Tag Archive for in memoriam

Garrett guilty, Singh seriously blotto, more 2011 cycling fatalities & new interactive Westside bike map

Our frequent South Bay/OC tipster sends word that Adam Garrett has plead guilty in the hit-and-run death of cyclist Hung Khac Do in Fountain Valley last May.

This is the case in which Garrett not only ran Do down in his ’94 Camry, but inexplicably called police the next day pretending to be a witness. And the police, being far more intelligent than Do evidently assumed, quickly realized they were talking to the actual killer.

Garrett agreed to a plea including 180 days in a private jail, with time off for work, school and church release, as well as three years formal probation, 200 hours community service, $14,000 restitution and court fees. One slip-up and he’ll spend the maximum of four years behind bars.

On the other hand, I’d say that letting him out to attend church seems particularly appropriate.

Anyone who could leave a stranger to die in the street — then call police in a failed attempt to find out what they knew — could benefit from a little spiritual counseling.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link to the Star article; Dj Wheels sends a link the Times’ story on the case.

……..

Satnam Singh, the driver charged with murdering Ventura cyclist Nick Haverland in a drunken rampage last May, had a potentially fatal level of alcohol in his system when he killed Haverland and injured five other people.

According to the Ventura County Star, Singh had a blood alcohol level of .39 — nearly five times the legal limit. And well above the .25 to .32 level at which most people would die of alcohol poisoning.

So high, in fact, that Singh’s attorney argued the 2nd degree murder charge should be dropped because his client was too drunk to form the disregard for human life required under the law.

“The degree of intoxication was so high it would have rendered him incapable to entertain any kind of implied malice,” Biederman said.

I realize he’s just doing his job. But this is exactly why so many people hate lawyers.

Fortunately, judge Charles Campbell concluded that after knocking a mother and daughter off their bikes and rear-ending a car, Singh had to know what he was doing.

A witness described following Singh as he raced to his home at speeds up to 80 mph after he sent Haverland flying through the air to his death.

DJ wheels notes that Singh is currently out on $500,000 bail, with arraignment set for 9 am on January 18th in Courtroom 12 of the Ventura County Superior Court. Singh is allowed to work at the liquor store he owns, but may not consume alcohol, or be in possession of it outside of work.

Something tells me I wouldn’t want to bet on that.

Not surprisingly, Singh also faces a civil suit from Haverland’s family.

……..

It doesn’t look like we’re going to get on to happier subjects anytime soon, as last year’s bike fatalities keep rearing their ugly head.

A comment from TQ lead to the discovery of three more cycling deaths that I was previously unaware of, which have been added to Part 1 of the In Memoriam list.

1/14/11 13-year old Kayel Smith was riding against traffic in Lake Elsinore when he veered right to cross the road, and was struck from behind by a vehicle on the opposite side; Kavel suffered major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

2/16/11 A 50-year old transient and registered sex offender was fatally injured when he was hit by a VW Beetle while crossing an intersection in Fountain Valley; he was wearing dark clothes on a black bike with no lights or reflectors.

In addition, an unidentified cyclist was hit by a motorist after failing to stop for a stop sign in Santa Ana on 6/24/11; I have a report that he died after being placed on life support, but I’m still waiting for confirmation.

That brings last years total cycling deaths in the eight-county Southern California area to 79; 70 killed in collisions — traffic or solo — and nine by shooting. That compares to an average of 68.2 fatalities for the last five years on record (2005 – 2009), and 15 more than each of the previous two years (55 in 2008 and 2009).

Going forward, I’ll drop Santa Barbara County from this list to conform with the seven-county region covered by the Southern California Association of Governments.

This week I’ve focused on the people behind the statistics. Next week, I’ll offer a breakdown of the statistics, including at least one starting finding.

………

Culver City bike advocate and KCRW Chief Engineer Steve Herbert has created a wikimap of bike facilities on the Westside.

Borrowing from San Diego’s Bike Parking Map, I began today Westside Bicycle Facilities map, an interactive Google map which is open to everyone to add bike facilities they know of for the benefit of all in the cycling community. It’s easy to update, simply press the EDIT button on the screen, enlarge the map to the location of the bike rack, shop or other facility being added, click the Blue Balloon place mark and then point and click where the facility is. Next, change the icon to represent the facility noted: A green cyclist for bike parking, a yellow shopping bag for a bike shop, and add any notation which will aid in locating the facility. Then press SAVE & DONE.

The power in this is the collaborative nature of Google Maps, as one person could never keep up with the all updates, but utilizing the power of the community at large we can empower everyone in creating a potentially useful reference tool.

