Tag Archive for Riverside County

Update: 54-year old salmon cyclist killed in Perris collision

Sad news from Perris, as a bike rider was killed in a wrong-way collision on Wednesday.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the victim, identified only as a 54-year old man, was riding against traffic on the 300 block of Fourth Street when he was struck by a work truck around 4:43 pm.

He was taken to a hospital, where he died sometime later.

No other information is available at this time.

street view shows a wide four lane roadway with a center turn lane, with sidewalks and a wide concrete gutter on either side. No word on why he would have been riding on the wrong side of the roadway, rather than with traffic or on the sidewalk.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Kiebach at 951/210-1000.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County; it’s also the fourth bicycling fatality in Perris in less than three years.

Update: The Press-Enterprise reports the victim has been identified as Perris resident Roger Villegas. He died at Menifee Valley Medical Center before 5:30 pm, roughly 45 minutes after the collision. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Roger Villegas and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Bike collisions down across LA, hit-and-runs up in IE, and special offer on a new lighted backpack

How about some good news for a change?

According to LAPD statistics presented at yesterday’s bike liaison meeting, bike-involved collisions are down dramatically throughout Los Angeles compared to this time last year.

  • 49% reduction in bike collisions in the Valley Traffic Division, with serious injuries down 83%
  • 18% reduction in bike collisions in the Central Traffic Division
  • 30% reduction in bike collision in the South Traffic Division
  • No stats were available from West Traffic.

No reason was given for the sudden improvement in bike safety; as one officer said, it might just be luck.

But it’s a good way to start the year.

………

Meanwhile, things aren’t looking as good in the Inland Empire.

Hit-and-run collisions involving pedestrians are up 73% in San Bernardino County and 51% in Riverside County over the last five years, while hit-and-runs involving cyclists are up 34% and 40%, respectively.

………

An Anaheim bike rider was critically injured in a collision while crossing South Beach Blvd Thursday evening.

Let’s all hope he’s okay.

………

I’m normally not a big fan of the visibility arms race, in which it seems like every rider has to outdo everyone else to capture the attention of drivers.

But this new backpack seems like a great idea.

The Bluetooth-enabled Aster backpack from India’s Lumos Design Technology, currently raising funds on Indiegogo, lights up the night with side and rear LED lights, as well as forward white lights on the front straps. Not to mention turn indicators and automatic brake lights.

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It also functions as a commuter backpack, unfolding completely to provide easy access to your stuff, while offering helmet and U-lock holders, and a detachable shoe compartment.

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And it was designed for use in the US, and product tested right here in California, with feedback from 50 or so riders from the Bay Area.

As a special offer for BikinginLA readers, the first person to pledge at least $75 on the Aster Indiegogo page will also get their Lumos Thrillseeker Solar Daypack, designed to convert sunlight into electricity to charge your USB devices while you ride. Just include “BikinginLA” in the comments when you make your pledge.

But remember, this offer is limited to the first person to make a $75 or higher pledge; there’s no way of knowing if someone may have beaten you to it.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins says that as planned, Metro’s proposed transportation tax increase will “build a fantastic system that people won’t feel safe walking and biking to.”

CiclaValley recaps Wednesday’s Traffic Safety Summit in Valley Village.

The LA River is slowly coming back to life in the San Fernando Valley, with plans for a walkway on one side and a bike path on the other.

Monrovia police bust a hit-and-run driver who left a cyclist with minor injuries. Thanks to DreamWaveDave for the link.

The lead guitarist for the band Pennywise is suing Uber after he was doored while riding in Hermosa Beach last year; the passengers stayed to help, but the driver fled.

Bike-friendly Long Beach wants to extend bicycle improvements to the city’s Southeast Area.

The Armenian Youth Federation’s annual Cycle Against Denial will be held in Santa Monica for the first time on April 10th; the event marking the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide had previously been held in the San Fernando Valley.

 

State

San Diego horses can be trained to share trails with bicycles, unlike the ones that use Burbank’s Mariposa bridge, apparently. Maybe they have smarter horses down there.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer is the first American cyclist to qualify for the Rio Olympics; the multiple silver medal winner hopes her third Olympics will bring gold. Although she may have trouble winning anything if they don’t get the track installed in time.

The OC Register suggests a two-wheeled wine tasting tour through the Santa Barbara wine country.

A Contra Costa county bike rider is under arrest for randomly hitting and blocking people on a local pedestrian pathway.

Sunnyvale’s mayor accepts a student’s challenge to ride a bike to a local high school, and sees first hand what students have to deal with.

San Francisco’s red transit lanes are forcing cyclists out of the right lane and into traffic.

