Some locations are more dangerous than others.
Which seems to be the case here, as a bike rider was killed in a collision at the intersection of Bastanchury Road and Morelia Avenue in Fullerton at 12:04 Saturday afternoon. Initial reports indicated he had been critically injured; however, according to the Orange County Register, he passed away at 3:45 pm after being taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange.
The OC Coroner’s office identifies the victim as 19-year old Anaheim resident Rafael Correa, Jr, and places the location at where the Juanita Cooke Greenbelt Trail intersects with Bastanchury, suggesting the Correa was coming off the dirt trail when the collision occurred.
Remarkably, this is the exact same location where La Habra resident Richard Paine was killed in a hit-and-run after exiting the bike trail two years ago this week. Which suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the design of the intersection itself.
Both the Register and the coroner’s office suggest Correa collided with a vehicle, implying that he may have come off the hill leading to the intersection and been unable to slow or stop in time on the dirt surface.
Regardless of cause or who was at fault, Fullerton officials should take a close look at the site to determine what can be done to prevent any future incidents. One death is a tragedy; two in the same location, in a similar manner, suggests a serious design failure.
This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County, which compares to six in the county this time last year.
In fact, the total is early equal to the 12 deaths in Orange County in all of 2013. It’s also the third bicycling fatality in Fullerton in just the last two years.
Update: The Orange County Register confirms that Correa was riding downhill on the bike trail, and was unable to stop before sliding into the roadway and crashing into an eastbound car on Bastanchury.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Fullerton PD Traffic Bureau at 714/738-6812.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Correa, Jr and all his loved ones.