Tag Archive for cyclist critically injured

KABC-7 updates the Zoo Drive hit-and-run, and a BMW driver gives me good chance to check my brakes

A few quick notes this morning.

KABC-7 picks up the horrifying story of Damian Kevitt, the cyclist hit by an impatient driver while riding on Zoo Drive near the L.A. Zoo, and dragged by the fleeing minivan nearly a quarter mile onto the 5 Freeway.

As the story notes, Kevitt has already lost one leg below the knee and suffered 20 broken bones throughout his body; according to his uncle, he’s still at risk of losing the other leg.

Keep your eyes peeled for an older gray Toyota Sienna or other similar minivan with possible front end damage; witnesses report the van had a For Sale sign in the window with the partial phone number 213/XXX-0776.

The driver needs to do some serious jail time for such a cruel and vicious assault. The collision may not have been intentional, but the decision to flee with the victim still trapped underneath his van was.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Altadena station at (323) 259-2010.


Yesterday, I had a clear demonstration of the importance of good brakes, as a driver on San Vicente cut in front of me with no warning the moment the bike lane ended just west of Brentwood.


After the success in getting all five major candidates for mayor of L.A. and several city council candidates on the record for their stands on bicycling issues, the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee meets tonight to discuss how to get out the bike vote, and the next steps for the May runoff election. The meeting takes place at 6:45 pm at the Johnnie’s Pizza at Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Blvd.


LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke is calling for cyclists to support a proposed $134 million Transportation Impact Fee at tonight’s Santa Monica city council session, including $59 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects throughout the city.

If you can’t be there in person, they urge you to call or email the council members before the vote.


I received an invitation yesterday to participate in this fall’s California Coast Classic to benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

Unfortunately, my wife’s recent health issues make my participation in a multi-day ride a little problematic, to say the least. However, given that I’ve suffered from severe arthritis in my right knee for over 15 years as a result of a botched knee surgery in my teens, this is one event I can whole-heartedly support.

And my relatively minor inconvenience doesn’t even begin to compare to what so many others, young and old, have to go through. Despite perceptions, arthritis doesn’t just affect the elderly and infirm.

But since I can’t make it, maybe you can take a few moments to support the woman who invited me, and make a pledge to Monet Diamonte to help raise money for her ride.

Not only does she have one of the best names I’ve encountered in recent years, she’s dealt with juvenile arthritis herself since she was just two years.

And clearly, hasn’t let it get the upper hand.


Finally, speaking of horrifying injuries, a young Chinese boy suffered a bizarre freak accident when he fell off his bike, breaking the seat post — and embedding it the last place you’d ever want it.

The good news is, surgeons were able remove it with no serious injury. But that might be the one injury that could make me quit riding forever.

Update: Bike rider killed in Indio police shooting; Redondo Beach rider seriously hurt in left cross collision

There’s been another fatal shooting of a bike rider, this time in Indio.

And this time, it definitely wasn’t gang related.

Because the police did it.

According to the Southwest Riverside News Network, 23-year old Alejandro Renden was riding in the 82400 block of Miles Avenue in Indio around 11:30 Thursday night when a police officer attempted to stop him.

Renden attempted to flee by riding between two buildings, then got into an altercation with the same officer when he returned to Miles Ave. Somehow, the altercation escalated into an officer-involved shooting; there’s no explanation why the officer fired his gun, or any suggestion that Renden was armed.

And without that, there’s no way to judge whether the shooting was justified, though his family says he wasn’t the type to resist.

Renden was transported to a local hospital, where he died about an hour after the shooting.

He is the second SoCal bike rider to be killed as a result of gunfire this year, and the second this week.


A Redondo Beach bike rider was severely injured in a left cross collision on Friday.

The rider, who was not publicly identified, was travelling north on Catalina Avenue at 7:55 am when he broadsided a car turning left from southbound Catalina onto eastbound Carnelian Street.

According to the Easy Reader, the 40-something male rider suffered numerous broken bones and a severe head injury, despite wearing a helmet. The victim was reportedly riding at a high rate of speed, and hit the car with enough force to shatter his racing bike into multiple pieces.

