Tag Archive for fatal hit-and-run

70-year old bike rider killed in Cathedral City hit-and-run; DUI driver turns himself in later

It’s happened again.

According to the My Desert website, a Cathedral City cyclist was killed leaving a shopping center last night. And once again, the driver fled the scene.

But for a change, he turned himself in later.

The site reports that 70-year old Edward James Shaieb had just left the Canon Plaza shopping center on his bike just before 8 pm, apparently after collecting plastic bottles for recycling. An SUV driven by 27-year old Brandon Melton of Palm Springs was traveling west on East Palm Canyon Drive east of Golf Club Drive when he hit Shaieb; no word on which direction the victim was riding or where he was positioned on the street.

A number of motorists stopped to help Shaeib, including a doctor and nurse, but they were unable to resuscitate him; he died at the scene, with the bag of plastic bottles he’d been carrying scattered across the roadway.

Melton called police about 20 minutes later after he’d arrived back at his home. KESQ-3 reports he was arrested on manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and DUI charges.

Based on a number similar cases, however, the hit-and-run charge is unlikely to stick, since he called police himself.

There was also a female passenger in the SUV, which may be why he turned himself in.

My Desert notes that Shaeib was not wearing a helmet; whether it would have done any good depends a lot on the speed of the vehicle that hit him.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County. Shaeib is also the second victim — or maybe third — victim of a fatal hit-and-run since the first of the year.

My sympathy and prayers for Edward Shaieb and all his loved ones.

Breaking news: Driver sentenced to five years in hit-and-run death of Newport Beach cyclist

I’ve gotten confirmation from multiple sources that Michael Jason Lopez pleaded guilty today in the hit-and-run death of Newport Beach cyclist Dr. Catherine Campion-Ritz.

As you may recall, Campion-Ritz was the second of two cyclists killed in Newport Beach in just 24 hours last September, hit from behind as she rode with her husband in the bike lane on high-speed Newport Coast Drive. The driver fled the scene, leaving her critically injured in the street; she died later at a local hospital.

According to a press release from the OC District Attorney’s office, the Newport Beach Police Department used surveillance video to identify Lopez’ truck and determined that he was the driver, arresting him just three days after the collision.

Lopez accepted a plea deal for a single felony count of hit-and-run causing death and a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

According to the press release, he will serve five years in state prison. However, another source indicates that Lopez will serve four years in state prison on the felony count — with the possibility of parole — followed by another year in county jail for the misdemeanor.

The death of the popular physician had a huge impact on her family, as the press release indicates.

Victim impact statements were submitted to the court by the victim’s mother, her husband, two brothers, and two sisters. The victim’s mother said in part, “Her death was a tragic loss for all of us. Without warning, she was gone and our lives will never be the same without her. I never expected to outlive my children, yet Kit is gone at 57 and I am still here at 87.”

The victim’s husband said in part, “Catherine was many things to many people; physician and leader in the medical community, business leader, a church lector, and family leader. To me she was my wife. She was my confidant, my partner in adventure, and my inspiration. There is an emptiness at home with no one to reminisce about [the] past, to discuss the day’s events or to make plans for the future. The activities we did together I typically now do alone or not at all.”

What the release doesn’t mention is the impact her death had on the larger community.

Along with the death of cyclist Sarah Leaf a day earlier, it inspired a massive rally and bike safety campaign that still reverberates today. As tragic as it is, we can honestly say her death wasn’t in vain, as it has lead to improvements in safety and enforcement that could help keep other riders alive.

Which, honestly, should be the result of every cyclist who falls on our streets.

Whether just five years, or potentially less, is justice in this case is subject to debate; Dr. Christopher Thompson got a similar sentence for merely maiming two riders, though his actions were intentional.

However, it is a lot more than the slap on the wrist too many hit-and-run killers get away with.

And it’s probably the best we could hope for without going to trial.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling and Ann for the heads-up. And thanks to the NBPB and Deputy DA Anna McIntire for bringing a killer to justice.

