Tag Archive for Mariah Kandise Banks

Morning Links: Murder charge for OC hit-and-run, justice for Woon finally coming, and keep fighting Vision Zero

Once again, Orange County takes traffic crime seriously.

Garden Grove resident Victor Manuel Romero faces a single count of murder for the hit-and-run death of homeless bike rider Raymond MacDonald in Huntington Beach last weekend.

He’s being held on $1 million bond. Which either reflects the seriousness of the charge, or the depth of his bank account.

No word on whether he will also be charged with driving under the influence and hit-and-run. Although they may be waiting for toxicology tests to come back before deciding on DUI charges.

However, the seriousness of the charge suggests they suspect DUI this may not be his first offense; a DUI conviction in California requires signing a letter stating that killing someone while under the the influence can result in being charged with murder. Which presumably is what happened here.

Or it could just be that they’re finally starting to get it.

Meanwhile, MacDonald’s mother left a heartbreaking comment on this site, including the news that he was killed just hours after celebrating his birthday with her.

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No official word yet, but the advocacy group Justice for Woon has revealed that charges will finally be filed against 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks for the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier.

Frazier was fatally run down as he rode his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA nearly a year ago.

Banks reportedly turned herself in last May as investigators were closing in, despite allegedly repainting her formerly white Porsche Cayenne to hide evidence of the crime.

Authorities may be waiting until the one-year anniversary of Frazier’s death on Wednesday to announce the charges.

Or they may be trying to go under the radar after last June’s farce, when charges against Banks were announced with great fanfare, then quietly withdrawn with no further word.

Read more from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Just a day after we linked to a knee-jerk, anti-Vision Zero comment, we saw the real cost of that kind of attitude.

Two girls were run down by the driver of a big rig gravel truck as they were walking in a crosswalk with the light, on their way to school near Exposition Park.

The driver swears he never saw them as he was turning, even though they were directly in front of him. And kept driving until another driver flagged him down to say he was dragging them beneath his truck.

Now one of the girls, a 14-year old student at Clinton Middle School, has died, while her 12-year old sister clings to life.

But sure.

Let’s all keep dragging our feet on Vision Zero. And all you NIMBY traffic safety-denying drivers keep on fighting it, because a few moments of inconvenience is certainly more important than a human life.

And no need to redesign trucks to provide a 180 degree view from behind the wheel, so drivers could actually see what’s in the road directly in front of them. Or require sideguards so innocent bike riders and pedestrians don’t get dragged underneath them.

Seriously, it’s just a couple of kids.

No big deal, right?

Right?

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If you’re looking for somewhere to ride on Saturday, you could do a lot worse than stopping for the spring Corgi Beach Day in Huntington Beach.

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Local

Authorities can’t prove the injuries a drunk driver suffered were the result of an alleged beating by sheriff’s deputies — including one who was just reinstated after being fired for the incident — because the driver admitted head-butting a bicyclist just before he was stopped.

A writer for the Daily Breeze says after 34 years bicycling up and down the coast, he’s ready for his ‘bent phase. After his ElliptiGo phase, that is.

An Aussie writer takes advantage of a layover at LAX to go mountain biking in Topanga Canyon.

Despite the panicked reported from ER physicians, a study commissioned by Santa Monica-based Bird shows similar injury rates for e-scooters and bicycles.

Santa Clarita wants your input on the city’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.

State

Bike riders call for a protected bike lane on 30th Street in San Diego’s North Park, calling it a test of the city’s commitment to climate action.

The local community is rallying around the family of an 11-year old Fontana boy after he was killed when he touched wheels with another kid’s bike while riding around his apartment complex last weekend.

The Southern California Chapter of the Police Unity Tour will make a stop at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Sunday’s ride to honor Sgt. Ronald Helus, who was killed in the shooting, as well as the other 144 police officers who died in the line of duty in last year.

A 36-year old Morgan Hill man was shot in the leg while he was riding his bike Wednesday night.

A Streetsblog op-ed says 20 should be plenty under San Francisco’s Vision Zero plan.

