Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

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.

Update: Two people killed while walking their bikes in Norwalk; 10th LA County bike deaths this year

It’s bad enough when one cyclist is killed.

When two bike riders lose their lives in a midnight collision, without even being on their bikes at the time, I don’t even know what to say.

Except to let the facts speak for themselves.

According to the Whittier Daily News, a man and a woman were killed in a single collision in Norwalk early Saturday morning.

The paper reports they were walking their bikes across Rosecrans Avenue at Fidel Avenue at 12:02 am when they were struck by an eastbound Ford F-150 pickup truck, which then veered to the side, striking at least three parked vehicles.

No identification or other information about the victims are available at this time.

The driver, who was uninjured, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, He did not appear to be intoxicated, and was not taken into custody at the scene.

No word on whether the victims were in a crosswalk, marked or not, when they were struck. A satellite view shows a zebra crosswalk on the west side of the intersection, but none on the east.

If they were in the crosswalk, they were doing exactly what most law enforcement agencies recommend by walking in the crosswalk, rather than riding.

The question is why the driver didn’t appear to see two people walking bikes directly in front of him. And how fast he had to be going to take two lives with a single impact.

These are the 22nd and 23rd bike-related fatalities in Southern California this year, and the 9th and 10th in Los Angeles County, compared to just four this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for both victims and their families.

Update: Now it makes a little more sense, while seeming even more needless and tragic. Chris K, who lives in the area, writes to say that the crosswalk seen in the satellite photo has long been a popular crossing for people in the neighborhood to the south to get to the businesses, church and school on the north side of the street. He notes that there has even been a crossing guard there in the mornings.

Unfortunately, when the street was resurfaced recently, the crosswalk was removed, and the crossing guard was shifted the equivalent of three blocks west to the traffic light at Shoemaker Ave.

Chris notes that despite the removal, people continue to cross at that intersection just as they always have, sometimes stepping out in front of oncoming traffic expecting traffic to stop as if it was a marked crosswalk.

It should be noted that under California law, there is a crosswalk at every intersection, marked or not. The only exception is if there is signage prohibiting crossing, which doesn’t seem to be the case here. 

Now two people are dead, apparently because local traffic planners ignored historic pedestrian patterns and removed a marked crosswalk, despite the need for residents to cross the street.

Two more victims to a world where motor vehicles are valued more than people. 

Update 2: Chris K adds that the florescent yellow signage pointing to the crosswalk remains in place, even though the crosswalk itself is gone, creating a confusing situation. 

Update 3: KABC-7 has identified the victims as 23-year old Giovanni Xavier Chaidez and 20 year-old Rosibel Montoya, no hometown given. According to a live report on the station Sunday night, the driver is not expected to be charged. 

Maybe someone can explain that one to me someday. Because unless the victims somehow leapt out into the roadway without warning, the driver should have been able to see them and stop in time.

78-year old Glendora bike rider dies after being taken off life support

One of my policies on this site is not to report a bicycling fatality without some sort of confirmation.

Which means you many never hear about some of the tragedies that pass through my inbox. But I’d rather keep some bad news under wraps than risk injuring friends and family of a reported victim by reporting a story that may not turn out to be true.

So when I received a report on Thursday that a Glendora rider had died of injuries he suffered earlier this week, I reached out to various sources who might be able to verify the facts.

Sadly, that confirmation came today, in a news story from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

The paper had reported earlier this week that a 79-year old rider was critically injured in a left cross collision in Glendora on Monday.

He was riding west on Foothill Blvd at Elwood Ave around 2:30 pm Monday when a driver headed in the opposite direction turned across his path, forcing him into the passenger side of the vehicle. He was revived by police officers, who found him with no pulse and not breathing when they arrived.

He was stabilized by LA County firefighters, and taken to the ICU unit at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital.

Then on Thursday, a comment from Trish said he had been disconnected from life support and died on Wednesday.

