Tag Archive for San Bernardino

Morning Links: San Bernardino police unfairly blame victim; bike commuter dares Sepulveda Pass sans spandex

This is the sort of crap bike riders have to deal with far too often.

After an 81-year old bike rider was killed in San Bernardino recently, police investigators determined that the victim was at fault.

Even though he had legally taken the lane, which was too narrow to share because of drifted sand, and was riding abreast, which is not not forbidden under California law.

And even though his bike was well lighted, and should have been clearly visible to the driver who hit him from behind, and who could have easily changed lanes to avoid him.

So evidently, it’s legal to kill bike riders in the Inland Empire, even when they’re riding within their rights.

The victim’s family asked the Executive Director of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance to talk to the detective in charge of the case.

What follows is a recount of the conversation from their Facebook page, reprinted with permission, which reads more like an Abbot and Costello routine.

Note: The name of the detective has been withheld to spare him well-deserved embarrassment.

Time to bring your blood to a boil. Our ED was asked by the family of William Easley (killed when hit from behind in SB) to represent their grievance with the police report putting William at fault. The traffic commission determined that the primary cause of the collision was Easley’s violation of CVC 21202. They contest that because he was riding two abreast, that is why he was hit.

Here is the abbreviated exchange between Mark and SBPD.

Mark: It is not illegal to ride two abreast and I have a letter from CalTrans stating such.

SBPD: It is not stated to be legal either

Mark: But it’s a substandard lane due to the sand (see picture below) and riding two wide allows for the rider to control the lane which is his right to do so

SBPD: Doesn’t matter. If he had been riding in front or behind other rider he would not have been hit

Mark: What if it were a car that been hit behind?

SBPD: He is not a car and must adhere to bike laws.

Mark: He’s still a vehicle and has a right to the lane. Why couldn’t the driver have simply change lane?

SBPD: He didn’t see him.

Mark: Why didn’t he see him? Didn’t the cyclist meet and exceed the required lighting for a bike?

SBPD: I don’t know and yes he had lights that were visible

Mark: So he didn’t even know if it was a car because he “didn’t see it”? But the fact that he was NOT paying attention is in your opinion NOT the primary cause?

SBPD: Correct

Mark: So where in the law is it ok to not see things while driving?

SBPD: It happens that’s why it’s an accident.

Mark: So your telling me that if a cyclist is not to the right as far as practicable, it is ok to hit and kill them as long as you say I didn’t see them?

SBPD: If Easley had not been riding 2 wide he would not be at fault.

Mark: I don’t care just about the fault. What scares me is you are setting a precedent that it’s ok to run over bikes and peds from behind if they are just a few feet out of what YOU DETERMINE as practicable.

Mark: What about CVC 21750 the 3′ Law? This is a clear violation of it.

SBPD: True but it’s not the primary cause therefore not applicable.

Mark: Then why aren’t we allowed the lane, since we are acting as a vehicle?

SBPD: Because your not. You have bike laws.

Mark: But we are also required and have the same rights as a car.

SBPD: You can’t have it both ways. You can’t pick and choose which laws you wish to follow. Either your under bike laws or motor vehicle laws.


The scene of the fatal collision; note how the sand reduced the ridable portion of the roadway.

Mourners gather at the scene of the fatal collision; note how the sand reduced the ridable portion of the roadway.

HE stopped the meeting after this exchange:

Mark: How far in the lane was Easley?

SBPD: 7.5′

Mark: Wait a second. How wide is the lane?

SBPD: 20′ (actually 19′)

Mark: That gives a lot of room

SBPD: How wide is a Honda?

Mark: 6′ at best. He still has 12′ to clear him.

SBPD: I’m not going to go back and forth all day with this. We determined the primary cause

We all know the flawed logic in all this and we could hash this for hours with arguments. There was back and forth with CVC and hypotheticals earlier, that got nowhere.

