Tag Archive for Hesperia

10-year old bike rider killed in Hesperia

Just heartbreaking.

According to the Hesperia Star, a young bike rider was killed yesterday when he rode out in front of a car at an intersection.

Ten-year old Hesperia resident Arnold Covarrubias was riding east on the north sidewalk along on Main Street at Third Avenue at 8:45 pm when he attempted to cross Main without warning, and was hit by a Kia SUV. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:35 pm.

Investigators say Covarrubias may have been distracted by a stray dog when he rode out into the intersection against the light and was hit by the SUV, which was headed west on Main with the green light.

A satellite view shows a major intersection with two to three lanes of traffic in every direction.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police; speed or alcohol use did not appear to be factors in the collision. As always, however, the key is whether there were other witnesses besides the driver, who has an inherent interest is seeing his actions in the best possible light.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Deputy Simon DeMuri from the Hesperia Station at 760/947-1500.

This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in San Bernardino County. Remarkably, that’s exactly the same rate as this time last year in both the county, and the greater SoCal region.

It’s also the fifth bicycling death in Hesperia, population 92,000, in the last three years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Arnold Covarrubias and his family. 

Too much bad news — 17-year old hero killed in Hesperia, 60-year old Gardena bike victim dies

Just too much bad news to keep up with today.

The latest in today’s string of tragedies is the heartbreaking story of a teenaged bike rider who positioned himself to protect his date. And paid the ultimate price, thanks to the hit-and-run driver who ran him down.

According to the High Dessert Daily Press, 17-year old Daniel Sanchez was run down from behind while riding with a companion at 1:33 am Tuesday near Main Street and Escondido Ave in Hesperia. He suffered severe head trauma, and passed away at 8:45 yesterday morning despite plans to keep him on life support.

It’s tragic enough that the recent high school graduate was planning to open his own air conditioning business to support his single parent mother and six siblings.

KNBC-4 reports that he was riding side-by-side with his 17-year old female friend on their way to get something to eat when they heard a truck coming up from behind.

Rodriguez said they were riding side by side on the edge of the paved road when they heard the truck coming down the lonely road. The girl was closest to the pavement, and as a precaution, Sanchez asked her to switch sides with her.

“He told me, ‘There’s a car coming, move more inside,’” she said. “As soon as his sentence finished, that’s when it happened.”

Sanchez was hit by the truck, whose driver failed to stop.

“He fell on top of me and I imagine he bounced back on the floor and that’s when he hit his head,” Rodriguez said.

In other words, he gave his life to save hers.

Police are looking for a white pickup truck; no other information is currently available on the suspect truck or the heartless bastard behind the wheel who left a young hero to die in the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Hesperia Police Department at (760) 947-1500.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Daniel Sanchez and all his family.

……..

In a bizarre coincidence — at least, we can hope that’s all it is — authorities are looking for a truck that matches that same description for the hit-and-run that sent another local teenager to the hospital.

Sixteen year old Henry Chavez Jr. of Oak Hills was released from the hospital Monday night following a hit-and-run last Saturday night that resulted in the loss of part of his spleen and 22 stitches to the top of his head; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

The collision occurred around 9 pm as he borrowed his sister’s bike to get a bag of chips. He was riding east on Mesquite Road near Mesa Vista Road when he was rear ended by a hit-and-run driver in a white pickup, possibly a Toyota.

Either two drivers in similar trucks have fled the scene leaving their victims behind, or someone is targeting teenage cyclists in the high desert.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Victorville CHP office at 760-241-1186.

………

Meanwhile, a third teenage cyclist suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a car in Hesperia Tuesday. But at least this time, the driver had the decency to stick around.

……..

Finally, news broke today that 60-year old Gardena resident Jesse Dotson died last Friday of the injuries he suffered in yet another hit-and-run on Wednesday, the 26th.

Dotson was riding to work around 9:50 pm on the 1000 block of El Segundo Blvd when he was hit and left bleeding in the street with severe head injuries as the driver fled the scene.

Despite initial reports that they were looking for a Hispanic man in his 40s or 50s, Gardena police have arrested 22-year old Vanessa Marie Yanez for Dotson’s death. She faces charges of suspicion of manslaughter, perjury, filing a false police report and felony hit-and-run.

In other words, they threw the book at her, instead of the relative slap on the wrist most killer drivers face.

She must have done something to really piss someone off.

My sincere prayers and sympathy for Jesse Dotson and all his loved ones.

Update: Now it makes sense, as Yanez is accused of covering up her involvement in the hit-and-run — and her LAPD Sargent father is under investigation for possible involvement in the cover-up, as well as angrily confronting a news team reporting the story.

Read my update here.

……..

