Tag Archive for Jose Louis Carmona

Red-light running(?) cyclist killed in San Bernardino; another slap on wrist for killer hit-and-run driver

Just 10 days into the new year, we’ve already had our second cycling fatality.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, 61-year old San Bernardino resident Bernard F. Culbertson was hit by a vehicle driven by an unlicensed driver while riding at 5:31 Monday morning, and died of his injuries nearly 22 hours later.

Culbertson was reportedly riding without lights an hour before sunrise when he crossed North Waterman Ave headed west on Third Street, and was hit by a car driven by Benito Bustos-Gonzalez of Fontana.

Police report that Bustos-Gonzalez had the green light, suggesting that Culbertson ran the red light; however, there is no indication whether that was observed by independent witnesses or reported by the driver.

It’s a common problem in bike collisions that the victim is killed or incapacitated, and unable to give police their version of events. As a result, barring other witnesses, police are often forced to rely on statements given by the drivers involved, who have an incentive to cast events in the most favorable light.

The paper reports that investigators have not indicated if Bustos-Gonzalez will be charged or ticketed, but notes that jail records show no indication of an arrest.

This is the second fatality in Southern California so far this year, and the first in San Bernardino County.


The Ventura County Star reports that Shannon Richard was sentenced to 270 days in county jail and three years probation for the hit-and-run death of Jose Louis Carmona last year.

That’s significantly less than the two yeas the D.A. had asked for, or even the one year prison and five years probation the probation department had recommended.

Richard hit and killed Carmona as he was walking his bike along PCH near Faria Beach Road; she was arrested at her home after fleeing the scene, reportedly telling police she thought she hit an animal.

Of course, hitting an animal isn’t likely to explain why she felt the need immediately begin drinking again as soon as she returned home, muddying the results of the blood alcohol test after she had admitted drinking a few beers before driving home.

Pro tip: begin drinking as soon as possible following a collision so police won’t be able to establish what your BAC was at the time of the collision.

On the other hand, Carmona was wearing dark clothes with no lights on his bike, with a BAC of .20, and may — or may not — have been walking in the traffic lane at the time of the fatal collision.


Our anonymous OC/South Bay court case reporter writes that the arraignment for Danae Miller in the death of world-class tri-athlete Amine Britel has been pushed back until February 27.

That’s almost exactly one year after Miller ran Britel down while he was riding in a Newport Beach bike lane in allegedly drunken/distracted collision.


That same anonymous source also notes that the “private jail” where Adam Garrett has been allowed to serve his 180 day sentence for the hit-and-run death of Hung Khac Do — when he’s not out for work, school or church — is actually a halfway house in a converted apartment building.

And he’s not actually incarcerated yet, as the judge generously gave him until April 10th to begin his sentence, so he could wait until a spot opens up for him.

And that 180 days actually turns out to be just 90, since the judge generously stayed half of it. And if Garrett keeps his nose clean for just one full year, his felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Slap, meet wrist.

No wonder people continue to die on our streets, and drivers continue to ignore the legal requirement to stop at the scene of a collision, when we can’t even get the courts to take it seriously when an innocent person gets killed.


She also notes that five of the 50 organ donors featured on the Donate Life float in the recent Rose Parade were killed while bicycling. That’s not to say cycling is dangerous; you could just as easily die sitting on your sofa as on your bike.

But no one gets out of this world alive.

And however I go, I want some good to come out of it.


LAist reports that a driver has been arrested on hit-and-run charges after hitting a cyclist in Monrovia last night. Jason Travers allegedly fled after hitting the victim from behind at Violet Ave and Foothill Blvd around 6 pm.

Fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured.


A Colorado driver has been sentenced to eight-years in prison for a fatal hit-and-run — despite beating a DUI charge for the same incident.

Maybe someday California courts will take hit-and-run cases that seriously.


Finally, Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about when you need lights on your bike and why. And yet another anti-bike bigot broadcaster, this time a Brit, blathers about his hated of bikes.