I cannot express the level of frustration here. The shear power of this decision to undermine our right to the road and the danger it poses to all vulnerable users as now we are “just an accident” if you didn’t see us.

The family asked us to offer a rebuttal to the final police report, which I agreed to do. After that, it’s up to the family to decide whether they wish to pursue suing the insurance company. In a weird turn, the unlicensed driver was driving a car with insurance on it from his wife.

All of which raises the question of how can we ever be save of the roads if the police don’t understand the laws regulating bicycling.

And refuse to enforce them even if they do.



A magazine editor attempts an apparently death-defying commute from the Valley to UCLA over the Sepulveda Pass. Without the aid of spandex.

A Santa Monica woman was thrown off her bike by a homeless man who had been running in and out of traffic.

More bike lanes at Cal Poly Pomona may come down to the same old argument over removing parking. Never mind that improving bike access and safety could reduce the need for it.

BikeSGV will offer free bike safety classes in El Monte the next four Saturdays; click the link for classes in other cities around the county in coming weeks, as well.



Maybe it really is a new Caltrans, as the agency asks planners, engineers and cyclists for input on guidelines for protected bike lanes.

San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood prefers to remain auto-centric, rejecting plans for protected bike lanes and suggesting sharrows instead.

A Jurupa Valley bridge is being rebuilt with bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides. Unlike plans for a certain LA bridge we could name.

A three-month Sacramento road closure could force bicyclists to take a 16-mile detour.

A sidewalk riding Modesto cyclist somehow avoided serious injuries when he was hit by a big rig truck.



The broken leg John Kerry’s suffered in a solo bike fall won’t stop the Iran nuke talks after all.

Not even ghost bikes are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a Portland memorial was struck — perhaps intentionally — just six days after a rider was killed at the same spot. But in rare case of a city actually giving a damn, Portland officials want to lower the speed limit on the city’s crash corridors.

For some reason, Kansas farmers were okay having a railroad in their backyard, but not the bikeway that replaced it.

A North Dakota driver faces a negligent homicide charge for killing a bike-riding triathlete last August while he was taking selfies as he drove; he deleted the photos in an attempt to hide the evidence.

A lawsuit says a Chicago area cop ran down a bike rider with his patrol car, Tased him, then shot him in the foot — all in a case of mistaken identity. To make matters worse, the rider is still sitting in a jail cell facing a battery charge resulting from the altercation two years later.

In a failure of the medical system, a 16-year old bike rider died two weeks after he was treated and released by the hospital following a rear-end collision.



Wired ranks the 20 most bike friendly cities on the planet; Minneapolis is the only US city to make a list, while Copenhagen replaces Amsterdam at the top spot.

A Vancouver librarian says stop demonizing fat people if you want get more people on bikes.

All bike thieves suck. But it takes a real jerk to steal a customized bike from a Winnipeg man who had his leg amputated.

Ontario cyclists now face fines up to $500 for riding without a light; the good news is, drivers now have to give bike riders a one meter — 3.3 feet — passing distance, and face a $1,000 fine for dooring.

A noted Toronto architect has died a month after he was hit by an SUV while riding his bike.

A new British helmet prototype gives riders a heads-up display of the safest bike routes.

That road raging UK driver who threatened to break a bike rider’s neck and eat him for breakfast just happens to own a chain of upscale coffee shops that offer cycling workshops. But no need to boycott because he says he’s very sorry. No, really.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a popular British riding route with drawing pins.

Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid describes his recent US book tour to promote his new book, Roads Were Not Built For Cars.

Beijing works with Dutch experts to revive bicycling in the Chinese capital.

Bangkok is starting to take safety seriously, reducing speed limits for streets with bike lanes to just 18 mph. Good luck with that here.

A Japanese Nintendo hero is teaming with Tokyo police to stop bike theft.



It’s bad enough when police figuratively crap on bike lanes; worse when their horses literally do it. When you’re riding your bike with 18 bags of marijuana, put a damn bell on it, already.

