Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Monterey Park cyclist killed in right hook earlier this month

Sometimes it takes awhile for bad news to get around.

Earlier this month, a bike rider was seriously injured in a right hook in Monterey Park. Now I’ve received word that she has died of her injuries.

According to the Pasadena Star-News, the victim, identified as 59-year old Ai-Nei Zhou of Monterey Park, was riding in the crosswalk on Garvey Avenue at Orange Avenue when she was hit by a car turning right onto southbound Orange around 3:30 pm on November 15th.

Zhou was hospitalized with serious injuries; the Cyclist Down Facebook page says she died the following day.

The Star-News reports the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

It’s not clear from the article which direction Zhou was riding. Presumably, she was riding on the sidewalk when she entered the crosswalk; if she going west she should have been easily visible as she rode towards the driver. However, if she was riding in the opposite direction, drivers often don’t look for bikes on the sidewalk, and don’t anticipate cyclists riding out into the street.

Which does not in any way excuse the driver’s failure to see her or stop in time to avoid her. But it does explain why cyclists have to be extra careful when approaching an intersection from the sidewalk.

Look carefully for any approaching cars, especially from behind, and assume the drivers don’t see you. Then refuse to enter the street until all the cars have stopped for you or passed through the intersection.

This is the 80th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 31st in LA County; both of those totals are comparable to this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ai-Nei Zhou and all her friends and family.

Thanks to Carlos Morales for the heads-up. 

 

 

Today’s post, in which I don’t exactly endorse anyone — and urge you to wake the sleeping bike giant

The future of bicycling in LA County and the State of California is in your hands.

Or more precisely, awaiting your vote.

Bike the Vote LA offers a full slate of endorsements for your voting pleasure in tomorrow’s election.

I’ll leave it to you to make your own choices.

Though I will point out, for those in his district, that District 43 Assembly Member Mike Gatto has proven himself to be one of the most effective members of the legislature — and one of the best friends bicyclists and pedestrians have among California’s elected officials.

……..

As for myself, I plan to cast my ballot for Bobby Shriver for LA County District 3 Supervisor to replace Zev Yaroslavsky.

While I have a great deal of respect for Shiela Kuehl and all she has accomplished at the state level, I’m troubled by her responses to the LACBC’s candidate survey earlier this year. Especially this one, in response to a question about whether she would support protected bike lanes in her district:

Yes, I would, so long as it doesn’t reduce the total number of lanes available to cars.

In other words, she would automatically rule out road diets, even though a US government study shows they can improve safety for all road users by 20 to 50%. And protected bike lanes have been shown to reduce injuries by as much as 90%.

Meanwhile, Shriver expressed strong support for complete streets, and pledged to build at least 40 miles of new bikeways each year.

But don’t take my word for it. Click the links above to read both candidates’ responses, and decide for yourself.

I also plan to vote for Jim McDonnell for LA County Sheriff.

While I’m troubled by his heavy-handed crackdown on the nascent Lang Beach Critical Mass — including bogus tickets and the illegal seizure of some riders’ bikes — I’m impressed by his responses to the LACBC survey. Especially his willingness to meet with cyclists and establish a bike liaison program similar to the LAPD’s to help resolve conflicts between the department and the riding community.

And I have a real problem voting for a candidate who has barely campaigned for the office he’s seeking, and has spent his entire career in a department riddled with allegations of corruption and civil rights violations, as his opponent, Paul Tanaka, has.

On the other hand, I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to throw my vote away by casting it for Republican Neel Kashkari, who has virtually no chance of beating incumbent Governor Jerry Brown. Particularly in light of his misguided pledge to halt California’s planned high-speed rail system — or as he calls it, Jerry Brown’s crazy train — which was approved by voters in 2008, long before Brown took office.

But I can’t in good conscience vote for a man who vetoed every piece of hit-and-run legislation that passed his desk, as Brown did this year.

Is it too late to vote for Meg Whitman?

……..

One last note. Or rather, vote.

I will be voting in favor of LA County Proposition P, which in effect replaces two soon-to-expire property taxes that have funded parks and bikeways throughout the county.

Prop P would create a 30-year stream of funding for parks and open space, beaches and trails — including, possibly, a 22-mile bikeway from Claremont to Rosemead.

Yes, we could all benefit from lower taxes.

But if Prop P fails, everyone in LA County will be poorer for it.

……..

Finally, a quick reminder.

As we’ve noted before, LADOT estimated in the 2010 bike plan that there are roughly 400,000 people in the City of Angels who ride a bike on a monthly basis.

Which is about 22,000 more than bothered to vote in the last city election.

And there’s no reason to believe the same doesn’t hold true throughout the county, where only 17% of registered voters bothered to cast their ballots in the June primary.

That makes bicyclists the sleeping giant of LA politics, with the power to sway elections — especially close ones.

But only if we remember to vote in terms of our own self interests.

Or bother to vote, period.

Because we have the power to ensure a bike-friendly future for the City and County of Los Angeles.

And as we’ve seen, it only takes electing the wrong person to undo hard-won the gains we’ve made.

 

Bike rider dies following Montbello collision on Thursday

More bad news.

Word is just coming in that a bike rider has died after being struck by a car in Montbello yesterday.

Seventy-one-year old Julio Fuentes Mendoza was riding on Lincoln Ave around 6 pm when he was hit by a vehicle. He was taken to County USC, where he passed away sometime today.

The driver remained at the scene; no other details are available at this time.

A ghost bike ceremony will be held at the site on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the exact time and location of the ceremony in advance.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julio Mendoza and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Carlos Morales of Stan’s Bike Shop for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in Lawndale collision; details unknown

Once again, few details are available as the recent rash of bad news continues.

This morning, I was alerted to yet another bicycling fatality by a sharp eyed attorney, who spotted the news hidden in a string of traffic alerts from the CHP (scroll down to 7:14 am).

Based on that alert, Johnson Attorneys Group reports a rider in his 40s was killed in a Lawndale collision that occurred on Manhattan Beach Blvd near Cranbrook Ave in Lawndale at 7:14 this morning.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:30 am. No other details are available at this time.

Cranbrook does not actually intersect with Manhattan Beach Blvd; a satellite view shows a four lane, limited access street with a single crosswalk, suggesting the victim was most likely either hit from behind or crossing the street at the time of the collision.

However, the CHP reports indicate all lanes were blocked following the collision, which would most likely place the victim in the middle of the street when he was struck; El Camino College is located on the south side of Manhattan Beach Blvd, along with a golf course.

This is the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County; that compares to 65 and 27, respectively, this time las year.

Update: According to the Daily Breeze, the victim, who has still not been publicly identified, was a man in his 60s. And as suggested above, he was riding his bike in the crosswalk when he was hit by a Hyundai sedan driving east on Manhattan Beach. 

A CHP spokesman reports the driver did not see the victim, despite flashing warning lights on the crosswalk; a comment below suggests he may have been blinded by the sun. 

Of course, the proper response when blinded is to pull over until you can see, rather than attempting to drive by braille, yet it is seldom prosecuted.

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

Update: Bike rider killed in close pass on Mt. Baldy Road last Saturday

No name.

One lousy paragraph.

Evidently, that’s all the life of a Fontana cyclist is worth, as the Claremont Courier reports a bike rider was killed on Mt. Baldy Road last Saturday.

According to the paper, the 59-year old victim was riding south on Mt. Baldy Road near Evey Canyon around 7 am on Saturday, June 14th, when a 77-year old driver attempted to pass him. She hit him with the passenger side mirror of her SUV, knocking him to the ground with great force.

He died after being airlifted to USC Medical Center with severe head trauma. The paper notes that he suffered the injuries despite wearing a helmet, which suggests a significant impact.

No other information is available at this time, including the names of the victim and driver.

The collision is still under investigation. However, even without the new three-foot passing law going into effect until September, this would appear to be a clear case of unsafe passing at the very least.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th in Los Angeles County.

Update: Comments from Cheryl and Sierra Ornelas identify the victim as Carlos Vasquez, who was riding with his son at the time of the collision.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carlos Vasquez and his loved ones.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

19-year old bike rider killed in South LA hit-and-run

Yet another teenage cyclist has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

Late last night, news broke that a South LA pedestrian had been seriously injured by a driver who fled the scene. By this morning, it was clear that the victim, identified as by the LA Times as 19-year old Oscar Toledo Jr., had been riding a bike when he was run down.

KNBC-4 places the collision around 9:40 pm at the intersection of South Normandie Ave and West 47th Street. Toledo was reportedly crossing Normandie on 47th when he was hit by a car traveling south on Normandie; no word on which direction he was riding. However, the Times story says he was making a left, apparently onto Normandie.

The driver fled the scene, evidently without slowing or stopping.

Toledo was transported to a local hospital in critical condition; KNBC reports he died there while the Times says he passed away in the ambulance.

Police are looking for a red Toyota Corolla or burgundy Pontiac, which suggests there may have been at least two witnesses to the crash. KNBC reports police will be looking to see if  collision may have been captured on surveillance video from local businesses.

KABC-7 quotes an LAPD detective, who says the vehicle may have front end damage constant with striking a bike.

“The young man was 19 years old, leaves behind a caring family, his mother, his brother. It’s very important that if witnesses have any information to come forward so we can solve this crime,” said Render.

Anyone with information is urges to call the LAPD at 877/LAPD-24-7.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, which compares with 32 this time last year. It’s also the 18th cycling death in LA County, and the fifth in the City of LA; three of those five deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: KTLA-5 reports Toledo had recently become a father; now a child will grow up never knowing his dad. A ghost bike will be installed at the location Friday evening.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Oscar Toledo Jr. and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg and James Johnson for the heads-up.

Whittier rider dies of injuries suffered in Downey collision last month

Ghost bike in memory of Sal Sahagun; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike in memory of Sal Sahagun; photo by Danny Gamboa

Most bicycling collisions never make the news.

Even when they do, there’s seldom any follow-up. So we may never know if an injured rider made a full recovery or succumbed to his or her injuries days or weeks after the collision.