That 79 yr old cyclist in Glendora was my son-in-law’s father. He cycled every day and then would come home and walk his dog. He was in excellent health and very fit. Sadly, he was removed from life support yesterday, and passed away shortly thereafter. Sure with drivers would look before they make left hand turns….really look, not just for cars!

Today’s story in the Tribune identified the victim as 78-year old Francisco Alvarez of Glendora.

The 86-year old driver who hit him stayed on the scene and cooperated with investigators. While the case is still under investigation, the paper reports no criminal behavior was suspected — despite the obvious failure to observe right of way and make a safe turn, resulting in the death of an innocent person.

Maybe this will go down as just another “oops,” excused by the age and, presumably, declining skills of the driver.

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

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Francisco Alvarez and all his family.

Thanks to Trish for the bad news.

 

Good news and bad news: LAPD makes hit-and-run arrest; bike rider killed in Compton

Ghost bike for Compton victim Pete; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike for Compton victim Pete; photo by Danny Gamboa

Let’s start with the bad news.

No details yet, but I’ve received confirmation that a bike rider was killed in Compton Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

As if the photo that’s circulating online wasn’t confirmation enough. And no, I’m not going to share it here.

According to the reports, he was killed while riding his bike at Compton Blvd and North Dwight Ave. Friends of the victim, who identified him only as Pete, confirm that he was hit by a car sometime before 5 am Wednesday morning and died at the scene; the driver remained at the scene following the collision.

Judging by the photo of the victim, he appears to be a bearded white male with grey hair, possibly in his 50s or 60s.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 7th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, as we maintain the horrific every-other-day pace since the first of the year. And it is the third cycling death in LA County this year, which suffered an intolerable 39 bike-related deaths in 2013.

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

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

Update: I didn’t recognize the corner, but Gamboa points out it’s the same intersection where Ovidio Morales was killed in a still-unsoved hit-and-run in 2010; his ghost bike is still there across the intersection. 

He reports one of the victim’s friends said he was a good man who struggled with alcohol, and was in and out of treatment programs.

As the photo suggests, neighbors have placed candles in his memory.

………

Gamboa also forwards word that an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run death of a Panarama City man, who has not been publicly identified at the request of the man’s family.

According to a press release from the LAPD,

Fatal Hit And Run Driver taken into custody

On January 13, 2014 at 6 PM Valley Traffic Division Detectives arrested a 46-year old male, Rene Amaya of Panarama City on suspicion of the felony hit and run (20001(a)VC) death of a bicyclist, which occurred on December 23, 2013, at the intersection of Burnet Ave and Lanark St in the Community of Panarama City, California. Bail was set at $50,000.

Maybe someone can explain to me why we continue to grant such a low bail to someone who has already demonstrated a willingness to flee after taking a life.

Update: Santa Fe Springs rider killed in collision with Metrolink train

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in a collision with a Metrolink train this morning.

According to the Press-Telegram, the victim, described only as male, was hit by the train at 7:15 this morning on tracks near Lakeland Road and Bloomfield Ave in Santa Fe Springs.

The LA Times puts the time as around 7:10 am, and identifies the train as Metrolink 682 bound for Orange County from Downtown Los Angeles. The paper reports the victim rode around the crossing gate; he died at the scene.

Train collisions are the easiest type of collision to avoid, yet there have been at least 14 other riders killed by trains in Southern California since January, 2011, including eight last year.

There is simply no excuse, ever, for riding around a railroad crossing barrier. However, the high number of fatal train collisions — cyclists, drivers and pedestrians — would suggest that more needs to be done to keep people off the tracks when trains are approaching.

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

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

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the train was headed to Downtown Los Angeles, based on information in the Times’ story.

Update: According to the Whittier Daily News, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding the wrong way on eastbound Lakeland. That would have placed him on the opposite side of the road from the crossing barrier. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:24 am.

Update 2: According to LAist, the LA County Coroner’s office has identified the victim as 23-year old Dale Hummels of Whittier. Oddly, the coroner’s felt a need to clarify that Hummels’ death was not a suicide. 

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