Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Update: Two young bike riders struck in Long Beach crosswalk; teenage boy killed

It’s tragic enough when anyone is needlessly killed in a crash.

Worse when it’s a child. Especially one who doesn’t appear to have done anything wrong.

The Long Beach Post reports that a boy in his early teens was killed while riding his bike in the city Thursday afternoon.

According to the paper, the boy was riding with a preteen girl, headed east in the crosswalk on Conant Street at Woodruff Ave at 3:55 pm, when they were both struck by a driver turning left off westbound Conant onto Woodruff Ave.

They were taken to a local hospital, where the boy passed away. The girl remains hospitalized in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Neither victim has been publicly identified.

The driver stayed at the scene.

This is the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the third bicycling death in Long Beach this year, and at least the 13th since 2011.

Update: According to the Long Beach Report, the two victims were  waiting on the sidewalk to cross Woodruff on their bikes, and didn’t enter the crosswalk until the light turned green. The driver turned into them as they were riding across the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Collision Investigation Detail Detective Brian Watt at 562/570-7355.

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

 

Bike rider killed in early morning West Covina crash

More bad news today.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, a 64-year old man was killed in a collision in West Covina early this morning.

Baldwin Park Resident Alberto Velez Hernandez was riding west on West Francisquito Ave when he was struck by a driver traveling south on Sunset around 4:41 am.

No word on whether he had lights on his bike.

Hernandez was taken to a local hospital, where he died half an hour later.

A street view shows a four lane street with a left turn lane in every direction at the intersection, which is controlled by a red light. There appears to be a bike lane on Sunset, but nothing on Francisquito.

In a rare concession, the police said either Hernandez or the unnamed motorist apparently ran the red light, rather than automatically blaming the guy on the bike.

Although they followed-up by saying the crash is being investigated as an accident, even though it may have been caused by either the driver or the victim breaking the law.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in West Covina since 2013.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alberto Velez Hernandez and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed by allegedly drunk hit-and-run driver in Koreatown

Yet another person has been the victim of an — allegedly — drunk coward who fled the scene of the crash.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding south on Western Ave near San Marino Street when a driver struck him from behind just before 2 am.

The 26-year old driver fled the scene, but was arrested nearby after police found a white sedan with damage consistent with the collision. Fox 11 reports he was speeding at the time of the crash, and was found in his car obviously intoxicated.

The victim has been publicly identified only as a Latino in his 50s. He died at the scene.

He appears to have been riding a mountain bike with reflectors, but no lights are visible in the news reports.

A street view shows a four lane road on Western with center left turn lanes in both directions at San Marino, and no bike lanes. And little or nothing to slow a speeding drunk at that hour.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd in Los Angeles County; it’s also the eighth in the City of LA.

At least 19 of those 52 fatal crashes have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim has been identified as 48-year-old Los Angeles resident Mario Calderon.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Calderon and his loved ones.

Update: Man killed in rear-end collision in Santa Monica while riding on LA County’s killer highway

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on PCH.

According to the Daily News, a man in his 20s was riding north on the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway around 7 pm when he was struck from behind.

A press release from the Santa Monica Police Department places the initial call at 7:03 pm.

The victim died at the scene. He has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.

No word on whether he was using lights at the time of the crash, which came nearly 45 minutes after sunset.

The driver initially fled the scene, but returned shortly later, which should be considered hit-and-run, but probably won’t be. Police are investigating why the driver failed to stop after the crash.

The person driving, who has not been identified in any way, is not currently suspected of being impaired; no word on whether distraction was involved, or why the driver failed to see someone on a bike directly in front of them.

A street view shows a six-lane highway with a center left turn lane, where drivers frequently exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Investigators Pace or Olson at 310/458-8954; or call the SMPD at 310/458-8491.

At least 13 people have been killed riding bicycles on PCH in Los Angeles County since 2005; eight of those have been killed on the deadly northern section of the highway running through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu.

This collision occurred roughly across the street from where Erin Galligan was killed while riding home from work in a 2012 hit-and-run; that driver still hasn’t been caught.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County; he’s also the first bike rider to be killed in Santa Monica since Galligan’s death.

Update: The victim has been identified as 23-year old Kazumasa Nozaki

Still no word on what may have led to the crash.

Update 2: 

I received the following email from Carrie Wick, who was one of the first people on the scene after the crash. She reports the driver did not return of his own accord, as the police suggested, and that the police have not been forthcoming about the crash. 

I am contacting you regarding a fatal hit and run incident my friend Kinya Claiborne and I witnessed on PCH Sundaynight where a 23-year-old pedestrian/ bicyclist named Kazumasa Nozaki was struck from the rear and killed by a driver who fled the scene. Perhaps you’re interested in looking into the incident.

Kinya and I were traveling southbound down PCH on October 15 around 7pm, when we noticed debris and a bike in the roadway along with a pedestrian who was laid flat in the east-northbound lane. The victim had significant head trauma and his body was bleeding and distorted. We were the first responders on the scene to provide aid to the victim, who was non-responsive and we called 911 for assistance.

