Tag Archive for Palm Springs

Palm Springs bike rider dies in solo fall

A bad weekend just keeps getting worse, as a bike rider was killed in a solo fall in Palm Springs this morning.

According to Palm Springs Patch, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on a bike path on the 3100 block of East Palm Canyon Drive around 8:38 am when he somehow lost control of his bike. He veered down an embankment, and landed head-first on the pavement at the bottom.

He was pronounced dead at Desert Regional Medical Center.

A satellite view shows a separated bike path on the east side of the street, with a drop off leading to the parking lot next to it.

No word on whether the victim was wearing a helmet. However, relatively slow speed falls, like this appears to be, are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

This is the fifth bicycling fatality this year; remarkably, it is already the third death in Riverside County — or four if you count Phil Richards, who died yesterday of injuries he suffered in a Calimesa hit-and-run December 29th.

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

 

 

Guest post: No justice, no closure for family of a fallen Palm Spring cyclist

This story breaks my heart. And it scares the crap out of me.

Last spring, Donny McCluskey was waiting at a red light when he became collateral damage in a violent vehicular collision.

He did everything right. He was exactly where he was supposed to be, and obeying the law in every way.

And yet he still died when a speeding driver ran a red light, and was broadsided by a drunk driver who was crossing on the green, sending the van tumbling into him.

The pickup driver who was otherwise obeying the law was arrested on the spot for DUI. Yet the driver who caused the collision and took the life of an innocent cyclist got a relative slap on the wrist, charged with a single count of misdemeanor vehicular homicide.

The victim’s family thought they’d see justice and get closure at his hearing. They were mistaken.

I’ll let his sister, Patti McCluskey-Andre tell the story.

No JUSTICE

Update on Donny McCluskey’s case with opening court date completed on February 13, 2013. It appeared to be held in Indio traffic court where most of the crimes were DUI, not showing up for DUI work (warrants) or driving without a license. After hearing these cases, there was Donny’s case: MISDEMEANOR vehicular manslaughter. No bail, no driving suspension, no reason to even show up in court for the driver (Armando Gomez of Cathedral City) who killed Donny-HE NEVER has to go to court because as the judge said several times: he was only charged with a misdemeanor (never mentioned manslaughter again) and he hired an attorney to represent him.

The judge explained the charges and the law as the DA had but the DA had no way of knowing he had hired a lawyer. As a family, we believed we would see the man and have some kind of closure. We agreed it was a terrible tragic accident caused by one man’s inattention and selfishness but not intentional. Yet, after court we realize the man who killed my brother, NEVER HAS TO GO TO COURT. Court was imagined as a form of cathartic movement for us to check off our grief list. We know there is no bringing Donny back, no matter what our actions are. We left the court in disbelief as to what kind of message are these charges delivering? Donny’s life was not worth more than paying a lawyer and going on with your life without much ado?

I could literally feel my 82 year old dad’s heart break as he sat next to me. I sensed him using sheer will to keep on breathing through the impersonalization and lack of importance attached to the death of his son. He also had to go home to tell Donny’s wife and mom what occurred. My heart breaks for everyone. My sister, my dad and I came to INDIO as we felt it was Donny’s day in court and since he was dead, his family would represent him.

Seems there are no laws protecting cyclists who die from gross vehicular operation unless the driver was texting, drunk or leaves the scene. Mr. Armando Gomez ran a light and accelerated an additional 30 mph when he realized it. Unfortunately, Mr. Gomez and his van were hit by a truck traveling through a green light resulting in his van flipping and skidding into my brother causing massive life ending injuries (Donny was following ALL the laws).

Mr. Gomez’s lawyer actually stated it was possibly the OTHER man’s fault. Now that is taking responsibility for your actions. I don’t know what the green light man did, but he was arrested at the scene for being under the influence. Maybe he could have stopped, if he was not under the influence but he was not the root cause of the accident. I am sure this driver will have more profound consequences.

Meanwhile, we grieve and acknowledge every month that goes by without our amazing husband, brother, son and uncle. Today is the 10 month anniversary. February 28th would have been his 50th birthday.

We need to change CA law. A car is a weapon and when not following laws that govern their use, even if you did not intend to kill someone and you do, then there needs to be consequences. It could be you or someone you love next time!

We need guidance on how to change these laws!
Patti McCluskey-Andre

The scary thing is this could happen to any of us. The actions of a careless driver can cause a chain reaction that can put us at risk; I’ve jumped the curb myself to avoid a car careening from a collision.

And if it does, the driver will probably get off. Or face the most meagre of charges, despite the damage he or she may cause.

Patti’s right.

The law has to change to ensure lawbreaking drivers who kill or maim innocent people face consequences equal to their actions.

Because their victims do.

38-year old cyclist killed in Palm Springs

Evidently, we couldn’t escape November without another cycling fatality after all.

Details are still sparse, but The Desert Sun reports that 38-year old La Quinta resident Corey Holley was hit by a car at South Palm Canyon Drive at Avenida Palmera in Palm Springs at 9:07 pm Friday.

