used as evidence in a both criminal and civil court cases against the rider’s friend; thanks to Caritta for the heads-up.

Update — 20-year old cyclist killed in Buena Park; cyclist injured in Culver City

More bad news from Orange County.

According to the Orange County Register, a 20-year old man was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike at the intersection of Knott and La Palma Avenues in Buena Park around 6 pm Monday. The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

The driver was taken to West Anaheim Medical Center with undisclosed minor injuries. He was not identified other than as a man in his 40s; no description was given of the vehicle involved, or how the collision occurred.

The Register reports that alcohol was not believed to have been a factor, and police are investigating who had the right-of-way.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Buena Park Police traffic bureau at 714/562-3940.

This is the 67th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County, just one behind the total for all of last year. It’s also the second bicycling death in Buena Park this year.

My deepest condolences and prayers for the victim and his family.

Update: A post on SoCal Trail Riders identifies the victim as Jeremy Kidder, a former employee of Buena Park Bicycles, and a sometimes employee of Fullerton Bicycles.

Update 2: The Orange County Register confirms the victim was 20-year old Jeremy Kidder of Buena Park. The paper reports he was hit by a Chevy SUV while crossing near the crosswalk; no word on what direction he was going or how the collision occurred. Police say there are conflicting witness accounts. 

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Culver City Patch reports that a cyclist was hit by a car at the corner of Washington Place and Sawtelle Blvd in Culver City around 4:45 pm Monday.

According to police, witnesses said the cyclist, who was not publicly identified, ran the red light; he was taken to UCLA Medical Center.

No other information is available at this time.

San Diego hit-and-run nearly carried live on local TV

TV stations in San Diego just missed broadcasting a hit-and-run that appeared to leave a cyclist seriously injured as it happened on Thursday night.

San Diego cyclist Bill Davidson sends word that San Diego’s XETV-6 reported the collision occurred just before 10 pm as news vans were gathered to report on flooding from a broken water main in the parking lot of this shopping center at Rosecrans and Cauby Streets.

Multiple news vans were on the scene BEFORE the collision because there was flooding in the area. They were parked in the shopping center maybe 50 yards inside the driveway. The news crews were still in their vans preparing to do live coverage of the flooding at 10pm when they heard a loud thump. They called 911.  EMT’s on the scene in approximately 6-7 minutes.

Victim appeared to be in his 50′s or 60′s.  He had lights and a reflective safety vest. He was alive and conscious but obviously seriously hurt. No helmet.

Two witnesses. California plate 717229, sliver truck. Mirror on the truck broke off and was lying in the road.

Davidson adds that the reporters said they didn’t hear skidding before the collision, though the heavy insulation on the trucks could have masked the sound. The victim’s bike was resting just steps away, directly in the entrance to the shopping center.

Unfortunately, the story hasn’t been posted online, and there doesn’t seem to be any update on the condition of the victim or whether the driver has been apprehended.

If anyone has additional information, let us know.

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Friday’s breaking news kept me from updating this weekend’s events.

However, the big weekend bike news is Carmageddon.

Not that the end of the world is nigh, as cars will once again be banned from from the 405, but that bikes are taking over the streets presumably abandoned by motor vehicles. Streetsblog has all the information you need on the weekend’s three remaining major rides, while ARTmageddonLA starts on Saturday.

And if you’re bold enough to brave the freeways, the 2012 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships will be taking place all weekend at the Home Depot Center VELO Sports Center.

Mandeville cyclists Jerry Browned, Dr. Thompson appeal denied, fight for your Expo bike station

Just a few quick notes before we get this week started.

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First up, I received word over the weekend about another dangerous incident in Mandeville Canyon.

A group of cyclists were descending the canyon at speed when they were Jerry Browned — passed too closely, in honor of our misguided governor’s veto of the three-foot passing law — at a high rate of speed by a Maserati Quattropote in what sounds like a deliberate assault.

Fortunately, the riders were all able to remain upright, and no one was injured.

But be careful out there.

It sounds like we’ve got a Dr. Thompson wannabe out there.

Update: I’ve heard from one of the cyclists involved, who promises full details on his own blog in the nest day or two. I’ll include the link as soon as it’s available.

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Speaking of the Good Doctor, word came over the weekend that the California Supreme Court has refused to hear his appeal. That means, barring any unexpected developments, he can be expected to serve out his term.

Which may have been what set out the Maserati owner, who may have been a neighbor of L.A.’s biking boogeyman.

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Frequent contributor Jim Lyle forwarded an email looking for more information about a cycling collision over the weekend.

The accident occurred shortly before noon yesterday (Saturday).  I believe the biker was turning left onto PV Blvd from Malaga Cove Plaza.  The car that hit him was turning left onto PV Drive West after coming downhill from PV Drive North.  The car should have stopped at the stop sign.  I saw the biker on the small grassy median being treated by paramedics.  The white car was parked 5 car lengths beyond the stop sign.  The left half of the front windshield was shattered.  There was an ambulance and a fire truck but no media.

Let me know if you find any news about the accident.

Let’s keep the rider in our prayers. If you have any news — hopefully good — about the incident, let me know.

And the Orange County Register reports that a mountain biker was airlifted out of Modjeska Canyon on Saturday with a possible head injury; no word on the condition of the rider.

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Rex Reese forwards the obituary for Frederik Meijer, founder of the Midwest retailing giant. And more pertinent to our discussion, the man who helped start a network of hiking and biking trails in western Michigan.

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Finally, Steve Herbert invites you to join the Culver City Bicycle Coalition in fighting for the previously planned bike station at the Culver City Expo Station, which is in danger of being cut from the plans.

You can express your concerns at the next meeting of the Expo Line Construction Authority:

December 1st, 2:30pm
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Board of Supervisors’
Hearing Room 381B

And he forwards a look at a new ad on the Culver City green buses, which expresses an attitude I think most of us share.

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