And a Fargo man is convicted of drunk driving for operating a Zamboni with a BAC nearly four times the legal limit.

But at least he rode a bike to the arena instead of driving.


81-year old cyclist killed in San Bernardino rear-end collision

After going nearly a full month without a bicycling fatality anywhere in Southern California, we now have two deaths just days apart in the Inland Empire.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, 81-year old San Bernardino resident William Francis Easley, a well-known business owner, philanthropist and political leader was killed while riding his bike early this morning.

Easley was riding with another cyclist just after six am when he was struck by a car on the 1000 block of E. Lynwood Ave. His riding partner, a local physician, immediately began CPR, but Easley died after being transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

The paper reports both riders were using rear flashers and reflectors in the early pre-dawn hour, and that Easley was wearing a helmet; however, it does not note whether he suffered a head injury.

More details come from the Riverside Press-Enterprise, which clarifies that the riders were struck from behind while headed west in the right lane on Lynwood. A satellite view shows an extremely wide right lane; however, it’s likely there were cars parked along the curb at that hour, which could have forced the riders into the traffic lane to void the door zone.

The unlicensed driver remained at the scene and reportedly cooperated with investigators.

Easley was an experienced rider, according to the Sun, and would regularly ride with a small group of cyclists.

He had started his career as an accountant, and had gone to own a chain of business interior companies, as well becoming involved in restaurants and real estate, and had been active in local politics.

His death comes just two days after another rider lost his life in Riverside; prior to that, it had been a full month since the last fatal bicycling collision in Southern California.

This is the 83rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Bernardino County; he is also the sixth bike rider to lose his life in the city of San Bernardino in just the last three years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers to William Easley and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Mark Friis, Executive Director of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance for the heads-up.


Update: Young boy killed in San Bernardino bicycling collision

Every every traffic death is needless; every bicycling fatality is heartbreaking.

But some tug a little harder on the heartstrings.

Like yesterday’s collision that took the life of a 79-year old bike rider in Chino, at an age when he had more than earned to right to a far more peaceful end. And today, when a wreck in San Bernardino left parents grieving a son who will never come home.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a boy around seven or eight years old was hit by a pickup around 1:20 this afternoon. Initial reports indicated that he was rushed to a hospital after suffering major injuries, where he died sometime later.

The collision occurred at or near the offramp to the eastbound 210 Freeway at Del Rosa Avenue. Presumably, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding across the intersection when he was hit by the truck exiting the freeway; however, as too often happens with news reports from the county, no explanation is given for how or why the wreck happened.

The intersection is controlled by a traffic light, but authorities were unsure who had the right-of-way or if the victim was riding in the crosswalk. A satellite view shows a crosswalk connecting the sidewalk on either side of the off-ramp, which is where he was most likely riding.

He was reportedly riding with another boy, who apparently did not see the collision despite being positioned behind him.

Now a young boy will never grow up, and a family must somehow find a way to go on without him.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year. and the 6th in San Bernardino County. And as noted above, the second cycling death in the county in the past two days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 12-year old Tewon Woods, presumably of San Bernardino.

And a fund has been established to help pay his burial expenses. A tragedy like this shouldn’t be allowed to break his family financially. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Tewon Woods and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to attorney James Johnson and the IE Biking Alliance for the heads-up.

Another bike victim In San Bernardino; cyclist seriously injured in Chula Vista; and charges in October OC hit-and-run

Let’s hope bad news just comes in twos this time.

Less than 24 hours after news broke that a bike rider had lost his life at the hands of a drunk driver in Huntington Beach Wednesday night, news is coming in that another rider died earlier that evening, this time in San Bernardino.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the 43-year old cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding west on the 1200 block of West Kendall Drive around 6:40 pm when she swerved across the roadway. While riding against traffic in the number 1 (left) lane of the roadway, she was apparently hit head-on by an eastbound Mustang driven by a 20-year old woman.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on why she suddenly started riding against traffic. But let this serve as a reminder to never ride salmon — let alone in the middle of the roadway — and always be aware of other traffic on the roadway before making any sudden moves.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County.