According to the paper, Holley was in the right lane when he was struck by a southbound Ford Thunderbird. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:20 pm.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; drug or alcohol use is not suspected to have been a factor.

No other details are available at this time.

There’s no word on whether Holley was riding with or against traffic, or if he may have been crossing the roadway when he was hit. And no information on how he was dressed or whether he was using lights after dark.

There’s also no mention of whether the driver may have been speeding, using a hand-held cell phone, or been otherwise distracted or driving carelessly in some way.

All we know is that a rider who should have been visible to those around him evidently wasn’t, for whatever reason.

And now a man is dead because of it.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in the seven-county Southern California region this year, one behind the total of 70 for all of last year. It’s also the 12th cycling fatality in Riverside County, which is one more than last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Holley and all his loved ones.

Update: Mountain biker dies of apparent dehydration on Palm Springs trail

Motor vehicles aren’t always the biggest threat cyclists face.

According to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, a pair of cyclists were riding on a mountain trail above Araby Cove south of the city around 1:45 Saturday afternoon when one rider collapsed in the near-record 105 degree temperature.

A CHP helicopter that was already in the area responding to another call dropped off a Palms Springs Fire Department paramedic before going on to rescue an injure hiker. The victim was declared dead at the scene, apparently as a result of dehydration, though the official cause of death is still under investigation.

The helicopter later returned to pick up the body of the victim, who has not been publicly identified, as well as his uninjured companion.

The sad part is, this may have been preventable.

It’s vital to carry sufficient water and keep hydrated when riding, especially in hot weather. And even rides that start out cool can turn dangerously hot as the day progresses. It’s always better to err on the side of carrying too much water than not enough.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Riverside County.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Johnny Lee of Placentia. He was riding around the 1,300 foot level; the official temperature was upgraded to 107 degrees, tying the record set in 1958.

Fire officials urge extreme caution in temperatures that high. Lee was the fourth cyclist to die in the Southern California region last week.

Labor Day links: Palm Springs cyclist killed; witness the birth of ciclovía

A cyclist was struck and killed near Palm Springs on Saturday.

Thirty-six year old Palm Springs resident Milen Dimitrov was hit by a full-sized pickup truck traveling the same direction on Highway 111 northwest of Overture Drive at 6:30 am. He died at the scene less than half an hour later.

The driver stopped at the scene, and police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved.

Kind of a sad commentary when it’s news that a driver didn’t flee after a crash.

………

On Sunday, September 12, attend a free screening of the film Bogotá Change, including the birth of ciclovía, at Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles; screening starts at 4 pm, with discussion to follow at 5 pm. RSVP via EventBrite.

………

In Saturday’s 8th stage of the Vuelta, Cofidis mountain specialist David Moncoutié takes the stage win, while Anton Igor moves into the leader’s jersey. David Lopez, a domestique for the now-banned Alejandro Valverde, wins stage 9 in a solo breakaway. Britain’s Team Sky withdraws from the race following the death of soigneur Txema González; the peloton observes a moment of silence in his honor.

Lance Armstrong faces yet another investigation, as arch-nemesis Floyd Landis files a federal whistlebower lawsuit; he isn’t the only one, as Italian authorities widen an investigation into sprinter Alessandro Petacchi.

………

Three LAPD bike officers are involved in the shooting death of a knife wielding man in Westlake. Johnny Knoxville at the L.A. Bicycle File Festival, on one of Flying Pigeon’s Nihola bikes. L.A. Observed writer Kevin Roderick spots Arnold and Maria, aka Gov. and Mrs. Schwarzenegger, biking on Santa Monica’s Main Street; maybe they were checking out the route for that city’s ciclovia. A writer for the Daily Beast says stylish women lead the increase in bike ridership across the U.S. A Colorado trucker is cited for violating the state’s three-foot passing rule after striking a cyclist; yet when a Massachusetts cyclist is grazed by a passing car, it somehow does not violate that state’s three-foot law. Doing Denver by bike, even if local police are targeting cyclists riding on the sidewalk. A ghost bike is installed for a 19-year old cyclist killed in New Mexico while on a cross county ride to raise money for cancer research. A Utah mountain biker is critically injured when he loses his front wheel. BikeRadar talks with Keith Bontrager; yes, that Bontrager. NYC backs off on a plan to remove ghost bikes. A retired priest rides 5,000 miles from the Pacific Northwest to Key West. Over a million cyclists have crossed a Vancouver bike bridge, but a safety expert says that isn’t enough. The mother of a woman who rode into a truck while listening to headphones urges cyclist to learn from her mistake. Building a bike lane from Denmark to Deutschland. British Olympian James Cracknell gets back on his bike six weeks after nearly being killed in an Arizona collision — and just one day after being released from the hospital. London prepares for escorted bike rides as Tube workers plan a strike for Monday. Britain’s heir to the throne is criticized for taking a train to promote biking as green transportation. Singapore police arrest a serial molester who stalked his victims by bike.

Finally, London Mayor BoJo, Olympic Champion Chris Hoy and model Kelly Brook lead 85,000 cyclists on a 15 kilometer tour of the City, though the tabloids note the biking Brook seemed a little wobbly, despite her high heels and high visibility top.

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