Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Update: LA cyclist killed in multiple car Beverly Grove hit-and-run

Another bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

LA’s KNBC-4 broke the news late last night that a bike rider had been taken to a hospital in critical condition following a hit-and-run collision in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.

Sadly, the station confirmed this morning that the victim, identified only as a 58-year old man, has died.

According to the news report, he was riding on the 100 block of North Crescent Heights Blvd, between Beverly Blvd and First Street, around 9 pm Tuesday night when he was rear-ended by the driver of a red Ford SUV, who fled the scene.

He was struck with enough force to throw his body 75 feet, landing near the driveway at 109 N Crescent Heights, where he was struck by another vehicle; that driver stopped and cooperated with police.

It’s likely the SUV driver was exceeding the 35 mph speed limit to strike the victim with that much force.

Screen grab from KNBC report

Screen grab from KNBC report

His bike, a blue road bike with green handlebar tape, lay mangled on the side of the road. A red tail light is visible on the seat post.

The driver of the SUV fled on foot after crashing into a parked car a block away, leaving her wrecked car behind. Initial reports indicated the driver was a woman, but police were unable to confirm that.

The station reports both the victim and the driver of the SUV were westbound; however, it appears they were actually traveling south, since it’s a north-south street.

Crescent Heights is afour-lane street,  mostly residential, with commercial buildings on the major cross streets. The right lane is a mixed traffic and parking lane; at that hour, it’s likely there would have been numerous parked cars, pushing him into the left lane to avoid the zone.

Police say the second driver won’t face any charges.

It’s impossible to know which of the vehicles struck the fatal blow. However, the driver of the SUV should face a homicide charge, since she — or he — made the decision to flee the scene, and leaving the victim unprotected to be struck by another car.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in LA County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: KNBC has updated their report to say the driver was a woman, but police have no other description at this time.

Update 2: The Beverly Press reports the victim is a 59-year old Santa Monica resident, but still has not been publicly identified.

According to the paper, he was headed west on 1st Street and ran a stop sign to cross Crescent Heights, as well as ignoring a right-turn only sign; if the driver had stopped, she might have been released without charges. 

Instead the driver, who was operating a rental car, is wanted for felony hit-and-run. Police are trying to identify who had rented the SUV. 

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

 

Bicyclist killed, building destroyed in Compton collision

Reports are coming in that a bike rider was killed in Compton this morning, and a building partially destroyed by an out-of-control driver.

According to KTLA-5, the crash occurred on the 1100 block of E. Compton Ave before 10:50 Monday morning, when the driver of a van was reportedly unable to avoid hitting the bicyclist before crashing into the storefront.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, has was pronounced dead at the scene. Attorney James Johnson indicates he may have been a man in his 50s.

There’s no explanation for how the collision occurred or why the driver was unable to avoid striking the rider. However, the position of the victim and his bike, in relation to the impact with the building, suggests he may have been thrown a significant distance by the impact of the crash.

In addition, the building — the site of a planned real estate office — suffered significant structural damage and may have to be red tagged, implying that the wreck may have occurred at a high rate of speed.

In a report that is not yet online, KABC-TV places the impact at 10:27 am at 1137 E Compton Blvd.

They also report the driver taken into custody, although other reports indicate he was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment.

You can view the KABC report in a cellphone video recorded by a viewer.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County.

That compare with just 24 in SoCal on this date last year, and ten in the county. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in Compton since 2011.

Update: According to KNBC-4, the driver was headed west on Compton when he somehow veered across three lanes of traffic to hit the victim head-on before slamming into the building.

The 22-year old driver was found unconscious following the crash. 

The victim had apparently just stopped for food; a shopping bag lay on the sidewalk next to his body.

Meanwhile, KABC still hasn’t posted their report online. However, an update to the story suggests the driver was not taken into custody as originally reported.

The station reports that, while the investigation is ongoing, police describe it as just a tragic accident — despite the description in the KNBC story. 

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

Thanks to Michael MacDonald and James Johnson for the heads-up, and to Vanessa for the cellphone video. 

Update: Bike rider killed in Santa Clarita hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon

More bad news.

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, a man on a bike has been killed in a hit-and-run while riding in Santa Clarita.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was on the 20100 block of Placerita Canyon Road when he was struck by a car just before 4:30 pm. The paper places the collision near a curve just southwest of the entrance to Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch.

He was declared dead at the scene, his helmet lying nearby.

The paper reports the CHP conducted an intense hunt for the driver in the area; the suspect vehicle is described as a dark gray Mazda 3 with a roof rack and a possible broken windshield.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 53-year old Valencia resident Rod Bennett.