After a speeding tour bus driver crashed into pedestrians and a cyclist in a crowded San Francisco neighborhood, injuring 19 people, police basically say “oops.”

Fremont becomes the latest California city to adopt a Vision Zero plan, while Daly City considers it.

Someone must not like mountain bikers in Folsom Lake. Three riders were forced to take cover when bullets flew over their heads, even after they called out to stop shooting.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on riding during your period. Or maybe gel for your hoo ha would help.

Treehugger says the cargo bike is the new family car.

The Department of DIY strikes in Portland, as someone puts up fake speed limit signs saying 20 is plenty.

A Washington bike commuter suggests it’s your own damn fault if you get hit by a car if you’re wearing dark clothes and not using lights.

Police in my hometown finally make an arrest in the case of the courteous hit-and-run driver who apparently moved a bike and backpack to the curb, but left his victim lying in the street.

A protected bike lane in Nebraska suffers $2,500 in damages when a wrong-way driver plows into the concrete divider. On the other hand, without it, that could have been a bike rider.

When a Pennsylvania man walked over to the local police station to see if they’d found his stolen bike, a bighearted cop dipped into his own pocket to buy him a new one. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up from his home town.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at ambitious mountain bike products that failed big time.

Folding bike maker Brompton calculates it costs the equivalent of $62 a month to store a bike in your London home. Not that you have a London home, of course. And not like they have a vested interest in suggesting you might want a bike that takes up less space.

A British cyclist is riding 1,400 miles across England to collect signatures for the Queen’s birthday card.

A new Irish study says the perception that you’re only riding a bike because you can’t afford a car is slowing efforts to get people out of theirs.

 

Finally…

When police can’t identify the vehicle a piece of plastic came from, the Internet can. If you take your imaginary friend for a ride, does he need his own bike?

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken wreck, maybe it’s best not to be painted gold from head to toe.

 

Update: Riverside bike rider killed in Sunday collision

Sometimes the news reports are as infuriating as the news itself.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a bike rider was struck and killed at the intersection of Meadowbrook Lane and Jurupa Avenue last night.

The police say the victim, who has been identified only as a man, was headed north on Meadowbrook when he “steered” into the intersection around 7:40 pm, and was struck by the eastbound pickup, whose driver was reportedly unable to stop in time.

The question is what does that mean? The implication is the victim was turning onto Jurupa; however, he also may have been attempting to cross and swerved to avoid the truck at the last minute.

The other question is why wasn’t the driver able to stop in time?

The police press release implies that the cyclist may have run the stop sign on Meadowbrook and ridden out into the path of the truck on the uncontrolled street, where the driver would have the right-of-way. However, that would depend on whether there were independent witnesses other than the driver who saw the victim ride out in front of the truck.

It’s also possible that he may have come to a stop, and simply misjudged the speed of the truck before riding onto the five lane, 45 mph street, or that the driver was speeding, giving the illusion that he had time to turn or cross the street. Or maybe the driver just wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t see the cyclist until it was too late.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Detective Ken Madsen at 951/826-8723.

Hopefully their investigation will go a lot deeper than what’s contained in their press release.

This is the 7th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year,* and the first in Riverside County. It’s also the eight bicycling fatality in Riverside in just the last two years.

Update: Raw video from the scene shows the truck stopped in the center turn lane just beyond the intersection, with the bike stuck underneath, suggesting that the victim was crossing the street when he was struck. It also shows an open bottle of vodka standing upright next to his covered body, implying that he may have been drinking. But be forewarned, the video is very difficult to watch.

*I’ve added the death of a teenager who was killed while walking his bike on the train tracks near Oxnard.

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

Perris bike rider killed while crossing busy intersection

Sad news from Perris, as a man was killed while trying to cross a busy street.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 60-year old James Pica was riding his bike on Orange Avenue when he attempted to cross Perris Blvd at 6:13 pm, when he was hit by a northbound car. He was pronounced dead sometime later at a local hospital.

The 18-year old driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows a wide, multilane intersection with traffic signals in every direction; no word on who may have had the right-of-way.

This is 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Riverside County. It’s also the third riding death in Perris in the last three years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Pica and all his family. 

Update: Bike rider killed by apparent drunk driver in Lake Elsinore

There’s no excuse. Period.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, a bike rider has died as the result of a collision with an allegedly drunk driver in Lake Elsinore.

The victim, identified only as a 21-year old man from Murrieta, was riding on Railroad Canyon Road south of Summerhill Drive around 8:58 pm Friday, when he was hit from behind by a 75-year old driver.

Police arrested the driver at the scene after concluding that she had been drinking.

The bicyclist was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died the following day.

The press release does not say how far below Summerhill the collision occurred, or which direction they were traveling.

