Tag Archive for Mike Kreza

Morning Links: Wicksted and Scarpa face murder charges for separate bike crashes, and bike thieves in action

Sixty-one-year old Claremont resident Sandra Marie Wicksted was formally charged with one count of murder in Saturday’s death of bike rider Leslie Pray in Claremont.

Wicksted was also charged with four counts of attempted murder for trying — and failing — to run down four other riders before she killed Pray.

A source close to Wicksted said her “mental state was deteriorating” in recent years after suffering PTSD nearly a decade ago. The empty liquor bottles in her car suggest she may have been self-medicating.

She is still being held on $2 million bond, although prosecutors plan to request an increase to $6.2 million.

Meanwhile, the allegedly stoned driver who killed Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike has also been charged with murder.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, 23-year old Mission Viejo resident Stephen Taylor Scarpa was under the influence of multiple controlled substances when he drove into the bike lane and onto the sidewalk, slamming into Kreza’s bike in the process.

Unless police are alleging that, like Wicksted, Scarpa deliberately targeted his victim, the murder charge suggests that Scarpa may have at least one previous DUI conviction.

People convicted of driving under the influence in California are required to sign a Watson notice stating they can be charged with murder if they kill someone as a result of an additional DUI offense.

He faces up to 15 year behind bars, and is being held on $2 million bond.

The crowdfunding account for Kreza’s family has now raised over $160,000 in three days.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for Wicksted links and photo of Leslie Pray ghost bike.

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Granada Hills bike thieves use their SUV as a step stool to break into a complex and make off with three bicycles. And even go back to grab what looks like a tire pump.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the link to the video.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Or maybe not.

An anti-bike saboteur known as the Boulie Tacker is back in action Down Under, sprinkling tacks on a popular riding route after taking an 18-month hiatus; several bicyclists have suffered serious injuries after hitting the tacks, as well as countless flat tires.

And a “horrifying” video of unknown origin has been circulating online, showing a car passenger firing fireworks at a bike rider and scoring a direct hit.

Or it would be horrifying if it was real; a hit from a rocket like that would probably result in serious, if not fatal, injuries.

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Local

If you want to know why Los Angeles was never seriously considered for Amazon’s second HQ, consider that their guidelines called for good transit, bicycling infrastructure and affordable housing. None of which apply in the City of Angels.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Executive Director Laurie Berman about Complete Streets, climate change and culture change at the agency; she’s the first woman to hold the top position at California’s Department of Transportation.

The CHP is warning bicyclists and pedestrians in the Modesto area to fight an increase in traffic collisions by making sure they can be seen. They’re handing out free bike lights to help, which doesn’t do pedestrians a damn bit of good.

 

National

A Chicago letter writer the city doesn’t have to ban bikes from the popular — and crowded — Riverwalk; just build a protected bike lane on a nearby street.

Indiana’s supreme court rules that a woman who was hit by an on-duty cop while bicycling with her kids can take her case to trial.

Life is cheap in New Hampshire, where a California woman was sentenced to a whole six months behind bars for fleeing the scene after seriously injuring a bike rider. If the courts and lawmakers don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why would anyone else?

A Pennsylvania letter writer says he’d like to see “a report on accidents, damage and injuries caused by cyclists,” as well as statistics on how many riders have left the scene. Just wait until someone tells him about hit-and-run drivers.

A Savannah columnist says not all bicycling is by choice; some people are just trying to get to and from work the only way they can.

Sad news from Florida, where one of the four bike riders who were critically injured by a 91-year old driver has died; state troopers blame the victims for making an unsafe lane change.

 

International

Cycling Tips lists the world’s ten best bike shops , including the Cub House right here in San Marino.

Lime has launched a $3 million campaign to encourage their customers to use the company’s dockless bikeshare and e-scooters responsibly; a Kiwi car review website says don’t bother, calling it a waste of time.

A British city counselor says he likes the idea of bike paths in principal, as long as they don’t inconvenience those poor, suffering drivers.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is one of us, participating in a youth bike ride for peace before launching a comprehensive anti-terror military offensive in the country.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a road raging, hit-and-run driver walks with just six months probation after deliberately using his car to break a bike rider’s leg. On the plus side, he lost his license for 20 months, and the expenses forced him to sell his car.

The close friend of a fallen Australian bike advocate unleashes on the country’s police and politicians in an emotional video, saying they’ve done nothing to stop bicycling deaths.

 

Competitive Cycling

Geraint Thomas says he and fellow Tour de France winner Chris Froome should be co-leaders of Team Sky next year, even though Froome has four yellow jerseys to his one.

