Tag Archive for Palm Desert

Bicyclist dies after Palm Desert collision; both victim and driver worked for Marriott Resort

This past Tuesday, we mentioned that a bike rider had been seriously injured in a collision with a driver while riding in Palm Desert.

As often happens with reports from the Inland Empire, there was no information available.

For once, however, there was a follow-up report. Sadly, the news isn’t good.

Palm Spring’s KESQ-TV reports that the victim, identified as Diana Lynn Young, has died as a result of the crash.

According to the story, Young was a seven-year employee of JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. While it’s not mentioned, I’m told that the driver also worked for the resort.

The collision occurred around 6:10 Monday morning on eastbound Country Club Drive, between Cook Street and Portola Avenue, which is directly in front of the resort.

While there is a painted curbside bike lane, it’s on a street with a 50 mph speed limit, meaning any collision with a bicyclist or a pedestrian is likely to be fatal.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Diana Lynn Young and her loved ones. 

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Life is cheap, as killer Palm Desert and Paso Roble drivers get off with gently slapped wrists

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive is up to nine new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. But we really need to pick up the pace if we’re going to reach 100 new or renewing members before the end of this month. So sign up now and let’s get this into double figures today.

Even if you’re already a member, you can renew to extend your membership to support biking in the City of Angeles, and get some great bike swag courtesy of the LACBC.

And a huge thank you to everyone who’s joined so far.

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Once again, the universal Get Out of Jail Free Card worked its magic, as an 81-year old Palm Desert woman walked after admitting to killing a 73-year old handcyclist last year.

Judy Mae Purcell pled guilty plea to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the January, 2015 death of Rose Peters, just as her trial was set to begin.

And as usual, she got off on probation by claiming she just didn’t see Peters before she left-crossed her, even though Peters, who was in a bike lane, was riding with the right-of-way.

Purcell received three years probation, and may lose her driver’s license; she also says it’s had a big impact on her life.

Purcell elected to speak at her sentencing, tearfully telling Lee and Peters (Peter’s daughters), “There’s nothing I can really say, I’m just so sorry.” She said the crash was “truly an accident. I just didn’t see her. I’ve lost a lot of friends over this,” Purcell told them. “I relive that minute every day of my life. Every night, you’re in my prayers.”

At least she’s been held accountable in other ways. Oceanside lawyer Richard Duquette, a cyclist himself, forwards word that Peters’ family has reached a substantial, but undisclosed, settlement in the case.

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A 20-year old Paso Robles driver got off almost as easy, as he’s sentenced to just 75 days in jail and 50 hours of community service for killing an LA cyclist and severely injuring a second rider in a 2014 collision.

That’s despite a long history of traffic violations, and being on probation for a speeding conviction at the time of the crash.

Joseph Mondo was driving a massive GMC Yukon when his phone slipped off his lap, where it shouldn’t have been to begin with. When he looked down to retrieve it, he nearly struck a vehicle stopped to make a left turn, barely avoiding it by swerving onto the right shoulder at 60 mph.

Then, in an astounding display of carelessness and stupidity, he once again took his eyes off the road to find his phone, this time killing 62-year old Los Angeles resident Lee Hekyung Craig, as well as leaving her riding companion, 59-year old Newport Beach surgeon Lawrence Chong, with life-changing injuries.

As Chong said,

“What hurts the most is that I lost (Craig) because of the negligence on the part of someone else,” Chong said, according to the report. “All he had to do was pull over after he nearly rear-ended a car while reaching for his phone. If he had done so, my life would still be good and I would still have Lee. Instead my life is now a mess.”

Granted, Mondo seems to get it.

When he was interviewed by a probation officer following his no-contest pleas, Mondo reportedly said: “What happened has happened. If I could change places, I would. It has changed my life. Someone’s life was lost. I do not need to argue my innocence. I am guilty. I want to move on with my life. I will deal with the repercussions as they come.”

Then again, Craig will never get to move on with her life and Chong may never regain the life he had, while Mondo may have a sore wrist for a few days from the slap the judge gave it.

This is what happens when traffic crimes and prior tickets aren’t taken seriously.

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Grand Rapids MI unveils a new $600,000 bike safety campaign, urging motorists and bicyclists to obey the law and look out for one another.

Although the TV spot does look kind of familiar.

