Tag Archive for County of Los Angeles

Update: 69-year old bike rider killed in Downey collision

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in Downey last night.

According to the Downey Beat, a bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle around 9:30 Friday night on the 10600 block of Lakewood Blvd, between Florence Ave and Firestone Blvd; the victim appeared to be male.

The driver remained at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in LA County. That compares with 45 this time last year in the seven county SoCal region, and 18 in the county.

It’s just the second fatal bicycling collision in Downey in the last five years.

Update: The Press-Telegram has identified the victim as 69-year old Downey resident Adel Mikhail. 

Raw video footage from the scene places the collision near the intersection of Lakewood and Muller St. (Warning: The video may be hard to take, as it shows the victim’s body being covered.)

There’s a white car stopped in the left lane, with damage to the right side and windshield; his body appears to be in the roadway directly ahead of the car. The victim’s bike is off to the right, apparently without lights, though it’s possible they may be hidden or turned off.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adel Mikhail and his loved ones.

Bike rider killed in Mid-City LA crash by apparent drunk and/or stoned driver

Sometimes you just want to scream.

Bicyclists are told to light up their bikes after dark. Yet even lighting it up like a Christmas tree isn’t always enough to keep a rider safe.

Especially when a driver is on drugs or has been drinking.

Or maybe both.

That’s what LA police say happened last night in LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, as a bike rider, described only as a Hispanic man around 55-years old, was killed in a collision just before mid-night.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was struck by a passenger van around 11:43 pm on Fairfax Avenue near Sawyer Street. KTLA-5 places it between Sawyer and Venice Blvd.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on how the collision occurred. However, KTLA reports the driver, who remained at the scene, was taken into custody on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Even more infuriating is that video from the scene shows the victim had a flashing headlight and taillight on his white bike, as well as colored flashing lights on his rear wheel. So he should have been easily visible, even at that hour.

The bike appears relatively undamaged in the video, making it hard to guess what might have happened.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in LA County; it’s also the 7th in the City of Los Angeles. That’s two more in the city compared to this time last year, even though bicycling deaths in the county are down by one-third.

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

Update: Late night bike rider killed by two hit-and-run drivers in South El Monte

Bad enough when one heartless coward flees the scene.

Worse when two drivers smash into a man riding his bike, then leave him to die in the street.

That’s what happened in South El Monte early this morning, as a 47-year old cyclist was killed in a succession of collisions on Rosemead Blvd.

According to KABC-7, Heriberto Ruiz struck from behind by an unknown vehicle near the offramp to the southbound 60 Freeway about 2:53 am. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune places the collision in the 3000 block of Rosemead, which appears to be some distance from the offramp.

That driver fled the scene, leaving Ruiz lying in the roadway where he was struck by a white minivan and possibly one other vehicle; KNBC-4 reports the minivan collided with another vehicle that was stopping at the scene. The driver of the minivan then fled, as well.

Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene.

A satellite view shows an extended, high-speed offramp leading from the freeway; if he was trying to ride south across that, he would have been a sitting duck as motorists sped onto Rosemead.

No word on whether he was using lights at that hour; however, police are usually quick to report if a victim didn’t have lights or reflectors on his bike.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 44 and 17, respectively, this time last year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports Ruiz may have been riding home from visiting a friend when he was hit. 

A visitor to the scene found a broken Cateye taillight, suggesting that his bike should have been visible from behind. 

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP’s East LA office at 323/980-4600.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Heriberto Ruiz and all his friends and family. 

Bike rider killed in Hollywood collision

This is not the news anyone wants for Bike Week.

Or any other time for that matter.

Reports started coming in yesterday evening that a bike rider had been killed at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd and Hobart Blvd in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, it took until this afternoon to get official confirmation.

According to the police report, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north in the west crosswalk on Hobart at approximately 3:07 pm Wednesday when he was struck by a car headed west on Hollywood.

The impact apparently knocked him into a parked car on the north curb, before falling back into the street. He died at the scene.

LAist reports that the crosswalk has a blinking yellow light to warn drivers that someone is crossing. However, it’s unclear if it was working at the time, or if the rider had activated it.

They also quote a comment from a Reddit thread indicating that the driver was taking an 84-year old grandmother to the hospital; however, while there are several hospitals nearby, they are all in the opposite direction from which the car was headed.

It’s unclear from the description who might have been at fault.

It’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, which means it is also legal to ride in the crosswalk.

However, the LAPD interprets the law as requiring cyclists to ride in the direction of traffic when they enter a crosswalk. In this case, that would have required the victim to cross on the east side of Hobart, but the only crosswalk is on the west side.

On the other hand, unless the victim was traveling at a high rate of speed, the driver should have had time to see him and react before he reached the opposite side of the road.

If there’s a lesson to learn from this, it’s that you should never count on drivers seeing you and stopping in time, in a crosswalk or anywhere else; always wait until they actually stop before trying to cross in front of them.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.

