Tag Archive for El Cajon

Man killed in El Cajon bicycling collision Monday night, press blames the victim

Note: Due to tonight’s breaking news, and the discovery of another fatal bike crash in Perris last week, there won’t be any Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on everything tomorrow.

An El Cajon bike rider died after being stuck by the driver of a pickup Monday night.

Yet somehow, the San Diego paper managed to wait until the second sentence before blaming the victim.

Parroting the coroner’s press release, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 40-year old Jason Wilcox was struck around 10:30 p.m Monday when “he rode into the intersection of Second Street and Pepper Drive” in El Cajon without a helmet.

According to the paper, the driver “traveled into the intersection at the same time” at a high rate of speed, and was unable to stop in time.

Wilcox, who is described as a transient, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died of multiple blunt force injuries 50 minutes later.

There’s no word on which direction either Wilcox or the unidentified driver were traveling.

However, a street view shows a four lane roadway on Second with a 45 mph speed limit and a bike lane on either side, with the intersection controlled by a traffic signal in each direction.

That means either the victim or the driver went through the red light; the way the Union-Tribune’s story is written, it implies that Wilcox was at fault. However, there is nothing in the coroner’s press release to suggest that.

The statement that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed also suggests he was exceeding the 45 mph speed limit.

It should be noted that few homeless people have, let alone use, bike helmets. And even the best bike helmet won’t prevent injuries to other parts of the body; a high-speed collision with a truck is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County. It’s also the second in El Cajon in the last three months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Wilcox and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up. 

Screen shot of the coroner’s press release

Update: Bicyclist killed when driver drifts off the road near El Cajon

It looks like LA’s recent epidemic of bicycling deaths has moved south.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a man on a road bike was killed when a driver drifted off the road, and lost control on the soft shoulder of a highway just outside El Cajon.

The crash occurred around 3:15 pm on Olde Highway 80 west of Flinn Crest Street.

The 67-year old driver reportedly sideswiped the victim, identified only as a 58-year old Alpine resident, before continuing to strike a bus stop sign, mailbox and a parked pickup truck.

The victim was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Video from the scene posted by San Diego’s KGTV-10 shows a badly mangled bike, and the driver’s minivan with the front end smashed in.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 58-year old Brian Jennings, a professor of comparative politics and U.S. Government at Grossmont College.

Police believe the driver of the minivan fell asleep before drifting off the road and slamming into Jennings.

Update 2: I originally said the victim was riding a mountain bike, based on the initial reports; however, the video above clearly shows a road bike. Thanks to BV for the correction

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Jennings and his loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in El Cajon; second bicycling fatality in San Diego County this week

Word is just coming in from multiple sources that a bike rider was killed in El Cajon, northeast of San Diego.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a car at the intersection of Compton Street and Madison Ave around 4 pm today; the man died at the scene.

A street view shows what looks like a relatively quiet, residential intersection.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in San Diego County. It’s also the second fatality in the county in the last two days.

Update: According to San Diego’s Fox-5, the victim may have come off the sidewalk in front of a distracted driver, with one error compounded by another.  Given the limited information, there’s no way to know if the driver could have stopped in time if he or she had actually been paying attention to the road instead of a cell phone.

The story also stresses that the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet. However, there’s no indication that he suffered a head injury, or that the collision would have been survivable with one; a lot depends on the speed of the car at the time of the collision.

Update 2: The Union-Tribune confirms that the victim, a 50-year old man, had been riding on the sidewalk and swerved out into the street, where he was hit by the car. He suffered major head injuries, which could make the lack of a helmet relevant. However, the story makes no mention of texting or driving distracted.

Update 3: The victim has been identified as 53-year old Jack Vandereb; no city of residence was given.

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

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