Tag Archive for Jurupa Valley

Cyclist killed by Metrolink train in Jurupa Valley; passengers inconvenienced

What a wrong-headed article.

The Press-Enterprise reports a bike rider was killed by a Metrolink train in Jurupa Valley last night.

Or rather, barely reports, because the story only briefly touches on the fact that someone lost his or her life, instead focusing on the horrible inconvenience it posed to those on the train.

How rude that he should have delayed all those poor, unfortunate people from getting home by dying.

I’m going to be tied up all day today, but I’ll try to add more information later tonigt.

Update: According to the  Press-Enterprise, the collision occurred around 5:24 pm Friday at Rutile Blvd and Van Buren Blvd

The story offers no more information about the victim or the crash itself, even 24 hours later.

The Riverside County Coroner’s office offers a little more information, listing the victim as a 64-year old Riverside resident; his name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. He was declared dead at 5:34 pm.  

And yes, unless the warning signals were malfunctioning in some way, a collision with a train is almost always the rider’s fault. Looking at the satellite view, it’s hard to picture how the victim could have been caught on the tracks by accident; although it is always possible he was riding along the tracks rather than crossing them.

Never go around a warning gate, even if the way seems clear at the time; a train can be coming from out of view, or a stopped train can start without warning.

Other than the flashing lights, bells and lowered gates, that is.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th in Riverside County. Remarkably, it’s also the 5th SoCal cyclist killed in a collision with a train since the first of the year.

Update 2: The victim has finally been publicly identified by the Riverside County Coroner’s office as 64-year old Riverside resident Ronald Rodriguez.

Jurupa Valley rider killed in rear-end collision

It’s been a bad several days for Inland bike riders.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 47-year old Riverside resident Aristeo Vallardares was hit from behind while riding on the 5900 block of Limonite Avenue in Jurupa Valley at 7:31 pm. Witnesses performed CPR until paramedics arrived and transported Vallardares to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 8 pm.

The satellite view shows a wide, divided roadway with little or no shoulder — exactly the sort of road that forces riders to compete for space with high-speed traffic.

Yet once again, there’s no word on how the collision occurred, other than it was a rear-end collision — a pattern that seems to be common in Riverside and San Bernardino County bicycling deaths.

There’s no mention on whether he was using lights, or why the driver failed to see a bike rider who was apparently on the road directly in front of him.

And as usual, no mention of who the victim was beyond the most meagre description. No word on what he did for a living, whether he had a family or if there is anyone besides his fellow bicyclists to morn his death.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, one more than last year’s already too high total. It’s the 13th cycling death in Riverside County, two above the total for last year.

And Vallarades is the third rider to die in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in just the last five days, and the 4th killed in Southern California in the past 10 days.

My deepest condolences for Vallarades and all his family and loved ones.

51-year old cyclist killed in Riverside County; SoCal counties on pace for 2nd worst year since 2005

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a 51-year old cyclist was killed while riding in the Jurupa Valley section of Riverside County on Wednesday night.

Michael Biel was riding on Rubidoux Blvd south of 26th Street around 9:40 pm when he was hit by an oncoming truck; he was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is continuing; no other information is available at this time.

This is the 44th confirmed bike-related traffic fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Riverside County; Biel is the 3rd Riverside County cyclist to die in just the last two weeks.

The eight cycling deaths in the county now equal or exceed the annual total of each of the last three years for which records are currently available, with just 7 bicycling fatalities for Riverside County in all of 2009.

………

If you think there’s been a lot of cycling fatalities this year, you’re right.

The seven counties of Southern California are on pace for 79 traffic-related cycling deaths this year, second only to the 89 deaths in 2006 among the last five years on record, from 2005 to 2009. And 11 more than the five year average of 67.8.*

Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties are currently on pace to meet their five year averages 24.2, 13 and 7.4, respectively. Riverside, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties are on a slightly above average pace, though it should be noted that Santa Barbara averages less than 2 deaths per year.

San Diego is having by far the worst year of any county in Southern California, on pace to nearly triple their annual average of 6.8 traffic-related cycling deaths.

To put it in perspective, that projected total of 79 cycling fatalities for the seven Southern California counties represents nearly 80% of the roughly 100 bicycling deaths that occur in the entire state each year.

Yes, we’re having a horrible year.

And those numbers aren’t just statistics. They represent parents, children, spouses, family, friends and co-workers who won’t be coming home tonight.

Or ever again.

*Fatality statistics based on figures provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; this years figures are based on deaths reported by the new media, and may not include all fatalities as some may have gone unreported.

Update: In response to a request in the comments, I’m providing the yearly fatality stats from the NHTSA, as well as the monthly statistics for this year.

NHTSA cycling fatalities for the seven counties in Southern California (listed above) from 2005 to 2009:

2005 = 76; 2006 = 89; 2007 = 64; 2008 = 55; 2009 = 55

Monthly confirmed traffic fatalities as of August 8, 2011, excluding shootings; dates are based on the date of collision, rather than the date of death:

Jan = 8; Feb = 5; Mar = 6; April = 5; May = 5; June = 5; July = 9; August = 3 (through first 8 days); Current total for 2011 = 46, there were two additional fatalities after the post about Michael Biel was originally written

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