Tag Archive for Erin Galligan

Update: Man killed in rear-end collision in Santa Monica while riding on LA County’s killer highway

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on PCH.

According to the Daily News, a man in his 20s was riding north on the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway around 7 pm when he was struck from behind.

A press release from the Santa Monica Police Department places the initial call at 7:03 pm.

The victim died at the scene. He has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.

No word on whether he was using lights at the time of the crash, which came nearly 45 minutes after sunset.

The driver initially fled the scene, but returned shortly later, which should be considered hit-and-run, but probably won’t be. Police are investigating why the driver failed to stop after the crash.

The person driving, who has not been identified in any way, is not currently suspected of being impaired; no word on whether distraction was involved, or why the driver failed to see someone on a bike directly in front of them.

A street view shows a six-lane highway with a center left turn lane, where drivers frequently exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Investigators Pace or Olson at 310/458-8954; or call the SMPD at 310/458-8491.

At least 13 people have been killed riding bicycles on PCH in Los Angeles County since 2005; eight of those have been killed on the deadly northern section of the highway running through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu.

This collision occurred roughly across the street from where Erin Galligan was killed while riding home from work in a 2012 hit-and-run; that driver still hasn’t been caught.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County; he’s also the first bike rider to be killed in Santa Monica since Galligan’s death.

Update: The victim has been identified as 23-year old Kazumasa Nozaki

Still no word on what may have led to the crash.

Update 2: 

I received the following email from Carrie Wick, who was one of the first people on the scene after the crash. She reports the driver did not return of his own accord, as the police suggested, and that the police have not been forthcoming about the crash. 

I am contacting you regarding a fatal hit and run incident my friend Kinya Claiborne and I witnessed on PCH Sundaynight where a 23-year-old pedestrian/ bicyclist named Kazumasa Nozaki was struck from the rear and killed by a driver who fled the scene. Perhaps you’re interested in looking into the incident.

Kinya and I were traveling southbound down PCH on October 15 around 7pm, when we noticed debris and a bike in the roadway along with a pedestrian who was laid flat in the east-northbound lane. The victim had significant head trauma and his body was bleeding and distorted. We were the first responders on the scene to provide aid to the victim, who was non-responsive and we called 911 for assistance.

There were several other witnesses including two men who were driving directly behind the driver who struck the pedestrian. They followed the driver, who fled the scene in a white BMW, for 5-10 minutes down PCH honking their horn in an attempt to get the driver to stop. As they were following the driver the witnesses called 911 to report the hit and run, providing the driver’s license plate number and location of the driver. The witnesses took pictures of the car and returned to the scene to provide their statement and evidence in person directly to the police.

There was also a couple on the scene who were driving northbound on PCH and witnessed the bicycle flying in the air when the pedestrian was struck from behind. They also provided their statement to the police on the scene.

There are a lot of inaccuracies being reported. The LAPD/SMPD statement implies the driver fled the scene and returned on his own vs. a hit and run, where the driver immediately fled the scene of a fatal collision. An officer on the scene announced, “We got him”, from the men tracking down the driver and the reporting of the license plate and location to the police.

Also, LAPD/SMPD have not acknowledged any of the witnesses or their statements, including the men who witness the hit and run, tracked down the driver, reported it via 911 and provided a statement to the police on the scene. Authorities are acting like the witnesses and hit and run incident never existed as evident in the press release issued by SMPD on October 16.

It seems as though the LAPD and SMPD have taken a lax approach with completing a thorough investigation and have clearly omitted key facts and witness reports from the fatal hit and run incident. This man does not have a voice any longer and can’t fight for himself, so we will try to on his behalf.

She also reports that the bike was so badly mangled from the impact that it was impossible to tell if he was using lights and reflectors. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kazumasa Nozaki and his loved ones.

Update: 30-year old woman killed on PCH by hit-and-run driver — and a lack of lights on nearby bike path

The seemingly endless rash of recent Southern California cycling fatalities goes on, as a 30-year old woman has been killed riding on PCH at the border between Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

And this one hits far too close to home.

According to numerous sources, the woman, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on PCH just below Entrada Drive sometime around 11 – 11:30 pm last night when she was hit from behind by a white pickup.

She died at the scene; according to KCBS-2, the impact was so severe that police had to search the area to find her body.