As a police spokesperson noted, a helmet offers protection at slower speeds, but is of little use in a high speed collision. However, assuming he does survive, it may be thanks to whatever protection his helmet did provide under the circumstances.

It sounds like prayers, or whatever good thoughts you’re comfortable with, may be in order.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Update: Jim Lyle forwards what looks like good news on the condition of victim. He’s now in stable condition, and thankfully appears to have avoided any significant brain injury. 

His body is another matter, however. Lyle reports the man — whose name I’m withholding unless I receive permission from the victim or his family or it appears in the press — suffered six to nine broken ribs, a broken femur, broken tibia, breaks to both wrists and hands, broken collar bone, broken clavicle, a gash to his cheek and significant road rash to his left ear.

I’m told the damage to his wrists and hands is the most serious problem, with the potential to be life changing. He’s already had several surgeries to his femur and wrists, and faces more in the morning.

I hope you’ll join me in offering prayers and best wishes for a fast and full recovery.


The USC cycling team hosts its first ever crit in Culver City this Sunday, along with a bike expo, children’s bike rodeo and gourmet lunch trucks from 7 am to 12:30 pm. The course will run along a route formed by Steller Drive, Warner Drive, Hayden Ave and Eastham Drive, with easy access from the Expo Line and Ballona Creek bike path.


SSJersey_Together-300x300The LACBC offers a stylish new kit for the spandex crowd. Having gotten my hands on last year’s edition, these come highly recommended; it’s one of the few jerseys I actually look good in.

And the bright black color is surprisingly visible during daylight hours, while the white back and colored inserts should stand out in low light situations.

The kit includes everything from men’s and women’s shorts to socks, jacket and arm and leg warmers, all priced to be as affordable as possible. But don’t wait, orders are due by March 1st.


LA County Supervisors adopt a new ordinance promoting bicycling, walking, exercise and access to healthy foods to promote a healthier county. An LADOT report suggests uncalming city streets; more on that next week. LAist looks at next weekend’s Bike Prom. Westwood bike lanes get a mixed response from the Westside Neighborhood Council. Better Bike endorses John Mirisch for Beverly Hills City Council. A Santa Monica letter writer complains about those damn raging cyclists, criticizing riders who use the sidewalks and the ones who don’t with equal venom; thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the link. SaMo High is getting a new state-of-the art building — and a 125 space bike parking lot. Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles offers a session on Weight Training for Cyclists this Wednesday. New dad Steve Martin takes to his bike to get in shape; someone needs to work on his knock-kneed, hunched-over riding form, though.

A San Diego rider on a motorized bike suffers a serious head injury after falling as a result of a sudden stop. San Diego County considers a two-mile bike and pedestrian tube suspended from the Coronado Bay Bridge, where bikes are banned. San Diego’s Union-Tribune offers a photographic look at the Ramona High School mountain bike team. A Simi Valley cyclist with cerebral palsy gets a new bike from his friends at Ride 2 Recovery. A San Francisco writer asks what’s more practical, a ban on bikes or a ban on dangerous streets? BART considers letting bikes on their trains all day, every day.

Atlantic Cites says cars and robust cities are fundamentally incompatible. A 69-year old Provo, Utah cyclist is killed in a horrible collision as he’s hit from behind at a train crossing and pushed into the path of an oncoming train. The state also considers a vulnerable users law. Winter bike commuting can be challenging in the 49th state. Austin TX offers a new bike map with genuine road information to guide users. New Orleans begins testing a new bike share program. Hartford CT legislators want to ban riding two abreast, while Toronto moves to remove their requirement to ride single file. Boston cyclists demand justice after a grand jury fails to indict a hit-and-run truck driver who killed a cyclist. Work begins on restoring a Brooklyn bike path destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Merchants in New York’s Crown Heights neighborhood are up in arms because a bike corral is attracting the mustachioed fixie-riding menace. An Annapolis man plans to bike to all 30 major league baseball stadiums. President Obama’s “Fix it First” approach could be good for cyclists. A Virginia writer says the state’s failed attempt to ban dooring is an ignorant vote on a good bicycling bill.