A satellite view shows two lanes headed south, with a right turn leading onto a freeway onramp, and an optional right turn from the center lane. Northbound, there are three lanes, with an additional two left turn lanes leading onto the freeway, and a double left at Summerhill, along with a right-turn only lane.

Nearly 30 people are killed by drunk drivers in the US every day, at a cost to society of over $59 billion dollars a year.

The cost to their loved ones is beyond measure.

There is simply no excuse for getting behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. Ever. If you think you’re okay to drive, you’re not. And someone else is likely to pay the price.

This is the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Riverside County.

Update: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as Murrieta resident Mark Heigel. The story reports the 75-year old driver who killed him, Thelma Jeanette Trachy, was released from jail Saturday.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Officer Roberge at 951/776-1099 or sheriff’s dispatch at 951/776-1099.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mark Heigel and his loved ones.

Update: Bicyclist found dead in Cathedral City hit-and-run Saturday night

The local TV station calls it an accident.

A better description would be the actions of a heartless coward with a callous indifference to human life.

Or maybe just murder.

According to the Desert Sun, the body of an unidentified bicyclist was found lying in the roadway on Dinah Shore Drive in Cathedral City around 9 pm Saturday. It was clear he had been hit by a car.

KESQ-TV reports that the victim, identified only as a man in his late 30s or early 40s, was found on the westbound side of Dinah Shore just west of Whispering Palms on the Dinah Shore Bridge. His bike was found 50 feet away in the median on the eastbound side of the road.

There were no apparent witnesses, and no description of the car or driver at this time.

A satellite view shows a four lane roadway with a center divider west of Whispering Palms. Based on the limited description, there’s no way to tell which direction the victim was riding, whether he was on Dinah Shore or attempting to cross it.

There’s no speed limit sign visible in the street view; however, the distance his body was apparently thrown would suggest he was hit at a high rate of speed.

There’s also no way of knowing whether he might have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help as the law, and basic human decency, requires.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Riverside County. That compares with 69 in Southern California this time last year, and six in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 37-year old Sergio Reynoso; a gofundme account has been established to help pay funeral expenses. The driver reportedly turned himself in on Tuesday, which would have given him or her plenty of time to sober up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sergio Reynoso and his loved ones.

Sidewalk cyclist killed in Cathedral City

Some collisions just don’t make sense.

According to KESQ.com, a 57-year old bike rider was killed in a collision after turning into traffic in Cathedral City Sunday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on the north sidewalk at 69120 Ramon Road around 9:20 am. Police report he suddenly turned to his right and rode directly into the path of westbound traffic, where he was hit by a car.

He died after being taken to a regional medical center.

However, it’s hard to understand why the victim would have turned out into traffic when he should have been able to clearly see the cars coming.

The station implies that he may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s possible that he may have somehow thought he had more time to cross the street than he really did, particularly if the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County.

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

Hemet mountain biker found dead on trail after being reported missing

Police have finally made the connection that seemed to be obvious.

The Press-Enterprise reported yesterday that a man had been found dead on a bike trail near Hemet on Sunday, a day after a mountain biker had been reported missing in the same area.

Yet even after authorities identified the victim, they wouldn’t say if he was the person who had been reported by his family when he failed to return from a Saturday off-road ride.

That changed tonight when police finally confirmed that 33-year old Hemet resident Shane Gainer had been found dead after riding in the hills a mile north of Simpson Park.

Police located his car in the park’s parking lot, then conducted a search of the area before finding his body in a ravine off one of the trails in the area.

No cause of death was evident; the Press-Enterprise reports it could take up to six weeks to get the results of an autopsy and toxicology report.

However, the paper reports temperatures in the area reached 100 degrees on Saturday, which could easily have resulted in dehydration or heat stroke.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Riverside County. That compares with eight in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Shane Gainer and his family.

 

Update: 31-year old bike rider killed by train in Riverside

Always wait for the barriers to lift at a railroad crossing.

A Riverside bike rider didn’t, and sadly, paid the price.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the woman was riding her bike east on Mission Inn Ave in downtown Riverside when she stopped to wait for a southbound train around 11:10 this morning.

As soon as the train passed, she continued across the tracks while the crossing arms were reportedly still down and the warning lights flashing. She was then hit and killed by a train traveling north on the tracks, whose approach would have been hidden from sight by the other train.

The victim is identified only as an apparent transient in her 30s.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Riverside County. That compares to 41 in SoCal this time last year, and six in the county.

She is also the first bike rider to be killed in a collision with a train anywhere in Southern California since August of last year.

Update: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as 31-year old Virginia Gadberry of Riverside.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Virginia Gadberry and her loved ones.

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.

 

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