Tag Archive for County of Los Angeles

Update: Palos Verdes bike rider dies following apparent hit-and-run yesterday

More bad news for Bike to Work Day.

I’ve been informed that a member of the Palos Verdes Bicycle Club has died after an apparent hit-and-run Wednesday morning.

According to club member Jim Lyle, John Bacon had just finished relaxing with a small group of club members at Meyer’s Bakery in the Peninsula Center following a morning ride, and left to ride down the hill to his home.

Sadly, he never got there.

Lyle says Bacon’s daughter told him he was found by another cyclist lying in the street on the 1100 block of Granvia Altamira in Palos Verdes Estates around 9:45 am. He was taken a local hospital, where he passed away today.

However, the Daily Breeze reports police are looking for the driver of a white pickup who was seen on security camera following his bike, though they do not identify Bacon by name.

The driver reportedly stopped after the rider went down and attempted to flag down other people in the area, asking them to call 911, then got back in his truck and drove away.

The Breeze says police will not say whether the truck definitely hit his bike, but want to talk to any occupants to determine what happened.

The truck is described as a white, late 1990s to early 2000s Ford F-150, driven by a heavyset white man, around six feet tall and wearing a blue shirt.

According to Lyle, Bacon was a retired engineer in his late 60s; he describes him as a safe rider who always obeyed stop signs.

I’m told his family is aware of his death and has gathered with friends to mourn.

Anyone with information is urged to call Sgt. Luke Hellinga at 310-378-4211.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 14th in Los Angeles County. It’s third bicycling fatality in the Palos Verdes area this year.

Update: Fox-11 reports Bacon was unconscious when paramedics arrived, and appeared to have suffered a head injury despite his helmet. 

Update 2: Larry Altman of the Daily Breeze offers a nice profile of John Bacon, identifying him as 68-year old John William Bacon III of Torrance. The retired father of three was described as a “very gentle soul” and an extremely safety conscious, 100-mile a week cyclist. 

Altman also reports police have located the driver in question, but haven’t made an arrest. Or even confirmed that he was struck by a vehicle. 

Update 3: According to Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, a cyclist called the police after spotting what appeared to be the truck in question on Thursday, yet they never bothered to respond to the call; the driver finally left on his own without the police ever coming to check it out. 

He also reports that the person who turned himself into the police on Friday did not match the physical description of the driver, and may not have been be the owner of the truck. 

And that since Bacon’s death, four cyclists have come forward to report they had previously been buzzed and harassed by the driver of a truck that matched the description of the suspect vehicle.

Which raises the question of whether this may have been an intentional act that went too far. And whether the police are going to investigate it fairly. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Bacon and all his family and friends.

 Thanks to Jim Lyle and Michael C Barr for the heads-up.

Update: Cyclist killed riding wrong way in Lincoln Heights collision

Once again, riding on the wrong side of the road has claimed the life of a Los Angeles bike rider.

The Eastsider reports a bike rider identified only as a Latino man in his early thirties was hit and killed in Lincoln Heights early this morning.

The victim was riding south on Humboldt Street on the wrong side of the road when he was struck by a driver traveling north on Avenue 26 at 1:30 am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other information is available at this time. The site notes the investigation is ongoing.

A street view shows an intersection with four lanes on 26th, with an offset crossing at Humboldt controlled by a stop sign.

While some people believe riding against traffic is safer because they can see cars coming, it’s actually one of the most dangerous things you can do. According to the LAPD, riding salmon is leading cause of serious bicycling collisions in many parts of Los Angeles.

In this case, the victim would have been hidden from view by the upholstery shop on the right side of the street, as well as any cars parked on the lot until the last moment — particularly if the vehicle was traveling at speed, which is likely given the hour. And the vehicle would have been hidden from his sight, as well.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The Eastsider has updated its story to identify the victim as 22-year old Los Angeles resident Giovanni Cali.

He was riding with a companion who saw the car and was able to avoid it; unfortunately, Cali did not see it in time. The driver remained at the scene, and was not under the influence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Giovanni Cali and his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

South El Monte bike rider killed crossing Rosemead Blvd

A man was killed in a collision while riding his bike near South El Monte Wednesday.

According to the San Gabriel Tribune, 39-year old South El Monte resident Jose Antonio Resendez was crossing Rosemead Blvd at Rush St at 9:35 pm when he was struck by a car headed north on Rosemead in unincorporated LA County.

