No one is safe from intoxicated drivers.
Not women on adult tricycles. Or the dogs they carry with them.
That’s exactly what happened last night in Garden Grove, as suspected DUI driver killed a cyclist, and her little dog, too.
According to the Orange County Register, a woman believed to be in her 50s was riding her adult tricycle eastbound on Chapman Ave near Faye Ave, carrying a small dog in the bike’s basket, when she was struck from behind by a pickup around 9:45 pm.
One of the Register’s photos from the scene shows damage to the hood of the truck, suggesting she was thrown onto it by the force of the impact, while KTLA-5 says the dog was thrown several feet away, still inside the basket.
No word on whether she was using lights or reflectors after dark.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene; she has not been publicly identified. Her dog died later at an Orange County Animal Services clinic.
The driver, 58-year old Rita Faye McLaughlin of Santa Ana, remained at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after failing a field sobriety test.
Anyone with information is urge to call the Garden Grove Police at 714/741-5800.
This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County; that compares with 10 in the county this time last year. It’s the first bicycling death in Garden Grove since November, 2012.
Update: A comment from the victim’s sister identifies her as 55-year old Suzi V. Ramage, along with her dog Sonny.
It’s the second family member she’s lost to a drunk driver; her son was killed in 2003.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Suzi V. Ramage and her loved ones.