There were several other witnesses including two men who were driving directly behind the driver who struck the pedestrian. They followed the driver, who fled the scene in a white BMW, for 5-10 minutes down PCH honking their horn in an attempt to get the driver to stop. As they were following the driver the witnesses called 911 to report the hit and run, providing the driver’s license plate number and location of the driver. The witnesses took pictures of the car and returned to the scene to provide their statement and evidence in person directly to the police.

There was also a couple on the scene who were driving northbound on PCH and witnessed the bicycle flying in the air when the pedestrian was struck from behind. They also provided their statement to the police on the scene.

There are a lot of inaccuracies being reported. The LAPD/SMPD statement implies the driver fled the scene and returned on his own vs. a hit and run, where the driver immediately fled the scene of a fatal collision. An officer on the scene announced, “We got him”, from the men tracking down the driver and the reporting of the license plate and location to the police.

Also, LAPD/SMPD have not acknowledged any of the witnesses or their statements, including the men who witness the hit and run, tracked down the driver, reported it via 911 and provided a statement to the police on the scene. Authorities are acting like the witnesses and hit and run incident never existed as evident in the press release issued by SMPD on October 16.

It seems as though the LAPD and SMPD have taken a lax approach with completing a thorough investigation and have clearly omitted key facts and witness reports from the fatal hit and run incident. This man does not have a voice any longer and can’t fight for himself, so we will try to on his behalf.

She also reports that the bike was so badly mangled from the impact that it was impossible to tell if he was using lights and reflectors. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kazumasa Nozaki and his loved ones.

Breaking news: Bike rider killed by apparent drunk driver on Imperial Highway in Hawthorne

The Hawthorne Police Department is reporting that a bike rider was killed crossing Imperial Highway Saturday afternoon.

According to a press release from the department, the victim was riding south across the roadway on the 4300 block of West Imperial Highway when he was struck by a westbound car around 3:50 pm.

He was thrown approximately 100 feet, which suggests he was struck at a significant rate of speed. The car veered into the center median before slamming into a palm tree, sheering it off at the base.

The victim, who hasn’t been identified, was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he later died.

Thirty-year old Hawthorne resident Andrew Figueroa was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drunk driving, and could face a manslaughter charge.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three lanes in each direction, with an unsignalized intersection at either end of the block.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective John Dixon of the Hawthorne Police Department Traffic Bureau at 310/349-2701.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 21st in Los Angeles County.

And it should be yet another reminder to always carry ID whenever you ride.

Update: Van Nuys bike rider killed in double hit-and-run Wednesday night

Heartbreaking news from Van Nuys, where a woman was left to die by a pair of heartless cowards Wednesday night.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a speeding driver around 11:23 pm at the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Stagg Street, and thrown nearly 120 feet by the force of the impact.

The driver, later identified as 24-year old Van Nuys resident Erik Limon, fled the scene, leaving his victim lying unprotected in the street.

Another driver ran over her as she was lying in the street; that driver also fled without stopping.

The victim, who has been identified only as a woman in her 50s, died at the scene.

Police suspect her bicycle was stuck under Limon’s car as he fled, and disposed of later; as of this writing, it has still not been found.

His car was recovered, and he was arrested at his home around 3:15 Thursday afternoon.

The second driver, reportedly a woman in an older gold Camry, is still at large.

KABC-7 reports the victim was in a crosswalk when she was struck by Limon’s car. However, according to KCBS-2, she may have been riding against traffic.

Anyone who finds a damaged bicycle in the area, or who has other information about the crash, is urged to call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division at 818/644-8000.

There is an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver, or in this case, drivers, in any fatal hit-and-run in the City of LA.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Fourteen of those SoCal deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs, half of those in LA County.

Update: Surveillance video on KNBC-4 shows the victim riding northbound in the southbound lane, where she was struck by the Limon’s car as he turned right. Despite earlier reports, he does not appear to be speeding at the time of the crash.

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

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Redondo Beach collision; second Redondo Beach bicycling death this year

Three day weekends are always dangerous times for people on bicycles.

And this one was no exception.

According to multiple sources, a bike rider was struck by a car on Artesia Boulevard near Felton Lane in Redondo Beach around 9:15 Monday night.

The victim has been publicly identified only as a man; he was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The female driver remained at the scene; police do not suspect intoxication.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows Artesia is a wide, divided commercial street with two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction, and no bike lane. There’s no word on where the victim was riding at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Redondo Beach PD Investigator Clint Daniel at 310/379-2477 ext. 2721.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the second bicycling death in Redondo Beach this year.

Update: The Beach Reporter has identified the victim as 52-year old Redondo Beach resident Greg Trawick, known to his friends as Bama Greg.

He was just a block from his home when he was killed.

According to the paper, Trawick was headed north on Felton when he made eye contact with a driver waiting to turn left onto Felton from westbound Artesia. But when he started to cross the street, he was hit by a second car headed east on Artesia. 

Which makes it strange that police say no charges are likely to be filed since Felton is a signalized intersection at Artesia.

In order for the crash to have occurred as it’s described, either Trawick or the driver had to have gone through a red light. And there’s no suggestion in the story that Trawick did. 