No word on which direction Resendez going or who had the right-of-way; he died at the scene around 15 minutes later.

The driver remained at the scene.

The story notes both the bicycle and the car suffered moderate damage; as usual, the victim fared worst in the impact.

This is the 35th bicycling collision in Southern California, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 17 in SoCal this time last year, and eight in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Antonio Resendez and his family. 

Update: Bicyclist killed riding in carpool lane of the 10 Freeway in Alhambra

Some crashes just don’t make any sense.

According to multiple sources, a man was killed riding his bike on a freeway in Alhambra this morning.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s, was inexplicably riding in the carpool lane of the eastbound 10 Freeway just west of Garfield Ave at 4:30 am when he was run down from behind by a Metro bus.

He was pronounced dead at the scene; the LA Times reports the impact knocked him onto the train tracks in the center divider. The speed limit there is 65 mph, so there was virtually no chance of survival.

Bicycles are banned from most freeways, and the 10 through Los Angeles County is no exception. Even where it is allowed, bikes are not permitted in the traffic lane, let alone in the far left lane.

There’s no word on why he was there, or where he may of entered the highway. Or whether he had lights on his bike at that hour.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California, and ninth in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Eduardo Castillo, who is described only as a transient. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eduardo Castillo and his loved ones.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in Studio City collision

Multiple sources are reporting that a bike rider has been killed in a collision in Studio City this morning.

The male victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a truck while riding on the 12000 block of Ventura Place around 7:45 am.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

Ventura Place is a short, four-lane commercial street running diagonally between Ventura and Laurel Canyon Boulevards.

This is the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Los Angeles County; it’s the first fatality in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen points out that a photo on the KABC-7 website shows the covered victim’s body resting near the crosswalk on southbound Redford Ave, at the entrance to Ventura Place off westbound Ventura Blvd.

Update 2: The Daily News has identified the victim as 42-year old North Hollywood resident Cario Joseph Castaneda. The paper says he was riding west when he was struck by a private trash truck as he entered the intersection.

Other reports indicated the driver was traveling in the same direction, suggesting Castaneda may have been right hooked, possibly as he came off the sidewalk. 

A comment from Alberto identifies Castaneda as his nephew, and says he was riding to work as he did every morning. 

Meanwhile, CiclaValley writes movingly about the impact of a death that stuck so close to home.

Update 3: Castaneda’s family is attempting to raise funds to pay his funeral expenses; so far they’ve raised $5,600 of the $20,000 goal. 

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

Thanks to Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed by moving truck in Rancho Palos Verdes

Ghost bike for Jonathan Tansavatdi; photo by Jim Lyle

Ghost bike for Jonathan Tansavatdi; photo by Jim Lyle

Word is just coming in that someone has been killed while riding a bicycle in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Very few details are available at this time.

However, KNBC-4 reports the victim was struck by a moving truck on Vallon Drive near Hawthorne Boulevard around 2:50 pm this afternoon; presumably they mean a truck for a moving company, rather than one in motion.

According to the station, sheriff’s deputies believe the truck, which KCBS-2 identifies as a big rig, was making a right turn off an undisclosed side street when it struck the rider.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows Vallon as a narrow, winding residential road; Via la Cresta is the only cross street that enters it, just above Hawthorne, though Vallon connects with Marne Drive just below Hawthorne.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Daily Breeze confirms the collision occurred at Vallon and Via la Cresta.

Update 2: KNBC-4 changes the location once again, writing that the collision took place at Hawthorne and Vallon.

According to a sheriff’s spokesperson, the victim was riding down the hill on Hawthorne at a high rate of speed, estimated at 45 mph. The driver of a Mayflower truck turned right onto Hawthorne in front of the cyclist, who was unable to stop at that speed.

The driver continued on, reportedly having no idea the rider had collided with his truck. 

However, if the rider was really going that fast, he would have hit with a significant amount of force, making it seem odd that the driver failed to notice. 

Regardless, sheriff’s deputies concluded that the driver didn’t break the law, and everything he did was “legal at the time.”

Update 3: In their report from the scene, which I was unable to view last night, KNBC-4 reports the truck was stopped at the red light headed west on Hawthorne, and made a wide turn onto Vallon when the light turned green.

The victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified, apparently rounded a blind curve on westbound Hawthorne while descending at a high rate of speed; unable to stop, he slammed into the side or rear of the truck. 

The driver continued on, dragging the bicycle roughly 200 feet up Vallon before finally coming to a stop. 

There’s no way to know if the victim would have had a chance if the driver had stopped after the initial collision.

Update 4: The victim has been identified as 29-year old Redondo Beach resident Pissanuk Jonathan Tansavatdi. Thanks to Martin Blount for the heads-up. 

Meanwhile, Blount forwards a video showing the descent on Hawthorne Blvd. The intersection at Vallon comes into view at the 1:30 mark, with the riders passing through at 49 mph, giving credence to the police theory that Tansavatdi may have hit the truck at 45 mph.

Update 5: I’ve heard from a relative of Tansavatdi, who described him as sunny, cheerful, handsome, talented engineer, and a friend to many.

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

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up. 

Breaking news: Covina bike rider killed in collision with Metrolink train

A Covina cyclist has been killed in train collision.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a Metrolink train at 1:38 this afternoon on Azusa Avenue near Northview High School.

Baldwin Park Patch places the collision Azusa and Front Street. Tracks are visible on a satellite view just north of Front, while crossing arms can be seen on the street.

No word on why the victim was on the tracks at the time of the collision.

Train collisions are the easiest type of wreck to avoid, since their route is predictable and both audible and visual warnings are given before they pass.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in LA County; this is also the second time a SoCal cyclist has been killed in a collision with a train this year.

My deepest sympathy for the victim and his or her loved ones.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Update: 47-year old bicyclist killed in collision with semi in Downey Wednesday am

More bad news.

According to the Downey Patriot, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck this morning.

The victim, identified only as a 47-year old Norwalk resident, was riding west on Stewart and Gray Road when he was struck by the truck traveling south on Bellflower Blvd.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, a 59-year old Lakewood man, was questioned and released. He did not appear to be under the influence.

No word on how the collision occurred. A satellite view shows an intersection with four lanes in each direction, and right and left turn lanes on Steward and Gray.

This is the third bicycling fatality this year, and the first in LA County. And it’s the third in Downey in less than two years.

Update: The victim has been identified as 47-year old Norwalk resident Michael Keeler.

According

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michael Keeler and his loved ones.

63-year old bike rider dies over a month after Burbank collision

Sad news from Burbank, as a bike rider has died more than a month after he was injured in a left cross collision.

According to a press release from the Burbank Police Department, 63-year old Henry Peter Kuen was riding east on Magnolia Blvd when he was hit by a car turning left onto Buena Vista Street at 2:25 pm on December 9th.

Kuen was hospitalized with a severe head injury, where he remained in critical condition. It’s unclear exactly when he died; the press release only notes that the police were informed of his death yesterday.

He was not wearing a helmet; in this case, it’s possible that it might have made a difference.

The driver remained at the scene, and police note that the driver was not under the influence. However, there is no word on who had the right of way, or why he or she apparently didn’t see Kuen on his bike.

A street view shows a typical urban intersection with traffic signals and four lanes, plus turn lanes, in each direction.

Police note that the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact BPD Traffic Detective Sam Anderson at 818/238-3100.

The press release ends with this, which should be a mantra for everyone on the streets:

The Burbank Police Department logged four fatalities in 2015 as a result of traffic collisions. We would like to remind the public to remain vigilant and avoid distractions while traveling on our roadways. Drive at a safe speed for conditions, don’t text/talk on your cellphone, always maintain safe distances and look twice for pedestrians and bicyclists.

This is the 73rd, and hopefully last, bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 29th in Los Angeles County. Kuen appears to be the first person to die while riding a bike in Burbank since at least 2011.

My deepest sympathy for Henry Peter Kuen and all his lived ones. 

Thanks to Melissa Pamer and GhostBikes.org for the heads-up.

Kuen BPD Press Release

Bicyclist killed in Compton collision

More bad news, as a Compton bike rider was killed in a collision Monday morning.

According to the Press-Telegram, the victim, identified only as a man in his 30s, was riding north on Compton Ave around 6:30 am when he was struck by a vehicle driving east on El Segundo Blvd.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the site following the collision.

A satellite view shows a signalized intersection with four lanes in each direction, with a center left turn lane; Compton narrows to two lanes south of El Segundo.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 24th in Los Angeles County.

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

%d bloggers like this: