Tag Archive for fatal

Oxnard cyclist killed in Sunday collision; 14th SoCal bike death in last four months

In yet another SoCal cycling fatality, 20-year old Rene Ambritz was struck and killed in Oxnard on Saturday.

The collision occurred about 6:45 pm at the intersection of Ventura Road and West Hemlock Street. The Ventura County Star reports that Ambritz was riding against traffic with no lights, and was struck by a van driven by Paul Castenada after Ambritz ran the red light. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His death marks the 14th cycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California since the beginning of August.


In other cycling collisions, an unidentified ninja cyclist is in intensive care after reportedly running a red light and getting hit by a car in Thousand Oaks late Sunday; the rider was wearing dark clothing and riding without lights, and had no identification on him at the time of the collision.

And fifty-nine-year old cyclist Donald Schick suffered major injuries in a Castaic hit-and-run on Sunday afternoon. Stephanie Leann Argo of Castaic was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run.

Outside the Southern California area, a teenage Vacaville cyclist was killed after being hit by two cars last week; thanks to Witch on a Bicycle for the link.

Meanwhile, a noted NorCal track coach was severely injured in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; reading between the lines, it sounds like it could have been an intentional assault by an impatient driver. And a dangerous stretch of highway may finally get a bike lane, too late for the rider killed there two weeks ago; it was the 2nd cycling fatality for the driver involved.

Finally, Jose Luis Huerta Mundo, the driver who killed OC cyclist Michael Nine last July, is currently on trial for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. A Costa Mesa writer notes that Mundo was in the country illegally and had been cited four previous times for driving without a license, as well as once for not registering his truck, and had ignored two signs prohibiting the illegal maneuver that resulted in Nine’s Death. However, he stresses that now is not the time to hate.

Seriously, as angry as we may get, is there ever a good time for that?

Cyclist killed in collision with pedestrian in Redondo Beach

News broke yesterday that a 73-year old bicyclist has died of injuries following a collision with a pedestrian earlier this month.

According to the Daily Breeze, Eldon Johansen was riding at the intersection of Avenue F and The Esplanade in Redondo Beach on September 10th when he crashed with a woman walking a dog, and fell into the street.

The Pasadena Star-News reports that the woman and dog were not seriously hurt, but Johansen, a retired Palos Verdes firefighter living in Manhattan Beach, fell into the street and suffered head injuries; he died three days later without regaining consciousness.

Falling into the street suggest that Johansen was riding on the sidewalk, legal in Redondo Beach unless a prohibition is posted, which does not appear to be the case here. However, a cyclist familiar with the area says that it’s unlikely he would have been on the sidewalk, due to the wide bike lanes on the street.

He suspects it’s more likely that either the pedestrian was walking in the bike lane or that Johansen may have been riding on the wrong side of the street, both of which are common in the area.

Both articles note that Johansen was not wearing a helmet. While cyclists may debate the need for helmets, this would appear exactly the sort of slow-speed impact for which they are designed to be most effective in preventing injuries.

Police note that there were many people in the area at the time of the 7:45 am collision, and ask that anyone with information call Traffic Investigator Jeff Mendence at 310/379-2477, ext. 2721.

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