Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

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.

LA Sheriff’s reserve deputy dies competing in World Police and Fire Games mountain bike race

Tragic news from what should have been a fun competition.

The LA Daily News reported this afternoon that a mountain biker competing in the 2017 World Police & Fire Games suffered a heart attack around 9:30 this morning.

He was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital from the course near Castaic Lake, where he arrived in full cardiac arrest.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced on Facebook this evening that Reserve Deputy Jacob Castroll passed away at 11:14.

According to their report, he was found unresponsive on the trail by another competitor at approximately 9:40 am.

Castroll’s death is being investigated by the department’s Homicide Bureau since the circumstances of his death are unknown.

It’s possible that he may have fallen after suffering a heart attack or some other physical problem, or that he may have gone into cardiac arrest after falling.

He had served as a reserve deputy with the Malibu/Los Hills sheriff’s station for the past seven years. He is survived by his wife and three children.

The Daily News gives Castroll’s age as 68.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th in Los Angeles County.

Update: Contrary to earlier reports, The Acorn reports Castroll died due to blunt-force trauma to the head and neck, suggesting a fall rather than a heart attack.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jacob Castroll, and all his family and friends.

 

Update: One bike rider killed, another injured in Winnetka hit-and-run; driver may have targeted the victims

Breaking: An arrest was made in this case on this on Friday; no details available.

………

This time, it might be murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that one man was killed and another injured in an early morning hit-and-run in Winnetka.

According to KTLA-5, the victims were riding north on the 6500 block of Winnetka Ave around 12:45 am after leaving their jobs at a nearby restaurant, when they were struck by the driver of a pickup.

A witness reported seeing the driver swerve into one victim, then swerve again to strike the other, in what may have been an intentional attack.

The driver reportedly stopped to look at the crash scene, then got back in his truck and calmly drove away.

Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital, where one of the men died. The other was reportedly conscious with serious injuries.

Neither man has been publicly identified at this time.

Driver may have targeted victims

LAPD investigators were attempting to determine if the attack was intentional or if the driver may have been under the influence.

It’s also possible that they may have been followed from the restaurant at Ventura Boulevard and Tampa Avenue.

Police report the victims were riding in the number three lane when they were struck, which would have placed them in the parking lane on the wide residential street.

The LA Daily News offers a description of the driver and suspect vehicle.

The vehicle was described as a white Ford or Chevrolet “utility style” pickup truck with toolboxes on the sides and possible front-end damage. The motorist was described as a white man in his late 30s or early 40s, with “close cropped” hair on his head and facial hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call 877/527-3247.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Video from the scene makes it clear the victims had lights on their bicycles at the time of the crash.

Update 2: A ghost bike will be placed at the site at 9 pm tonight.

The Daily News offers an update on the story, focusing on the dangers of the street. Which is irrelevant if the driver really did attack the victims on purpose. Just like the LAPD’s tone deaf suggestion to use lights and helmets, which aren’t likely to fend off someone intent on murder.

Update 3: The LAPD has released news that the two victims were both Hispanic men; as the Daily News noted, they were leaving their work at the Cho Cho San sushi bar in Tarzana. 

The victim has still not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin; the delay suggests that they are outside of the country. Meanwhile, the surviving victim has been released from the hospital and is resting at home.

Here is video of the suspect truck police are looking for. 

If you have any knowledge of the crash or driver, you’re urged to contact Valley Homicide at the numbers below.

Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact Valley Bureau Homicide, Detective Doerbecker at 818-374-1943. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. And my prayers for the second victim for a full and fast recovery. 

Thanks to Steve Spence, Ed Ryder and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in collision with Metro bus in LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood

For the second time in less than two weeks, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro bus.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by the bus around 3:15 pm Monday near Crenshaw Boulevard and Brynhurst Avenue. He or she became pinned underneath, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Crenshaw, with the street narrowed due to construction on the Crenshaw Line on the center median.

This comes just ten days after 13-year old Ciara Smith was killed when she was hit by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach.

This is the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: David Wolfberg provides more information about this tragedy, along with photos from the site. 

The ghost bike was placed last night.  We learned from after-the-crash witnesses that the bike and victim had been dragged for half a block on southbound Crenshaw before stopping just north of Brynhurst – literally between a billboard for a personal injury attorney service to the north on the east side of Crenshaw (“Don’t wait, Call 8!” you can see on the street view) and the Harrison-Ross Mortuary on the west/south.    Apparently there’s also a pedestrian & bike safety billboard on the other side of of the personal injury one – I’ll check that tonight.
The Google Map view (see street view link above) from January still holds except the cones are gone – so, two lanes of not so great pavement between curb and k-rails.  There’s even a worn out sharrow in front of Highly Favored Hair Studio.  Last night, instead of slowing down for a construction zone, cars were speeding and speeding up as they passed us, and we nearly witnessed another crash as a car stopped just north of the ghost bike to pick up a passenger from the sidewalk.  I worry not just for cyclists, but for everyone here including construction workers who park (in a heavily guarded lot) a block down on the NW corner of Crenshaw and 48th then must cross into the construction area.
We’re told the victim was male.   A reply on NextDoor indicates the victim was a minor.  We had guessed, given the timing, that it was a kid biking home from school.  I don’t want to speculate too much, but it did not look like an intersection crash where the bike flew in from out of nowhere.  I could picture a rider trying to hug the curb and coming across the rough patch adjacent to the sharrow (check street view at 4427 Crenshaw) and faltering in front of the bus.

Update: According to a comment by the victim’s sister, his name is Luis Alvarez, a 21-year old resident of Cicero, Illinois. The family has started a GoFundMe account to bring him back home and pay funeral expenses. 

According to the LAPD’s South Traffic bike liaison, Alvarez apparently passed the bus on the right, then was hit by the bus when he attempted to move back to the right to make a right turn onto Brynhurst. There’s no word yet on whether the bus was stopped or moving prior to the crash; however, a street view does not show a bus stop on that corner. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Alvarez and all his loved ones.

 

Update: Altadena bike rider dies weeks after an apparent solo fall, possibly caused by old-style speed bumps

Correction: New information changes the location of this crash, meaning the old-style speed bumps were not the cause of this crash. See the update at the end of this story for the latest details. 

An experienced bike rider has died two weeks after he fell on an Altadena street.

The victim was reportedly riding on Holliston Ave when he fell due to rubber speed bumps a little over two weeks ago.

The man, identified on Facebook as Dick Wood, was reportedly conscious immediately following the fall, and identified the older-style speed bumps as the cause of his crash.

The exact date and location of the fall are unclear at this time. However, someone who lives on North Holliston confirms that there are rubber speed bumps on the lower section of the roadway.

Wood was described by numerous sources as a very experienced and well-liked rider in his 70s who had ridden across the US and participated with the weekly ROC ride at Stan’s Bike Shops when it was located in Monrovia; it has since moved to Azusa.

It’s speculated that he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the speed bumps before going over his handlebars, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

This is the 18th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. Five of those have been the result of solo falls; that compares with two for all of last year.

Update: I have been informed that Wood is believed to have fallen on Holliston below New York Ave. A street view shows an odd speed bump made of what appears to be rubber tiles on the street south of New York; while there appear to be channels in the speed bump, it looks like a high bump that could easily upset a bike if the rider missed the channels for whatever reason. 

Photo courtesy of Ellen Steel

He reportedly was alone at the time of the crash, and died of head trauma this past Saturday. He’s described as a very experienced rider who had ridden across the US more than once.

Update: A comment from a local resident places the site of the crash as Holliston Avenue between Altadena Drive & Mendocino Avenue; a ghost bike has been placed at 2401 N. Holliston, one block above Mendocino. 

As he notes, these appear to be modern speed cushions, which are lower and longer than the old speed bumps, with grooves that should have allowed safe passage of a bicycle.

It’s hard to understand how these would have caused the crash, as Wood reportedly said. 

Meanwhile, another source says that he passed away on Saturday, May 6th.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dick Wood and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Wesley Reutimann, Tim Rutt and Ellen Steel for helping with this story.

Update: Teenage girl killed by Metro bus on PCH in Redondo Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed another victim. And a lack of bicycle infrastructure may be at least partially to blame.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 13-year old girl, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike with a friend when she somehow swerved in front of, or into, a Metro bus around 5:40 pm on Pacific Coast Highway at Knob Hill Ave in Redondo Beach.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports a witness said she swerved in front of the bus, while initial reports suggest she rode into the side of the bus, according to a Metro spokesperson. The bus was operated by a subcontractor, MV Transportation, rather than Metro itself.

However, the South Bay’s Easy Reader, which places the time of the crash as 4:40 pm, cites a local business owner who says the girls were coasting their bicycles along the sidewalk before riding out into traffic.

They also note that the collision was partially captured on security camera, while observing that the bus had the green light as it approached Knob Hill on southbound PCH.

The other girl was unharmed.

A street view shows a commercial roadway on PCH with two lanes in each direction and a center left turn lane, with a wide sidewalk along side.

Meanwhile, a Twitter photo on the KTLA-5 report shows the victim’s bike resting on the curb on the northwest corner, while police blockade the center Knob Hill alongside PCH, suggesting she may have ridden off the handicapped ramp into the intersection. However, it’s unclear how that would have placed her in the path of the bus.

The lack of safe bicycling infrastructure on PCH may have contributed to the crash by encouraging the girls to ride on the sidewalk instead of the street, where they would have been more visible to the driver. And may not have had to dart into the path of the bus.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. And while it’s at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Redondo Beach since 2010, it’s the first in the last five years.

Update: The victim has been identified as 13-year old Ciara Smith of Redondo Beach, a student at Parras Middle School. 

Update 2: The community turns out to mourn her death.

Update 3: KCBS-2 reports the crash may have been a result of misaligned crosswalks due to the single diagonal cut handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps aligned with the crosswalk. 

Some of her classmates brought flowers and wore bright clothes in her favorite colors of teal, mint green and blue.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ciara Smith and all her family and loved ones.

74-year old man killed in Burbank collision Friday afternoon

Bad news doesn’t always make the news right away. And sometimes, the police point the finger the wrong way.

That appears to be the case here, where a bike rider was killed in Burbank Friday afternoon.

According to the Burbank Leader, 74-year old Jin Soo Oh was riding east on Empire Ave around 2:35 pm when he was hit by a car turning right onto Westbound Empire from southbound Frederick Street.

He was taken to County-USC Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

The driver, who remained at the scene, was not cited.

Based on the extremely limited description, it appears Oh may have been riding against traffic on the wrong side of the street. It’s also possible that he was actually on the sidewalk and attempting to cross Frederick.

However, instead of blaming the victim for riding the wrong way, or the driver for not seeing him, Burbank police appear to be placing the blame on Oh’s lack of a helmet. Which wouldn’t matter if he hadn’t been hit by a car.

And whether it matters at all depends on whether Oh’s injuries would have been survivable, with or without one.

This is the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jin Soo Oh and all his family. 

Update: Popular cyclist dies nearly three weeks after hitting a pothole during weekly Montrose Ride

Last week, the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee debated whether to patch potholes or fund Vision Zero projects, ultimately deciding in favor of safety over street repair.

Today, we got a painful reminder that sometimes it’s the same thing.

Word broke on Facebook today that Edgar Lim passed away last week, nearly three weeks after he suffered catastrophic injuries hitting a pothole.

According to a post by Freddie Arellano, Lim died at 8:35 pm last Wednesday, after being injured while riding on March 11th.

A post by Steven W Hansen indicates Lim was participating in the weekly 8 am Montrose Ride when he hit what Hansen describes as a huge, unavoidable pothole near 1510 Huntington Dr in Alhambra during the first few miles of the ride.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

Hansen reports the pothole had been patched a week later, too late to save the very popular rider.

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

Update: I’ve received second-hand reports from people who were on the March 11th ride that Lim may have lost control to avoid hitting the pothole, striking his head on the curb. However, even if that is the case, the pothole would have been the proximate cause of the crash, since he would not have swerved if it hadn’t been there. 

As Albert Lakes points out below, though, we don’t have all the facts at this point; all we can do is consider the limited information that is available and draw our own conclusions.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Edgar Lim and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the heads-up.

72-year old Torrance woman killed while riding on sidewalk

Sad news from Torrance, where a 72-year old woman was killed in a collision with a delivery truck.

According to the Daily Breeze, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike southbound on the west sidewalk of the 19600 block of Van Ness Ave when she was struck as the driver attempted to turn north on Van Ness.

However, there are no driveways on the west side of the street, and there does not appear to be a sidewalk on that side, which suggests she may have actually been on the east side of the street.

If that’s the case, the driver would have been looking for traffic to his left as he turned right, and may not have seen her approaching on the sidewalk to his right — even though he would appear to have had an unobstructed view.

Unfortunately, while riding on the sidewalk may appear to be safer than riding in the street, drivers tend to focus their attention on oncoming traffic, and may not notice someone coming towards them from the opposite direction.

Even though they should.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality this year, and the sixth in Los Angeles County.

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

 

 

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