An unnamed cyclist comes to the rescue after Victoria BC police are unable to capture a fleeing driver. London’s Guardian says cities need to be less about cars and more about people to fight climate change; same goes for livability. A new device offers a better way to get traffic lights to respond to bikes. Russia’s Katusha cycling team wins its appeal after being banished from pro cycling’s top tier. After she’s hit by a car, a New Zealand mayor wants the driver who hit her to pay for a new bike and helmet. New Zealand cyclists reject a call to make hi-viz clothing mandatory for all riders.

Finally, just because you’re drunk doesn’t mean you aren’t good to drive, right? Meanwhile, the UK offers a devastating four minute video to drive home the dangers of texting; I wish someone had the courage to do something like that over here. Thanks to Dave H for the tip.

Let me add a special thanks to Nick at the Westwood Helen’s for going above and beyond by dropping what he was doing to fix my brakes on Friday. Not only did he save my opportunity to ride on a perfect day, but he may have saved my ass from  particularly nasty right hook.

Update: Bike rider fatally shot in South L.A.; 15-year Santa Clarita rider critically injured in Wednesday collision

LAist is reporting that a bike rider was shot and killed in South L.A. yesterday.

Thirty-year old Darnell Charles was riding near the intersection of Menlo Avenue and Imperial Highway around 3:20 pm Wednesday when a car pulled up next to him. After exchanging words, the driver pulled out a gun and fired before speeding off.

No word on exactly what street Charles was on, or what was said. It’s possible it was a road rage case; however, it’s more likely that the shooting was gang related or that the driver and victim knew one another.

The fact that police know words were exchanged suggests that there may have been at least one witness to the shooting.

He was the first bike rider to be fatally shot in Southern California this year; it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be the last.

Update: The Daily Breeze adds more details to the story, identifying Charles as a former star football player for Leuzinger High School. 

According to the paper, the gunman got out of his vehicle and walked up to Charles before shooting him multiple times in the upper body, then fleeing in his car. Charles was transported to a hospital where he died at 4:50 pm.

The victim, who worked as a security guard, leaves behind a son. Police confirm that they suspect the attack was gang related. 

That does not necessarily mean Charles was a gang member, however; it suggests that the shooter is suspected of having gang affiliations, whether or not his victim did.

As I note in the comments below, the overwhelming majority of fatal shootings involving cyclists are gang related. Of the 17 SoCal shooting deaths since the beginning of 2011, gang involvement was confirmed or suspected in all but two.

Until we as a society decide it’s time to put a stop gun and gang violence, people will continue to fall victim to bullets on our streets. 

Some of them will be on bikes.


In other news, a 15-year bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision with an SUV in Santa Clarita yesterday.

The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a vehicle driven by a 17-year old motorist around 5:30 pm Wednesday at the intersection of Fairview and Waterford Drives. Again, no information on how the collision may have occurred.

News stories note that the victim was not wearing a helmet; however, they don’t say whether he suffered head injuries, or if a helmet might have made any difference.

Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Traffic Detective Travis Kelly at 661/255-1121.

Update: PCH claims another life — bike rider killed by Metro bus in Malibu; 2nd rider critically injured in Alhambra

It’s the fear of countless cyclists on Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway.

A door opens unexpectedly. A patch of gravel causes a loss of control. A pothole or too-close pass leaves a rider precariously unbalanced.

Followed by a deadly fall in front of unforgiving, high speed traffic.

We may never know why a cyclist fell in front of a Metro bus on PCH today. But the tragic result was entirely predictable.

According to KNBC-4, the 36-year old rider, identified only as a Los Angeles resident of “Latino descent,” was riding on PCH near Puerco Canyon Road at 1:50 pm. She reportedly lost control of her bike and fell into the roadway, where she was struck by an oncoming Metro Bus at 25019 Pacific Coast Highway, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The story does not report which direction she was riding; however, Malibu Patch says southbound PCH was closed for several hours between Puerco Canyon Road and John Tyler Drive, suggesting that the collision occurred on the west side of the highway.