Update: Cyclist killed near Cal Poly Pomona; third Pomona bicycling fatality this year

What the hell is happening in Pomona?

News is just breaking this morning of yet another bicycling fatality in Pomona, the third so far this year — putting it on the near one-a-month pace more typically shown by San Diego and Orange Counties. Not a city of just 150,000.

According to KABC-7, the rider, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding east on Valley Blvd near Dupont Street just after midnight when he crossed over the westbound lanes and was hit by a white Mercedes Benz. The driver, 25-year old William Johnson of Beaumont, allegedly drove on for some distance before stopping to call the police.

The victim died at the scene. The station reports that the area is very dark at night; no word on whether he had lights or reflectors on his bike.

The location is near DeVry University and not far from Cal Poly Pomona, where Ivan Aguilar was killed riding to campus earlier this year; another rider died in an apparent fall in March.

KTLA-5 identifies the bike as a Schwinn 10-speed, which was badly mangled in the crash. The car had a dented hood and broken windshield.

And no, KTLA, the driver’s actions are not exactly what a motorist should do in the event of a collision. Drivers are expected to remain at the scene of a collision and render aid to the victim, not leave him bleeding in the street, then call police after driving away.

Yes, there are circumstances in which motorists are allowed to drive to a safer location before stopping; whether that happened here is unclear at this time.

Johnson has been interviewed by the police, and has not been placed under arrest at this time. The investigation is still ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to call Pomona police at 909-620-2081.

This is the 15th 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and remarkably, the ninth in Los Angeles County; that compares to just two in L.A. County this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the victim and his family. 

Thanks to Alan Thompson and Kevin Yuskoff for the heads-up.

Update: the Banning-Beaumont Patch says the still-unidentified victim was in his 40s.

Update 2: Details continue to trickle in, as the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin describes the victim as a Hispanic man in his 40s. The paper also notes that the collision take place just west of a billboard with Metro’s new Every Lane is a Bike Lane safety campaign; for whatever reason, it didn’t help this time.

Update 3: I’ve just become aware of another bicycling fatality which occurred in Apple Valley on March 1st, in which 56-year old Kevin Olin was rear-ended while riding in a bike lane. That raises the total number of 2013 Southern California bicycling fatalities to 16.

Update — Valley Glen hit-and-run victim reportedly died of his injuries last night

I’ve just received word that David Alexander Granados, the 18-year old bike rider critically injured by a hit-and-run driver last Sunday, has died as a result of his injuries.

Both the Reddit site, as well as a commenter on this site, report that he passed away last night, surrounded by family and friends. Both sources have proven to be reliable throughout this breaking story.

You can read the full story here, if you haven’t already.

This is the 13th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second to die as the result of a hit-and-run. Alarmingly, eight of those deaths have occurred in Los Angeles County, compared to just one this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Granados and all his family and loved ones.

Update: The media discovered this story today, with new stories by North Hollywood Patch and Rudabeh Shahbazi for KABC-7, including a brief interview with yours truly.

A couple brief corrections — the victim’s full name is David Alexander Granados, not David Alexander as I had previously reported, and he died around 5:30 pm Tuesday when he was taken off life support, rather than Thursday night, as I had been told. 

Patch reports that the driver was traveling at 50 to 60 mph when he ran the red light and hit Granados, throwing his body as far as 200 feet by some estimates. A friend who witnessed the collision says Granados had the right of way, and looked both ways before crossing the street. 

In other words, he did everything right. And died anyway.

To say I’m heartbroken over someone I never knew, and now never will, is putting it mildly.

A memorial fund has been established in his name. And anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8063. 

Four months after a bike rider was fatally injured in a hit-and-run, Redlands police say it never happened

Something smells a little fishy here.

Last week I wrote about a Redlands bike rider who tragically died months after she was critically injured in an October hit-and-run.