That compares with 41 in the seven county SoCal region this time last year, and 17 in the county. However, it’s one more than in the City of LA on this date in 2014.

Update: The victim’s granddaughter has identified him as Thomas Galvan Munoz, a resident of the area for 30 years who rode his bike through the streets of LA every day. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Galvan Munoz and his loved ones.

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.

Update: Lakewood bike rider killed in early morning collision with suspected drunk driver

Sad news today, as a woman lost her life in an early morning collision.

According to the Press-Telegram, a woman was hit by a car while riding her bike on the 11700 block of Del Amo Blvd in Lakewood around 2 am Sunday morning.

The driver went on to hit a telephone pole, and was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

No word on the identity of the victim or how the collision occurred, though a satellite view shows a bike lane on the street.

This is the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Los Angeles County. That compares to 33 in SoCal this time last year and 14 in LA County.

Update: KNBC-4 reports the victim was trying to cross Del Amo at Pioneer Blvd, rather than riding on Del Amo. That intersection is controlled by a four-way traffic signal, which suggest that someone most likely ran the red light.

She died at the scene. The driver was also injured, and taken to Long Beach Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Update 2: The suspect has been identified by KABC-7 as 24-year old Emmanuel Camacho. The station reports that he hit a telephone pole two blocks away from the collision that killed the bike rider, yet for some reason, sheriff’s deputies were not calling it a hit-and-run.

Update 3: The Press-Telegram has identified the victim as 33-year old Lakewood resident Crista Contreras; her Facebook page has turned into an online memorial. 

The paper also reports Camacho has been released on $100,000 bond, and is due in court on Tuesday, April 21st.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Crista Contreras and her loved ones.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link to her Facebook page. 

13-year old boy killed while walking his bike in Boyle Heights

Somehow, I missed this one.

La Opinion reports that a 13-year old boy was killed when he was hit by a car in Boyle Heights on Monday.

According to the Spanish language newspaper, the collision occurred near the intersection of Sheridan and Cummings Streets while he was walking his bike. KCBS-2 places the time of the collision around 7:50 pm; both sources say he died about four hours later.

The driver remained at the scene. No other details about the collision are available at this time, though KCBS says the car “slammed” into the boy, suggesting a relatively high-speed impact.

The victim was identified by La Opinion as Chris Rodriguez, described as a cheerful boy who frequently rode his bike around the neighborhood.

An altar with flowers and a helium balloon had appeared at the site by morning; the paper reports family members gathered around it, weeping inconsolably.

Adding to the tragedy, Rodriguez’ father had asked him not to go out that night, but the boy went out for what would be his last ride anyway.

Speeding cars make the intersection dangerous for children riding their bikes and skateboards, according to people in the neighborhood, who say a simple speed limit sign might have made a difference.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in the County of Los Angeles; it’s also the first in the City of LA. That compares to 25 in the seven-county Southern California region this time last year, and 13 in the county.

As those numbers suggest, this has been one of the safest years in memory for SoCal cyclists so far.

But as this tragedy reminds us, even one death is one too many.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chris Rodriguez and all his family. 

Thanks to LA Streetsblog‘s Joe Linton and Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up.

Update: 39-year old salmon cyclist killed in Venice Thanksgiving night

It wasn’t a good Thanksgiving in Venice Thursday evening.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a 39-year old Venice resident was riding the wrong way on South Venice Blvd just east of Speedway when she was struck by a car turning left onto the one-way street from southbound Speedway.

According to the paper, the collision occurred around 5 pm.

Venice 311 reports the victim, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was riding without a headlight shortly after sunset, which occurred at 4:44 pm. The website says she lost balance before being struck, and fell under the car before being dragged roughly 10 feet until the driver was able to stop.

The driver reportedly did not see her riding the wrong direction in the gathering dusk. The visitors from Spain remained at the scene, and immediately called for help.

She was not breathing when firefighters dislodged her from the car, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The Venice 311 story includes a number of photos from the scene, including shots of the bike with the rear racks full and the contents of the handlebar basket spilling onto the street.

This collision serves as a tragic reminder to always ride with traffic, even on quiet streets; drivers won’t be looking for you coming from the wrong direction.

This is the 79th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th in LA County. It’s also the 11th in the City of Los Angeles.

Sadly, those numbers will grow, as I’m aware of one more recent fatality in the County of Los Angeles; more on that Friday.

Update: John Montgomery visited the site and offers his insights in the comments below, questioning why the driver took so long to stop, and observes that, as always, the victim is unable to give her side of the story. And notes that the LAPD has conducted a thorough investigation at the scene. 

Meanwhile, I’ve received some criticism for using the term salmon; Patrick Miller calls it a “condescending slur” to describe a cyclist riding against traffic — and New York’s famed Bike Snob, who some credit with originating the term, agrees.

While he undoubtedly popularized the term, it has been in use by cyclists for some time; I first heard it decades ago, and have been using it in conversation with other riders ever since. That is not to say Bike Snob did not come up with the term on his own; his original use of the term could easily have been the first time he and many others had heard it.

