Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Update: Willowbrook bike rider killed by Blue Line train; first SoCal bike death in 2017

That didn’t take long.

Just six days into the new year, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro Blue Line train, marking the first SoCal bicycling fatality of 2017.

According to the LA Daily News, the victim was crossing the tracks at Willowbrook Avenue and El Segundo Boulevard in unincorporated Willowbrook when he was stuck by the northbound train around 6:55 this morning.

He died at the scene.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The Daily News describes him only as a man in his 50s, while a CHP spokesperson, in a video on the LA Times website, calls him a 35 to 45-year old Hispanic male.

There’s no word on whether he rode through the crossing gates, or if he was somehow caught on the tracks when the train came through. The Times video shows the crossing gates and warning lights were working after the crash.

This should be yet another warning to always wait until the crossing gates go up before attempting to cross train tracks, regardless of whether it appears to be safe.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 52-year old Downey resident Esequiel Flores.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esequiel Flores and his loved ones. 

Seventeen year old student killed in Norwalk collision on Thursday

This is not the news anyone wanted on the eve of Christmas and Chanukah.

According to the Whittier Daily News, a 17-year old boy was killed riding his bicycle home from a friend’s home on Thursday.

Unfortunately, not many details are available at this time. The paper reports Chandler Ray was struck by a car sometime in the evening at the intersection of Studebaker Road and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk.

No word on how or when it happened, whether the driver remained at the scene or if he or she was detained by police. And no information on whether Ray died at the scene or was taken to a local hospital.

A street view shows what appears to be a busy intersection with four through lanes in each direction controlled by a traffic light, and left and right turn lanes on Firestone. As usual, there are no bike lanes in any direction.

The paper describes Chandler Ray as a popular and outspoken member of the Sante Fe High School football team.

A Go Fund Me account established in his name has already raised over $11,000 more than the $10,000 goal. It’s heartbreaking to think his family will never observe another holiday season without sadness.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 32nd in Los Angeles County. He is also the third bike rider to die in Norwalk since 2014.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chandler Ray and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in South LA hit-and-run Monday night; one-third of all LA bike fatalities have been hit-and-runs

Yet another heartless coward has left his victim to die on LA streets.

This time in South LA, on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim was riding east on 33rd Street when he attempted to cross the intersection at Central Ave around 7pm Monday. He was struck by the driver of a dark passenger vehicle headed south in the left lane on Central.

The driver immediately fled the scene, leaving the victim bleeding in the street; he was taken to USC Medical Center where he died of his injuries.

He is identified only as a Hispanic man in his late 40s or early 50s. There’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike, how fast the driver was going or why he couldn’t stop in time to avoid the collision.

A street view shows a four lane street on Central Ave, with an offset intersection controlled only by stop signs on 33rd.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713.

This comes just 12 days after another rider was killed in a hit-and-run less than a mile away at Central Ave and Washington Blvd; that driver was arrested in Glendale later that day as he tried to hide the damage to his car. And it’s the third fatal bicycling collision on Central Ave in the last three years, each of which involved a driver who fled the scene.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 12th in the City of Los Angeles; a full third of those have been hit-and-runs.

Update: Community members have released video showing the actual collision, but be forewarned, it’s very difficult to watch. The driver does not appear to have even slowed down following the crash. 

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

Man killed by hit-and-run driver while riding his bike on Washington Blvd; driver arrested in Glendale

Sadly, it couldn’t last.

After three weeks without bicycling fatality in Southern California, a man lost his life riding his bicycle in South Los Angeles, just below the Arts District.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding in the right lane on eastbound Washington Blvd just east of Central Ave moments after 11 am when he was struck from behind, flipping over the car and landing in the left lane.

The man, identified only as 35 to 40 years old, was taken to County-USC where he was pronounced dead at 12:24 pm.

The driver slowed as if he was going to stop, then gunned it to flee the scene.

A witness followed his car and gave the license number to police; the 28-year old driver was arrested in a Glendale parking lot as he was wiping debris off his car. He was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.

Anyone with information is urged to call Central Traffic detectives at 213/833-3713.

This is the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 11th in the City of Los Angeles.

Three of those deaths in the city have been hit-and-runs, with seven in the county.

Update: Teenage bike rider killed in collision between 2 vehicles; 2nd bicyclist killed in Pacoima in 3 weeks

Another bike rider has been killed in Pacoima, the second in less than a month.

Just three weeks after a still-publicly unidentified rider was killed crossing Foothill Blvd, a teenage boy has lost his life as a result of a collision between two motorists.

The victim was riding near the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street around 7:30 am when a pickup and SUV collided, and he became trapped under the truck.