Laura Lee Jones was reportedly hit from behind by a car traveling at an estimated 45 to 55 miles an hour; police asked the public to be on the alert for a newer black sedan with damage to the front bumper, windshield and roof.

Now they say it didn’t happen.

I’ll let a Redlands resident take up the story in an email I received Tuesday evening.

Thought I should send this your way as a follow up to your Feb 19 post about Laura Lee Jones, who passed away after an apparent hit-and-run in Redlands last October.  This is from the Redlands Police Department Facebook update this afternoon.

Fatal October accident determined not to be hit-and-runAn October traffic collision that resulted in the death of woman earlier this month was determined not to be a hit-and-run accident as initially believed.The collision occurred in the eastbound lanes of Lugonia Avenue at Grove Street at about 6:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. The victim, 51-year-old Laura Lee Jones, was critically injured. She died Feb. 3 of injuries sustained in the accident. Early witness reports described a black vehicle that initially struck Jones and left the scene before she was struck by another vehicle which did stop. Police conducted an investigation, examining physical evidence at the scene and reinterviewing witnesses, and determined that the first vehicle was not involved in the accident. The driver of the vehicle that struck Jones was determined not at fault and no charges have been filed.Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Redlands Police Dispatch at (909) 798-7681. Anonymous tips can be provided by texting 274637 using the keyword “REDTIP.” Certain non-emergency crimes may also be reported online using the Redlands Police Department’s CopLogic reporting system at

http://ci.redlands.ca.us/police/coplogic/start-report.html.

I’m really trying to be reasonable here. This accident happened less than 2 miles from my home. Yes, it is a busy street, and yes, it was dark.

Initial reports stated that witnesses reported that a black vehicle had hit the victim and fled east toward Mentone without stopping. I didn’t ever see a report that talked about the second car hitting her at that time. Now that she’s dead, they re-interview witnesses and decide that the black car didn’t hit her after all? The car that supposedly had front end, windshield and roof damage didn’t even hit her?  Did the second car that stopped have damage, because if it’s the only car that hit her, it should have. The second car isn’t even mentioned until updates this month after the vigil her friends held for her at the site where she was hit.

http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/news/ci_21871792/hit-and-run-vehicle-injures-cyclist-redlands-police

http://www.sbsun.com/ci_21871792/hit-and-run-vehicle-injures-cyclist-redlands-police?IADID=Search-www.sbsun.com-www.sbsun.com

Regardless of who hit her, she was nailed from behind and she died. Some driver should face a charge of some sort. Name the driver that hit her so there is at least a squinch of accountability.

Funny how the story changes completely only after the victim died.

Suddenly she was killed by a second car that hadn’t existed in the press or police reports in more than three months before Jones died. And the first car, which supposedly sustained extensive front end damage, never touched her.

Not that that strains credibility or anything.

It’s possible, of course. By now, we should all know that a speeding car can cause a rider to fall without ever actually making contact. Yet that doesn’t make the driver any less at fault.

In this case, though, police apparently ignore witness statements to conclude it’s just another case of harm, but no foul.

So maybe it’s just a case of exceptionally bad PR.

Maybe if the Redlands police had updated the investigation as they went on, rather than doing a complete 180 after Jones death, it might not strain their credibility to such a degree.

Maybe if they’d announced publicly that they’d found the driver and determined he wasn’t at fault months ago, it might be more believable.

Or maybe if they’d even mentioned the mere existence of the second vehicle, it might not seem like they’d pulled it out of their… well, hats.

Maybe they’ve just done an incredibly bad job of keeping the public informed. Or maybe there’s something else going on here.

Speaking strictly for myself, I’d like to know who was driving that black sedan.

Because something certainly seems rotten in the state of Redlands.

78-year old bike rider killed in Moorpark hit-and-run

Once again, a cryptic CHP dispatch hinted at a horrible cycling collision long before anyone else.

A transmission early Thursday afternoon told of a damaged bicycle on the right shoulder of Tierra Rejada Road in Moorpark, with debris in the roadway — and a body in a tree.

