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.