And no one other than a handful of people close to the victim will ever know.

That’s exactly what happened when a bike rider was critically injured in a collision with a big rig truck in Downey last month.

According to the Los Cerritos News, a 46-year old Whittier resident was hit while he was riding his bike at the intersection of Florence and Fairford Avenues around 8 am on Friday, April 25th. A satellite view shows a busy intersection leading to a freeway onramp, with heavy truck traffic visible in the photo.

No word on how the collision occurred; however, at that hour, he was most likely riding to work. The paper reports the driver was not charged, though the investigation was ongoing at the time.

Then no further word until someone reached out to the LACBC last week, asking for help in honoring a co-worker who had passed away recently after being injured in a collision on April 25th. However, they couldn’t find any information confirming the death, and reached out to me to see if I’d heard anything.

Sadly, that news came today, when a family member confirmed that Sal Sahagun has died of the injuries he suffered in that April 25th collision.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to get more details later.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sal Sahagun and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Colin Bogart for the heads-up.

80-year old Long Beach bike rider killed in collision with medical van

Would an 80-year old bike rider really run a red light?

That’s what we’re being asked to believe, after a cyclist lost his life on a Long Beach intersection Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, 80-year old Long Beach resident Mariano Carasaquit Libron was riding in the crosswalk on eastbound 16th Street, attempting to cross Long Beach Boulevard, when he was hit by a medical van.

The collision occurred at 1:27 pm as Libron reportedly ran the red light in front of the southbound transport vehicle driven by a 24-year old Long Beach resident. The Orange County Register reports responding officers found him lying unconscious in the roadway; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The satellite view shows a very wide six lane intersection, divided by two railroad tracks and a center median.

While anyone can make a mistake, it seems to strain credibility that an 80-year old man conservative enough to ride in a crosswalk — and presumably, on the sidewalk leading up to it — would blow through a light directly in front of oncoming traffic.

What seems far more likely is that the light may have changed while a slow-riding Libron was already in the intersection, and the transport driver somehow failed to see the rider directly in front of him after the light turned green as he approached the corner.

It’s also possible that the driver of the van may have been the only surviving witness; unless there were independent witnesses, investigators only have his word that the light was green.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Collision Investigation Detail Detective Steve Fox at 562/570-7355.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County. This is also the eighth bike rider to die in Long Beach in the last four years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mariano Libron and all his loved ones.

Bike rider reportedly dies weeks after South Bay dooring

Sadly, word is just filtering in that a bicyclist died earlier this month, weeks after he was doored while riding in the South Bay.

Terrance Owen Brooks died while riding on April 12th, reportedly the result of a blood clot that may have resulted from the dooring a couple weeks earlier. I’m told Brooks was examined at a hospital following the collision, and released after doctors found only contusions.

However, his broken helmet suggests he may have needed a more extensive neurological examination than he received. It’s difficult to say conclusively that the clot resulted from the dooring, but it seems likely.

Brooks reportedly was a bike racer; however, I have been unable to find information about him online. Michael Eisenberg quotes his memorial card as saying:

His most recent accomplishment was placing number 2 out of 42,000 contestants worldwide and number 1 in the USA in the Anchor (cycling) Challenge in December 2013 sponsored by Strava.

He was 49 years old.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any other information at this time. If anyone has more details, please leave a comment below or email the address on the About page.

This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 15th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Terrance Owen Brooks and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the information. 

Update: In a comment belowSerge Issakov points us to Brooks’ Strava page. Very sad to see that low total for April, knowing the reason why.

I’m told Brooks may also have been known as Terrance Jackson; Issakov suggests this may be his Facebook page. If so, the last entry from him is dated April 4th.

Update 2: A comment from Brook’s fiancé places the date of the original dooring as April 5th, and confirms that her died of a seizure while riding one week later. And that the hospital failed to perform a neurological exam, despite his broken helmet.

Update: Red-light running cyclist killed in Glendale collision Sunday morning

More bad news on what should have been a weekend of celebration after a last minute reprieve for the Marathon Crash Ride.

KNBC-4 is reporting that a Glendale man in his late 20s was killed after riding his bike through a red light in Glendale this morning.

According to the station, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding at the intersection of Glendale and California Avenues at 7:10 am when he allegedly rode through the light at a fast pace, and was hit by a car. He was taken to USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver, identified only as a woman in her 40s, remained at the scene and was not arrested.

No other details are available at this time.

As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses, other than the driver, who saw him run the red light. It’s too easy to blame the victim when it’s impossible for him to give his side of the story.

This is the 24rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County.

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

Update: Evidently, there was another witness. According to the Glendale News Press

(Sgt. Tom) Lorenz said a witness at the nearby Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf saw the cyclist, headed south on Glendale Avenue, run a red light before being struck by a car headed east. “He didn’t even slow down,” he said, adding the driver of the car, a woman in her 40s, has been cleared of any fault.

Thanks to Rogelio Yanez for the link.

Update 2: the Glendale News-Press has identified the victim as 25-year old Melik Khanamiryan, presumably of Glendale. Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link.

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