The driver sped away without stopping, disappearing into traffic on eastbound I-10.

Authorities are looking for what is only described as a white pickup or possibly an SUV with significant front-end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Monica police at 310/458-8491.

Tragically, there’s a good chance this death could have been avoided.

Early in 2011, George Wolfberg, president of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association, bike advocate Eric Bruins and I met with officials from L.A.’s Department of Public Works, along with the construction company working on the Coastal Intercepter Relief Sewer project on southbound PCH.

That’s the project that has closed traffic lanes on PCH for the last year, and required temporary rerouting of the bike path near the walkway under PCH at Entrada.

To their credit, they were very open to our suggestions on how to keep cyclists safer during the approximately 18 month construction project.

But one thing we asked for didn’t make the final cut.

The city’s plan was to encourage cyclists to leave PCH and take the beachfront bike path at Will Rogers State Beach to avoid the obstacles and congestion created by the construction work.

A reasonable plan, at least during daylight hours.

However, many riders, particularly women, would be uncomfortable riding on the pathway at night, largely out of sight from drivers on PCH and hidden in the shadows — especially given the large number of homeless people and others who congregate in that area during daylight hours, let alone after dark.

As a result, riders who would gladly take the bike path during the day might feel safer riding on PCH, despite the risks posed by construction and heavy, high-speed traffic.

As one woman once told me, there are worse things than getting hit by a car.

So we asked that temporary lighting be installed along the bike path, at least through the construction zone, so bicyclists would feel safe riding there until they could return to PCH or turn off onto other routes.

While they agreed to consider it, they also said it was unlikely to be approved because there just wasn’t enough money in the $10 million budget. And clearly it wasn’t, as no lights ever appeared on the bike path, other than those required to light the construction site itself.

Now a woman is dead because she chose to ride on PCH instead of diverting onto the darkness of the bike path.

Why she made that choice, we’ll probably never know.

But the knot that’s been building in my stomach all morning tells me this tragedy could have been avoided. And that a women with decades of life ahead of her is now gone, needlessly.

And I’m holding my breath, selfishly hoping and praying that it wasn’t someone I know.

This is the 33rd cyclist killed in Southern California this year, and the 10th already this year in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second cycling fatality in bike-friendly Santa Monica.

And the 8th fatal bike-related hit-and-run — nearly a quarter of all cycling fatalities in the seven-county Southern California region.

Even worse, this is the 13th SoCal bicycling death since June 1st — a horrifying, deplorable rate of one rider killed every 3 days for the last six weeks.

And it’s got to stop.


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

Update: The Santa Monica Daily Press reports the victim, who still has not been publicly identified, lived in the area and was biking home from work after taking the bus part way. Witnesses say she was riding in the right lane before swerving into the middle lane, where she was hit and killed.

The paper reports that the truck dragged her bike about a half-mile from the crash site as it sped away.

Police report that the suspect vehicle is a full-size GM pickup; they’re examining crash debris to determine the exact year and model.

Update 2: The Daily Press has updated their story to identify the victim as Erin Galligan of Venice. She reportedly was on her way home from her job as a waitress when she was killed; the paper does not name the restaurant she worked at.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the SMPD watch commander at (310) 458-8495, or you can report information anonymously online at wetip.com or lacrimestoppers.org.

KTLA-5 reporter David Begnaud reports that police are looking for a white 1999 Chevy Silverado 1500 Xtra Cab with damage to the grill, hood and headlight. And offers a touching photo of Erin that just drives home what a waste this is.

Update 3: According to her Facebook page, she worked at Craig’s in West Hollywood; thanks to an anonymous commenter for the tip.

Update 4: The Palisadian Post reports that Galligan worked at Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades, rather than Craig’s as her Facebook page indicated. The paper reports that the collision occurred directly in front of the driveway The Beach Club, and that police have video of the pickup speeding away with Erin’s bike trapped underneath. 

According to KNBC-4, Galligan was “an avid cyclist and adventurous woman,” who was well loved by her friends, and thinking about going back to school to become a teacher.

“I don’t know of a sour word that came from the girl,” Bryan McKinley, friend and coworker, told NBC4. “I guess that’s what makes the accident so tragic; it would be ok if it was just an accident.

“But what bothers everyone to their core is there was no accountability by this cowardice person who just ran off.”


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