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Local

A 0.8-mile stretch of Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima will get a road diet, with a buffered bike lane on one side and a parking-protected lane on the other, connecting to the San Fernando Road rail-with-trail bike path on the north end. Part of the city’s Great Streets Initiative, the Complete Streets makeover is intended to reduce speeding and improve safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino argues that part of the Metro R2 transportation funds should be used to repair LA’s crumbing streets since they form the foundation for all other elements of the transportation system, including bicycles. One of the city’s most bike friendly elected officials, Buscaino will be honored with the Golden Spoke Award at this year’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Speaking of Good Samaritan, Downtown News profiles Good Sam CEO and dedicated bike commuter Andy Leeka. And a pretty nice guy too, if I say so myself; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the link.

The LA Weekly lists Sunday’s semi-inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival at Grand Park as one of their 21 things to do this week. Although it’s not on Metro’s list of Bike Month events.

Bicycling recommends the annual 30-mile Stan’s Bike Shop/Eastside Bike Club’s Tour de Tacos as one of the 27 best places to find tacos in the US. But they somehow failed to include the Trump Towers taco bowl.

Ride with Metro and Bike SGV to the Huntington Library and Gardens this afternoon.

Wolfpack Hustle’s annual Shortline Crit rolls tomorrow in Long Beach.

Also on Saturday, Finish the Ride and Velo Studio will host a free Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for this year’s Climate Ride tomorrow, heading up Glendora Mountain Road before visiting The Donut Man on the return leg.

 

State

Laguna Beach mountain bikers get to ride with their heroes.

Fortunately, an Apple Valley bike rider was sitting upright and talking after being hit by a pickup Wednesday night.

As if dodging dangerous drivers isn’t bad enough, Turlock police are looking for a man who stabbed a bike rider in the chest in an apparently random and unprovoked attack.

The Menlo Park city council votes to keep El Camino Real dangerous by sending plans for bike lanes back for further study until neighboring cities agree on a common design. “Sending plans back for further studies” usually means they don’t want to piss off motorists by approving it, but don’t want to piss off bike riders by saying no, either.

Sacramento police are looking for the owners of 60 stolen bikes that were recovered when a bike thief was busted.

 

National

Bike riders may be the only ones enjoying the closure of a Seattle viaduct. Meanwhile, you know Seattle’s bikeshare program is in trouble when the people responsible for running it aren’t even members, despite a discount for city employees.

After a cyclist competing in New Mexico’s Tour of Gila broke his bike crashing into a pile of riders who collided with a dog, he traded bikes with a fan and finished the race on an ‘80s era Specialized stump jumper. No word on how the dog made out, though.

Des Moines IA police are looking for two men who attacked a 65-year old bike rider for no apparent reason.

A new report says bicycling is booming in New York City, up a whopping 320% since 1990, even though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to protect cyclists and keep up with demand. Which just goes to show what can happen when you build an actual bicycling network rather than a few nice lanes here and there.

Count Woody Allen, who used to be funny, among those who think New York has done too much to accommodate bike riders and that bike lanes don’t belong anywhere in his upscale Upper East Side neighborhood. But he’s likely to get them whether he likes it or not.

A Pennsylvania bike rider is charged with stabbing a man who he claims stole his bike.

 

International

A new international study confirms that the health benefits of bicycling and walking far outweigh the risks from pollution. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A British man gets seven years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he initially told police his car had been stolen and someone else was driving it, leading to the false arrest of an innocent man.

If you build it, they will come. This tweet really says it all about a new London bikeway in the shadow of Big Ben.

Researchers hope da Vinci’s DNA can explain his genius, which included sketching out a bicycle centuries before they were invented.

Bikes are the star of a planned Oslo office building.

An Indian man got a bizarre 10-petaled flower-shaped cataract in one eye following a helmetless collision with a car.

A Taiwan proposal would classify ebikes as scooters, requiring riders to have a helmet and a license.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a $341 40-mile ride in the rain. I don’t care what they say, it’s not a bike friendly town if kids are barred from riding bikes to school.

And luxury hotels may be fascinating, but you’re better off watching the road.

 

Palm Desert bike rider killed in early morning collision; DUI suspected

We knew it couldn’t last.

After a rare month in which only one bike rider was killed anywhere in Southern California, another rider has lost his life on SoCal streets.

And just five miles from the site of last month’s tragedy in Palm Desert.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 51-year old Bermuda Dunes resident Todd Barajas was hit by a 2002 Porsche driven by Thomas Karl Doczi of Rancho Mirage at 2:18 am Saturday morning, on westbound Hovey Lane just west of Corporate Way.

No word on where Barajas’ bike was positioned on the roadway or how the collision occurred. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Doczi was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter; according to the Desert Sun, police suspect he may have been driving drunk.

This is just the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared to 13 this time last year. And it’s the second in both Palm Desert and Riverside County since the first of the year.

Remarkably, no bike riders have been killed anywhere else in Southern California since the end of last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Todd Barajas and all his loved ones.