My prayers and sympathy for the victim and all her loved ones.


More bad news comes from San Diego County, where a bike rider suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with a truck in Chula Vista.

According to San Diego’s 10News, the victim was apparently crossing the offramp to the southbound I-805 at Bonita Road when he was hit by a truck exiting the freeway around 10 pm Wednesday.

Google’s satellite view shows what appears to be a bike lane leading up to the offramp.

Police say the driver stayed at the scene and did not appear to be under the influence.

The station reports initial evidence suggests the rider was at fault. However, traffic exiting the freeway is required to yield to through traffic; unless the victim was riding against traffic or failed to observe a traffic signal, it’s hard to imagine how he could have been at fault.

If police are saying he did go through a red light, the question is whether there are any independent witnesses other than the truck driver to attest to that, and if the signalization provided enough time to get across the intersection.

Either way, it sounds like prayers or good wishes are in order once again.


Jeffrey Fylling forwards word that Orange County prosecutors have filed charges against the truck driver who killed 19-year old cyclist Manuel Morales Rodriguez last October.

Forty-eight year old Filemon Reynaga was to be arraigned on Friday on one count of felony hit-and-run causing death and a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Reynaga is accused of hitting Rodriguez as he pulled his semi truck out of an Anaheim driveway, then dragging the victim and his bike under his truck for up to 150 feet before fleeing the scene without stopping. Rodriguez was then hit by a second vehicle, which remained at the scene, and died as a result of inures suffered in the two collisions.

If convicted, Reynaga faces up to five years in state prison. He’s currently free on a ridiculously low $50,000 bail.


Finally, while we’re on the subject, I received this email from a rider troubled by all the recent bicycling deaths in Orange County, following the death of Matthew Liechty on Edwards Street in Huntington Beach on Wednesday. (Note: I added the links.)

But take fair warning. It’s a difficult read. And the last line hits like a punch in the gut.

Edwards became an alternate commute route for me after Roger Lippmann’s slaughter… until I realized that swinging over to PCH took me right past Becki Lee James’ house, which creeps me out. And now I’m disinclined take Goldenwest (whose “vicious hills” had become “gentle rollers” pretty quick after I abandoned the flat PCH commute) because I’ll picture the crunched-up Camry in the Ralph’s parking lot.

Have I ever passed this Matt Liechty on my commute? Was he the guy with the really, really bright headlamp? Were the distant sirens I heard last night responding to this incident?

What. the. holy. serious. fuck. Can’t I have a single fucking street on my commute where somebody hasn’t been slaughtered? Is that too much to ask?

And that piece you linked to recently about ghosts… I see those ghosts everywhere, sometimes in visual incarnations. New flowers on Lippmann’s memorial, a year and a half later? I hit the brakes and looked out at the sunshine sparkling on the water and wanted to apologize to him at the top of my lungs because he got a death sentence and his killer only got six years. Every time I pass 9th Street in Sunset Beach, every time, I still see the sea breeze blowing the ashes left behind by the flares set down for the investigation of Kenneth Prevatte’s death: gray ashes, grey asphalt, gray clouds. At 43rd & Wadsworth, where nobody from Perry’s office which announced it could be bothered to show up for a joke of a so-called press conference, I nearly caused a pile-up on RWNN last summer when I recognized the intersection as we entered it and idiotically froze, because I was seeing the ghost that no one else on that ride saw.

I see these ghosts because if I forget then I’ve left a rider behind and I can’t leave a rider behind.

Bike rider killed in San Bernardino collision; sixth SoCal cycling fatality in last two weeks

At this point, I have to assume you’re as sick of reading about people killed while riding their bikes as I am of writing about it.

Yet the tragedies keep piling up in this bloody new year, as yet another cyclist lost his life last night, this time in San Bernardino.

