What a wrong-headed article.
The Press-Enterprise reports a bike rider was killed by a Metrolink train in Jurupa Valley last night.
Or rather, barely reports, because the story only briefly touches on the fact that someone lost his or her life, instead focusing on the horrible inconvenience it posed to those on the train.
How rude that he should have delayed all those poor, unfortunate people from getting home by dying.
I’m going to be tied up all day today, but I’ll try to add more information later tonigt.
Update: According to the Press-Enterprise, the collision occurred around 5:24 pm Friday at Rutile Blvd and Van Buren Blvd.
The story offers no more information about the victim or the crash itself, even 24 hours later.
The Riverside County Coroner’s office offers a little more information, listing the victim as a 64-year old Riverside resident; his name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. He was declared dead at 5:34 pm.
And yes, unless the warning signals were malfunctioning in some way, a collision with a train is almost always the rider’s fault. Looking at the satellite view, it’s hard to picture how the victim could have been caught on the tracks by accident; although it is always possible he was riding along the tracks rather than crossing them.
Never go around a warning gate, even if the way seems clear at the time; a train can be coming from out of view, or a stopped train can start without warning.
Other than the flashing lights, bells and lowered gates, that is.
This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th in Riverside County. Remarkably, it’s also the 5th SoCal cyclist killed in a collision with a train since the first of the year.
Update 2: The victim has finally been publicly identified by the Riverside County Coroner’s office as 64-year old Riverside resident Ronald Rodriguez.