More bike lanes are coming to San Jose, even if that means — gasp! — removing parking spaces.

Sad news from Stanislaus County, where a bike rider was killed in a crash yesterday morning; the driver faces charges for manslaughter and DUI.

National

Consumer Reports wants to know why traffic deaths remain so high when safety tech has made so many advances. Simple answer: Too many badly designed roads, too high speeds, and too many fallible human beings behind the wheel.

Curbed says open street festivals can help cities practice for congestion pricing by showing residents there are other ways to get around without driving.

Outside suggests that maybe a roof rack isn’t the best way to haul your bike.

People for Bikes has released their third annual Participation Survey, showing one-third of all Americans ride bikes, but half of adult Americans don’t even own a working bike.

The former police chief of Kauai, Hawaii is still recovering two months after he was seriously injured in a collision while participating in a time trial.

A Seattle website examines the reasoning behind the city’s recent retreat on proposed bike lanes.

They get it. A paper in Grand Junction CO tells drivers that with or without sharrows, bike riders have a right to be in the roadway, and we all have a right to feel safe. Let’s hope they pay attention, because my brother lives and rides there now.

A bike boulevard in Lawrence KS — actually, just an intersection — lasted just two weeks before officials scrubbed it off the streets when people complained.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a drunk driver walked with just probation after killing a bike rider in a crash. Naturally, her lawyer blamed the victim, and claimed his client wasn’t really drunk at the time of the crash because the booze hadn’t hit her yet.

A Chicago weekly wonders what can be done about those damn scofflaw cyclists.

Neighbors of an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago are still keeping his bicycle for him.

Presidential candidate and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is one of us, after going on epic bike rides through the state with her newspaper reporter dad.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Ohio man is still riding at 92, though he recently switched from two wheels to a three-wheeled recumbent.

He’s got a point. A long-time New Orleans bicyclist says the No. 1 rule for riding in traffic is to ride with traffic. And the No. 2 rule is never ride against traffic.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Florida cop is off the hook for killing a 15-year old boy as he was crossing the street because speeding — even at a whopping 21 mph over the limit — isn’t enough to justify a manslaughter charge under Florida law.

International

Forget helmets. Now you need a wearable inflatable air bag.

A couple of Vancouver cops could face criminal charges after the bike rider they were tailing in an unmarked car suffered serious injuries falling off his bike.

Repeat after me — This is Saskatoon, not Amsterdam.

A writer for Forbes says Chinese dockless bikeshare has descended into a horrible game of chicken.

Finally…

Look at the new ebike Look. Nothing like listening to a bike-riding brass band.

And this is how Peter Sagan trains.

No, seriously, I want those little toy cyclists.

Arrests announced in the double South LA hit-and-runs that killed Frederick Frazier, and injured Quatrell Stallings

No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday. 

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We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.

Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.

Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.

However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.

Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.

From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.

She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.

She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.

According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.

Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.

Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.

The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.

Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.

Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.

“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.

“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.

KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.

“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”

No one does.

There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.

But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.

Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog. 

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Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.

The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.

Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.

She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.

Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.

According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,

They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.

Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.

Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.

Morning Links: Arrest announced in Frazier hit-and-run, the healing power of bikes, and invasion of the e-scooters

For once, there may be justice in not one, but two South LA hit-and-runs.

According to KTLA-5, the driver of a Mercedes SUV who ran down and killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier on April 10th has been arrested; details will be announced at a press conference this afternoon.

However, 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks had already been booked on $72,500 bail after turning herself in last month, so it’s unclear just what police will be announcing.

Banks is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 am tomorrow at the Clara Shortridge Criminal Justice Center at 210 W. Temple Street in DTLA.

Meanwhile, the station reports police have arrested the driver who appeared to intentionally run into Quatrell Stallings as he rode his bike at a street protest over Frazier’s death, the day after Frazier was killed at Manchester and Normandie.

She had gotten out of her car to argue with some of the protesters, before slamming into Stallings and fleeing the scene.