According to the Press Enterprise, the victim was riding with his girlfriend on their way to a friend’s house around 6 pm last night when they attempted to cross East Orange Show Road at Lena Road. They saw an eastbound car approaching, but thought they had enough time to cross get across safely.

However, the car, a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo, began to swerve to the right as it got closer, leaving them unsure which way they should go to get out of the way. In the resulting confusion, the car hit the male rider, throwing him onto the hood and passenger-side windshield.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The San Bernardino County Coroner identifies the victim as 39-year old Emmitt Palmer of San Bernardino. Though oddly, it says he was a pedestrian rather than riding bike; however, all the other details, including time and location, match up, except for identifying the car as a 2001 Impala.

The San Bernardino Sun reports the driver, 58-year old Esther Guardado, was taken to a local hospital for wrist pain.

This is the 6th bicycling fatality in Southern California so far this year — an average of nearly one every two days. And it is the first in San Bernardino County since the first of the year; there were 11 bicycling deaths in the county last year.

My deepest sympathy for Emmitt Palmer and all his loved ones. 

Bike rider killed in San Bernardino; San Diego cyclist critically injured, as is racing legend Dale Stetina

They say bad things come in three.

That seems to be the case this holiday weekend, with fatal and near fatal collisions here in Southern California, and a cycling legend clinging to life in Colorado.


According to the San Bernardino Sun, 27-year old San Bernardino resident Russell Alvin Burrows was riding south on the 18700 block of Cajon Boulevard around 8:10 pm Saturday when he was apparently hit from behind by a 2007 Toyota Corolla traveling in the same direction. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Toyota has not been publicly identified.

A satellite view shows a four lane roadway, dropping to two lanes, with little or no shoulder, suggesting Burrows was most likely riding in the traffic lane.

Depending on exactly where the collision occurred, it’s also possible that he was right-hooked, as there are a number of driveways and a freeway on- and off-ramp in the area.

No other details are available at this time, and no word on whether he was using lights or reflectors, as it would have been nearing full dark at the time of impact.

This is the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in San Bernardino County. That compares to 10 bike-related deaths in the county in all of 2012, and six in 2011.


A 20-year old bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries in another struck-from-behind collision early Sunday morning, this time in San Diego.

The victim was riding south in a traffic lane on the 2500 block of Ingraham Street on Vacation Island in San Diego’s Mission Bay Park at 3:30 am when she was hit by a sedan. The driver reportedly swerved into the left lane when he saw her, but wasn’t able to avoid hitting her bike.

She was transported to a hospital with what a police spokesperson described as “major, life-threatening injuries.”

A street view shows the two lane roadway increasing to three lanes with no shoulders. The right lane appears to be of substandard width, suggesting that she was legally within her rights to take the lane — as well as following the advice of most bike safety advocates to avoid riding near the curb if the lane is too narrow for a bike and car to safely share.

Again, no word on whether she was using lights or reflectors as required by law.

However, police and the press are usually quick to say if a victim didn’t have lights after dark.


Word broke Saturday night that an American cycling legend had suffered life-threatening injuries in a fall caused by an out-of-control driver in Boulder, Colorado’s Lefthand Canyon.

In the 1970s and early ’80s, Dale Stetina and his brother Wayne dominated American bike racing, with Wayne winning the Red Zinger/Coors Classic — then the country’s leading bike race — in 1977, and Dale winning in ’79 and ’83.

The two riders were both inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame for their dominance of the sport in this country, and their role in paving the way for the first generation of American international riders that followed — riders with better known names like Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, Olympic gold medalist Alexi Grewal and the country’s only current Tour de France winner, Greg Lemond.

It was also long rumored that the two brothers were the inspiration for the cycling cult classic American Flyers.

So it was devastating news that 57-year old Dale Stetina was critically injured when a driver pulled onto the shoulder on the wrong side of the popular riding route, then swerved back to the other side just as a group of riders came around bend in the road.

All of the cyclists were able to avoid colliding with the car; however, Stetina reportedly went over his handlebars, landing face first on the pavement.