Three-time Polish world champ Ryszard Szurkowski announced he was paralyzed and unable to pay his medical bills after suffering severe spinal injuries in a multi-bike pileup while still racing at age 72.

Former rising pro cyclist Adrien Costa reveals he was trapped under a rock for six hours in the climbing fall that cost him his leg, as Zwift announces a fundraising campaign to help pay his expenses.

Former Australian pro cyclist Jonathan Cantwell has died of an undisclosed cause; he was just 36.

A British woman discusses successfully taking up BMX racing in her 50s, despite suffering from asthma.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have anti-lock brakes. Your next mountain bike could be a Ducati — if you’re willing to move to Europe.

And your local bike shop could look like an art museum.

Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza died, 2 days after he was struck allegedly stoned driver in Mission Viejo

In the end, a man who spent 18 years saving others couldn’t be saved himself.

News broke this morning that Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza had died, two days after he was after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver while riding in Mission Viejo.

Kreza was training for an Ironman Triathlon when his bike was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp around 8 am Saturday on Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos.

He was reportedly hit from behind as he was riding in the bike lane on eastbound Alicia Parkway, suffering critical wounds to the head and body.

The Costa Mesa Fire Department had reported that he was unresponsive as a Sunday afternoon, and surrounded by family and friends.

Scarp remained at the scene. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI after police found multiple prescription medications in his car. At last report he was being held on $100,000 bond, pending a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

Kreza leaves behind a wife and three young daughters.

This is made even more tragic, not just because of the families he leaves behind — both his own and the close-knit firefighter community — but because so many of us owe our lives to the men and women who devote theirs to saving others.

He died, sadly and needlessly, not in a courageous effort to rescue someone else, but as one of us.

A crowdfunding campaign for his family has raised over $126,000 in just two days, more than five times the original $25,000 goal.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mike Kreza and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Steve S and Steven Bonadio for the heads-up.

 

 

Morning Links: OC fire captain critical after DUI crash, Claremont cyclist murdered, and hit-and-run driver ID’d

Tragic news from Costa Mesa, where an 18-year veteran of the fire department is fighting for his life after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver.

Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza was riding on Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo around 8 am when he was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp, who remained at the scene.

Scarp was being held on $100,000 bond after police found multiple prescription medications in his car.

Kreza remains unresponsive; the Costa Mesa Fire Department tweeted that the next several hours will be critical.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $70,000 in just 24 hours, nearly triple the original $25,000 goal.

Let’s all say a prayer, or whatever you’re comfortable with, for Mike Kreza’s full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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In case you missed it over the weekend, there was more bad news from Claremont, where a bike rider was murdered by a driver who allegedly used her car as a weapon.

Police say that Leslie Pray, a 54-year old Claremont resident, was intentionally run down by 61-year old Sandra Wicksted, also from Claremont.

Wicksted reportedly had swerved in the direction of other bicyclists just moments before turning her wheel towards Pray, and swerving across the roadway to slam into her bike as Pray rode in the bike lane on North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive.

Police found several empty liquor bottles in Wicksted’s car after the crash. She was arrested on suspicion of murder, and being held on a $2 million bond.

Tragically, Pray had only started riding a few months earlier.

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The combative hit-and-run driver who killed a Van Nuys bike rider hours after Halloween, then fought with police who tried to take him into custody, has been identified as 20-year old Santa Monica resident Alexander Daniel Furtado.

No word yet whether he was actually in the military, as he claimed, or if the camo fatigues he was wearing were just a Halloween costume.

Furtado is being held on $50,000 bond for suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The victim still has not been publicly identified.

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The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly campaign, which hands out free bike lights to riders who need them, kicks off in San Pedro tonight.

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Lest ye forget, tomorrow is Election Day. And your chance to Bike the Vote for awhile.

Speaking of which, Bike the Vote LA offers their indispensable voters guide for tomorrow’s election.

The LA Times provides their total list of 2018 election endorsements.

LAist has advice on how to pick a judge to vote for.

Los Angeles Magazine explains what all those confusing propositions actually mean. And has a list of businesses that will give you a deal if you come in with your I Voted sticker .

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Local

No surprise here. Bird has filed suit against Beverly Hills and their misguided total ban on dockless bikes and scooters. The only question is what took them so long?

The map has been released for next month’s CicLAvia as it returns to the Heart of LA.

California announced the latest round of Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Grants, including $550,000 to SCAG’s Go Human campaign, and a total of $375,000 to the City of LA; Pasadena and Long Beach received $175,000 and $150,00, respectively.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton digs into the lawsuit from self-appointed NIMBY activists Fix the City trying to halt desperately needed growth along the Expo Line. And apparently not grasping that more residential building means less traffic, not more.