Briefly started as a map of Culver City facilities, it quickly became apparent a regional coverage area makes more sense & given the lack of restrictions there’s nothing to prevent people from adding facilities on the map outside of the Westside region such as downtown, the valley, South Bay, Orange County….

I hope the community embraces this and adds their knowledge to the effort.

………

Catching up on a few items I haven’t had a chance to post until now:

The County of Los Angeles is still accepting comments on the new county Bicycle Master Plan prior to the public hearing before the County Regional Planning Commission scheduled for 9 am on January 11th, at the Hall of Records, Room 150, 320 West Temple Street Downtown.

SCAG Senior Planner Alan Thompson forwards a link to download the Southern California Council of Government’s draft Regional Transportation Plan covering the years from 21012 to 2035. If you want to know where transportation planning is headed for the next 23 years, it might be a good idea to check it out.

LADOT is looking for a Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Coordinator and Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator for the next year.

You have less than two weeks to comment on Glendale’s proposed bike and pedestrian master plan.

………

And a few others items that have intrigued and/or infuriated me lately —

Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali uncovers the corporate theft of a Venice Blvd bike lane, and gets a promise from city officials to get it back.

Freakonomics suggests you’re more likely to be injured walking drunk than driving under the influence; Flying Pigeon points out that many of those drunk walkers are injured or killed by cars. And I might add that the problem with driving drunk isn’t the risk of being injured, it’s danger that you could kill someone else.

The estimable Will Campbell looks at Pedestrians Behaving Badly on the L.A. River Bike Path.

A New Mexico tribal government caves in to public pressure and decides to prosecute a driver for killing cross-country cyclist John Anczarski, after they bungled the investigation by failing to properly investigate the crash scene or conduct alcohol or drug tests. And the driver can look forward to a slap on the wrist, since tribal authorities can only prosecute misdemeanors, with a maximum of one year per charge. Maybe they can come up with 40 or 50 counts to charge him with, to be served consecutively.

A Mississippi woman who ran down a cyclist, then drove over her head trying to move her car to the side of the road, gets off with a lousy $50 fine — and then has the heuvos to appeal her already incredibly weak slap on the wrist. Not to mention she has to pay over twice the amount of her fine to do it.

The family of a fallen cyclist files suit against the NYPD for withholding information and bending over backwards to let a killer driver off the hook.

Remarkably, a Lehigh Valley paper gets it exactly wrong, insisting — incorrectly — that most bike safety experts consider shared lanes safer than designated bike lanes, even after a local bike advocate is killed crossing a bridge that used to have bike lanes.

Yet another sports broadcasting jerk tries to get himself fired by tweeting that he intends to run over any cyclist he sees in the street. Here’s hoping he succeeds. At getting himself fired, that is; you can email the station’s General Manager here.

Nearly 50 years after Bob Dylan sang “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand,” some cyclists continue to criticize people who have the temerity to not ride or dress the way they do. Seriously, if you want to wear spandex do it. And if you don’t, don’t. End of story.

Finally, some sick SOB strings wire over the entrance to a Canadian trail and fells an eight-year old girl riding her bike. Yes, clothes-lining an eight-effing-years old.

I hope he’s proud of himself.

In memoriam 2011; part 2

7/2/11 A 68-year old cyclist who was not publicly identified died after being rear-end by a driver on PCH in Long Beach; the driver was questioned and released.

7/4/11 32-year old George Loudon was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike home from work at 2:30 am near Dockweiler Beach.

7/4/11 39-year old musician Stephen Pyle was critically injured when he was struck by a car after riding into the street from between two parked cars in San Pedro; he was removed from life support and died the next day.

7/6/11 67-year old Louis Gabor suffered critical injuries when he was hit by a pickup that may have run a red light in Long Beach; he died of his injuries on 7/19/11. No word on whether the driver was ever charged.

7/14/11 4-year old Sabastian Parada was hit by a car while crossing the street near his home in Desert Hot Springs; he was taken off life support two days later.

7/16/2011 17-year old Jesus Lopez was shot multiple times as he tried to flee from suspected gang members in Montecito Heights.

7/18/11 23-year old Christopher Sop was found dead on the side of the road in unincorporated Big Bear following an apparent solo riding accident; officers concluded that lost control of his bike and hit his head on a rock.

7/19/11 63-year old Victor Rodriguez was collateral damage as two drivers apparently competed for lane space in Downtown L.A. in what was initially described as a road rage incident; Philip Goldburn Williams faces a charge of misdemeanor vehicular homicide without gross negligence.

7/22/11 Jose Garcia-Espinoza was killed in Moreno Valley when a 64-year old driver may have suffered a seizure before losing control of his motor home, fatally striking the rider before hitting a utility pole.

