Tag Archive for Orange County

Update: Nine-year old boy killed in Irvine collision

Any traffic death is heartbreaking. But it always seems worse when it’s a child.

Word is just coming in that a nine-year old boy was killed while riding his bike in Irvine this afternoon.

According to a press release from the Irvine Police Department, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a van at 3:15 pm at the intersection of Roosevelt and Bay Tree. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead just 20 minutes later.

The 57-year old driver remained at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows a residential neighborhood with four lane divided roadway in each direction, with a bike lane on Roosevelt and three parks within a four block radius.

Anyone with information is urged to contact IPD Traffic Sergeant Matt August at 949/724-7023.

This is the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Orange County this year.

Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as Keven Jiang, who lived in Irvine. 

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

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

Morning Links: Stephany convicted of 2nd degree murder, KCRW can’t find bike riders to discuss Mobility Plan

No surprise here.

An Orange County jury has found Neil Storm Stephany guilty of second degree murder in the heroin and Ativan-fueled hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson as he rode on the East Coast Highway just over a year ago.

And despite his attorney’s bizarre argument that Stephany can’t be held responsible because he was so high he had no idea what he was doing behind the wheel.

Stephany had been warned following a previous DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence. Instead he shot up, got behind wheel and did exactly that; he was reportedly found incoherent with fresh needle marks at the time of his arrest.

He faces 15 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced on January 15th.

Despite one juror’s hope that this is a wake-up call for Stephany, it’s a little too late for that.

And for the man he killed.


Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein and our anonymous OC source for the heads-up.


Hats off to REI.

While other retailers are forcing their employees leave their families and work on Thanksgiving Day, the Seattle-based co-op will not only be closed on Thanksgiving, but will be shutting their doors on the following day, aka Black Friday. And telling their employees to go outdoors and enjoy themselves.

With pay.


A reader forwards this moving piece from a former bike racer suffering from an incurable, untreatable and progressively degenerative kidney disease, and her first tentative step back into cyclocross racing just for fun.

Definitely worth taking a few moments from your day to read.



KCRW’s Which Way LA looks at the reactions to LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 in South LA and around Rowena Ave in Silver Lake, but can’t seem to find any bike riders to discuss it with.

A trio of USC students are working on a Bluetooth-enabled bike lock that will be permanently mounted on your bike, and lock by clamping around the rear wheel.

The LA Explorers Club is hosting an LA Noir Bicycle Tour this Sunday, taking riders back to the classic Los Angeles of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s.



A group of Santa Ana kids are recognized for their work in bike advocacy at the California Bicycle Summit, while the city is set to receive $11.5 million in bikeway funding.

Bike Newport Beach discusses the need to teach young bike racers how to ride safely on the streets.

A La Jolla mountain bike rider was the victim of a brutal assault while visiting New Orleans, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. And neither the police or the Big Easy press seem to give a damn. When I lived down that way, it too often seemed that rather than the City That Care Forgot, it was the city that forgot to care.

San Diego will begin work on the next link in the Bayshore Bikeway around the first of the year, the first of $200 million in new bike projects in the region over the next decade.

Coronado police warn that the annual grace period for student bike violations is ending. Note to CPD: Riding a bike in a crosswalk is legal under California law.

A Redlands bike rider was injured in a shooting as he rode past two men walking in the street.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a man dies eight days after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Apparently, bike friendly Davis has a bike parking problem.



Despite the recent bike boom, visits to bike shops declined 17% from 2012 to 2014.

Uber’s new Uber Rush delivery service is using a fleet of bike messengers to make deliveries in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago in an hour or less.

An engineering professor proposes a bikeshare system for the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Maybe he didn’t want to miss his favorite show. An Iowa rider loses three teeth when he was mugged by a group of men who wanted the TV he was carrying on his bike.

A St. Louis writer says bicycling can be bliss in the city originally built for horses and trolleys.

Science takes a backseat to football at the University of North Carolina, where bikes are banned from parking in front of the Genome Science building on game days.

Key West cyclists team up for the annual four-mile Zombie Bike Ride.



Go ahead and have that drink. A new study shows that while a third of injured cyclists have been drinking, drunk riders are less likely to get in wrecks and are no more likely to be injured than sober riders.

A Montreal bike messenger poetically says the key to survival is to float like a ghost into the spaces no one else is occupying.

The former head of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service says the country’s legal system has failed cyclists, and calls for a change in the way bike cases are handled. Meanwhile, the head of roads policing for the British National Police Chiefs’ Council says it’s too risky to commute by bike in London.