He died at the scene shortly after being freed from the truck by LA firefighters.

A woman driving one of the vehicles was transported to a local hospital in good condition after suffering a minor injury.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time. There’s no word on how the collision occurred or where the victim was riding at the time of the crash. However, given the hour, it’s likely he was riding to school; the crash occurred just one block from a charter school.

A street view shows two lanes in both direction on Glenoaks, with a center left turn lane and bike lanes in both directions; Vaughn is a two lane residential street with the intersection controlled with a red light.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 10th in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The LAPD reports the collision occurred when one of the vehicles allegedly ran the red light on Glenoaks and crashed into the other as it traveled west on Vaughn with the green light.

The force of the impact knocked them into the south crosswalk, where they crashed into the victim as he was riding west with the light.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 15-year old San Fernando resident Samuel Lopez; as suspected, he was a 10th grade student on his way to school at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center.

Update 3: As a comment from Meliss points out, his name has been corrected to Saul Lopez.

KNBC-4 offers a touching report on Saul and his death, while a GoFundMe account has raised nearly $27,000 in just one day, far surpassing the $15,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Saul Lopez and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: Jefferson Blvd Complete Streets in line for state funding, and LA pro Phil Gaimon calls it a career

Maybe we really will see some changes around here. Particularly in some of LA County’s less advantaged communities.

Richard Parks forwards news that the California Transportation Commission has recommended funding a number of active transportation projects in LA County.

Topping the list from his perspective is a much needed and hard fought effort to transform Jefferson Blvd into a Complete Street.

The California Transportation Commission has recommended $6 million in funding to make Jefferson Blvd. from Vermont Ave. west to Western Ave. a complete street. The plan calls for protected and buffered bike lanes, pedestrian lighting, sidewalk repairs, street trees and more. This project will link to USC’s Jefferson Blvd. Streetscape Plan which intersects with the MyFigueroa project. The CTC will ratify staff recommendations in December.

Other projects on the list include:

  • $3.4 million for the second phase of the West Santa Ana Branch Bikeway in Paramount
  • $1.8 million for bike and pedestrian enhancements on Atlantic Ave in Cudahy
  • $1 million for the first phase of the Pacoima Wash bike and pedestrian path in San Fernando
  • $1.5 million for intersection improvements at the Slauson Blue Line Station
  • $660,000 for the Garfield Avenue Complete Streets Corridor in South Gate
  • $1 million for a Huntington Park Safe Routes to School project
  • $1.1 million for the Southern California Disadvantaged Communities Planning Initiative
  • $5.3 million for Safe Routes to School pedestrian improvements in Lancaster
  • $2 million for a bike lane gap closure project on Spring Street in Signal Hill
  • $1.4 million for phase II of the DWP’s Los Nietos Safe Routes to School

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LA’s own pro cyclist Phil Gaimon calls it a career after failing to find a WorldTour ride for next season. He says don’t call it retirement, though, in a great self-penned piece that reflects the struggles of most pro cyclists; meanwhile, his Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this Sunday will become his semi-official non-retirement party.

On the other hand, British pro Bradley Wiggins considers un-retiring.

And a 25-year old Spanish cyclist gets a four year ban for doping with a drug he denies ever taking.

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Local

Venice Blvd now officially belongs to Los Angeles instead of being under the control of Caltrans, after the state pays LA to take it off their hands.

Metro is asking for input on the coming LAX Connector Line, which includes plans for a bike hub to make it easier to ride to the airport.

 

State

An unidentified bike rider was hospitalized with traumatic injuries after he or she was hit by a Garden Grove police officer. Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

A Redlands thief plays Mission Impossible by lowering himself through the roof to steal $200 from a bike shop.

It’s been a rough few days in Fresno; just two days after a bike rider was killed in a collision, another rider suffered life-threatening injuries yesterday.

San Jose church members assemble 60 bicycles to donate to local children.

Palo Alto considers budget options for a new bike bridge after rejecting a previous design that came in over budget.

A Santa Rosa letter writer says the anti-bike residents along a local roadway remind him of Deliverance.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at why American trucks are so deadly for bicyclists and pedestrians, after London takes steps to ban dangerous trucks from the roads.

An Oregon TV station asks if it’s time to put bike lanes on a key bridge after a bike rider was killed by a driver with 31 previous traffic convictions. Bike lanes would be a good idea; keeping demonstrably dangerous drivers off the roads would be better.

Authorities say they know who sabotaged a Colorado bike trail, however, no charges have been filed yet in what the BLM calls an isolated incident.