Hopefully, details on that arrest will be announced at the press conference, as well.

Photo of Frederick Frazier’s ghost bike installation by Matt Tinoco.

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A powerful and painful piece from Peter Flax, as he writes about the healing power of an Arizona bike tour when his wife suffered a miscarriage after just a year of marriage.

It’s definitely worth reading. Just make sure you have a tissue or two.

Or maybe the whole box.

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A San Francisco writer warns in semi-apocalyptic tones about the invasion of the e-scooters.

On the other hand, a writer for the New York Times says they’re not urban menace or a harbinger of the apocalypse, they’re actually pretty great.

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Local

Streetsblog LA is holding its Summer Fund Drive; a donation will enter you in a drawing to win a signed copy of Donald Shoup’s new book Parking and the City. Seriously, give what you can to help support LA’s most important source for transpiration news.

The Agoura Hills Acorn reports on the nearly $12 million settlement in the death of cyclist and entertainment lawyer Milt Olin; a local resident says rather than being punished, the LASD deputy responsible for Olin’s death was rewarded with a transfer.

 

State

Streetsblog offers a roundup of Tuesday’s California primary election. My sincere apologies to Eban Lehrer, who tried to submit a contrary view to my endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa for governor, but for some reason, his comment wouldn’t go through. But it didn’t matter in the end, as the former LA mayor fell several hundred thousand votes short of qualifying for the runoff.

Two participants in the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride were injured in separate solo crashes as the ride rolled through San Luis Obispo County yesterday; one rider had to be transported by helicopter.

A San Francisco bicyclist alleges he was deliberately run down by Lyft driver after yelling at her for talking on a cell phone while stopped in a bike lane; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, though his bike got pretty mangled.

 

National

Advice on how to look fly on two wheels, on any budget. For once, all the bikes they recommend are under a grand, although I could do without one that would look like a ghost bike if it wasn’t for the red seat and handlebars.

Tom Vanderbilt gets author and runner Malcom Gladwell on a bike, while accepting a challenge to train for a marathon.

Denver bike riders now have an app to report cars, trucks and other objects blocking bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll export it to other cities desperately in need of one, like maybe Los Angeles.

Dallas is attempting to tame the wild west mentality, and reign in the city’s dockless bikeshare companies.

A permanent memorial has been installed in Kalamazoo MI in honor of the five bike riders killed by a stoned driver two years ago.

An Illinois bike advocacy group unveils a bike safety campaign meant to humanize bike riders. For a change, it’s actually pretty good.

A Vermont ebike owner gets a lesson in how to ride safely. Because even in America’s second least populated state, traffic scares people off their bikes.

New York State considers legalizing ebikes, which are currently banned under state law.

A New York Democratic congressman goes full NIMBY in decrying plans for a protected bike lane on a deadly Gotham street, apparently preferring preserving parking over protecting the lives of his constituents.

 

International

Pink Bike gives five men’s summer mountain biking kits the test.

A writer for Cycling Weekly says we’re not MAMILS, we’re DICS.

No, Cambridge News, a vandalized Ofo dockless bikeshare bike didn’t desecrate the Princess Diana Memorial Gardens; the jerks who destroyed it and left it there did.

An off-road rider in the UK sets out to see if he can spend the night riding in the hills and still make it to work the next day.

A British man gets a well-deserved seven years for a drug-fueled rampage that began when he deliberately smashed his van into a man on a bike, then got out and threatened people with an axe, hijacking one car and using the axe to hack a bike lock.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer takes in the view from his neighborhood coffee shop, noting that if the people he sees riding bikes to work drove instead, traffic would get a lot worse. And if more people rode their bikes, traffic would get a lot better.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly boldly addresses the burning question of the day, explaining how cyclists pee during a race. And noting that it’s a lot easier for men.

 

Finally…

Note to Trek: If you don’t want to get sued, don’t name your fat bike after a dead celeb. And the world may see a cute kid, but all Time can see is a truck.

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Thanks to David N for his kind words and generous donation to help support this site.

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