Who knew we are responsible for global warming by forcing speeding drivers to actually slow down for a few seconds?

SaMo road rage hearing postponed, Mahdavi goes to Europe and Shannon Richards pleads no contest

According to cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels, Jeffrey Adams, the driver charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the Santa Monica Dr. Thompson-lite case, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

However, both Wheels and a comment left by Andrew note that the hearing was continued to December 13th.

Wheels also notes that Celine Mahdavi, the driver given a slap on the wrist sentenced to 90 days in the hit-and-run maiming of cyclist Louis Deliz, was scheduled for a restitution hearing on October 12th, which was rescheduled for December 1st.

Despite being sentenced to three years probation, in addition to her extremely limited jail time, the judge allowed her to travel to Europe for nine days.

Which suggests that the only person really being punished for her crime is her victim.


Ventura resident Shannon Richard pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of a fatal collision on Tuesday.

Richard was charged with fleeing the scene after she hit Jose Louis Carmona as he walked along the the roadway when she was distracted by a crying child, leaving him to die on the side of the road.

The Ventura County Star reports that she thought that she had hit a deer, coyote or some other animal — in other words, she had no idea what the hell she hit, and didn’t care enough to find out.

Richard was not charged with driving under the influence, despite an initial arrest on drunk driving charges. Her lawyer said she was under the legal limit, and had only drank wine after the collision.

Note to drivers: if you want to get away with it, go home and have a couple of drinks. Then if you’re caught, just claim you only drank after you got home.

Reading between the lines, the victim was blamed for causing his own death by walking along the roadway without lights on his bike. Oddly, pedestrians — which is what Carmona was while walking his bike — aren’t normally required to have lights and are allowed to walk on the shoulder of a roadway.

Unless he was actually within the traffic lane, the driver should have been at fault.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 9th; Richard faces anything from four years in jail to probation with jail time.

Guess which one she’ll probably get.


A couple other quick notes.

Rex Reese points out that bicycling was once reputed to ride the gay away; undoubtedly, it’s a popular for of recreation at the clinic run by Michelle Bachmann’s husband.

Nebraska alum Todd Munson points us to a hit-and-run that took out a couple of Lincoln motorcyclists; the perpetrator is the star of the volleyball team — and daughter of the coach; needless to say, she remains on the team since fleeing the scene of a collision isn’t that big deal.

A Culver City cyclist tells the city council of that city that not only did a CCPD officer ignore a mild hit-and-run, the officer followed up by frisking and fondling him. This may be the first time anyone has used the phrase “does stuff with my anal cavity” in an open council session.

A Houston cop claims his supervisor ordered officers to stop riders for biking while black.

Bike unfriendly USC takes a first step in dealing with bikes by asking two-wheeled students to be more considerate; the university will also hire consultants to study additional solutions to “the bike problem.”

University of Wisconsin researchers say the secret to a long life could be as simple as riding to the store.

Local bike shops face a considerable challenge in competing with online retailers, however, a group of New Hampshire bike shops have banded together to create a coop website allowing riders to shop online and still buy local; could be a good model for L.A. shops.

This is why you need a helmet; not because of car collisions that exceed their safety requirements, but because bad things can happen when you bike. I rode with a helmet for over 20 years without ever needing it; the one time I did, I was glad I had it.

After a cross-country cyclist is killed on a New Mexico reservation, tribal police fail to conduct an investigation because they didn’t think it was serious. Note to drivers: if you want to kill a cyclist, try doing it on tribal lands.

Here’s a new one. A London bus driver ran over and killed a cyclist because he had a sudden painful spasm that kept him from stepping on the brake. Note to drivers: see your doctor now to complain about back pain to document your excuse in case you ever need it.

A former leader of the League of American Wheelmen — now League of American Bicyclists — receives a posthumous honor from the Dutch for inventing the center line.

Finally, don’t get too comfortable in your position on the road; you can be replaced.

%d bloggers like this: