I received word late Sunday afternoon that a cyclist was killed in the hills above Malibu on Saturday morning.
According to an email from Chris Willig, she was riding east on Mulholland Highway at Kanan Road around 9:30 am Saturday when she was hit from behind by a white van.
The victim was reportedly riding on the shoulder of the road, to the right of the fog line, when the van ran off the road. The bicycle was crushed underneath the van; unconfirmed reports indicate the driver may have been speeding and tailgating another vehicle.
Reading between the lines, it’s possible that the driver may have been trying to get around the slower car on the right when he or she hit the rider; however, that’s pure speculation on my part.
CHP reports confirm the collision, and indicate that the rider was transported to UCLA Medical Center at 2 pm in extremely critical condition.
The Flickr account RockStorePhotos.com identifies the victim as Carol Schreder, a regular Saturday rider, and reports that she passed away in the ICU around 10:45 pm.
As Willig put it, this is madding in its senselessness. Schreder appears to have been doing everything right, but died anyway due to a driver’s carelessness and/or impatience.
My prayers for Carol, and all her family and loved ones.
This is the 65th confirmed traffic-related bike fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st in Los Angeles County.
While the SoCal total is well above the 55 cycling fatalities for each of the last two years on record, it is far below the horrific total of 89 bicycling deaths recorded in 2006. The Los Angeles figure is one below the total of 22 in 2009, the last year on record, as well as below the five-year average of 24.2 fatalities in L.A. County each year.
And please note that the totals for this year are only the fatalities that I am aware of and have been able to confirm in some way. It’s entirely possible there may have been others that I don’t know about.
Update: IMDB lists Carol Schreder as a writer and producer on a number of titles, including Mama Flora’s Family, In Love and War, Call to Glory, the Burning Bed and Calendar Girl Murders; there’s also a Carol Schreder listed as owner of the Carol Schreder Company in Topanga, and as a finisher in a number of marathons and triathlons, as well as the Mulholland Challenge century.
Then there’s this piece written five years ago, almost to the day, extolling the virtues — and risks — of riding Topanga Canyon, not far from where this collision occurred.
Update 2: I just received the following comment from Heidi Christensen, who came along the scene shortly after the collision:
My husband and I rode up on the scene about 10 minutes after it happened. Carol was hit by a van pulling a trailer; the driver stopped. From what we heard, the driver said the car in front of him hit the brakes suddenly, then he hit his brakes, jack-knifed, and lost control. It’s hard to figure out, though, because it happened maybe 50 yards from the Mulholland/Kanan intersection (between the Calamigos Ranch driveway and Kanan)….the cars should have already been braking and not carrying much speed. Very tragic and just horribly sad. Judy, our thoughts and prayers are with you, Carol’s family, and all those dear to her.
Oh, and by the way, the EMTs identified her by her Road ID.