And someone — maybe a passerby, maybe the driver involved — was waiting on the right shoulder to guide CHP officers to the collision site.

Now the Ventura County Star and Moorpark Patch confirm that 78-year old Simi Valley resident Bernard Cooper was killed in a rear-end collision while riding on the right shoulder of Tierra Rejada east of the Moorpark Freeway around 1:20 pm Thursday; the CHP puts the initial report at 1:28 pm.

After hitting Cooper with enough force to throw his body into a tree, 20-year old Nicolas Santiago of Ridgecrest drove for another mile-and-a-half before evidently having a change of heart and returning to the scene. The CHP dispatch identifies the vehicle waiting for them as a Nissan Xterra; unfortunately, there’s no word on what kind of car Santiago was driving or whether he returned after the collision had been reported.

Both Cooper and Santiago were headed east on Tierra Rejada; a satellite view of the roadway shows a wide shoulder where Cooper should have been safely out of the line of traffic, while a Google street view shows a 55 mph speed limit in the area.

Not surprisingly, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash was still being investigated Thursday evening, however, the CHP reports that alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

Santiago was arrested at the scene for hit-and-run. However, based on similar cases, the fact that he returned to the scene of the collision — apparently voluntarily — suggests that the charge is unlikely to result in significant penalties.

This is the fifth cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County; that compares to three bicycling deaths in Ventura County in all of 2012.

My prayers and condolences for Bernard Cooper and all his family and loved ones.

Update: A comment below says the driver of the Xterra was the one who called 911, and was not involved in the collision.

A bad year gets worse, as Redlands bike rider dies from injuries suffered in October hit-and-run

Last year was a bad one for SoCal cyclists. And now word is coming out that it was worse than we thought.

The San Bernardino Sun reports on a vigil held last night for Laura Lee Jones, who died two weeks ago from injuries she suffered in an October hit-and-run.

The 50-year old Redlands resident, who did not own a car, was riding her mountain bike east on Lugonia Avenue near Grove Street around 6:45 pm on Friday, October 26th when she was hit from behind by a car traveling at an estimated 45 to 55 miles per hour. The car, described as a newer black 4-door sedan with tinted windows, fled the scene without stopping; the vehicle reportedly suffered damage to the front bumper, windshield and roof.

The road narrows at that intersection, with the eastbound side going from two lanes to one just before Grove Ave. However, there’s no word on whether that may have contributed to the wreck.

Jones was in a coma for a month following the collision, and was unable to move or speak for weeks afterward. The paper does not give a cause of death, but says it is unclear if her death was directly linked to the collision.

According to the Sun, the collision is still under investigation; anyone with information is urged to call Redlands Police Dispatch at 909-798-7681.

If the death can be tied to the injuries Jones suffered as a result of the collision, the driver could face substantially increased penalties for the hit-and-run.

If he or she is ever caught.

Simply put, there is never, ever any excuse for fleeing the scene of a collision. Those who do should face mandatory homicide charges if their victim dies, since they callously and knowingly left their victim to die on the streets. And they should automatically lose their drivers licenses for life, since they have shown themselves unfit to be behind the wheel.

Jones’ death increases the final total of 2012 cycling fatalities in Southern California to 75, 10 of which occurred in San Bernardino County — which is about 75 and 10 too many, respectively. Fourteen of those resulted from hit-and-run collisions, with three in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laura Lee Jones and all her family and loved ones.

Singh sentenced to 15 – life for drunken killer multi-hit-and-run; NY writer calls bike lanes cancerous

For once, the sentence for a killer driver fits the crime.

The Ventura County Star reports that Satnam Singh has been sentenced to 15 years to life for the drunken hit-and-run death of 20-year old cyclist Nick Haverland last year.

Yes, I said life.

In addition, he must serve two years for DUI before he can begin serving his sentence for the second degree murder conviction, effectively making it a minimum 17-year sentence.