Texas residents worry about property values plummeting if a proposed bike lane gets built. Never mind that bikeways have consistently been shown to increase property values.

A DC bicyclist dodged a bullet — literally — when a road raging driver took a shot at him; his rear bike tire wasn’t so lucky.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 90-year old Florida woman consistently holds her own on a 31-mile weekly group ride.

 

International

Riding a bicycle just five minutes a day can cut your risk of early death from heart disease. But it won’t get you very far.

Bicycle Times offers a guide to buying a bicycle.

Bike Radar recommends five bike action cams they like, all of which just happen to be made by GoPro or Garmin.

Who couldn’t use a few tips on dating a female competitive cyclist?

Anti-bike terrorists strike again, this time strewing tacks on an Ottawa bike lane.

Bodyguards ban British Foreign Secretary and former London Mayor Boris Johnson from bicycling over fears that riding a bike would make him a target. Just like it does the rest of us.

China’s maintenance-free, dock-less Mobike bikeshare system is expanding to Singapore, which appears to have won that skirmish in China’s bikeshare startup battle.

 

Finally…

Do Angelenos fear Scientology’s bike-riding security guards because they’re Scientologists, or because they’re on bicycles? Your next racing kit could have as much coffee inside as you do.

And it’s not unusual for a drunk driver to flee from the cops after nearly hitting a bike rider. Except when the driver is just 12-years old.

 

Update: Bike rider dies of heart attack during Long Beach Marathon; was board member of Lightening Velo

The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that a man apparently died as a result of what was described as a major medical emergency during the bicycle segment of today’s Long Beach Marathon.

According to the paper, the man, who has not been publicly identified, suffered a cardiac arrest while riding near the intersection of Ocean Blvd and Prospect Ave in Belmont Shore at 6:30 am Sunday.

Despite the effort of paramedics, he was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

Update: News like this is always tragic; it somehow seems even worse when it’s someone who’s well known in the cycling community.

While the victim still has not been publicly identified, I received the following email from Richard Rosenthal Monday evening.

I was on the ride with my girlfriend, and we both witnessed the paramedics giving CPR to a cyclist on ground. It really shook my up, as he was a older man in full kit, much as I am. It was on my mind the remainder of the ride, and when I found out Monday morning that the cyclist had died I was even more shaken.
The news just got worse for me personally. I found out that the deceased was my friend Steve Hernandez. We both served together on the Board of Directors of Lightning Velo in Long Beach. Steve was one of the kindest people I have ever met….an imposing bear of a man with long hair and beard, but his personality couldn’t have been more opposite. Always quick with a smile and a laugh, he was one of the most beloved members of our club, and he will be missed sorely.

Update: The LA County coroner’s office confirms his identity as 59-year old Steven Hernandez.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Hernandez and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa and Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Ten years for drunken Santa Clarita hit-and-run, and LA County approves Vision Zero Initiative

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.

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Ten years.

That’s how long a sentence Lucas James Guidroz is expected to receive after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita earlier this year.

The popular math teacher, musician and band director was riding on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25th when Guidroz plowed his Lexus into Bennett’s bicycle from behind, then fled the scene as Bennett lay dying where he fell.

He turned himself in shortly after police found his car two days later.

The 28-year old Guidroz is expected to be sentenced on November 7th on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Although the Santa Clarita Signal still can’t be bothered to get the name of the victim right.

………

LA County votes to implement a Vision Zero Initiative, without apparently understanding what that means.

Despite the press release from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Vision Zero is about improving safety with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities — not encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, as admirable as that may be.

And as always, the unanswered question is whether county leaders have to courage to make the tough choices required to save lives.

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Maybe it takes awhile for news to make it past the Orange Curtain.

A full week after the Orange County Register reported on the drunken hit-and-run that may have left a bike rider with a broken leg, and a young woman facing charges just hours after posing with her new car, the broadcast media has finally caught up with the story.

LA’s KABC-7 offered a brief report on the arrest of 22-year old Laguna Beach resident Aya Ibish, while Sacramento’s Fox-40 went into more detail.

Maybe they picked up the story from the OC Weekly, which posted it on Monday.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to read the Register, they could have learned about it right here days earlier.

Or they could have found out about it on YouTube, after the story got the Taiwanese TomoNews animation treatment, which is always good for a laugh or two.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

………

UCLA students discuss whether Westwood Blvd is safe for cyclists, in the wake of the much-needed Westwood bike lanes being removed from the LA Mobility Plan without a valid reason, other than some local homeowners and business owners apparently just didn’t want them.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Local

Writing for City Watch, Tim Deegan says it’s time to embrace New Urbanism, and suggests the New Urbanism Film Festival, which runs tomorrow through Sunday, as the perfect place to start.