7/23/11 An unidentified Hispanic cyclist was hit head-on after riding against traffic on a busy highway; local reports blamed the victim for riding after dark and not wearing a helmet, as well.

7/27/11 64-year old Arthur John Jacobs was killed in a hit-and-run while riding in North San Diego County. After a brief search, Julianne Elyse Thompson was found hiding under some nearby bushes; she was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and drunk driving.

7/29/11 16-year old Bernard Cota suffered severe brain injuries when he was hit by a car while while riding to see a friend in Rancho Cucamonga; his organs where donated after being taken off life support six days later.

8/3/11 51-year old Michael Biel died when he was hit by an oncoming truck in Jurupa Valley; no word on whether he was riding on the wrong side or if the truck had strayed into his lane.

8/5/11 19-year old Cody Wessel was killed in Lake Elsinore after riding his BMX bike in front of an oncoming van after leaving work.

8/5/11 7-year old Jeremy Perez was riding to visit his mother at her new job at a Redondo Beach Albertsons when he rode behind a truck backing into the store’s loading dock.

8/10/11 42-year old Riverside Sheriff’s Detective Duane Parkinson was riding off-duty in Irvine when he was hit from behind by a Mercedes Benz SUV; Parkinson left behind a wife and three children.

8/13/11 12-year old Zachariah Houck was hit and killed In Hesperia after reportedly riding through a stop sign into the path of a Lincoln Navigator; the driver reportedly was unable to avoid Houck.

8/23/11 50-year old Enrique Lemus Bautista was killed in on Avalon Blvd in South Los Angeles; the suspect vehicle may have been a black BMW.

8/27/11 Nathan “Bud” Tippee and his wife were participating in a Saturday morning group ride when two cars collided in a Lancaster intersection and spun out of control, injuring them both; Nathan died of his injuries several days later.

9/18/11 24-year old Oregon resident Jocelyn Young fell off her bike in Pasadena and was run over by a passing car, which fled the scene; a witness followed Nicholas Avila to his home, where he was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.

9/22/11 61-year old Alan Deane was riding on a Pasadena sidewalk when he rode out into the crosswalk and was hit and killed by a left turning car; the collision was ruled an accident by the coroner. Deane was a musician who had performed with the Captain & Tennille, The Grass Roots and Johnny Rivers, among others.

9/27/11 79-year old Jerzy Nowak was found dead on the side of the road in Escondido; there was no evidence of any other vehicle involved.

9/28/11 30-year old Justin Newman suffered a massive head injury after being doored in San Diego and died two days later; no word on whether the driver was charged.

10/1/11 29-year old Reynard Lionell Fulton was shot and killed while riding his bike in Long Beach.

10/2/11 74-year old Vernon Slade was killed when he was hit by a Dodge Ram truck in Moreno Valley at 3:27 am.

10/8/11 27-year old Omar Gomez was hit from behind in Chino Hills just days after Governor Brown vetoed the states proposed three foot passing law; the driver reportedly looked away from the road just moments before striking Gomez.

10/13/11 21-year old Disneyland employee Margaret Conway, known as Maggie May to her friends, was killed when she was struck from behind by a Ford SUV as she crossed an Anaheim overpass on her way home from work; no word on why the driver didn’t see her on the well-lit bridge.

10/16/11 28-year old Mark Leones was leading a group of riders on a steep, high-speed descent when his wheel caught a groove by the gutter and he lost control; he suffered multiple head injuries after striking a concrete embankment and died at a hospital soon after.

10/17/11 19-year old Genaro Ramirez was shot from a passing car and killed while riding in Downey at 3 am.

10/18/11 Juan Z. Gutierrez was shot and killed while riding his bike in Pico Rivera at 1:25 am, less than 24 hours and 10 miles from where Ramirez died.

10/26/11 44-year old Francisco Donato was fatally injured in Chino when 18-year old Gerardo Mendez attempted to pass another vehicle by driving his massive Yukon SUV through the bike lane Donato was riding in. Donato died two days later; no word on charges against the driver.

11/3/11 Sherri Norton was riding in Santiago Canyon when she reportedly made a 90 degree turn to her left to go back to meet her riding partner, and was struck by a car travelling at 50 mph. She died two days later, and many riders question whether the collision actually occurred the way it was described in the press.

11/5/11 51-year old Robert (Roberto) Hyndman died when he lost control of his bike while riding with his brother on a steep decent on Los Flores Canyon during the Rapha Gentlmen’s Ride.

11/12/11 35-year old Romeo Jimenez-Zavaleta was right-hooked by an Orange County OCTA bus while riding in a Laguna Hills crosswalk; a reader reports that weather conditions may have been a factor.

11/24/11 6-year old Anthony Martinez was killed while riding his bike in Oxnard on Thanksgiving Day when he was hit by a neighbor’s truck after being forced to ride around a commercial truck that was blocking the sidewalk.

12/3/11 65-year old Hollywood writer/producer Carol Schreder was riding on Mulholland Highway in the Malibu Hills when she was struck by a van pulling a trailer, which reportedly jackknifed when forced to stop suddenly; however, several people reported the vehicle was speeding and driving recklessly just moments before the fatal collision.

12/3/11 An unidentified 57-year old man was hit and killed by a passing freight train as he rode slowly across the tracks.

12/13/11 47-year old Randy Isaacs was killed in a Lake Forest hit-and-run while riding in the crosswalk; he was riding on the sidewalk for the few blocks to his home after kissing his children, who were staying at his parent house, good night.

12/28/11 44-year old Gabriel Perez was dragged half-a-block to his death in a Pomona hit-and-run when he was hit by an SUV while riding across an intersection; Chino resident Rodger Allen Karcher was arrested on a charge of hit-and-run causing death after turning himself in the next day.

12/29/11 14-year old Albert Nguyen was killed in a right hook as he rode off the sidewalk into the path of a turning car; he died in the hospital on New Years Day.

Finally, a CHP report indicated that another cyclist was killed in East Los Angeles on 6/20/11; however, I have been unable to confirm the fatality or get any details.

It is also important to note that these are only the fatalities that I am aware of, whether they were reported in the press or sent to me directly. It is entirely possible — in fact, likely — that other deaths occurred last year which I am unaware of; as a case in point, I only learned about the death of 4-year old Sabastian Parada today while researching another fatality.

Click here for Part 1.

My sympathy and prayers to all the victims and their loved ones.

Update: In memoriam 2011; part 1

1/3/11 48-year old Joseph Powers lost control of his bike while rounding a curve at an estimated 30 mph on Highway 150 in the Carpinteria Valley, succumbing to his injuries three days later.

1/5/11 69-year old Robert Gary Gavin suffered a serious head injury after being hit by a black Ford pickup while turning onto PCH in Redondo Beach, dying of his injuries on 1/13.

1/9/11 44-year old masters racer Kevin Unck lost control of his bike on a group decent on Glendora Mountain Road and skidded into the path of an oncoming car.

1/14/11 13-year old Kayel Smith was riding against traffic in Lake Elsinore when he veered right to cross the road, and was struck from behind by a vehicle on the opposite side; Kavel suffered major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

1/17/11 57-year old Gary Garvin was killed in a solo collision when he rode his ebike into a tree in Oceanside.

1/18/11 An unidentified 80-year old man was killed in a right hook while riding on a sidewalk by a truck exiting a Garden Grove shopping center.

1/19/11 8-year old Andrew Brumback died when he was hit by a car while riding to school in Westminster; Anita Sue Cherry was charged with his death.

1/19/11 An unidentified cyclist was killed while trying to beat the Metro Blue Line across the tracks in Long Beach.

1/21/11 37-year old Steven Garner lost his life when he allegedly swerved across the center line to strike a flatbed truck travelling in the opposite direction; CHP investigators said he appeared to be under the influence.

1/25/11 16-year old Jose Angel Dominguez was fatally shot while riding his bike in Pomona.

2/1/11 48-year old Fernando Santiago was struck and killed while riding through the Los Coyotes Traffic Circle in Long Beach.

2/5/11 60-year old Marberry Ben Acree was hit by a semi-truck exiting I-15 while riding in a poorly designed bike lane in San Diego, and died at the scene.

2/13/11 44-year old Suntat Peverly was killed when the driver of a street sweeper fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into the San Diego bike lane Peverly was riding in.

2/16/11 A 50-year old transient and registered sex offender was fatally injured when he was hit by a VW Beetle while crossing an intersection in Fountain Valley; he was wearing dark clothes on a black bike with no lights or reflectors.

2/21/11 41-year old triathlete Amine Britel was hit from behind while riding in a bike lane in Newport Beach; driver Danae Marie Miller was allegedly drunk and texting at the time of the collision.

3/5/11 40-year old Jose Luis Carmona was killed in a hit-and-run collision while walking his bike alongside PCH in Ventura County; Ventura resident Shannon Richard pleaded no contest to hit-and-run in the death.

3/6/11 73-year old Ignacio Manriques Sanchez was killed in Lomita when a motorist drove up onto the sidewalk he was riding on and struck him from behind.