Patch reports that a Sheriff’s spokesman said it’s too early to determine who was at fault. The story also notes that deputies were unsure if she was wearing a helmet; given that the victim was hit by bus, there’s very little chance a helmet would have made any difference in the outcome.

This is the 65th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth fatality in the past week. It’s also the 21st bicycling death in Los Angeles County since the beginning of the year, 12 of which were due to traffic collisions, and the second on PCH in the Malibu/Santa Monica area.

My heartfelt prayers and sympathy for the victim and her family. 

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Update: Malibu Patch quotes a Metro spokesman as saying they don’t know if the bus driver was male or female, what the driver’s previous safety record was, or whether there were any passengers on the bus at the time of the collision. Hint to Metro: when you don’t have anything to say, you’re usually better off not saying anything.

The Pepperdine University Graphic identifies the bus line as the 534, which seems to be more than Metro knows.

Update 2: A press release from the Sheriff’s Department confirms the collision occurred on South/Eastbound side of PCH.

Update 3: According to a comment from Alma Valencia, the victim was Marisela Echeveria of Cypress Park.

Truly saddened to read this report. The Los Angeles resident of “Latino decent” was my friend. Her name was Marisela Echeveria a Cypress Park resident enjoying a ride along PCH. She was an Ironman athlete, architect and was truley an angel taken from us much too soon. We are all in shock and pray for strength for the days to come.

Update 4: Many people have expressed grief over Marisela’s tragic death, as well as anger over a comment below urging riders to avoid dangerous roads like PCH. While I strongly disagree with her comments, the writer does have a right to her opinion, and has not crossed the line into personal attacks or blaming the victim; disagree as much as you want, but please keep responses respectful.

The best thing you can do to channel your anger and grief is to take a few moments to participate in the Malibu PCH bike safety study, which will be online through November 12th. By making PCH safer, we can help prevent future fatalities, and bring some good from this horrible tragedy.

Also, consider writing the Governor to express your anger over his two-time veto of the state’s proposed three-foot passing laws. If the bus had been required to stay a minimum of three feet from the cyclist, she might have been able to fall beside, rather than in front, of the bus. And this needless tragedy might never have happened.

Update 5: Finally, some real news, as KCBS-2 reports Echevaria was training for an Ironman triathlon when she was killed on PCH Saturday afternoon. According to the station, she lost control of her bike when she was passed by some trucks and caught her handlebar on a parked car; she then veered into the bus and was dragged underneath.

This may be the first fatality we can lay directly at the feet of Governor Jerry Brown since his most recent veto of the state’s proposed three-foot passing law.

In order for the trucks to have caused Echerveria to lose control, they had to be close enough to either startle her or interfere with the safe operation of her bike — although to be fair, larger trucks should give a hell of a lot more than three feet, due to their massive size.

And the bus driver may or may not have been passing too close, depending on how far she was thrown into the roadway after clipping the parked car.

If there are witnesses who can show the trucks passed too closely to her bike — and it sounds like there may be — the driver(s) can and should be charged with vehicular homicide.

Anyone with information is urged to call the L.A. Sheriff’s Department Malibu/Lost Hills station at 818/878-1808.

Update 6: According to Malibu Patch, the Coroner has ruled the death an accident resulting from multiple traumatic injuries; however, as I understand it, that does not halt the investigation or preclude charges.

Update 7: Echeveria’s death may not have been due to a close pass, and it appears it may not have been her fault, either. 

Video evidence has surfaced that reportedly shows her bike tire getting caught in a seam in the roadway as she attempted to go around some parked cars. More in tonight’s follow-up report.


Clearly, it was a bad day for L.A. County bicyclists, as another rider was critically injured while riding salmon in Alhambra.