Singh had a blood alcohol level nearly five times the legal limit when he went on a serial hit-and-run spree at speeds up to 90 mph, culminating in the collision that took Haverland’s life as he rode to take a college final.

Something Singh claims not to remember, as a result of an “accidental” dose of depression medication.

Then again, given the amount of alcohol in his system, it’s surprising he remembers his own name, let alone his homicidal hit-and-run Hummer joyride.

Yet remarkably, despite his actions, the judge received over 100 letters attesting to his fine character.

For those unconvinced, the first collision might — might — have been unintentional. The two that followed, including the one that took Haverland’s life, flowed directly from his drunken attempt to avoid responsibility.

A real prince, that guy.

And I’d like to know just how does someone get that drunk by accident. Let alone gets behind the wheel when he’s too damn wasted to walk, let alone drive.

I’d like to think this sentence will send a clear message to everyone to stay the hell away from the driver’s seat after drinking. Let alone drinking yourself to oblivion.

Not to mention stopping after your first collision, rather than continuing to run after the third.

But I fear too many drivers will look sadly at Singh, convinced they’d never do anything like that.

Then celebrate the season with one more for the road.

………

Gotham cyclists are up in arms over an assault on both bikes and rationality by New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo, who compares bike lanes to cancer and bike riders to sociopaths.

New York Curbed artfully deconstructs Cuozzo’s highly biased arguments, while Gothamist takes it apart paragraph by scurrilous paragraph. New York Streetsblog fears he’s lost his marbles. The Brooklyn Spoke says, despite his negative assertions, bike delivery people do count and have as much right to safe streets as anyone else.

And it all brings up a great column from the New York Times Magazine, which offers a point-by-point guide to writing a biased anti-bike hate piece of your very own.

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The 7th Annual All City Toy Ride takes place this Friday; couldn’t recommend a better reason to ride. Just be careful, because some cops didn’t seem to have a lot of Christmas spirit last year.

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More women than men now have driver’s licenses, which is good news according to the Times, since women drive less and have fewer fatalities per miles driven.  Southside cyclists take L.A. city planners on a bike tour of Watts. Phase one of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk opens. LADOT Bike Blog is thankful for Alex Baum’s bicycle advocacy; aren’t we all? Last weekend’s Santa Monica Family Bike Fest is declared a success. Malibu proposes an esplanade with walkways and bikeways connecting the Malibu Pier with Surfrider Beach; wait, a bikeway in Malibu? Seriously? Hermosa Beach revisits the Aviation Blvd bike lanes they turned down earlier this year (scroll down). A look at Long Beach’s Bikeway Route 10. UC Irvine police bust a pair of suspected bike thieves. The Laguna Beach paper calls for more bikeways and a complete streets approach. Plans stall for an Agoura overpass including bike lanes, sidewalks and five lanes of traffic. Bakersfield city planners are looking for cyclists input on improving bike lanes. Natomas CA sprouts signs declaring the city bike friendly; thanks to Amy Senk for the heads-up.

In their new book City Cycling, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler argue that “cycling should be made feasible, convenient, and safe for everyone.” The Feds finally get serious about counting cyclists and pedestrians; unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much until individual states and cities do, as well. It’s okay to be the only non-traffic engineer in the room. Tour Hawaii’s Big Island by bike. Reno bike advocates are successfully reshaping the city. A more than comprehensive list of women’s bike blogs. Bicycling grannies ride in small town Wyoming. Spandex bikewear for the closet super hero. A writer for the Chicago Tribune defends his column calling out scofflaw cyclists and ridicules anyone with the audacity to disagree. A Michigan man is finishing the cross-country bike ride his father was on when he was killed. Your next bike could glow in the dark. A Virginia auto repair shop says it doesn’t make sense to require it to install bike racks, even if the city is trying to be bike-friendly.