The Scottish town of Dumfries puts it’s bikeshare system on hold following complaints that it’s too difficult to use. The story quotes my favorite Scot bike blogger as she helps raise the rabble.

Just as women’s cycling is starting to take off again, Switzerland is dropping their women’s team due to financial losses.

A leftwing German political party wants to encourage biking and walking by eliminating fines for red light violations in the law-abiding country.

The BBC looks at the legal loophole that allows Syrian refugees to cross the Russian border into Finland only if they are on a bike, and the absurd trade in flimsy children’s bikes it has spawned. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A Rwandan cyclist was killed in a mid-race collision after he dropped off the back of the peloton.

Seriously? South Australian officials warn that allowing bikes on sidewalks will result in huge costs to local government, as well as lawsuits against cyclists. And Aussie Liberals seem misnamed as they threaten to roll back the state’s 1-meter passing law.

Philippine cyclists flaunt the country’s Carmegeddon to advocate for a piece of the road. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.



If you’re carrying 64 tabs of Lorazepam, aka Ativan, on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. Talk about casting a big shadow; a little ingenuity and elbow grease, and you, too can frighten the neighbors into thinking a rogue elephant is on the loose.

And this is what happens when you don’t have any women — or men capable of thinking with the larger head — in your marketing department.


Huntington Beach bike rider has died following last week’s bike lane collision

Sometimes, our worst fears are realized.

That was the case last week, as the Orange County Register made a brief mention of a bicyclist who critically injured when he was struck from behind while riding in a Huntington Beach bike lane.

Sadly, they announced today that he did not survive his injuries.

The 29-year old victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on Warner Avenue at Springdale Street at 5:27 pm Tuesday when a driver veered into the bike lane and struck him from behind.

He was taken to UCI Medical Center, where he died on Saturday, four days after he was injured.

The driver remained at the scene, and police do not suspect drugs or alcohol use. No word on why he moved into the bike lane where the victim was riding; however, since the wreck occurred at or near the intersection, he may have been making a right turn.

A street view shows a typical six lane Orange County street with a center turn lane, and wide lanes built for excessive speed.

This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Orange County; that compares with 74 in SoCal and 16 in the county this time last year.

It’s also the third bicycling death in Huntington Beach this year, and the eighth in just the last two years.

Update: A comment below from Bill Selin caused me to go back and check my records, revealing two errors.

One was the Garden Grove death of Suzy Ramage and her dog, which had been mistakenly categorized as Los Angeles County, rather than OC. The other was an unknown rider also killed in Garden Grove a few weeks later, which I had neglected to add to my database. 

As a result, I have corrected the totals above to reflect one additional fatality in Southern California, and two in Orange County.

I apologize for the error.

Update 2: A gofundme account has been set up for the victim. I’m told that his name won’t be officially released until his parents can arrive here from Mexico to identify the body.

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

Update: Unidentified woman killed in Orange collision while riding in crosswalk

It’s been a bad two days for Southern California bike riders.

According to the Orange County Register, a woman was killed as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk in the city of Orange Sunday evening.

The unidentified victim was crossing the street at the intersection of West Chapman Avenue and North Flower Street shortly after 6 pm when she was struck by a man driving a full-size pickup. She was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she passed away nearly 45 minutes later.

The paper reports the driver cooperated with investigators, and was sober at the time of the collision.

There’s no word on who had the right-of-way or which street the victim was crossing, or what direction the truck was traveling. A satellite view shows a two-lane street with a left turn lane on Fowler and six lanes with a left turn lane on Chapman, with crosswalks in each direction.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 13th in Orange County. It’s also the third SoCal bicycling death in less than 22 hours.

Update: Comments from Bill Sellin identify her as Kathleen “Kat” Walker, a homeless woman who lived in the nearby Santa Ana river bed. 

He goes on to explain that as she rode in the crosswalk against traffic, she would not have had enough time to make it across all seven lanes if she didn’t push the button for the pedestrian crossing signal. In addition, the sun would have been facing the oncoming traffic close to sunset, making her difficult to see.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kathleen Walker and her family. 

Weekend Links: Getting buzzed in DTLA, life is cheap in OC and Alameda courts, and more bighearted strangers

Nothing like getting buzzed by an impatient jerk to ruin a ride on a beautiful day.

Richard Bidmead forwards video of what happens when a bike lane ends, and riders are forced to take to the traffic lane. Especially when you’re being followed by someone in a Corvette who knows how to use his horn, but can’t figure out how to change lanes to go around.


