Tag Archive for Lancaster

Woman killed in Lancaster bike crash earlier this month

Somehow, we missed this news earlier this month.

Looking for information about yesterday’s fatal collision in Lancaster uncovered news of a woman who was killed while riding her bike in the same city on Monday, August 13th.

According to the Antelope Valley Times, the victim, identified only as a Hispanic woman in her 50s, was riding north in the bike lanes on Sierra Highway below Oldfield Street when she was struck and killed.

The paper reports that she attempted to cross the five lane Sierra Highway, unexpectedly swerving left in front of an oncoming driver traveling in the same direction.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries.

A statement from the sheriff’s department said it doesn’t appear that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, nor was excessive speed.

As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses to the crash. Drivers who drift to the right or fail to see a bike rider often assume the victim must have swerved in front of them, when that’s not always the case.

Anyone with information is urged to call traffic investigators at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station at 661/ 948-8466.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all her loved ones. 

Bike rider killed in Lancaster rear-end collision Saturday morning

A man was killed Saturday morning when he was the victim of a rear-end collision in Lancaster.

According to a news release from the LA County Sheriff’s Department, the victim was struck from behind while riding his bicycle west on Avenue K east of Stanridge Ave around 6 am.

A driver traveling in the same direction reportedly swerved into the bike lane, throwing him forward. However, there are no bike lanes visible in a street view or satellite image of the seven lane street.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The male driver apparently stayed at the scene. The report says it does not appear that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, although authorities are investigating whether speed played a role.

It’s unclear what the speed limit is on the street. However, the straight roadway and wide lanes, with long segments uninterrupted by traffic signals, would appear to encourage high speeds, regardless of the posted speed.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Traffic Investigators at 661/948-8466.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. 

Lancaster cyclist killed in collision with empty school bus

The Antelope Valley News reports that a young Lancaster woman was killed in a collision with a school bus on Monday.

Twenty-two year old Alexandria Romero was riding west on Avenue G at Sierra Highway when she reportedly rode through a posted stop sign into the path of an out-of-service school bus traveling at 50 mph.

The driver attempted to brake, but was unable to stop in time, striking her bike with the right front of the bus. Romero was pronounced dead at Antelope Valley Hospital; at 50 mph, a collision with a bus — or anything else — is unlikely to be survivable.

Comments to the story speculate on why she failed to observe the stop sign.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know why she didn’t stop at what should have been a highly visible intersection. It’s possible that she may have been careless or distracted, or could have been able to stop due to a mechanical failure or some other reason. Or she could have misjudged the speed of the bus, and thought she had time to make it across the intersection.

I’m always suspicious of any reports that a cyclist ran a stop sign or red light in the apparent absence of independent witnesses. While it doesn’t seem to be the case here, drivers have an inherent interest in blaming the victim in any fatal collision.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Los Angeles County; it’s the first fatal bike collision in the Antelope Valley in 2012.

Thanks to Antelope Valley bike advocate Michele Chavez for the tip.

……..

In a related story, I’ve received word that a woman who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run collision in Santa Clarita last week may have died of her injuries, but have been unable to find any confirmation. If anyone has any information on that collision or the condition of the victim, please let me know. Thanks to grrlyrida for the heads-up.

Update: Car hits group ride in Lancaster following collision, husband and wife injured

Intersection where collision occurred; photos courtesy of Sarge and Michele Chavez

Once again, cyclists are collateral damage on the roads of Southern California.

According to a report from the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, a husband and wife from Valencia were seriously injured when two vehicles collided in the middle of a Lancaster intersection.

Approximately 20 cyclists were participating in a group ride organized by a local bike shop. As they crossed the intersection of Avenue L and 4th Street West Avenue L and Division Street around 8 pm, a PT Cruiser struck a minivan that was traveling next to them, forcing the van into the couple’s path.

Despite wearing a helmet, the husband suffered head trauma and is in critical condition in a local hospital; the wife is listed stable condition with moderate injuries. Neither has been publicly identified.

More information when it becomes available.

Update: A comment left by Whitney, who was on the ride, says that that collision occurred at approximately 8 am, rather than 8 pm as the L.A. Times and other sources have reported. She offers a little insight into what happened:

The group followed all rules of the road; we were barely into the ride, just starting out, less than a mile from starting. A car ran a red light and exactly as Opus shares, no one, no action, could have prevented this with the exception of the driver of the car that ran the light at high speed.

Even if the 2 cyclists were off to the side of the road, it is possible with the speed of the car at cause, and the trajectory of the car it hit, no “spot” was safe to be. In fact, different angle and the rest of us could have been hit.

Be safe, fellow cyclists, as none of us set out on Saturday morning with anything other than the camaraderie of a group ride in mind. Do whatever you can to raise awareness with your group. No doubt someone from our group will reach out for help, to help this family.

Again, the ride was at 8am, not 8pm. Daylight, morning, not evening. Should be safe right? Perhaps cameras at stop lights aren’t such a bad thing, at least, to capture cause when something like this happens, since all too often these events are at intersections.

Whitney offers an interesting suggestion.

Even with the removal of red light cameras in Los Angeles and other cities in the Southland, there are still thousands of traffic control cameras installed at the busier intersections.

It shouldn’t cost much to expand that system to cover most major intersections, not just to monitor traffic, but to provide evidence to police, attorneys and insurance companies in the event of a collision. Maybe that’s something that could be funded by the legal and insurance professionals who have a financial stake in determining exactly who is at fault in serious wrecks.

And Whitney and Opus raise another good point. Chances are, no one could have avoided a collision like this. Sometimes events occur so swiftly that escaping is not an option. 

However, it’s important to remember that similar tragedies have resulted to death and serious injuries to other drivers, pedestrians, people waiting at bus stops, customers and employees in nearby businesses, and even people in the presumed safety of their own homes. Once a vehicle goes ballistic, there’s no way to control who or what it hits, or who gets hurt as a result. 

This is not proof, as some will undoubtedly suggest, that bicycling is dangerous.

But rather, that cars are — especially in the hands of dangerous, careless and/or speeding drivers.

My heartfelt prayers for the victims, and all their family and loved ones.

Update: I’m told that the husband, Nathan “Bud” Tippee, has died of his injuries. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any confirmation in the press, but that’s not unusual; the press often doesn’t follow-up on stories involving critically injured traffic victims. If I get any more details, I’ll let you know.

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