He leaves behind an ex-wife and a 16-year old daughter. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Greg Trawick and his loved ones.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in North Long Beach collision; 17th rider killed in Los Angeles County this year

The Press-Telegram is reporting that a bike rider was killed in North Long Beach this morning.

According to the paper, the victim was struck by a car Downey Ave at La Jara Street around 9:45 am.

The rider, who has not been publicly identified, reportedly turned onto the street diagonally, putting him directly into the path of the oncoming car.

A police spokesperson says the victim saw the car at the last moment, but was struck as both he and the driver tried to avoid the crash.

He died at the scene.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Downey with a center left turn lane, and a parallel access road on either side.

It’s unclear where the rider would have entered the road at a diagonal angle. It’s possible he may have come off a side street intending to turn at La Jara, or vice versa, but that is just speculation.

It’s also questionable why he wouldn’t have seen the driver, since Downey offers an unobstructed view in both directions. As well as who told police he tried to avoid the crash after seeing the driver at the last minute.

It’s impossible to know what he may have seen and when, since he’s unable to give his side of the story. Or just what his actions were as a result unless they were observed by independent witnesses.

This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 17th in Los Angeles County this year. And it’s at least the 13th bicycling death in Long Beach since 2010.

Update: The Press-Telegram has identified the victim as 54-year old Long Beach resident John Anthony Holland.

According to the paper, Holland was struck while riding northwest across northbound Downey Ave between Hedda and La Jara streets.

The driver reportedly moved into the right lane to avoid Holland at the same time Holland made a U-turn to his right, putting him directly into the path of the car.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Anthony Holland and his loved ones. 

Update: Long Beach man killed by fleeing driver after crosswalk collision injures 2nd rider

For the second time in three days, an LA County bike rider has been killed by a hit-and-run driver.

And this time, it may have been intentional.

According to multiple sources, two men were either riding or walking their bikes across Long Beach Boulevard in the crosswalk at Bort Street in Long Beach around 1:20 a.m.

Depending on the source, one or both were then struck by the driver of an SUV headed south on Long Beach.

One of the men somehow ended up on the hood of the Ford SUV, and was carried several blocks before being thrown off by the fleeing driver.

He was severely injured, and died at scene after police arrived.

The other rider suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

KTLA-5 reports the driver circled the block once before abandoning his car and fleeing on foot. They also say police believe they know the identity of the driver, but have not yet made an arrest.

That is contradicted by a story in the Press-Telegram, which says authorities have the vehicle, but don’t yet know who was behind the wheel or have a description of the suspect.

KTLA also places the actual site of the wreck several blocks away at the Long Beach Boulevard offramp of the 91 Freeway, saying Bout was where the victim was thrown off and landed in the street.

There is also some dispute over how the victim ended up on the SUV.

Most reports indicate he either landed on the hood as a result of the crash, or jumped onto it in an attempt to stop the driver from getting away.

However, according to KTLA,

The second cyclist then jumped on the driver’s side running board of the SUV, reached into the window and tried to turn off the ignition before the driver took off with the man clinging to the side of the vehicle, a Long Beach police news release stated.

Earlier, Watt said the bicyclist jumped on the hood before police released additional information about the incident.

Either way, the driver had to know the victim was on his vehicle, and made a conscious decision to flee with the victim clinging to his SUV, resulting in the rider’s death.

Which means he should face a charge of vehicular homicide once he’s caught. If not 2nd degree murder.

This is the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the 12th bicycling death in Long Beach since 2010.

Update: The LA Times has confirmed the details of the KTLA report

According to them, the SUV struck one of the victims at the Long Beach Blvd offramp.

The other rider, who was not hit, jumped on the running board of the SUV, and hit his head on a curb when he was thrown from the vehicle as the driver made a sharp right onto Bort.

The victim has been identified only as a 51-year old man. 

This is a reminder that it’s not worth your life to stop a fleeing driver.

Gather all the details you can — make, model, color, license and a description of the driver — as well as photos or video, if possible. Then get out of the way and let the police deal with it.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 51-year old Los Angeles resident Odie Ervin. He was a popular member of a local lowrider bicycle club

Anyone with information is urged to LBPD Det. Brian Watt at 562/570-7355.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Odie Ervin and all his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson, John McBrearty, and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up. 

 

Update: Man killed walking his bike across the street in South LA hit-and-run

Another human being has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver, for the crime of crossing the street.

According to multiple sources, a man was walking his bike across Broadway at 88th Street at 2:30 am when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

A witness reports seeing the driver of a Chevy Tahoe plow into the victim while speeding up to go through the light after it turned red. Then flee the scene without slowing down.

The victim, identified only as a possibly being in his late 40s, died at the scene.

A street view shows a staggered intersection at 88th, with a red light and crosswalks at each corner. Broadway has two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction, with a wide parking lane, making it a very broad street to cross.

The City of Los Angeles offers an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the driver in a fatal hit-and-run. Information can be provided anonymously at LACrimeStoppers.org.

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth in the City of LA.

Update: The victim has been identified as 57-year old Albert Arnold. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Albert Arnold and all his loved ones.

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