He was riding a blue Eddy Merckx road bike in the far right of the eastbound lane when he was rear-ended by the driver, who continued east as he fled the scene, apparently without stopping or slowing down. 

Update 2: The CHP has updated the description of the suspect vehicle. They are now looking for a Silver Lexus CT 200H; some unconfirmed reports indicate it may have a roof rack and a damaged front bumper.

Meanwhile, the San Fernando Valley News reports Bennett was the band director and math teacher at Arroyo Seco Junior High School. The site describes him as an avid cyclist, as well as a musician.

Various Facebook posts confirm his interest in cycling, as well as identifying him as a jazz musician who performed around the Valencia area.

Update 3: The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle, apparently taken from a surveillance camera. It appears to show a dark colored car, rather than silver; however, images like that can be deceiving. 

Update 4: According to the Signal, 28-year old Canyon Country resident Lucas James Guidroz was arrested after turning himself in at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station early Friday morning — five hours after the car believed to have been used in the collision was found in Newhall. 

Which gave him nearly 40 hours to sober up if he had been under the influence at the time of the collision. 

He was taken into custody on a single felony count of failing to stop at the scene of a collision causing injury or death.

Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition says all cyclists on Placerita Canyon encounter distracted drivers, as well as those who appear to intentionally frighten or possibly hurt people on bicycles. 

To which commenters respond by blaming “arrogant” cyclists, apparently for simply existing. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rod Bennett and his loved ones.

Thanks to John H for the heads-up. 

Update: Bike rider killed in Panorama City; police term it a “tragic accident”

Another bike rider has lost his life on our streets, just hours after the annual Ride of Silence honored fallen cyclists.

According to KTLA-5, a person riding a bicycle was struck by a car on Woodman Ave just north of Strathern St. in Panorama City around 5:42 am this morning.

The northbound vehicle then spun out of control and struck several parked cars before coming to rest facing in the opposite direction; the victim’s mountain bike can be seen a short distance away.

The bike rider, who has not been publicly identified in any way, was towing a shopping cart full of recyclables when he or she was struck just minutes before sunrise. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, or whether the bike had lights or reflectors.

Police say the driver was not under the influence, and termed the collision “just a tragic accident.” That’s even though the multiple impacts suggest the driver was moving a high rate of speed; a commenter on Reddit says the car struck a parked truck with enough force to obliterate the bed of the pickup.

This death is even more tragic since it comes on the Bike to Work Day, the one day of the year set aside to honor people on bicycles.

This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it appears to be the first in Panorama City since 2011.

Update: The Daily News reports the victim was a man in his 20s.

Update 2: Contradicting the earlier report, the Daily News says the investigation is still ongoing, and police are looking into whether speed was a factor; the street has a 35 mph speed limit.

According the story, the victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding in the right lane while apparently holding his handlebars with one hand and pulling the shopping cart with the other. He was struck from behind by the driver traveling in the same lane, who went in to hit four other vehicles. 

While police don’t advise pulling a shopping cart — or anything else — while riding, the detective in charge of the case noted that the victim had a right to use the full lane, and drivers are required to give bicyclists a three-foot passing distance. 

A ghost bike will be placed at the scene at 9 pm Friday.

Update 3: KNBC-4 reports police are looking for a passenger in the car who fled the scene after suffering facial injuries in the collision.

Which raises the question of why someone riding shotgun would run away while the driver stuck around.

Thanks to CiclaValley for the link.

Update 4: The victim’s brother has identified him as 49-year old Peter Loretta, who lived in the area. That has been confirmed by the Daily News, which describes Loretta as being homeless.

His brother and daughter want to thank the person who comforted him as Loretta lay dying; if you know who that was, they can respond in the comments below, or contact me and I’ll forward the message to them. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Peter Loretta and his family.

Thanks to Joe Linton and John Morlock for the heads-up.

 

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

82-year old retired CA Bar judge dies two weeks after bicycling collision in Palos Verdes Estates

More sad news today.

Two weeks ago, we linked to a story saying an 82-year old man was hit by a car while riding in Palos Verdes Estates.

Today the Daily Breeze reported the victim has died.

Marina del Rey resident Peter Krichman was riding on the 100 block of Palos Verdes Drive West on Friday, March 18th when he was hit by a car at 11:45 am.

He was unresponsive following the wreck, and was taken to County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he passed away on April 2nd without regaining consciousness.

No word on how the collision occurred, or if the driver was cited.

A street view shows what appears to be a busy residential street with on lane headed north, and two lanes south once you pass an initial divider.

According to the Daily News, Krichman was a retired judge with the California State Bar, who was scheduled to be one of the first residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home’s upcoming Fountainview at Gonda Westside.

In fact, he is featured on the website of the new retirement community, which pictures him in his riding gear, and says he typically rode at least 100 miles a week.

The Facebook page for BikinginLA sponsor Pocrass and De Los Reyes says the firm had represented Krichman after he was injured hitting a pothole while riding in the Marina two years ago. Yet even at 80, he was back on his bike as soon as he recovered.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the Daily News piece by reporter Larry Altman; every fallen rider should be treated with that much respect.

Following today’s death in Studio City, this the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County. That compares with just 12 deaths in the seven-county SoCal region this time last year, and five in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Peter Krichman and all his family.

Thanks to Jim Lyle and John McBrearty for the heads-up.

 

 

Woman killed by drunk driver while walking bike across Sepulveda Blvd in Manhattan Beach

There’s something seriously wrong when a woman can’t even walk her bike across a street without getting killed by an underage drunk driver.

That’s exactly what happened in Manhattan Beach last night, according to the Daily Breeze.

Thirty-one year old Manhattan Beach resident Amory Borgens was crossing on the 400 block of S. Sepulveda Blvd about 12:20 this morning when she was hit by a speeding car. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

The 20-year old driver remained at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

However, it’s unclear exactly where the collision occurred, since the story places it near Tennyson Street, which would be the 600 block of South Sepulveda.

satellite view shows no crosswalks in a four block stretch of the busy six-lane street between Artesia Blvd and Longfellow Drive. Regardless, a crosswalk is presumed to exist at every intersection not marked by a No Crossing sign, whether or not one has been painted on the street.

Intentionally or not, the article, which was written by the City News Service, indulges in a remarkable degree of victim blaming, stating it was a “crash between Borgens and a speeding 2003 Toyota Corolla,” and “Borgens was in the roadway when she was struck.”

It’s hard to cross any street without being in it. And she didn’t crash into anything, she was run down by a speeding car.

It should also be noted that the legal alcohol allowed for anyone under the age of 21 is zero.

This is the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County already this year. And it’s the first bicycling fatality in Manhattan Beach in at least the last five years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amory Borgens and all her loved ones.

Bike rider killed in South LA collision last week

Sometimes bad news never makes the news.

According to the South LA Sheriff’s Department, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a car last Tuesday, Jan. 26th, at the intersection of Ocean Gate Avenue and 132nd Street in unincorporated LA County. The victim was taken to a local hospital.

Unfortunately, no other details are available.

A street view shows a pair of quiet residential streets; matching that up with the photo in the sheriff’s post suggests that the driver was headed west on 132nd.

A comment to the post says the victim was a boy; she also says the driver had the right-of-way, but may have been speeding. However, there’s no way to verify the comment.

This is the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the third in Los Angeles County. That compares with just two in SoCal this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his family.

Thanks to GhostBikes for the heads-up.

Update: Mountain biker found dead after search in Angeles National Forest

An overnight ground and air search for a missing mountain biker led to bad news in the hills above Altadena.

According to KCBS-2, a Torrance man was found dead in the Angeles National Forrest around 10:30 Saturday morning, after going missing while riding on Friday.

The victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead after his body was discovered on the Brown Mountain Truck Trail.

There were no apparent signs of trauma, which suggests he may have died of natural causes, or perhaps succumbed to exposure from being lost on the mountainside overnight.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Pasadena Star News reports that, contrary to the earlier report, the victim did show trauma consistent with a fall. His body was discovered a short distance from his bike, which had been spotted by a hiker around 10 am about three miles up the trail. 

He had gone for a ride Friday morning; a search was initiated at 9 pm Friday when his cellphone was traced to an SUV parked at the trailhead.

Update 2: SFV Media identifies the victim as 49-year old Torrance resident Evan Bruce Sisson. The site reports he was discovered partway down a cliff, with his bike at the base.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Evan Bruce Sisson and his loved ones.

Bike rider killed in midnight collision on Vincent Thomas bridge

Sad news from San Pedro, as a bike rider has been killed in a collision after falling on the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

Multiple, virtually identical reports indicate 31-year old Long Beach resident Sergio Tapia was riding north in the right lane of the east-west bridge when he reportedly fell and was hit by a commercial truck, then knocked into the next lane where he was hit by a car.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on what might have caused him to fall, or if there were independent witnesses who saw it happen.

Unlike the replacement Gerald Desmond Bridge, which will have both bike and pedestrian paths when it opens, the Vincent Thomas Bridge has neither, forcing bicyclists to ride in heavy industrial traffic coming to and from the ports in Long Beach and San Pedro. And for some riders, especially those who work at the ports, there is no other viable route.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 28th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Sergio Tapia and his family. 

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