Despite wearing a helmet, he suffered major face and eye injuries, as well as loss of responsiveness; a CAT Scan revealed additional injuries to his brain stem. According to the Boulder Daily Camera, he remains in a medically induced coma in critical condition.

He is also the father of rising Garmin-Sharp rider Peter Stetina.

And he’s long been a personal hero and inspiration to me, dating back to when I first started riding seriously in the 1980s.


My prayers and deepest sympathy for Russell Alvin Burrows and all his family and loved ones.

And I hope you’ll join me in offering prayers and best wishes for Dale Stetina and the publicly unidentified victim in San Diego; may they both recover quickly and completely. 

Red-light running(?) cyclist killed in San Bernardino; another slap on wrist for killer hit-and-run driver

Just 10 days into the new year, we’ve already had our second cycling fatality.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, 61-year old San Bernardino resident Bernard F. Culbertson was hit by a vehicle driven by an unlicensed driver while riding at 5:31 Monday morning, and died of his injuries nearly 22 hours later.

Culbertson was reportedly riding without lights an hour before sunrise when he crossed North Waterman Ave headed west on Third Street, and was hit by a car driven by Benito Bustos-Gonzalez of Fontana.

Police report that Bustos-Gonzalez had the green light, suggesting that Culbertson ran the red light; however, there is no indication whether that was observed by independent witnesses or reported by the driver.

It’s a common problem in bike collisions that the victim is killed or incapacitated, and unable to give police their version of events. As a result, barring other witnesses, police are often forced to rely on statements given by the drivers involved, who have an incentive to cast events in the most favorable light.

The paper reports that investigators have not indicated if Bustos-Gonzalez will be charged or ticketed, but notes that jail records show no indication of an arrest.

This is the second fatality in Southern California so far this year, and the first in San Bernardino County.


The Ventura County Star reports that Shannon Richard was sentenced to 270 days in county jail and three years probation for the hit-and-run death of Jose Louis Carmona last year.

That’s significantly less than the two yeas the D.A. had asked for, or even the one year prison and five years probation the probation department had recommended.

Richard hit and killed Carmona as he was walking his bike along PCH near Faria Beach Road; she was arrested at her home after fleeing the scene, reportedly telling police she thought she hit an animal.

Of course, hitting an animal isn’t likely to explain why she felt the need immediately begin drinking again as soon as she returned home, muddying the results of the blood alcohol test after she had admitted drinking a few beers before driving home.

Pro tip: begin drinking as soon as possible following a collision so police won’t be able to establish what your BAC was at the time of the collision.

On the other hand, Carmona was wearing dark clothes with no lights on his bike, with a BAC of .20, and may — or may not — have been walking in the traffic lane at the time of the fatal collision.


Our anonymous OC/South Bay court case reporter writes that the arraignment for Danae Miller in the death of world-class tri-athlete Amine Britel has been pushed back until February 27.

That’s almost exactly one year after Miller ran Britel down while he was riding in a Newport Beach bike lane in allegedly drunken/distracted collision.


That same anonymous source also notes that the “private jail” where Adam Garrett has been allowed to serve his 180 day sentence for the hit-and-run death of Hung Khac Do — when he’s not out for work, school or church — is actually a halfway house in a converted apartment building.

And he’s not actually incarcerated yet, as the judge generously gave him until April 10th to begin his sentence, so he could wait until a spot opens up for him.

And that 180 days actually turns out to be just 90, since the judge generously stayed half of it. And if Garrett keeps his nose clean for just one full year, his felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Slap, meet wrist.

No wonder people continue to die on our streets, and drivers continue to ignore the legal requirement to stop at the scene of a collision, when we can’t even get the courts to take it seriously when an innocent person gets killed.


She also notes that five of the 50 organ donors featured on the Donate Life float in the recent Rose Parade were killed while bicycling. That’s not to say cycling is dangerous; you could just as easily die sitting on your sofa as on your bike.