 

State

Riverside has opened its first bikeshare system with 55 ped-assist ebikes.

Ride through the Anza Borrego Desert State Park on November 17th, and get rewarded with a cold beer.

Hundreds of bike riders rode through Ventura County in the annual fundraising ride in honor of Mike Nosco, 14 years to the day after he was killed when his truck collided with an unlighted farm vehicle.

A new $13 million bike and pedestrian bridge with provide Palo Alto residents with a crucial link over the massive Highway 101 for the first time in 60 years.

San Mateo County bicyclists now have a safer, green bike lane across a dangerous bridge. Even if the photo clearly shows an SUV driving in it.

Uber’s JUMP Bikes ped-assist dockless e-bikeshare system has expanded throughout the Sacramento area, including bike friendly Davis.

 

National

Good question. A drivers website asks why hit-and-runs are at an all-time high nationwide, but doesn’t really come up with an answer. Although someone should tell them hit-and-run is a crime, not an accident.

General Motors is getting into the ebike biz — and they want you to name it.

A Portland homeowner posted a huge sign in his or her window demanding that bike riders cut some slack when they try to access their own driveways.

The Houston Chronicle says walking and biking in the city can be way too dangerous. Meanwhile, a Houston bike advocacy group is increasing the frequency of their bike safety classes, including what to do in an emergency situation, in the wake of a deadly year for the city’s bicyclists.

Once again, Texas copies California — this time our hit-and-run drivers, and the low bail for the crime. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

A Cincinnati TV station reminds us of the dangers to bike riders and pedestrians after yesterday’s time change. Speaking of which, this is what you look like to drivers in the dark without lights.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Wisconsin driver smashed into a group of girl scouts at they were picking up trash along the shoulder of a highway before fleeing the scene; three girls were killed along with a parent, and another girl is in critical condition.

A 57-year old New Hampshire man rode 5,000 miles across the US, accompanied by his eight-year old dog following behind in a trailer.

A New York resident tries various ways of getting around the city, giving ebike riding an A+ rating — if you can tolerate universal loathing.

A DC website says Philadelphia is kicking the district’s butt on Vision Zero, while a Philly magazine says the city is making progress, but still has a long way to goNever mind that they’re both miles ahead of LA.

A year after Hurricane Irma, a beachfront Hollywood FL bike path is still covered in sand.

One of the four Florida bicyclists run down by a 91-year old driver last week has been released; two others remain in serious/critical condition, while a fourth is in stable condition.

 

International

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders in Canada. The father of an Ottawa crash victim called the verdict a disgrace as a driver was acquitted in the speeding, hit-and-run death of his bike riding son; the driver claimed he fell asleep at the wheel and had no idea he hit anything, despite awakening to a loud bang.

An English bike rider is snatching phones from unsuspecting women as he rides by.

Shocking yes, but not surprising. Six out of seven drivers who kill bike riders in the UK get off without any jail time. And only a third lose their licenses. It’s probably no different on this side of the Atlantic.

Horrible story from Britain, where an injured bike rider froze to death waiting for help in a cemetery, after police drove off when they didn’t find her when they responded to a call.

Great idea. An Irish politician proposes offering financial incentives to encourage kids to bike to school, similar to the country’s bike to work program.

No bias here. An Irish columnist calls for detente and cooler heads in the conflict between bicyclists and drivers — while painting bicyclists are crazed maniacs willing to go to war with the poor motorists, who have no choice but to drive.

How to plan your fall culinary tour of Copenhagen.

Caught on video: A 24-year old German artistic cyclist performs stunts Peter Sagan could only dream of.

Your spare parts could help keep riders on the road in Kampala, Uganda.

Logging the way to better Kiwi mountain biking.

Melbourne, Australia’s Green Party proposes a 10-mile, multi-lane bike superhighway as the centerpiece of the city’s nascent bicycle network.

The Australian version of Lifehacker considers weather you should get an ebike; among the downsides, they say, is people will hate you and you might hate yourself.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins defends his defense of Lance Armstrong, saying he’s “sick of being told how to feel about the sport by people who have never ridden a bike.”

The Cannibal heads Rouleur’s inaugural Cycling Hall of Fame class, along with famed bike builder Ernesto Colnago and British icon Beryl Burton.

VeloNews debates the merits of next year’s Tour de France versus Giro d’Italia routes.

 

Finally…

Forget bike riders, golfers should be the ones wearing helmets. If you’ve wanted to see Lance suffer, you finally got your wish.

And Apple wants to copy cycling’s pelotons for their electric cars.

Hopefully they’ll avoid taking half of it down by crossing wheels.

 

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