According to the Pasadena Star-News, the 44-year old rider, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on southbound Palm Avenue at Main Street when he was struck by a northbound Mercedes Benz turning left from Raymond onto Main around 12:45 pm.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation; however, riding on the wrong side of the roadway didn’t help.

Dangerous driver alert, cyclist critically injured in West LA, and your fresh summer solstice links

I received the following email last night, urging cyclists to be on the lookout for a dangerous driver who continues to drive despite a restricted — and possibly suspended — license.

And despite seriously injuring a cyclist in a collision late last month.

URGENT -Dangerous Driver Alert If you ride the Rockstore Loop you should be very concerned. (Agoura Road, Cornell Road, Mulholland Between Cornell & Lake Vista Dr.)

The Vehicle: 2012 Red Hyundai Elantra License 6TLN???* Damage to right front & right side. Missing right side mirror.

On 5/30/2012 @ 6:30 AM Local Cyclist Richard Harris sustained serious injuries and was Life Flighted to UCLA when he was run down from behind by a 45 MPH car while riding in the bike lane on Cornell Road � mile N of Mulholland. The 88 year old Driver of the car lives in Malibu Lake and is continuing to drive even though she has a restricted and possibly suspended license. She regularly drives back and forth between Malibu Lake & Agoura. This driver has been involved in multiple serious accidents in the last six months. The DMV has already been notified by the CHP that she needs a priority reexamination of her license. However she continues to drive in violation if the restrictions placed on her. If you see her driving call 911 so the CHP can impound her car.

*I’ve removed the last three digits of the license number to protect the online privacy of the driver; if you see a car matching that description with the first four digits of the license, contact the police and let them determine if it’s the right car.

And whatever you do, don’t try to deal with the situation yourself.

Thanks to Michael Byerts, Henry Hsieh and Steve Herbert for the heads-up.


A UC Berkeley and Santa Monica College student is critically injured in a collision with an SUV while riding her bike home last week. Tragically, her mother and sister discovered her lying in the street no more than a minute after the collision; she’s reportedly doing well, despite suffering life-threatening injuries.


Once again, the great helmet debate rears its ugly head. This time in our neighbor to the north.

No, further north.

The Ontario, Canada chief coroner gets it right by saying all of the 129 cycling deaths in the province since 2006 could have been prevented. And responds by calling for a 14-point plan to prevent bicycling deathsincluding a mandatory helmet law.

And that’s where the argument starts.

A writer for the National Post says prove helmets are effective before making them mandatory, while Quebec pediatricians call for a law mandating helmet use for children.

The Toronto Star says the coroner is right, while a Toronto writer likes most of the suggestions, except for that damn helmet law. Windsor cyclists say it’s a matter of choice; the local paper calls for better education — and maybe mandatory helmets. The Ottawa Citizen says it should be an adult’s choice, which is exactly my take on the subject, even though I never ride without one.

Meanwhile, cyclists call for easing British Columbia’s helmet law, while a letter writer says they must be brain dead. The Daily News says repealing the law would send the wrong message, noting the outcry that would occur if the requirement to wear a seat belt was withdrawn.

Then again, unlike bike helmets, seat belts are designed to offer protection in crashes above 12.5 mph.

And an Anchorage AK writer suggests bike lanes would do more to make riders safe than requiring — or even wearing — helmets.


The San Francisco cyclist charged with killing a pedestrian while allegedly trying to beat his time on Strava enters a not guilty plea. Meanwhile, the family of a fallen cyclist files suit against Strava for encouraging dangerous riding. And Strava changes their terms and conditions to absolve themselves of any responsibility for anything anyone does using their service; good luck with that.

And Dave Moulton wisely advises riders not to play pretend racer on city streets — and somehow does it without using the words jerk, idiot or anything derived from four-letter words; I’m not sure I could show that kind of restraint.


Bike share takes to the streets in Salt Lake City and New York, where the Post calls it a money-wasting crazed campaign backed by cycling-advocate groups and their stooges.


The bikelash rises in an attempt to stop a planned road diet on Honolulu Ave in Glendale, so City Council members delay a decision until July 10th. A writer for Patch explains the arguments for and against.