The aptly-named Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg says the Expo Line bike path could have been a contender, but was done in by inadequate street crossings.

Thankfully, the victim of Monday’s Long Beach hit-and-run escaped with just a broken leg; the driver admitted to police he was fleeing a previous crash when he ran into the rider.

 

State

The Desert Sun urges Indian Wells voters to turn down a resolution that could halt construction of the planned CV Link bikeway through the city.

The Berkeley alumni association talks with law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a five-time amateur world champ in time trials and road racing who set the women’s hour record last year at age 43.

 

National

Streetsblog writes about the four biggest sins reporters commit when covering pedestrian deaths, all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

It’s time to apply for the fourth annual QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship Program, to prepare for a career as a wrench.

A Tucson AZ veteran made enough money selling bicycle chain art to pay for surgery for his therapy dog.

Good news, as Robert Choi, the founder of Utah-based Volagi Cycles, is showing some improvement after suffering a head injury when he was rear-ended by a driver last week; he was found unconscious in his office after initially refusing medical treatment. Always get checked out by a doctor anytime your head hits the pavement, regardless of whether you’re wearing a helmet; even a small brain injury can have serious consequences.

A volunteer bike repair center is fixing up bikes to give to the homeless in my hometown.

Once again, a visitor to this country is unable to survive America’s mean streets, as an Australian man was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding in Kansas.

Chicago readers offer their advice on how to make bicycling safer, from licensing and ticketing cyclists to making bicyclists ride salmon.

A New York court rules the city’s bike lanes can stay, after rejecting a lawsuit claiming they caused environmental harm by creating traffic congestion.

Common sense finally comes into play in Maryland, where a 15-year old girl who was slammed into a wall and pepper sprayed for refusing medical treatment following a bicycling collision won’t face charges after apologizing to the police.

 

International

A Canadian writer, who says he’s a bike rider himself, calls plans for a national bicycling strategy an ill-conceived boondoggle. Meanwhile, a Newfoundland counselor calls for turning his city’s bike lanes into parking spots.

London’s mayor calls for completion of a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the Thames by 2020.

Selfies kill. A British woman died after hitting her head in a solo fall, just moments after taking a selfie as she rode from her mother’s birthday dinner; her husband called for a mandatory helmet law as a result, saying she’d still be alive if she’d worn one.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten about the Olympic crash that horrified the world; she argues that Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead shouldn’t have been allowed to compete after missing three drug tests.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blocking bikeways is nothing new. Bikes are great for transporting anything, including the loot you just stole from a home.

And you can see a lot of things when you ride hopefully a wild panther won’t be one of them.

Bicyclist killed in Palmdale after running red light, struck by two cars

A bad month has gotten worse, as a bike rider was killed in Palmdale Monday morning.

According to the Antelope Valley Times, 39-year old Lancaster resident Amin Hopkins was riding south on Country Club Drive at 6:50 am yesterday when he allegedly rode his bike through the red light at Rancho Vista Blvd.

He made it across the westbound lanes, but was struck by a car in the left lane of the eastbound side and was knocked into the right lane, where he was struck by a second car as he was sprawled in the street.

Both drivers stopped after colliding with Hopkins. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane divided residential street on Country Club, with three lanes in each direction on Rancho Vista.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Palmdale Sheriff Station’s Traffic Department at 661/272-2400

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth fatal SoCal bike crash in the last 13 days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amin Hopkins and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Michele Chavez for the heads-up.

Update: 20-year old bike rider killed in Inglewood hit-and-run

Not again.

Just hours after news broke of a fatal hit-and-run on PCH Monday night, word comes that another bicyclist was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver in Inglewood just hours later.

According to the Daily Breeze, 20-year old William McGee was hit by a vehicle around 2:25 this morning at Crenshaw Boulevard and 109th Street. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died soon after.

No other information is available at this time, and no details were provided on the driver or the vehicle involved.

A street view shows a divided four lane street on Crenshaw, while 109th is a narrow residential street that enters on a T-intersection controlled by a red light.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Inglewood Police Department at 310/412-5211.

There’s no excuse, ever, for leaving another human being to die in the street. If the driver is found, he or she should face a 2nd degree murder charge, along with a permanent loss of driving privileges.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 23rd in Los Angeles County this year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports a burning van was found nearby with damage consistent with hitting a bicyclist, suggesting the driver had set it on fire to coverup the crime.

The youngest of three sons, McGee had just celebrated his 20th birthday six days before he was killed.

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My deepest sympathy and prayers for William McGee and all his loved ones.

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