London’s transportation department calls on the mayor to develop the world’s largest cycle network. Six steps to survive cycling in London. Cyclists in a BBC documentary on the conflict between drivers and cyclists were paid — and choreographed — to ride as recklessly as possible. An open letter to motorists from UK cyclists. Drinking and riding is a bad idea with a long history. Town Mouse goes temporary bike shopping. The all-time highlights of the Giro d’Italia.

Finally, maybe there is such a thing as too cold to ride. And who knew a simple bike ride was part of global plot to force bike lanes on unsuspecting Americans?

Maybe Cuozzo’s onto something, after all.

………

A special thanks to Margaret for making a contribution to help defray the costs of operating of this blog; I can’t begin to tell you how much it’s appreciated. If anyone else wants to help support my work here on BikinginLA, I’ve set up at PayPal account to accept contributions like hers. You can transfer funds through your PayPal account or major credit card by directing them to bikinginla at hotmail dot com.

And yes, I’m totally blown away that she even thought to do that.

Many thanks, Margaret.

Accused Ventura drunken serial hit-and-run driver Satnam Singh pleads guilty, now facing 15 to life

Evidently, the farther you get from San Bernardino County, the more likely cyclists are to see justice.*

Case in point: Satnam Singh, accused in the drunken hit-and-run death of Ventura cyclist Nick Haverland, has changed his plea to guilty to second degree murder and driving under the influence following two days of damning testimony.

The 20-year old college student was riding with a friend to take a college final when he was run down by Singh’s Hummer in May of last year. The Santa Paula liquor store owner reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .39 — nearly five times the legal limit — when he hit Haverland and injured five other people in a series of violent collisions.

Singh now faces 15 years to life in state prison, followed by parole for the rest of his life if he should be released; no word on whether he would ever be allowed to drive again. He was also threatened with deportation upon release from prison if he can’t prove he’s a citizen of the U.S.; odd that something like that should even be in question this far into the case.

Prior to his drunken rampage, Singh had received at least two tickets for speeding, and been accused in another DUI collision just three months before murdering Haverland — a case in which he attempted to have his wife take the fall.

Just more evidence that the state moves too slowly to protect the public in cases like this.

*Then again, Riverside County may not be much better.

………

Sunday’s shift back to Standard Time means bike commuters will now face evening rush hour traffic in full darkness. And that means you need a good headlight and tail light — preferably flashing — in order to make it back home in one piece, let alone avoid a ticket.

Even if you’re just out for an afternoon ride, it makes sense to throw a light set into your bike bag or jersey pocket in case a flat or other mechanical keeps you out later than planned. Or at the very least, toss in some reflective ankle straps just in case.

After all, it’s better to light a single bike headlamp than to curse the darkness after getting run over.

………

Tuesday is Election Day. I won’t tell you to go vote in what may be the closest election of our lifetime — not to mention one with a slate of state propositions and local measure that could affect your life for decades to come.

I assume you’re an adult and know just how important this is.

What I will do, though, is urge you to ride your bike to the polls if at all possible to show that our votes count, too. And that it’s long past time for politicians to address our concerns if they want our votes.

………

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says that, contrary to perceptions, bikes are actually better for business than cars. Best wishes to LADOT Bike Blogger JoJo Pewsawang as he moves on to hopefully greener pastures. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske looks at California’s cranky and apparently bike-unfriendly Governor Jerry Brown. Calbike says Prop 33 in Tuesday’s election hurts those who are helping the environment — like bicyclists. Maybe your broken carbon frame can be brought back to life after all. The 23rd Solvang Prelude brings thousands of riders to the Santa Ynez Valley. A teenage Santa Barbara hit-and-run driver faces charges for a right hook hit-and-run that critically injured a cyclist. The widow of a Sonoma cyclist now helps others after confronting the man who killed him. A 24-year old Napa driver gets a year in jail for seriously injuring a cyclist while under the influence of marijuana.