 

73-year old handcyclist killed in Palm Desert collision on Monday; first SoCal bicycling death this year

A bike rider from Colorado lost her life riding in Southern California, just five days into the new year.

According to the Desert Sun, 73-year old Rose Peters of Durango CO was hit by a car in Palm Desert this past Monday, and died after being taken to a local hospital.

The collision occurred around 11:30 am at the intersection of Mesa View and Highway 74. There’s no word on who may have been responsible, though the paper says drug or alcohol use is not believed to be a factor.

Her hometown Durango Herald adds more information, reporting that she was hit in a left cross when the driver made a left turn directly into her bike, striking it on the side. She suffered extensive injuries, dying about an hour later.

Tragically, Peters’ husband, who was waiting for her further down the road, was unaware of her death until several hours later; according to the Durango Herald, he got the news after calling several area hospitals to learn her condition.

The couple had been married for over 50 years, and had often ridden together on tours such as the Ride the Rockies and the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, as well as riding across the country a few years back.

She was a volunteer with Incight, an organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities reach their full potential. The couple was spending the winter in the area, living in a mobile home.

The wreck is still under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact Palm Desert Police Deputy Chris Lauer at 760/836-1600; you can also call anonymously at 760/341-7, re: incident #T150050062.

This is the first bicycling fatality in Southern California this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rose Peters and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Zak and new BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up. 

 

Update: 3 cyclists hospitalized after Seal Beach DUI hit-and-run; Palms Desert cyclist critically injured

Over the weekend, I heard numerous reports of a bad hit-and-run collision on PCH in the Seal Beach area Saturday morning.

It wasn’t until Sunday night, though, that I received an email from a member of Long Beach’s Lightning Velo bike club confirming that three cyclists participating in the club’s Saturday Social Ride had been sent to the hospital with moderate to serious injuries.

Fortunately, none were life-threatening, and the driver was quickly apprehended; I’m told this was her 2nd DUI offense.

From the reports on our email group – Our ‘C’ group (the slower group) was on Pacific Coast Highway on Saturday, in Seal Beach, near the Taco Surf going into Sunset Beach.  The bike lane is very wide there and our group was riding 2 wide completely in the bike lane. A driver swerved into the bike lane and hit several riders and then swerved back to the left and drove away from the scene. The group got a good description of the car and also had the side mirror in their possession. They reported it to the Seal Beach police, who spread the word and the Huntington Beach police were able to locate the car.  The police went back and got two of our riders to identify the vehicle. The driver failed a sobriety test (This was before 10AM!).

One of the cyclists involved stated today: “The Seal Beach police officer, Joe Garcia, is going to bring me my bike today, which is supposed to be in pretty bad shape. The officer stated that the driver was not only drunk, but she had cocaine and prescription meds in her car to go along with her two felony warrants and the hit and run. The case # is: 12-0246, in case anyone would like it.”

Three of our riders went to the hospital and two stayed overnight.  One reportedly had elbow surgery for a bad break. Another has a severe bruises & road rash all over, sprained elbow & ankle, neck & head trauma, and a concussion. The 3rd has a broken right thumb, hairline fracture of the pelvis, a large hematoma on his right hip, road rash, pain in his neck & back. All in all, they are VERY lucky to be alive.

We are discussing as a club how we can take our concerns to the justice system. This person should be taken off the roads.

It’s long been my belief that every hit-and-run driver should automatically lose their driver’s license — not suspended, but permanently revoked, since they’ve shown themselves unfit to be behind the wheel by failing to observe one of the most basic legal requirements for any driver.

Or any human being, for that matter.

I think any car used in a hit-and-run should be impounded as evidence until a trial is held. If the driver is convicted, the vehicle should be seized by the state and sold, with the proceeds going to the victim.

After all, we don’t let bank robbers keep the gun they used to commit the crime. And California law already allows seizure of a vehicle if it’s used in a drug crime or to solicit a prostitute.

Isn’t a hit-and-run that leaves an innocent person bloodied or dead in the street just a little more serious than asking a hooker for a blow job?

My prayers and best wishes go out to all the cyclists injured in this case; it was a large hematoma that laid me up for three months after the Infamous Beachfront Bee Encounter, and it was at least that long before my head finally cleared from the effects of the concussion I suffered.

So I know just how serious those injuries can be.

And I wouldn’t wish road rash on my worst enemy.

Update: An anonymous source identifies the driver as Juli Ann Brown. Brown reportedly was convicted of two separate DUI counts in 2003, one for drug use and another for a blood alcohol level greater than .08. In a sign of just how lenient  the courts are in what should be a serious crime, she was sentenced to just 10 days in jail — which as then stayed — 90 days of driving restriction, and fines and restitution. In addition, she was required to attend a nine month alcohol treatment program and a MADD victim impact panel.