But no one gets out of this world alive.

And however I go, I want some good to come out of it.


LAist reports that a driver has been arrested on hit-and-run charges after hitting a cyclist in Monrovia last night. Jason Travers allegedly fled after hitting the victim from behind at Violet Ave and Foothill Blvd around 6 pm.

Fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured.


A Colorado driver has been sentenced to eight-years in prison for a fatal hit-and-run — despite beating a DUI charge for the same incident.

Maybe someday California courts will take hit-and-run cases that seriously.


Finally, Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about when you need lights on your bike and why. And yet another anti-bike bigot broadcaster, this time a Brit, blathers about his hated of bikes.

Who knew we are responsible for global warming by forcing speeding drivers to actually slow down for a few seconds?

Cyclist killed in San Bernardino hit-and-run; drunk driver kills cyclist in Ramona

It was another bad weekend for Southern California cyclists, with yet another fatal hit-and-run, as well as one more in the seemingly endless list of bike riders killed by drunk drivers.

However, in both cases, the riders may have been at least partially at fault.


After killing a woman riding a bike, a heartless ex-con stopped for a midnight snack at Jack in the Box before fleeing the scene.

At least, that’s what the police initially thought.

About 12:15 am on Friday, 43-year old Lauretto Jean Romo was riding a mountain bike on Highland Avenue where it meets the 215 Freeway bridge in San Bernardino. According to reports, she was wearing dark clothing and riding west in the eastbound lane — without a light — when she was hit by a dark green vehicle, which then took off.

Romo was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:42 am.

For a change, the stories did not note whether she was wearing a helmet, perhaps recognizing that it wouldn’t have mattered. The car hit with so hard that the bike was broken in half and pieces of the vehicle were found at the scene.

According to the Press Enterprise, police followed a trail of automotive fluid about 200 yards to a nearby Jack in the Box, where surveillance video showed Bobby Joe Jackson, a convicted bank robber out on federal probation, calmly ordering a meal at the drive-through window in a green Honda Civic. Employees reported that he appeared to be intoxicated.

As a result, police put out a bulletin identifying Jackson as the suspect, and asking anyone with information to contact them.

Problem is, it looks like he didn’t do it. San Bernardino police cleared Jackson after he turned himself in on Monday.

Authorities continue to look for a dark green vehicle with front end damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Dave Carlson at 909/384-5664.

The irony is, had the driver remained at the scene, he or she probably would not have been at fault; now the driver faces up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $10.000 for a fatal hit-and-run.

Thanks to DC and reb1 for updates on Monday.


In a separate incident, a cyclist was killed by a suspected drunk driver in Ramona on Saturday night, about 28 miles northeast of San Diego.

The Ramona Sentinel reports that 54-year old David Bruce Menea was riding west on Main Street near Kalbaugh Street, and attempting to cross the street when he was hit and thrown onto the roadway by an SUV driven by 32-year old Suzanne Nicole Reed.

Meanwhile, the SUV continued into a stop sign, over an embankment and struck a parked car with two people inside, knocking it through the front window of a nearby liquor store.

Even though the driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI, media reports blamed the cyclist for the collision. According to the Sentinel, a CHP officer said that Reed was “unable to avoid the bicycle in front of her,” while other reports indicate that Menea was “illegally crossing” Main when he was struck, with no explanation of exactly what that means or how he may have violated the law.

Then again, it’s easy to blame the cyclist when he’s not alive to tell his side of the story.


More on Monday’s stage 16 of the Vuelta won by Mikel Nieve; new leader Joaquin Rodriguez says his 33 second lead isn’t enough to survive Wednesday’s time trial.

Luxembourg cyclist Kim Kirchen plans to return to racing, despite suffering a heart attack earlier this year — and with an implanted defibrillator. And local racer Rahsaan Bahati donated a limited edition Cannondale Graffiti Bike to raise funds for World Relief and Chicago Cubs Charities.