As noted here last week, Heal the Bay and Mountains Restoration Trust are calling for mountain bikers to help clean up sections of Malibu Creek State Park to remote to reach on foot this Saturday. The LA Sheriff Cycling Team hosts 350 riders for the second annual Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. The long awaited Main Street bike lanes are on their way, while the Source questions whether it’s legal to park in them; short answer, not in Los Angeles, where parking in bike lanes in banned by local ordinance — even if the police don’t seem to know that. Over 200 riders took part in this year’s L.A. World Naked Bike Ride. L.A. riders recreate the famous flying bike scene from E.T. — without the flying, of course. Letter writers to the Times call for protecting pedestrians from cyclists, although one notes that you can’t blame all riders for the actions of a few. Richard Risemberg discovers the Graffiti Bridge. Four Santa Monica schools will take part in the Safe Routes to Schools program.

A harrowing report on a left-cross collision from Orange County’s cdmCyclist; oddly, the badly injured rider found a link to his own collision right here. San Clemente is seeking funding to develop smart bicycling signs riders can scan with a cell phone to get local information. A San Diego writer says biking in that city means literally risking his life, while another is stunned to discover cyclists have a right to use the whole lane. Two San Mateo men are charged with deliberately running two boys off the road, as well as threatening them with a knife. Three years in San Quentin and a lifetime driving ban for a Saratoga hit-and-run driver with one prior DUI. Sadly, the retiring Sonoma State University professor severely injured by a hit-and-run driver — who said he didn’t stop because he had to get to work — has died of his injuries. A not guilty plea from an accused Bay Area hit-and-run driver with three prior DUIs; why is someone with a record like that even allowed on the road? BART police arrest a Major bike thief.

AASHTO, the national association of state departments of transportation, updates its guidelines but leaves out cycle tracks. A Portland cyclist credits the movie 127 Hours with inspiring him to climb back up a ravine with a broken neck, eight broken ribs and both lungs punctured after he rode off the road at 41 mph. Grim stars join in on Portland’s partly naked bike ride. Issaquah firefighters buy a new bike for a 4th grade boy after his is broken by a careless driver. In a bizarre twist, a Washington town may not be able to afford its mandatory helmet law; thanks again to George Wolfberg for the link. Colorado’s Attorney General seizes $300,000 worth of bogus bike parts and jerseys; this is why you have to be careful about buying from unknown sources. Cyclists are divided on installing a protected bikeway in Lincoln NE. Springfield Cyclist looks back on a successful Ride the Rockies. It’s time to take back the bike lane in Chicago. Dottie of Let’s Go Ride a Bike declares jerk driver season officially open; it takes a real jerk to steal a bike from a Michigan boy with cerebral palsy. The police chief of Grand Rapids MI crashes into two boys on a bike. A New York paper points out pedestrians have little to fear from us pedalists, but everyone has to worry about cars. Why do police always assume a cyclist simply fell over when they find a badly injured rider on the road; sideswiping a rider could also result in serious injuries without damaging the bike.

Canada’s transport minister rejects a requirement for trucks to have side guards to protect cyclists and pedestrians; evidently, saving lives isn’t worth offending the trucking lobby. An Alberta cyclist asks local residents to control their dogs. The Economist says more UK residents are riding bikes, but it’s still a niche activity. London’s Boris Bikes bike share program is swindled out of £42,000. It takes a real schmuck to steal a man’s bike after he suffers a heart attack while riding. A 13-year old UK bike rider is killed by a driver racing his girlfriend at 80 mph, after his car flips and hits two girls riding on a bike path. With more people riding bikes, the Irish Times questions just how safe their streets really are. Even in Israel, deeply observant riders can’t compete in the national championships because their held on the Sabbath.

Finally, your next bicycle could fly; no, really. And a Massachusetts cyclist has his bike and jewelry stolen by a sausage-wielding attacker.

Drunken street racers critically injure Apple Valley cyclist; both drivers under arrest

In a case tragically reminiscent of the street racing death of pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado, an Apple Valley cyclist has been critically injured after getting struck by a drunken street racer.