Evidently, life is cheap in Orange County.

Following his conviction in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Manual Morales Rodriguez two years ago, truck driver Filemon Reynaga faced up to four years in state prison.

Instead, My News LA reports Reynaga will serve just one year in county jail, thanks to a very generous judge.

Even though a witness saw him get out of his semi after hitting Rodriguez, look at the victim lying in the roadway, then drive off, leaving him unprotected in the darkness, only to be hit by another car a few moments later.

No one will ever know if Rodriguez might have been saved if Reynaga hadn’t shown such a callous indifference to human life.

Despite that, the judge indicated that he will sentence Reynaga to just two years, and put off sentencing until next January to allow him to serve his time in county lockup. And he’ll end up doing just one year behind bars.

One lousy year for intentionally leaving a man to die in the street.


Apparently, life isn’t worth any more in Alameda County, as a San Francisco attorney could serve just 30 days behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist.

Bo Hu was walking his bike when a car driven by Spencer Freeman Smith slammed into him from behind, and fled the scene without ever applying the brakes. Prosecutors were prevented from introducing evidence that he had been drinking that night.

Once again, despite a callous indifference to human life, Smith was sentenced to just five years probation and one year in county jail; he can apply to finish his sentence in home detention after serving just one month.

Talk about hard time.

Let’s just hope he’s not scarred for life by being forced to watch the Giants and 49s on his flat screen from the comfort of his own den.


Yet another bighearted cop replaces a stolen bike, this time for an Indiana girl whose bike was apparently taken by neighborhood bullies just one day after she got it for her eighth birthday.

Evidently, cops aren’t the only ones in Indiana with big hearts. A tattoo artist raised $1,800 to buy a new bike for an Indiana boy who was hit by a car outside his shop.

And a stranger bought a new bike for a Tampa Bay girl after she collided with a car driven by an elderly woman; the driver asked if she was okay, gave her $20 and drove away.


Looks like the US is building a women’s cycling dynasty, as Chloe Dygert and Emma White take first and second in the under-23 road race; they finished in the same order in the U23 time trial earlier this week.

The US is favored to podium in the elite women’s road race on Saturday, while VeloNews says three-time world cyclocross champ Zdenek Stybar should be a favorite in the men’s race.

They must have made a good impression. A British pro cycling team signs three riders off the New Zealand U23 team from the world championships.

Africa’s first and only pro cycling team to compete in the Tour de France will now be known as Team Dimension Data.

And the head of pro cycling’s governing body says they’ve made great strides to restore credibility in the post-Armstrong era, despite the continuing drumbeat of cyclists banned for doping.



Writing for Streetsblog, Richard Risemberg explains what a fair road use fee would be, suggesting that car-free bike riders should get a $250 rebate. And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Thursday’s Vision Zero forum.

Bike friendly UCLA gets even friendlier with a new traffic light and a bike lane on the uphill side of Charles E. Young Drive North.

Boyonabike looks at transit developments and bike parking in the San Gabriel Valley, and finds the bike racks at the Monrovia Metro station both artsy and impractical.

A San Pedro letter writer complains about a road diet and bike lanes on Pacific Avenue, saying no one bikes in that part of town.

Long Beach gets $23 million in grants for bike, pedestrian and transit improvements, including a bikeway over the LA River connecting with the bike path on the coming replacement for the Desmond Thomas Bridge.

Just one more week to take Metro’s active transportation survey.

The SoCal cyclocross season kicks off this Sunday at Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

There will be a press conference at 11 am Monday at City Hall to support AB8, aka the Hit-and-Run Yellow Alert Bill, currently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature after he vetoed a similar bill last year.



No bias here. The auto-centric CHP concludes that bicyclists are at fault in 61% of collisions, and drivers only at fault in 20%. Which says more about the department’s lack of training in bike law and a bias towards those on four wheels than it does about bike riders. As does the lack of enforcement of the state’s three-foot passing law.

The Port of San Diego stands in the way of completing a 24-mile bikeway around the bay.

Coronado is having its 15 minutes of fame — or maybe infamy — as the mass anti-bike insanity threatens to go viral.

A 13-year old boy is under arrest for attacking an 84-year old La Quinta Walmart employee as he tried to walk out with two bicycles.

Things were calmer in Bagdad by the Bay this month, as riders in the San Francisco Critical Mass were on their best behavior, and no one beat on cars with U-locks.

San Francisco’s SF Gate looks at how they roll in bike-friendly Davis CA, where everyone is issued a bike in the hospital at birth. Or so they say.

