Tag Archive for Blythe CA

Update: More bad news — bike rider killed in Blythe Friday evening

Evidently, Friday was a very bad day for SoCal cyclists.

First we got word that a Los Angeles rider had died in a Hollywood dooring a week earlier; then an Orange County rider was killed while riding in a Mission Viejo bike lane.

And now comes news that a cyclist was killed in Blythe, just miles from the Arizona border.

Unfortunately, very few details are available at this time.

The Riverside County Coroner’s office reports that 49-year old Alvin Aguirre was hit by an apparently driverless sedan, no make or model given, while riding on the 2200 block of West Hobsonway. The injury occurred at 6:22 pm, and he was pronounced dead at 6:41.

No word on how or why the collision occurred, or who may have been at fault. And no mention of whether the driver remained at the scene.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, which equals the total for this time last year, and the first in Riverside County. It’s also the second cycling fatality in the tiny desert town in less than two years.

My prayers and condolences for Aguirre and his family. 

Update: The Desert Independent finally offers more information on Alvin Aguirre’s death. 

According to the paper, he was riding west on Hobsonway while pulling a trailer with his bike; witnesses reported seeing him ride unsteadily, weaving within the traffic lane prior to the collision. They saw him swerve into the path of a 2012 Nissan Sentra driven by 26-year old Ramon Torres of Blythe with no explanation, where he was hit from behind. 

Passing Border Patrol agents attempted to revive Aguirre before paramedics arrived; he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Torres was tested at the scene, but showed no sign of impairment. 

74-year old cyclist killed in Blythe; 26-year old Londoner killed near Pismo Beach

A 74-year old cyclist was killed in Blythe CA, near the Colorado River between Palm Springs and Phoenix, on Friday night.

According to the Desert Independent, David Sandoval Caldera was riding in the traffic lane on the 1400 block of W. Hobsonway around 8:30 pm when he was hit from behind by a 1999 Ford Expedition driven by Nancy Sue Pollock of Blythe. Pollock claimed she didn’t see Caldera, who was riding without lights or reflectors.

Sunset in Blythe was at 7:49 pm, which means it would have been nearing full dark at the time of the collision. Despite the gathering gloom, Caldera’s bike should have been clearly visible in the car’s headlights, assuming she was using them at that hour.

However, cyclists are required to have a headlight and rear reflector after dark, as well as side reflectors; safety concerns and common sense dictate that riders should do whatever they can to make themselves visible in low light conditions.

Caldera is the 33rd cyclist to be killed in traffic-related collisions in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County. That compares to an annual average of 7 cycling fatalities in the county in the three years from 2007 to 2009, the latest years for which statistics are currently available; prior to that, the county had 15 cycling deaths in 2005 and 14 in 2006.


In another tragic case just outside the Southern California area, a 26-year old London resident was killed by an accused speeding, underaged drunk driver near Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County.

The cyclist, who remains unidentified pending notification of next-of-kin, was riding on Halcyon Road near Oceano around 8 pm Saturday when 20-year old Aaron Richard Ceja lost control of his Chevy Blazer at a high rate of speed. Ceja’s vehicle crossed over to the other side of the road to hit the rider head on.

According to The San Louis Obispo Tribune, he was arrested for vehicular manslaughter and suspicion of DUI causing injury.

No one should ever die just for going on a bike ride. Especially not a visitor to this country; especially not at the hands of a drunk.

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of both victims.

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