According to the Victorville Daily Press, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on the north shoulder of Bear Valley Road near Algonquin Road around 2:50 pm Sunday. A car came off a dirt road and hit the rider, seriously injuring him; an aerial view shows several dirt roads in the immediate area.

Witnesses report that two drivers had been racing when the rider got caught between them; both were arrested for driving under the influence causing injury.

At last report, the victim was still in critical condition after being airlifted to a hospital.

My prayers to for the cyclist for a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Dj Wheels for the heads-up.

Update: Car hits group ride in Lancaster following collision, husband and wife injured

Intersection where collision occurred; photos courtesy of Sarge and Michele Chavez

Once again, cyclists are collateral damage on the roads of Southern California.

According to a report from the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, a husband and wife from Valencia were seriously injured when two vehicles collided in the middle of a Lancaster intersection.

Approximately 20 cyclists were participating in a group ride organized by a local bike shop. As they crossed the intersection of Avenue L and 4th Street West Avenue L and Division Street around 8 pm, a PT Cruiser struck a minivan that was traveling next to them, forcing the van into the couple’s path.

Despite wearing a helmet, the husband suffered head trauma and is in critical condition in a local hospital; the wife is listed stable condition with moderate injuries. Neither has been publicly identified.

More information when it becomes available.

Update: A comment left by Whitney, who was on the ride, says that that collision occurred at approximately 8 am, rather than 8 pm as the L.A. Times and other sources have reported. She offers a little insight into what happened:

The group followed all rules of the road; we were barely into the ride, just starting out, less than a mile from starting. A car ran a red light and exactly as Opus shares, no one, no action, could have prevented this with the exception of the driver of the car that ran the light at high speed.

Even if the 2 cyclists were off to the side of the road, it is possible with the speed of the car at cause, and the trajectory of the car it hit, no “spot” was safe to be. In fact, different angle and the rest of us could have been hit.

Be safe, fellow cyclists, as none of us set out on Saturday morning with anything other than the camaraderie of a group ride in mind. Do whatever you can to raise awareness with your group. No doubt someone from our group will reach out for help, to help this family.

Again, the ride was at 8am, not 8pm. Daylight, morning, not evening. Should be safe right? Perhaps cameras at stop lights aren’t such a bad thing, at least, to capture cause when something like this happens, since all too often these events are at intersections.

Whitney offers an interesting suggestion.

Even with the removal of red light cameras in Los Angeles and other cities in the Southland, there are still thousands of traffic control cameras installed at the busier intersections.

It shouldn’t cost much to expand that system to cover most major intersections, not just to monitor traffic, but to provide evidence to police, attorneys and insurance companies in the event of a collision. Maybe that’s something that could be funded by the legal and insurance professionals who have a financial stake in determining exactly who is at fault in serious wrecks.

And Whitney and Opus raise another good point. Chances are, no one could have avoided a collision like this. Sometimes events occur so swiftly that escaping is not an option. 

However, it’s important to remember that similar tragedies have resulted to death and serious injuries to other drivers, pedestrians, people waiting at bus stops, customers and employees in nearby businesses, and even people in the presumed safety of their own homes. Once a vehicle goes ballistic, there’s no way to control who or what it hits, or who gets hurt as a result. 

This is not proof, as some will undoubtedly suggest, that bicycling is dangerous.

But rather, that cars are — especially in the hands of dangerous, careless and/or speeding drivers.

My heartfelt prayers for the victims, and all their family and loved ones.

Update: I’m told that the husband, Nathan “Bud” Tippee, has died of his injuries. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any confirmation in the press, but that’s not unusual; the press often doesn’t follow-up on stories involving critically injured traffic victims. If I get any more details, I’ll let you know.

Ventura County cyclist critically injured; a discussion of bike deaths in OC

In yet another Southern California bike collision, a Ventura man was critically injured when he was hit by a car Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Ventura County Star, 54-year old Curtis Reese was riding across Ventura Avenue on Warner Street when he was hit by a southbound vehicle driven by Jason Friedman, also of Ventura. No other information was given about how the collision occurred or who was at fault.