Truckee is punching a hole in a rock wall to make a tunnel for a paved pedestrian/bike path.



Bicycling magazine talks to the man riding one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bicycles across the US; so far he’s traveled 1,000 miles and incurred the maximum $1,200 late fee.

Bicycling continues to boom in Portland.

Las Vegas decides maybe it’s time to start enforcing Nevada’s three-foot passing law, including putting plain clothes cops on bikes to catch drivers passing too close.

A blogger in my hometown offers up three things cyclists wish motorists understood. I could come up with a lot more than that.

Wichita KS moves to eliminate fines for riding a bike after dark without a headlight, giving out 1,200 free bike lights instead.

An Iowa judge rules it’s okay to buzz bike riders and roll coal in their faces from a diesel pickup.

The bikeway network in Dallas TX grows to 39 miles, a big improvement over the eight miles of on-street bike lanes just three years ago. Although 32 miles of that are sharrows.

A new Minnesota parking lot opens near a bike trail, allowing people to remove bikes from their cars without fear of getting hit by passing cars; the project fulfills the dream of a former Eagle Scout who was later killed in action in Afghanistan.

Sad news from Ohio, as a second bike rider has died as a result of a collision when an apparently driverless truck left crossed a group of five riders; thankfully, the other three have been released from the hospital. Update: The victim was identified as Jim Lambert, an alternate on the US cycling team for the ’84 Los Angeles Olympics.

An Arkansas rider is on track to beat the 76-year old record for riding the most miles in a single year; two other riders, one in England and the other in Australia, are also attempting the same thing this year.

Memphis is on track to get bikeshare next year.

A Philadelphia woman faces a host of charges, including vehicular homicide, for running down a high school football player as he was riding his bike, then removing her plates and hiding in her SUV in a failed attempt to avoid arrest.

Get your resumes ready. Key West FL will be hiring a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.



A Canadian bike rider faces charges after reaching into the car that hit him, grabbing the keys, and dropping them into a storm drain. Maybe we should take up a collection to pay his fines.

An Irish charity gives a recumbent hand-bike to a wheelchair-bound teenage boy suffering from a degenerative neuromuscular disease, to provide him with more independence.

Belfast will transform into a bicycle paradise for a whole three hours and 45 minutes when they hold their first ciclovía next weekend.



Physicists try to figure out how far you can lean into a corner on a bike without falling. Based on personal experience, I’d say the answer is pretty damn far. Four years after LA’s Wolfpack Hustle beat a jet from Burbank to Long Beach, a New York rider races a helicopter across Manhattan. And wins.

And no. Just… no.


Orange County bike rider killed in solo fall; 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year

Sad news from San Clement.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, 59-year old Henry Miller III collided with a pole at 243 Calle Empalme in San Clemente around 5:40 pm Wednesday. He died at the scene.

A satellite view show a quiet, winding residential street.

The Orange County Register adds a little more information. According to the paper, Miller was riding east on Calle Empalme when he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the curb, and was thrown headfirst into a lamppost.

Police were unable to find a reason why Miller lost control. There was no debris in the street and no other vehicle appeared to have been involved. The street does have a downhill slope, but levels out about 50 yards from the crash site.

It’s possible that he may have picked up too much speed going downhill, or that he lost control after a close pass by a car, without getting. Or he could have become distracted or disoriented in some way.

The paper also notes that Miller was not wearing a helmet.

There’s no way to say if wearing one would have made a difference. However, relatively slow speed falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714/647-7000.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County. That compares with 67 this time last year, and 14 in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Henry Miller III and all his family.


Man walking bike killed by train in Placentia Monday night

Somehow, this one went under the radar earlier this week.

According to the Orange County Register, 51-year old Rafael Romo was walking his bike north on Richfield Road when he ducked under the railroad crossing barrier on Orangethorpe Ave around 8:15 pm Monday.

He was standing on the south tracks waiting for an eastbound train to pass on the other tracks when he was hit by a train headed west at 48 mph. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper notes that it’s unsure if his death was an accident or may have been suicide. However, the latter seems unlikely if he brought the bike with him, rather than leaving it behind when he stepped under the barrier.

This serves as yet another warning to never go under or around railroad crossing guards, even if it seems safe at the time.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County. Romo is also the 19th SoCal bike rider to be killed by a train since 2011, which is the easiest type of collision to avoid.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Romo and all his loved ones.

Update: Early morning crash kills cyclist on PCH in Huntington Beach

More bad news.

