Tag Archive for Riverside County

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.

 

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. 

 

Riverside bike rider killed in sideswipe collision; 1st cycling fatality this month

It couldn’t last.

For the first 26 days of this month, there hadn’t been a single bicycling fatality anywhere in Southern California. It looked, for a time, like we might actually finish the year without another rider losing his life

Sadly, that ended today.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, 68-year old Israel Cerda Contreras was riding east in the right lane of Central Avenue east of the 91 Freeway just after noon today.

Witnesses told police that he began weaving as he struggled to ride uphill. As he did, he reportedly drifted into the far left lane on the six lane street, and was clipped from behind by a car traveling in the same direction.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver stopped, and was not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

To make matters worse, Mark Friis reports the collision occurred in the same spot where David Mendez lost his life earlier this year. Mendez was the first bike rider killed this year; with luck, Contreras will be the last.

This is the 82nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Riverside County.

Let’s hope we can finish the year without another one.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Israel Contreras and all his family.

Update: Riverside bike rider killed in collision, driver suspected of drug use

It’s happened again.

A bike rider in Riverside has been killed in a collision with a driver suspected of being under the influence of prescription drugs.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a cyclist was riding west on California Avenue at Van Buren Blvd when he was hit by a 2014 Nissan Versa headed north on Van Buren around 5:40 this morning.

The victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital. He has been identified only as a 61-year old Riverside resident pending notification of next of kin.

The collision is still under investigation; however, the 52-year old driver was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence.

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

This is the 74 bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Riverside County this year; that compares with 12 in the county for all of last year. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in the city of Riverside since the first of the year.

Update: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as Riverside resident Ronald Williams.

Update 2: According to the Press-Enterprise, 52-year old Gail Wilkins of Jurupa Valley was cited for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and released, after originally being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ronald Williams and his loved ones.

Thanks to Mark Friis and Carlos Morales for the link.

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