Lately, Gardena seems like a very risky place to ride a bike.
Just days after a group of cyclists had their tickets for obstructing traffic after installing a ghost bike dismissed, a young bike rider has died five days after he was hit by a car.
According to the Daily Breeze, 19-year old Gardena resident Julian Ramos was taken off life support last Sunday, after suffering major head trauma in a collision on Tuesday, July 30th. Ramos was just one block from home when he was hit by a vehicle while riding on Western Avenue at 144th Street around 9:35 pm.
The crash is still under investigation.
The paper reports Ramos had recently reconnected with his mother after growing up in foster care, and was working at the Carl’s Jr at Crenshaw and Redondo Beach to help support her and two of his siblings.
A fund has been established to help pay for his funeral expenses.
Ramos is the third bike rider to be killed in the city in the past 10 months, following the hit-and-run deaths of postal worker Jesse Dotson in July, and Benjamin Torres last October. All three were commuting to or from work.
That’s an exceptionally high death count for a city of less than 60,000 people.
And a fourth man was killed when Gardena police shot an unarmed Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino who was trying to help his brother find his stolen bike this past June.
This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 26th in Los Angeles County, which has already exceeded the county-wide total for each of the last two years.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julian Ramos and all his family and loved ones.