Tag Archive for Moorpark

78-year old bike rider killed in Moorpark hit-and-run

Once again, a cryptic CHP dispatch hinted at a horrible cycling collision long before anyone else.

A transmission early Thursday afternoon told of a damaged bicycle on the right shoulder of Tierra Rejada Road in Moorpark, with debris in the roadway — and a body in a tree.

And someone — maybe a passerby, maybe the driver involved — was waiting on the right shoulder to guide CHP officers to the collision site.

Now the Ventura County Star and Moorpark Patch confirm that 78-year old Simi Valley resident Bernard Cooper was killed in a rear-end collision while riding on the right shoulder of Tierra Rejada east of the Moorpark Freeway around 1:20 pm Thursday; the CHP puts the initial report at 1:28 pm.

After hitting Cooper with enough force to throw his body into a tree, 20-year old Nicolas Santiago of Ridgecrest drove for another mile-and-a-half before evidently having a change of heart and returning to the scene. The CHP dispatch identifies the vehicle waiting for them as a Nissan Xterra; unfortunately, there’s no word on what kind of car Santiago was driving or whether he returned after the collision had been reported.

Both Cooper and Santiago were headed east on Tierra Rejada; a satellite view of the roadway shows a wide shoulder where Cooper should have been safely out of the line of traffic, while a Google street view shows a 55 mph speed limit in the area.

Not surprisingly, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash was still being investigated Thursday evening, however, the CHP reports that alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

Santiago was arrested at the scene for hit-and-run. However, based on similar cases, the fact that he returned to the scene of the collision — apparently voluntarily — suggests that the charge is unlikely to result in significant penalties.

This is the fifth cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County; that compares to three bicycling deaths in Ventura County in all of 2012.

My prayers and condolences for Bernard Cooper and all his family and loved ones.

Update: A comment below says the driver of the Xterra was the one who called 911, and was not involved in the collision.

Update: 2012 SoCal bike deaths reach an even 50, as 52-year old Moorpark cyclist killed Thursday

This is not the story I wanted to write today.

I’d promised you a contest for the holiday weekend, sponsored by Clif Mojo bars to celebrate national Trail Mix Day.

But that will have to wait, as I’ve just gotten word of a fatal bicycling collision that took the life of a Moorpark man on Thursday.

According to Moorpark Patch, the victim, identified only as a 52-year old man pending notification of next-of-kin, was riding south on Moorpark Avenue at Poindexter Ave at around 9:55 am when he was struck by a car traveling in the same direction.

Details are sparse. It could have been a hit-from-behind collision; however, the fact that it occurred in the intersection would suggest a possible right hook. Or the rider could have been attempting to make a left turn, and either crossed into the driver’s path, or been struck when the driver failed to see him.

The victim was taken to Los Robles Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The 44-year old driver, a resident of Sylmar, remained at the scene.

It’s sad that hit-and-run has become so common that something like that even needs to be mentioned.

This is the 50th fatal bike collision in Southern California this year, and the third in Ventura County, compared to four in the county last year. And eight months into the year, it puts us on a pace for 75 fatalities in the seven-county SoCal region this year, not counting shooting victims, compared to 71 in 2011.

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

Out of respect for the victim, I’ll wait until later this evening to put the contest online. I hope you’ll come back then or over the weekend; especially after news like this, we all need to have a little fun.

Update: The Ventura County Star has identified the victim as 52-year old Moorpark resident Kenneth Guthrie, who was hit by a car driven by 44-year old Jaime Tijero Ibarra of Sylmar. Still no word on how the collision occurred; Ibarra was not cited at the scene, and the case remains under investigation. 

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