The paper notes that, in an all-too-rare occurrence, the driver stopped at the scene. And not surprisingly, was uninjured.

Thanks to DC for the heads-up.

Update: A press release on the City of Ventura website, apparently based on the official police report, indicates that Reese was broadsided by Friedman’s vehicle and thrown from his bike, suffering major injuries.

Update 2: In a little good news, the Ventura County Star reports that Reese is in stable condition and recovering at the hospital.


David Whiting, cyclist, and editor-at-large/columnist for the Orange County Register, will discuss OC’s one-a-month rate of biking fatalities at the monthly meeting of the Orange county Wheelmen Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, two Orange County girls are critically injured, along with seven other people, when an alleged drunk driver jumps the curb and hits a group of pedestrians in Santa Ana.


Irmanol Erviti wins stage 10 of the Vuelta in a solo breakaway, while Joaquin Rodriguez claims the leader’s jersey. Saxo Bank gives Andy Schleck and Stuart O’Grady the boot from the Vuelta for an unauthorized tipple.

In other racing news, Bradley Wiggins and Emma Pooley win the men’s and women’s British Time Trial Championships, and the legendary Jeannie Longo wins yet another cycling title, this time in Steamboat Springs CO.


LACBC releases an English Language version of their Central LA Better Bike Routes Map. Rach Stevenson reports on last week’s bike-focused meeting of the Malibu Public Safety Commission. Where’s the former Anonymous Cyclist been — besides fixing classic bikes and writing for Bike Rumor, that is? Bicycle Fixation celebrates new bike racks on Wilshire Blvd and at the Trader Joe’s at 3rd and La Brea. CicLAvia needs volunteers starting this week, and invites your family to join the MidDay Ridazz.  A view from Philly at Long Beach’s green bike priority lanes.  Dave Moulton discusses the right and wrong ways to ride in a group. Zeke contemplates what he’s learned in three years back on the bike. Oregon Live says if bikes can’t keep up with traffic, get out of the lane. Portlanders shouldn’t have to choose between bikes and baseball. A cyclist has his bike stolen after a 3,000 charity ride. Biking the most scenic road in North America. Missouri police seek a driver who intentionally ran down a cyclist. Fighting the proposed bike ban in St. Charles County MO; turns out Sag Harbor NY has had a bike ban on the books for 24 years. A cab crashes into an NYC coffee shop, injuring five people, including two cyclists passing by; commenters blame a separated bike lane for confusing the driver. A Philadelphia area man faces multiple charges in the hit-and-run death of a 16-year old boy. A man rides his bike to a garage sale, only to have it sold by mistake. Remembering a Florida minister killed in a hit-from-behind collision over the weekend. Vancouver drivers will soon confront a traffic-calming panic-inducing hologram. Prince Charles gets on, but apparently doesn’t ride, a Brompton. London bike commuting jumps as Underground workers go on strike; thanks to George Wolfberg for the link. Mark Ronson rides a bike in his latest video. A Brit woman is cleared of killing a cyclist when medical experts testify she may have blacked out at the wheel. News roundups from last week’s Eurobike, including the latest wheels, ‘cross bikes, an interview with Saxo Bank’s Jens Voight and a very sexy new bike from the Cannibal, as well as a new belt drive system. A YouTube look at the Netherlands’ Strict Liability law; thanks to Kirk for sending the link.

Finally, a poignant story from the Charlotte Observer about learning to ride again after being struck by a car.

His fingers, hand, wrist, pelvis, hip, femur and knee all fractured in one blow the day after Thanksgiving 2008. A motorist turning left struck Wiseman’s oncoming bicycle in Rowan County. The motorist said he never saw the bike.

“The right leg does 70 percent of the work,” said Wiseman of his body’s limitations now. The left just doesn’t remember anymore.

“I couldn’t pick my left leg up to get it on the pedal. I couldn’t move my leg up and down.”

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