These are the 43rd and 44th bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, which compares to 30 this time last year. It’s also the fifth bike-related death in Riverside County in 2013, and the 20th in Los Angeles County, which compares to five and nine, respectively, last year.

In other words, L.A. County in now over 200% above this time last year, and just three below the total for all of 2012. And we’re barely past the first half the year.

And it’s the eight and ninth fatal hit-and-runs in Southern California since the first of the year.

Yet another SoCal cyclist killed, this time in Hesperia

The recent rash of cycling fatalities claimed another victim on Sunday, as a Hesperia bike rider was run down by a motorist.

Although just how the collision occurred seems to be up for debate.

According to the San Bernardino County Coroner, and repeated by area newspapers, 62-year old Harold Blahut was riding south on Hickory Avenue around 8:35 pm when he was rear-ended by a southbound Volkswagen Passat traveling between 30 mph and 40 mph.

However, the Victorville Daily Press and Hesperia Star report that Blahut was riding west on Sultana Street across the intersection with Hickory Avenue when he was hit by a car driven by 34-year old Carlena Sanchez, who was traveling south on Hickory.

The Daily Press and Star also suggest that alcohol may have been a factor, but fail to note whether it was the driver or cyclist who was suspected of drinking.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and the 5th in San Bernardino County; it’s also the second fatality in less than three months in the small town of Hersperia, with a population just over 90,000.

And it’s the 10th SoCal cycling fatality in just the last 30 days — that’s nearly one-third of all bicycling deaths since the first of the year.

Update: Cyclist killed in Hersperia as a deadly month continues

A surprisingly safe March has given way to a bloody April.

After suffering just one cycling fatality last month, we’ve already seen six cyclists die on Southern California streets and trails this month, with five fatalities in just the last 10 days.

The latest is 34-year old Ryan D. Foster of Hesperia, who was killed last night while trying to cross Escondido Ave just north of Hollister Street. According to multiple reports, he was hit by a southbound 2002 Honda Accord around 10:19 pm.

That’s it.

None of the articles I’ve found — all of which appear to be based on a press release from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s department, which does not seem to be available on the department’s virtually useless websitecontain any more information, except that sheriff’s deputies are investigating the crash.

In fact, they seemed to be competing to see who could tell the story in the least amount of words, ranging from a measly 52 to a whopping 79.

Looking at a satellite photo, the bike lane on Escondido ends at Hollister Street. Foster could have been riding north and trying to cross over to the wide sidewalk on the west side. Or, based on the limited description, he could just have easily been riding south on the sidewalk and trying to make a left onto Hollister.

Or just plain crossing the street.

We may never know.

We also may never know if the driver was speeding, drunk and/or distracted, or a cautious, law-abiding motorist who did everything in his or her power to avoid the collision.

Hopefully, the papers will follow up with information about who the victim was, beyond a mere name and age, as well as how the collision occurred.

Because Ryan Foster and his family deserve more than 79 words.

This is the 17th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County.

My prayers and sympathy for Ryan Foster and his family and friends.

Update: This is starting to look like a case where the victim may have been at fault. The High Desert Daily Press reports that Foster was riding without lights or “adequate” reflectors at that late hour, and that witnesses saw him ride directly into the path of the Honda. 

The site also suggests that police officials suspect drugs or alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the crash; since the driver was not arrested at the scene, that implies that Foster may have been under the influence. 

However, given that the crash seems to have been a full-impact collision at speed, the fact that Foster wasn’t wearing a helmet was probably not a factor in his death.

12-year old Victorville cyclist killed near Hesperia

In yet another tragic cycling collision, a Victorville middle school student was killed after reportedly running a stop sign on Saturday.

The San Bernardino Sun reports that 12-year old Zachariah Houck was riding south on Joshua Road in Oak Hills with a group of friends around 6:45 pm when he went through the stop at Mesquite Street, and was struck by a Lincoln Navigator driven by George Peery.

Peery reportedly tried to swerve to the right to avoid Houck’s bike, but was unable to stop in time. Houck was pronounced dead at the scene; tragically, his parents arrived at the scene before police.

He had just started his first week of 7th grade on Thursday. The Victorville Daily Press quotes his aunt speaking for the family.

“We’re all numb,” Sarah Houck-Garcia, Houck’s aunt, said Monday. “It’s been tragic for the entire family. He was just a big love bug.”

According to the Daily Press, his middle school is accepting donations for the family.

Quail Valley is collecting donations for Houck’s family at the front office including gift cards, money or letters and cards of encouragement, according to Principal Dennis Zimmerman. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Houck’s family can visit the school at 10058 Arrowhead Road in Phelan or make out a check in the name of Zachariah Harrison Houck II and take it to a Wells Fargo branch.

This is the 48th confirmed traffic-related cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 3rd in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathies to Houck’s family and friends.

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