3/11/11 26-year old Roberto Garcia suffered fatal injuries while crossing a railroad track in Riverside; after waiting for the train to pass, he started across the tracks and was hit by a second train passing in the opposite direction.

3/18/11 56-year old Leonardo Antonio Florez died in an early morning rear-end collision in Long Beach; Florez was reportedly riding without lights.

3/28/11 18-year old David Mendez was found lying next to his bike on the side of the road in Oceanside suffering from severe head injuries, and died the next day; Herman Gozalez of Oceanside was later booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and felony DUI.

4/10/11 47-year old endurance cyclist Jim Swarzman was hit from behind while riding on PCH in Leucadia, the driver fled the scene without slowing down; Joseph Ricardo Fernandez was sentenced in September to three years for hit-and-run after turning himself in.

4/14/11 39-year old Travis Carroll was hit head-on in Bermuda Dunes while riding without lights on the wrong side of the street without lights

4/17/11 28-year old Manuel Santizo was knocked off his bike in Silver Lake, then shot and killed; despite initial suspicion that it was a gang shooting, police later determined it resulted from a dispute over a woman.

4/20/11 17-year old German Alex Romero was fatally injured in a hit-and-run when he was struck from behind by a speeding car while riding with a friend on DeSoto Avenue in the West Valley; Dominiqu Rush was charged for the death and fleeing the scene, while her father Steven was charged with assisting in the cover-up.

4/22/11 63-year old Nemesio Herrera was found dead on the side of the road in Coachella; despite initial suspicion that he was the victim of a hit-and-run, authorities concluded that he had crashed into a light pole while riding a bike with no brakes.

4/22/11 12-year old honor student Shantrel Kailyn Williams was riding on the sidewalk in front of her home in Compton when she rode into the street to turn around, and was struck by a car driven by Thomas Abraham Long. Long was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence; Shantrel died after being taken off life support on 5/1/11.

4/29/11 21-year old Jordan Hickey was shot and killed in National City; the developmentally disabled man did not drive and rode his bike everywhere; at last report, there were no suspects in the case, or any apparent motive for the shooting.

5/11/11 20-year old Nick Haverland was hit from behind while on his way to take a final exam at Ventura College; Satnam Singh faces a second degree murder charge for the drunken rampage that left five additional people injured, including two additional cyclists.

5/15/11 25-year old Hung Khac Do was killed in a Fountain Valley hit-and-run; Adam Garrett was arrested for the crime after calling police pretending to be a witness.

5/16/11 91-year old Fred Walsh died when he was struck by a pickup in Riverside; he died in the hospital eight days later.

5/19/11 71-year old Eduardo Perez lost his life in a Canoga Park hit-and-run when he was right hooked while riding in the crosswalk; to the best of my knowledge, no arrest has been made.

5/31/11 40-year old Nick Venuto was killed when a car driven by Sheena Saranita went off the road at high speed, climbed a 15-foot embankment and flipped over onto to a separated bike path in North San Diego, killing Venuto and critically injuring Baron Hederlin-Doherty.

6/3/11 15-year old Jonathan Acosta Fernandez was struck in Norwalk by a car driven by Ana Chavez at a speed of 60 mph; Fernandez died a week later, and Chavez, who initially was booked on suspicion of drunk driving, now faces a charge of vehicular manslaughter.

6/10/11 19-year old Shoichi Joe Minesaki was murdered in an apparent gang-related drive-by shooting in North Hollywood.

6/20/11 76-year old John H. Dillingham was attempting to turn left into a Camarillo park when he drifted in front of car coming up from behind; the driver reportedly was unable to avoid him.

6/23/11 34-year old Pablo Ortiz was shot and killed in Long Beach.

6/24/11 23-year old Alejandro Lopez Jr. was hit by a motorist after failing to stop for a stop sign in Santa Ana, and the following day after being placed on life support.

6/26/11 74-year old David Sandoval Caldera was killed in Blyth while riding after dark without lights or reflectors; the driver reportedly did not see him before hitting Caldera from behind.

6/29/11 47-year old Jaime Ruiz was riding his bike against traffic without lights in the Nestor neighborhood of San Diego when he hit a parked car and fell into the traffic lane, where he was struck by an oncoming SUV.

6/30/11 15-year old Ricardo Gilberto Lizarraga rode his bike into the path of a Metrolink train in Fontana; he reportedly was wearing earbuds and may not have heard the train, however, the warning gates were working at the time of the collision.

Update: Three cyclists have been added to this list, based on a comment from TQ; thanks to her help, I’ve now been able to verify all three.

Click here for part two.

My sympathy and prayers to all the victims and their loved ones.

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