In other words, not one day in jail. And she had her license back in just three months.

No wonder people continue to die when the courts refuse to get drunks off the road.

The Seal Beach Police Department is looking for more witnesses; contact Officer Joe Garcia directly at (562) 799-4100, ext. 1649

Update: The Orange County Register reports that Brown, a 46-year old resident of Anchorage, Alaska, has been arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run, suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of narcotics. She was arrested by Huntington Beach police near the intersection of PCH and 17th Street in Huntington Beach. Thanks to Duan Dao for the link.

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In related news, a Palm Desert cyclist was sent to the hospital in critical condition after a collision at Portola Avenue and Frank Sinatra Drive at 11:18 Sunday morning; no other information is available at this time. Also, a San Diego cyclist suffered a serious arm injury when he was hit by an 85-year old driver in a left cross around 1:20 pm Saturday.

And I’ve received an unconfirmed report — from a very reliable source — about a cyclist struck by a hit-and-run around 6 am Friday in Laguna Beach; let me know if you have any information.

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The call for bike safety inspired by the Times of London spreads, with a must-read letter from a business writer for the Independent to UK Transport Minister Mike Penning.

I should say, Mr Penning, I am also a motorist – or at least I was before I was seriously disabled by that tanker. And I can tell you that, as a motorist in London, the thing I’m afraid of is other motorists, not cyclists. That is because other motorists can hurt me even when I’m in a car. And when I’m on a bike, they can kill me.

Meanwhile, a New Zealand paper calls for taking cycleways — and cyclists — seriously.

Cyclists, in particular those who commute, are not obscure oddball hobbyists; they are the trailblazers of a transport future whom we should applaud and accommodate.

And be careful what you wish for — the new call for bike safety could go a little too far.

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After dragging his name through the mud for the past several years, we’ll never know the truth after federal investigators drop their investigation into seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. However, even though US cycling officials welcome the end of the probe, the doping investigation may go on.

But do we really care?

Then again, by the time you read this, we may finally know the outcome of the Contador clembuterol-tainted meat case. Or not.

Update: In a major shock, Alberto Contado has joined Floyd Landis in being stripped of 2010 Tour de France title, and has been banned for two years. Très surpris!

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The Westside Cities Council of Governments wants your opinion on closing gaps in Westside bikeways. Rick Risemberg writes in praise of the new Main Street road diet and bike lanes in Venice, and suggests turning bus benches into bike racks. How can we stop bike thefts when police are doing the stealing? More grants for environmental projects — including bike paths — goes to NorCal than SoCal. Pomona plans a ciclovia of their own.

Frank Peters of cdmCyclist takes a ride up the coast. A San Diego cyclist may never walk again after he was run down by a 76-year old driver who never knew she hit him. Some schmuck fled the scene after running down three girls walking on a Ventura County bike path. Police say 70% of people killed in Petaluma in the last 25 years have died from traffic collisions, and 30% from criminal attacks; evidently, no one ever dies from accidents or other causes in Petaluma.

This year’s Ride the Rockies will travel 442 miles across the Colorado high country through two national parks, five mountain passes and the highest continuous road in the U.S. An Amarillo banker fights bikeway improvements in the city. A Louisville KY family moves two-and-a-half miles to a new home by bike. A Baton Rouge engineer says it’s time to put the brakes on the bicycling movement, and blames a biased liberal press for pushing it; an LSU Ph.D candidate seems a little more rational. Pennsylvania’s Governor signs a four-foot passing bill into law, unlike California’s governor who doesn’t seem to think we deserve three. A 79-year old PA woman gets a whopping $500 fine and six months suspended license for killing a popular Bethlehem bike advocate. A New York writer says it’s time to stop accepting the culture of traffic deaths. Writing in Bicycling, a copy editor for the Washington Post says you can’t trust other people to do the right thing. In a heartbreaking story, a 68-year old South Carolina man is killed while riding a tandem with his wife.

An Ontario study shows you’re three times more likely to have a collision in a roundabout than a signalized intersection — but three times less likely to be injured if you do. Ottawa authorities throw the book at an alleged drunk driver who critically injured a cyclist. Even so, cycling may make you a happier person. Some Japanese cyclists will be forced from the roads and onto a bike path. Eight years later, a daughter complains about the lack of justice in a notorious hit-and-run case that took the life of her father.

Finally, a great photo of a cyclist walking his bike through the weekend blizzard in the plains states.

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