Less than two hours after a disabled bike rider was killed in Arleta, a woman was killed riding her bike in Huntington Beach.

The Orange County Register reports that the cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on PCH just south of Seapoint Drive when she was rear-ended by a car around 4:40 am.

She was hit with enough force to knock her into the southbound lanes, and was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she died.

The driver stayed at the scene and called police; police said he did not appear to be under the influence, and was not arrested.

A satellite view shows a four lane divided highway with a wide marked shoulder where the victim likely would have been riding, although she could have been forced into the traffic lane by parked cars or some other obstruction.

No word on whether she had lights on her bike nearly two hours before sunrise.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Orange County. It’s also the 13th bicycling fatality in Huntington Beach since December, 2010.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Long Beach resident Nadia Silva. 

Update 2: According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Silva was crossing the southbound lanes of PCH from the center median when she was hit, and places the location as between Seapoint and Goldenwest Streets

Police say speed doesn’t appear to be a factor. Which leaves the question of why Silva and the driver did not seem to see each other on the straight, unobstructed roadway.

My deepest sympathy for Nadia Silva and all her loved ones.

Update: 23-year old Newport Beach e-bike rider died after colliding with parked van

A bike rider has died after he was critically injured while riding in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.

According to the Orange County Register, 23-year old Corona del Mar resident Jonathan Wilson died about an hour after he collided with a parked minivan.

The paper reports the collision occurred around 1:27 PM at 1801 Bayside Drive, while Corona del Mar Today places the location further up the road near the intersection of Bayside and El Paseo Dr.

Matching photos from the scene with a street view suggest he was riding north on Bayside, in between the two locations.

No explanation is given for how or why he hit the van.

Photos accompanying the Register story show a mountain bike lying near the curb, with the back of the van in badly damaged. That suggests Wilson somehow hit it at a high rate of speed, which is surprising given the flat road surface.

Even though the road has sharrows, the impact point on the van is just to the left of the curb. So the question becomes why he was riding so close to the curb, and how he reached a high enough speed to cause so much damage.

And whether he didn’t see the row of parked cars directly ahead of him, or was forced to the right in some way.

Unless a witness turns up, we may never know.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County. That compares with 57 in SoCal this time last year, and 12 in the county.

Wilson also the 11th cyclist killed in Newport Beach in the past five years, and second to die in a solo crash in the city in just the last two weeks.

Update: According to the Newport Beach Police Department, Wilson was riding an electric bike, would could explain the force of impact evident from the damage to the minivan. 

He was initially found conscious and responsive, while suffering from numerous lacerations. 

And no, he was not wearing a helmet.

Update 2: Corona del Mar Today cites a police spokesperson as saying neither drugs or alcohol appeared to be a factor, and it did not appear that Wilson was forced into the van by another vehicle.

Update 3: Customers at the Corona del Mar Starbucks where Wilson worked as a barista remembered him as kind, sometimes silly and always friendly.

Update 4: Wilson may have been using his cell phone at the time of the crash, though it’s not clear if he was texting, talking or performing some other task. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jonathan Wilson and all his loved ones.


Update: 36 year old bike rider killed in Newport Coast

Sadly, another bike rider has died days after she was injured, in a case that hasn’t made the news.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, 36-year old Monterey Park resident Yeny Vergara was injured when she came off her bike around midnight last Wednesday, at 35 Crystal Cove in Newport Coast.

Vergara OC Coroner

She died just after noon on Saturday; no cause of death is given.

A satellite view of the location shows a narrow roadway turning to a dirt road as it leads to the beach. However, it’s possible that she was riding on PCH or bike path next to it, and the coroner simply gave the closest street address.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.

The age and city of residence match a 36-year old master’s racer who has competed in several Southern California races this year. However, that is unconfirmed at this time, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Orange County.

Update: A response from the Newport Beach Police Department indicates her fall occurred on state property on the trails deep within the Crystal Cove State Park near the 73 Freeway. The NB Fire Department responded to the call as the closest agency; police never responded since it was reported as strictly a medical call. 

No word on whether she fell, had a medical issue, or collided with another rider, although the latter would seem unlikely if her injury occurred at the late night hour indicated by the coroner. 

Update 2: The Orange County Register reports that Vergara was apparently injured in a fall while riding on the Elevator Trail around 3:45 pm on the 22nd, rather than midnight as the coroner’s report listed. 

She was found lying unconscious on the trail, suffering from an obvious head wound despite wearing a helmet.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Yeny Vergara and all her family.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up.


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