Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

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. 

Bellflower bike rider killed in August hit-and-run; one-third of LA County bicycling deaths are hit-and-runs

Sometimes bad news takes a long time to surface.

That’s what happened Tuesday, as word finally broke that a bike rider was killed in a Bellflower hit-and-run last August.

According to the Press-Telegram, 60-year old Bradley Miller was riding on Lakewood Blvd north of Rosecrans Ave a little after 11 pm on August 18th when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle.

Sheriff’s deputies have little information on the car or the driver, and no details were released on how the wreck occurred.

Anyone with information is urged asked to call the Lakewood Station’s Traffic Office at 562/623-3500.

This is the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 27th in Los Angeles County. Twelve of those have been victims of hit-and-runs, as have nine of the deaths in LA County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bradley Miller and his family.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Carson when shipping container falls off flatbed truck

You’ve got to be kidding.

A bike rider lost his life in Carson this evening, for no reason other than he was there.

According to KTLA-5, a man was riding his bike on Santa Fe Avenue near Warnock Way around 5:05 pm Tuesday evening when a shipping container fell off a flatbed truck and landed on him.

He was pronounced dead at the scene; he has not been publicly identified.

The LA Times reports the truck somehow struck a railroad bridge, dislodging the massive container.

To make matters worse, the victim was not even riding in the street. KTLA says he was on the sidewalk when it fell on him, most likely as the truck was passing him.

Based on the limited description, there was absolutely nothing he could have done to avoid it. The only question is whether the driver struck a support, or if the load was too high to pass under the bridge.

This is the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 26th in Los Angeles County.

Update: KABC-7 reports that the coroner’s office has identified the victim only as an Asian male, and confirms that the truck was passing the victim when the load fell off. 

According to a witness, a similar wreck occurred the previous day; fortunately, no one was hurt in that one. He blames trucking companies for cutting corners because truck drivers are on strike at the ports of LA and Long Beach. 

As a result, the companies are hiring flatbed truck drivers who simply strap the containers on, and who are paid by the load, rather than the hour, encouraging them to take chances. 

Today, it may have cost a man his life. 

Update 2: The LA coroner’s office has identified the victim as 51-year old Long Beach resident Robert Castorena.

Update 3:  BAC member David Wolfberg forwards what appears to be Robert Castorena’s Facebook page

Meanwhile, the LA Times fills in details about shipping companies and how the collision occurred; the truck apparently scraped the underneath of the railroad underpass, breaking the cables that secured the container.

No word on whether the driver, or the company he worked for, will face charges. 

Update 4: Police report the driver may face charges depending on the outcome of the investigation; they appear to be looking into whether the load was too high for the bridge. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Castorena and his loved ones.

 

Update: West Covina bicyclist killed in (alleged) drunken late-night hit-and-run

For once, there was a cop around when he was needed.

Unfortunately, it came too late for a bike rider in West Covina last night.

Multiple sources are reporting that a bicyclist was killed in a high-speed hit-and-run just before midnight, and the allegedly drunken driver arrested moments later just a few blocks away.

Forty-four-year old La Puente resident Jose De Jesus Ruiz-Villanueva was riding his bike north on the 1100 block of South Valinda Avenue, just above Merced Avenue, at 11:49 pm when he was hit from behind by a car traveling at a high rate of speed.

A police officer who was writing a report at nearby Melinda Elementary School heard the collision, and gave chase as the driver sped away, he stopped the car on Cameron Ave, where he noticed substantial damage to the vehicle.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, a second officer went back to the scene, and found Ruiz-Villanueva dead at the scene.

The paper reports he had been on his way to work when he was killed.

Police arrested 25-year old Presley Danielle Rodriguez of Glendora on suspicion of felony driving under the influence causing great bodily injury or death and felony hit-and-run. She was booked on $100,000 bail.

Unfortunately, this occurred in Los Angeles County, where cases like this are usually plea bargained away, leaving the drivers to face little or no jail time.

This is the 64th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

Eight of those 25 deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The driver, Presley Danielle Rodriguez, faces up to 15 years in prison on charges of hit-and-run and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. And for a change, the court appears to be taking this case seriously, increasing her bond to $150,000, $50,000 more than prosecutors requested.

The SGV Tribune reports Ruiz-Villanueva was on his way to work at A-1 Power Sweeping Co in Baldwin Park; his bicycle was his only form of transportation. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose De Jesus Ruiz-Villanueva and his family. 

Update: Bike rider dies following wrong way collision in Boyle Heights last week

Word is just coming in that another bike rider has died after being hospitalized following a collision.

Last week EGP News reported that a bike rider had undergone surgery after suffering major injuries while riding in Boyle Heights.

The victim was riding against traffic on westbound Fourth Street near South Mission Road around 10:15 pm on Monday, October 12th when he was hit head-on; the driver remained at the scene.

An email from his niece identifies the victim as Adolfo “J.R.” Haro. The family just learned of the collision and his death because he was not carrying identification.

She also reports the driver was speeding.

A vigil will be held and a ghost bike installed at 6:30 tonight.

This is the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 23rd in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 10th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: An LAPD officer reports that Haro was walking his bike in the streets against traffic, rather than riding, even though there was a sidewalk he could have been using.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adolfo “J.R.” Haro and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

%d bloggers like this: