Tag Archive for Laguna Hills

Update: 66-year old woman killed riding her bike in Laguna Hills

Sad news from Laguna Hills.

According to KTLA-5, a woman was killed when she was hit by a vehicle while riding her bike at Paseo De Valencia and Kennington Drive around 1:40 pm Saturday.

The victim was identified only as a woman in her 60s, pending notification of her family. No other information is available at this time.

A photo from the scene shows a Toyota minivan with its windshield smashed on the right side.

A satellite view shows what appears to be a bike lane on the southbound side of Paseo De Valencia, while the Aliso Creek Bikeway parallels the road on the northbound side, crossing Kennington in the crosswalk. There is a traffic signal at the intersection.

Paseo De Valencia marks the border between Laguna Woods to the west and Laguna Hills on the east. The OC Sheriff’s Department places the collision on the Laguna Hills side, suggesting the victim may have been riding on the bikeway and was struck when she attempted to cross Kennington; however, that is merely speculation at this point.

This is the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County; that compares to 44 in SoCal and nine in the county this time last year.

Update: The Orange County Register reports the 66-year old victim was riding south on the bike path when she rode out into the northbound traffic lane on Paseo De Valencia to avoid other cyclists coming in the opposite direction. As she did, she was hit, apparently head-on, by a minivan driven by a 59-year old man, who remained at the scene.

Bystanders performed CPR until the fire department arrived and took her to Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, where she died less than half an hour later.

She may be known in the local bicycling community, as friends described her as an avid cyclist who rode 30 to 40 miles a day.

Update 2: The Orange County Coroner’s office has identified the victim as 66-year old Michiko Day of Laguna Woods.

Bill Sellin forwards a graphic that clearly shows what happened to cause the collision. 

The red arrows represent the route Day took as she exited the bike path to cross Kennington Drive, then swerved into traffic to avoid other riders, indicated by the blue arrows. 

So she appears to have been a victim, not just of the car and driver that took her life, but an inadequate bikeway design that forces riders off a protected bike path and out into the street before coming back into the crosswalk.



Update 3: The Orange County Register reports that Michiko Day was just one block from home when she was killed while riding in Laguna Woods last month. Her riding partner confirms what we thought, that poor road and bike path design may have contributed to her death.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michiko Day and her loved ones.

Update: 82-year old bike rider Peter Tomaino killed in Laguna Hills Christmas Eve collision

Photo by Ed Ryder

A battered bike bears witness to its fallen rider; click to enlarge. Photo by Ed Ryder

Yet another bike rider won’t be coming home to his family this Christmas.

Earlier this evening, Orange County cyclist Ed Ryder emailed me with news that a bicyclist had lost his life in a Laguna Hills collision — news that has since been confirmed by the Orange County Register.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was apparently leaving the Ralphs parking lot on the westside of Paseo de Valencia south of Alicia Parkway when he was struck by a vehicle.

Photo by Ed Ryder

Photo by Ed Ryder

The Register says he collided with the vehicle, which seems unlikely.

Judging from the photo of the bike, it looks more like a side impact; the front wheel isn’t tacoed, while the rear wheel appears to have been separated from the bike.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time; most of the Register’s story is hidden behind their paywall.

This is the 85th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County; that compares with 74 and 14, respectively, in 2012.

There is also an unconfirmed report that a rider doored in LA’s Brentwood neighborhood earlier this month has died.

Photo by Ed Ryder

Photo by Ed Ryder

Update: Every bicycling death is tragic, but this one seems even more so. And not just because it happened on Christmas Eve.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, the victim was 82-year old cyclist Peter Tomaino, profiled by Orange County Register columnist David Whiting as OC’s toughest cyclist.

According to Whiting, Tomaino was a minimum 100-mile a week rider, even at an age when most riders have permanently parked their bikes — despite being hit by cars and other cyclists, and crashing so many time he’d lost track of the number of times he’s been hospitalized. 

Tomaino’s wife, 15 years his junior, would just as soon see her husband end his cycling career. But the exceptionally fit and lanky Tomaino will have none of that. Of those who say he’s too old to ride a bicycle,Tomaino says, “What do they know? They’re not athletes.”

With a dismissive wave of his hand, he looks me and declares, “Guys like us, we don’t stop. Heck, I’d rather be dead if I can’t cycle.”

Sadly, he got his wish yesterday.

Thanks to Ed Ryder and an anonymous OC source for the head’s up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Peter Tomaino and his loved ones.

Update: According to KCBS-2, the collision occurred around 1:45 pm Tuesday; he was declared dead at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo at 1:58 pm. 

The station reports the driver was not suspected of drug or alcohol use. 

Meanwhile, both Ryder and OC cyclist and attorney David Huntsman point us to this letter Tomaino wrote to Cycling News over a decade ago.

I read Gordon Dillow’s article on drivers that are in a hurry and run through red lights. Believe me I can appreciate what he is talking about. I’m a 70 year old cyclist who is out there every other day riding 50 to 60 miles. I had one serious accident because of a driver running a red light. A lot of drivers have no consideration and don’t realise how vulnerable we cyclists are. So please drivers look out for us cyclists and let us enjoy our rides without the fear of being hit.

Peter Tomaino
Laguna Hills ,USA
Saturday, November 3 2001

Update 2: David Whiting of the Orange County Register movingly remembers his fallen friend.


Correction: My apologies to OC Register’s David Whiting, who I misidentified as Dan in my rush to get this story online — then repeated my error in the comments. 

Unrelenting pace of cycling fatalities continues as Laguna Hills cyclist killed in OCTA bus right hook

It’s happened again.

Just a week after the riding deaths of Sherrie Norton and Robert Hyndman — and critical injuries to two Long Beach riders — an Orange County cyclist has been killed in a right hook collision while riding in a crosswalk.

The Orange County Register offers a confusing description of the collision. But apparently, the cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on Paseo de Valencia around 5 pm Saturday, either on the wrong side of the roadway, or more likely, on the sidewalk facing southbound traffic.

As he attempted to cross Alicia Parkway, he was struck and killed an Orange County Transportation Authority bus turning west onto Alicia from southbound Paseo de Valencia.

No other details are available at this time.

However, the driver should have been able to see the cyclist, as the rider appears to have been coming directly towards him in the crosswalk.

The paper notes that the OC Sheriff’s department is continuing to investigate the collision.

This is the 10th confirmed cycling fatality in Orange County this year, and 64th confirmed traffic-related bike fatality in Southern California since the start of the year. That compares with an average of 10 bicycling deaths in Orange County for the last two years on record (2008 and 2009), and 55 in Southern California over the same period.

However, it should be noted that the 5-year average for both is much higher, at 13 and 68.2 respectively.


As long as we’re sharing bad news, an 18-year old cyclist was the victim of a hit-and-run in East Long Beach. Fortunately, his injuries were non-life threatening, although that does not necessarily mean he didn’t suffer serious injuries.

Police are looking for an oversized, dark-colored pick-up with possible damage to the passenger-side front or side window. Anyone with information can contact authorities at www.tipsoft.com

And an 82-year old Mendocino cyclist was killed when he was hit from behind while riding on the shoulder of Highway 1; he was hit by a pick-up operated by an 18-year old driver who drifted off the roadway, hitting the victim at 55 mph.

I want to say that someone still riding at 82 deserves better than that.

But so does every other cyclist, no matter how old.

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