Bicycling offers a roster of vintage rides through the wine country, along with five coffee table bike books. CNN talks to gold medal-winning Paralympian and former race car champion Alex Zanardi. A Boulder CO intersection gets a makeover in the wake of two cycling deaths; meanwhile, the city won’t pursue a stage in next year’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge; probably not just because of the tour’s awful name, though. San Antonio’s safe passing law needs better enforcement. A Chicago writer says that cyclists shouldn’t have to bear responsibility for safety or accept that risk is inevitable. Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus reports on riding in the Manhattan blackout following Hurricane Sandy; the New Yorker asks if Sandy will turn the city’s residents into bike commuters. Charging powerless New Yorker’s devices by bike. Thankfully, former L.A. bike and creek advocate Joe Linton survived Sandy, as well. Why are the rules of the road are a lot longer for Boston bicyclists? What would you do if you came across a bike crash? Yet another delay in the case of accused killer Miami DUI hit-and-run driver and musician Carlos Bertonatti.

A writer says Vancouverites are too old to take advantage of the city’s new transportation plan; you’re kidding me, right? Are bike helmets or bike lanes more important for bike safety? British cycling legend Tommy Godwin passes away at 91. The London Times says bikes are the future, and cities must adapt them — but can’t be bothered to make the story available behind their paywall. A Swiss sportswear company is suing cycling’s governing body over damage to the sport following the Lance Armstrong scandal, while Guam could hold the key to real reform in pro cycling. We have a new candidate for the world’s safest cycling city: Berlin. An Aussie cyclist is shot in the ass as he tries to ride away from a group of men in a park. Bringing the internet to Bangladesh by bike. Even the Indian city of Mangalore gets cycletracks before we do.

Finally, as if doping isn’t bad enough, now former doper Alexandre Vinokourov is accused of paying off another rider to let him win the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic.

Is it just me, or is pro cycling is starting to give swamp pits a bad name?

No charges in Sarah Leaf death, guilty plea in North San Diego, vehicle identified in Gardena hit-and-run

Evidently, they just don’t get it.

Newport Beach police have cleared the truck driver in the death of cyclist Sarah Leaf, concluding that she lost control of her bike and fell under the turning truck on her own, without the truck ever hitting her.

Yet they apparently failed to consider the possibility that it was a massive truck passing too close and/or turning across her path that caused her to lose control.

So let’s get this straight once and for all. Skilled, experienced cyclists don’t just fall over. And a vehicle doesn’t have to actually hit a rider in order to cause her death.

Something made her to lose control. Until the police can offer some reasonable explanation of what that was, we should not accept the results of this investigation.

And until police everywhere figure that out, no bike rider will ever be safe on our streets.

Update: A commenter who claims to have known a friend of Leaf disputes the contention that she was an experienced rider. By his account, she was a novice rider on a borrowed bike, who had been urged by a friend not to ride that day. And according to him, the reason she fell because she was unfamiliar with clipless pedals. However, as he did not actually witness the collision, that should be taken with a grain of salt; hopefully, we’ll learn more on Monday when the Chief of the Newport Beach Police Department meets with the city’s Citizens Bicycle Safety Committee.

………

Jin Hyuk Byun, the 19-year old driver charged with killing 18-year old North San Diego bike commuter Angel Bojorquez in a late night hit-and-run, has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of hit-and-run causing death.

Byun faces up to four years up to four years in prison — or as little as probation. Hopefully, the court deliver a sentence that shows Bojorquez’ life had value.

Unlike courts in, say, San Bernardino.

………

Gardena police have finally narrowed down the type of vehicle used in the hit-and-run death of Torrance cyclist Benjamin Torres on October 10th.

Be on the lookout for a maroon or purple 1995 to 2001 Ford Explorer or a 1997 to 2001 Mercury Mountaineer with light to moderate damage to the right headlight area. Call Investigator Matthew Hassoldt at 310/217-6189 if you have any information.

And on a related note, his step-daughters are asking cyclists to join them in honoring Torres and calling for bike safety on November 10th.

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The LACBC is launching a safety education and bike light giveaway program dubbed Operation Firefly. The Times looks at the Bicycle Kitchen’s women’s-only Bicycle Bitchen night. Richard Risemberg writes that bike lanes benefit the entire community, including local merchants. Your access to mountain bike trails could depend on playing nice. South Pasadena may consider extending the Arroyo Seco bike path next week. The Culver City Bicycle Coalition is hosting a fundraising ride on Sunday, November 11th, while C.I.C.L.E. is hosting a Made in LA ride on Saturday, November 17.

How not to sell a bike on Craigslist. Video of the amazing turnout at last weekend’s memorial ride in Newport Beach. A new female-centric bike shop opens in Orange County. If you’re looking for a good ride and good beer, you could do worse than a ride to North San Diego County’s Stone Brewing Company. Lucky San Diego cyclists get to choose between two bike supporters for mayor, which is exactly what the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee is working towards here in L.A. A nurse has her bike stolen when she stops to help an injured cyclist at San Diego Critical Mass — then a local businessman buys her a new one. A coach with the Sacramento Kings hits a bike-riding child while test driving a new Jaguar, then returns it to the dealership instead of staying to help. Palo Alto police arrest two bike thieves after recognizing them from security footage. Who’s the genius who put a Share the Road sign in the middle of a bike lane? A 92-year old Sonoma driver denies running down two boys in a crosswalk, claiming they were the ones who damaged his car — and that one of them was a girl.

Seven reasons why bikes are for everyone. What does it take to build a world-class bicycling network, and will the US ever embrace bicycling like Denmark has? Why you might need more than one bike. Someday soon, you may never get another flat. Private bike share program Spinlister changes its name to Liquid, in an apparent attempt to conceal what the hell it is from anyone who might be interested. HuffPo looks at the hubris of Lance Armstrong, while the company that gave him $12 million in bonuses wants it’s money back, and an English town prepares to burn him in effigy; thanks to George Wolfberg for the latter link. Drunk Spokane driver gets two-and-a-half years for killing a cyclist. My hometown employs a smartphone app to crowd source cycling data. Oklahoma City gets its first sharrows. A Texas cyclist is under arrest for threatening two pedestrians with a gun. Doorings are down in Chicago, the question is why. Kill a Windy City cyclist in a right hook, and get a ticket for an improper right turn; no, really. The real riders on the storm — New York filmmaker Casey Neistat captures a four-hour ride through hurricane drenched streets. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, bikes provide the best way in, out or around Manhattan, as the city bans vehicles with less than three occupants from Manhattan. The anti-bike New York Post blames bike lanes for bus-bike collisions; yeah, it couldn’t be impatient bus drivers, overly aggressive riders or just plain carelessness. The world’s first car-only roadway is now a bike path, even though motorists used to fear the same vehicle segregation that many now call for. A Pennsylvania man gets six months probation for killing a cyclist while driving under the influence — six-effing-months probation, which is exactly the same sentence he would have gotten for a first-time DUI even if he didn’t hit anyone; nice to know the death of a human being doesn’t matter one damn bit in Western PA.

The popularity of tweed rides has helped increase the sales of more than just bikes. Helmet-cam video results in charges against a Canadian driver who dangerously Jerry Browned a cyclist — even though he could have safely passed a few seconds later. What to do after a crash. The victim is dead, but at least his bike has been returned. Teenage Brit triathlete is seriously injured in an apparent hit-and-run as she’s found on the side of the road after a car passes her, still clipped into her pedals. A new UK website tracks the best deals on bike gear. An Aussie writer asks whether you consider yourself a cyclist; ever notice that no one ever asks if people consider themselves drivers, which everyone becomes the moment they slide behind the wheel?

Finally, South Park takes on l’affaire Lance. A Polish cyclist is charged with speeding in a 30 mph zone — while riding completely naked except for the pants wrapped around his head.

And if you think some drivers are blind, you may be right.

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