I have never considered it to be condescending or a slur in any way. It is simply an apt description of an act that is both dangerous and illegal, and one of the leading causes of bicycling collisions. 

No offense was intended. If any was taken, I apologize.

Update 2: The Free Venice Beachhead has identified the victim as 39-year old Summer Baker.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Summer Baker and her loved ones. 

Thanks to Joe Ryan and Venice 311 for the heads-up. 

E-bike rider killed in North Hollywood dooring; 10th LA bicycling fatality

Dooring is one of the most common kinds of bicycling collisions, but it is rarely fatal.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as the Daily News reports that an e-bike rider died yesterday as a result of being doored in North Hollywood.

According to the paper, the cyclist, identified only as an man apparently in his 50s, crashed into a car door on westbound Vanowen approaching Longridge Ave around 10 am Tuesday. A passenger in the parked car opened a driver’s side door into the path of the rider, who fell after crashing into it; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger remained at the scene and tried to help the victim.

It’s important to note that CVC 22517 requires any person opening a car door to wait until it is safe to do so without inferring with moving traffic. As a result, the person opening the door is almost always at fault in a dooring, whether it’s the driver of a passenger.

This is the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, which compares with the same number this time last year. It’s also the 29th cycling death in LA County since the first of the year, and the 10th in the City of Los Angeles.

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

Correction: Bike rider survives East LA collision with critical injuries

News is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in East Los Angeles this afternoon.

According to My News LA, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Indiana and Percy Streets in East Los Angeles around 1:45 pm. Unfortunately, he or she died while being transported to a hospital.

A street view show a two lane street with businesses on Indiana below Percy, and an unlaned street on Percy; neither appears to have any bicycling infrastructure.

More information as it becomes available.

Update: It wasn’t apparent from the street view, however, there is a middle school on the northwest corner of this intersection; Erick Huerta, aka El Random Hero, tells me traffic is often heavy in the area as a result. 

Update 2: An earlier report from KNBC-4 shows an arial view of the collision, with a road bike just in front of, or partially under, the left front fender of an older burgundy sedan. The car is positioned over the center line, and angled to suggest the car was turning left.

However, they place the collision site a block south at Indiana Street and Whittier Blvd.

There are also at least two hospitals in the immediate area; however, neither appears to be a trauma center. 

Correction: I’ve just gotten off the phone with Carlos Morales of the East Side Bike Club, who informs me that earlier reports were incorrect.

Carlos, who also owns Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia, explained that he spoke with the CHP officer who investigated the collision, and was told that the victim was still alive as of Tuesday morning, although in extremely critical condition. 

According to the officer, the collision actually occurred on 4th Street near Indiana and Whittier, which I am unable to find on the map. When a driver on 4th stopped to allow another vehicle to exit the alley, the cyclist passed around him on the left side, crossing over the center line, and was hit head-on by a car coming in the opposite direction. 

The victim, described only as a Hispanic male in his 20s, was transported to a hospital with severe head trauma. And no, he was not wearing a helmet, though it is unclear if it could have made a difference in this case.

Unfortunately, the prognosis doesn’t sound good; your prayers or good wishes are definitely in order in this case. 

My sincere apologies for the error.

Update: Seven-year old e-bike rider killed by ice cream truck in South LA; driver attacked by bystanders

Just heartbreaking.

Several media sources are reporting that a seven-year old boy has died after falling under an ice cream truck.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding a motorcycle-style e-bike when he fell under the rear wheels of the truck.

According to KABC-7, he was riding next to the slow moving truck, and possibly holding on to it, before falling for an unknown reason. The LA Times reports that police consider it an “unfortunate accident,” though the investigation is still ongoing.

He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, but died at 9:15 pm after emergency surgery.

However, in a report on KNBC-4, which is not available online as of this writing, a man identified as the victim’s uncle said the boy was walking his bike next to the truck, rather than riding, in an attempt to catch up to his older brother. And that the truck had been traveling too fast for the neighborhood street.

To make matters worse, the driver suffered minor injuries after he and his truck were attacked by people in the area who threw bricks at the truck and threatened him with a knife.

According to the man claiming to be the victim’s uncle, the attackers included the boy’s mother.

This is the 74th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th in the County of Los Angeles; it’s also the 10th in the City of LA.

Update: The victim has been identified as Jamarion Thomas. Meanwhile, the Times reports that family members dispute the version of events given by the police, as noted above, insisting that he was walking his bike and was too small to hold onto the truck, even if he wanted to.

Update: As this story has developed, it has become clear that Jamarion Thomas was not riding or walking a bicycle when he was killed, since his bike didn’t have pedals. Instead, it was a toy motorcycle powered by a battery.

This does not make his death any less tragic, but it does mean it does not belong among the statistics for bicycling fatalities.

As a result, I have removed his name from this year’s total. That returns the number of SoCal bicycling fatalities to 73 for this year, with 28 in LA County and the 9th in the City of Los Angeles. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jamarion Thomas and his family.

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