Park(ing) Day prepares to take over the city on Friday, with parking space parks from the Bikerowave and Flying Pigeon; Green LA Girl directs your attention to sites from Santa Monica Spoke and de Lab, as well as the website for Park(ing) Day LA.


LADOT Bike Blog creates a Google Map showing all the department’s bicycling facility projects completed or underway this year. LACBC reports progress on bike racks in the McArthur Park, Pico Union and Rampart Village areas, and calls on cyclists to support improvements in the new West Hollywood General Plan. A USC writer calls for a real plan to deal with the 10,000 to 15,000 cyclists on campus. Claremont may play host to a stage in next year’s Tour of California. A writer for the Orange County Register joins with the OC Wheelmen to challenge other bike clubs to enforce safety rules for their members. A gutter bunny transforms into safer cyclist. Compared to Singapore, bicycling in Las Vegas isn’t that bad. Who says bikes don’t have turn signals? Biking Cape Cod in the fall. In a doubly tragic event, a driver hits a cyclist after leaving a birthday party — then kills himself after realizing he’d just killed the man who’s birthday he’d been celebrating; link courtesy of Witch on a Bicycle. The cyclist killed by a New York City bus on Saturday after being doored by a driver has been identified as a 23-year old woman who rode her bike everywhere; the driver was charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle. An Oklahoma driver unexpectedly pleads no contest to first degree manslaughter and DUI for the death of two cyclists last year. The Interbike Trade Expo returns to the Anaheim Convention Center next year, and moves up to August.  Handcrafted fixies will go on display in London next month. More offerings to drool over from Eurobike. including the latest foldies. Brit riders can visit the birthplace of the Titanic in Northern Ireland this weekend. Cyclists wanting to lose weight should cut down on carbs, not cut them out.

Finally, transform your two-wheeled steed into a real one. Well, sort of.

Update: Charges coming in street-racing death of Jorge Alvarado

Bahati rider Jorge Alvarado, from the VeloNews forum

Following up on last night’s post, Dj Wheels forwards news that charges will be filed against Patrick Roraff, the 18-year old driver accused of killing pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado while street racing near San Bernardino.

According to a story in the Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino County Deputy D.A. Dan Detienne made the announcement at the Temecula Ride of Silence, which tuned into a de facto memorial for Alvarado. The ride was joined by Alvarado’s brother Louis, who rode in honor of Jorge.

“I just want to say thanks to everyone,” he said.

He then turned away from the group and bowed his head over the handlebars of his bike, no longer able to hold back tears.

The story reports that Roraff was driving on the wrong side of the road at over 70 mph when he lost control of his Honda Accord and plowed into Alvardo, who died at the scene.

Cyclists throughout the U.S. and Mexico will be watching closely to ensure that the charges reflect just how tragic, serious and needless this crime was.

Fatal hit-and-run in San Bernardino

A 19-year old cyclist was killed last night, and his brother critically injured, in a hit-and-run collision on 40th Street near Acre Lane in San Bernardino.

According to the Times, Joseph Meeks was sharing a bike with his younger brother when they cut across the roadway and were struck by a white 2000 or older Pontiac or Chrysler car, which should have front-end damage in the license plate area and possibly the windshield. Witnesses say the driver made no attempt to stop; KABC Channel 7 reports that Meeks’ friends watched as he died in the street.

Anyone with information about this crime — and yes, a hit-and-run resulting in death or serious injury is a felony — should call the San Bernardino Police Department Traffic Division at 909/385-5735.

How many more people have to die before we do something about the hit-an-run epidemic in California?

Update: The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the younger victim was Meeks’ 15-year old stepbrother, who suffered critical head injuries, as well as other blunt force trauma; witnesses report he was conscious but having a hard time breathing after the collision.

They were apparently on their way home after buying some snacks at a nearby liquor store when they were struck by a car traveling east on 40th street at approximately 40 mph, throwing them about 60 to 80 feet; the driver fled the scene without stopping.

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