Tag Archive for San Diego County

Update: Bicyclist killed when driver drifts off the road near El Cajon

It looks like LA’s recent epidemic of bicycling deaths has moved south.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a man on a road bike was killed when a driver drifted off the road, and lost control on the soft shoulder of a highway just outside El Cajon.

The crash occurred around 3:15 pm on Olde Highway 80 west of Flinn Crest Street.

The 67-year old driver reportedly sideswiped the victim, identified only as a 58-year old Alpine resident, before continuing to strike a bus stop sign, mailbox and a parked pickup truck.

The victim was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Video from the scene posted by San Diego’s KGTV-10 shows a badly mangled bike, and the driver’s minivan with the front end smashed in.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 58-year old Brian Jennings, a professor of comparative politics and U.S. Government at Grossmont College.

Police believe the driver of the minivan fell asleep before drifting off the road and slamming into Jennings.

Update 2: I originally said the victim was riding a mountain bike, based on the initial reports; however, the video above clearly shows a road bike. Thanks to BV for the correction

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Jennings and his loved ones.

60-year old bike rider dies one day after Imperial Beach crash

Sad news from the San Diego area, where a woman has died following a left-cross collision in Imperial Beach.

According to the Times of San Diego, 60-year old Kathleen Ann Cua was pronounced brain dead a day after she was hit by a left-turning driver.

And yes, she was wearing a helmet.

The crash occurred around 5:15 Saturday evening at the intersection of Palm Ave and 4th Street in Imperial Beach.

The Union-Tribune reports she was one of three people riding east in the bike lane on Palm, when she was struck by the driver of a car, crashing into the windshield. She was taken to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, where she died.

The driver remained at the scene, and police do not suspect he was under the influence.

However, he told investigators that he did not see Cua until she hit his windshield — which should be seen as a confession, rather than an excuse.

He also told the U-T he didn’t think Cua saw him before the impact, an odd statement considering his claim that didn’t even know she was there.

Evidently, he was somehow able to read her mind at the moment of impact. Or maybe he just saw a look of surprise as he slammed into her.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kathleen Ann Cua and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Homeless man killed riding bike in San Diego’s Mission Valley; same location another homeless man killed in 2015

A homeless man lost his life Tuesday night in what appears to be a tragic case of deja vu.

According to Fox-5 San Diego, the victim, identified only as a homeless man in his 50s, was struck by a car at 6:15 pm Tuesday in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

He was reportedly trying to ride his bike across the 8800 block of Friars Road near Rio Bonita Way when he was hit by the driver of the car, who claimed he could not see the darkly clad rider until it was too late.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports he suffered a number of open fractures, and died after being transported to a hospital.

A street view shows a busy six lane roadway, with bike lanes of widely varying widths.

Police reported he was crossing Friars Road “outside of a crosswalk.” However, there doesn’t appear to be a crosswalk, or any other safe crossings, anywhere in the vicinity.

This comes a little over two years after another homeless man, 65-year old Matthew Driggers, was killed walking his bike across Friars in almost exactly the same location.

Which suggests that something has to be done to provide a safe way to cross a badly designed and inherently dangerous street.

And more has to be done to protect the most vulnerable and invisible members of society.

This is the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and first in San Diego.

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

Update: LA County Sheriff’s Deputy dies after falling in San Diego century ride

Sad news from San Diego, where a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy died nearly two weeks after falling in a century ride.

Brian Villa, a 29-year veteran of the department, fell while riding in the Orange County Wheelmen’s Amtrak Century on September 9th.

He suffered a severe head injury, and was taken to a local hospital in grave condition; he was taken off life support and passed away on the 21st.

The crash apparently occurred somewhere between Solano Beach and Torrey Pines in San Diego County.

Villa was training for the annual Police Unity Tour. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.

A ride will be held in Irvine on October 28th to raise funds for his family, while a GoFundMe page has raised over $25,000, $10,000 more than the $15,000 goal.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the fourth in San Diego County. Six of those have been the result of solo falls.

Update: I’m told Villa was 56 years old, and may have been a resident of Orange County. He had participated in the Unity Tour in 2015.

A source places the location at 200 Camino Del Mar in Del Mar. The photo of the site below showing a deep pothole suggests why he may have crashed.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Brian Villa and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Bill Sellin, Ellen Steel and Greg “Sarge” Christopherson for the heads-up.

Photo from GoFundMe page

Update: Bike rider killed when suspended driver veers into Oceanside bike lane

And then there were two.

Less than two hours after a man was killed riding his bike in Long Beach, another man was killed while riding on an Oceanside highway.

According multiple, mostly identical reports, the victim was struck from behind while he was riding west on State Route 76 east of Melrose Drive around 11 am.

Oceanside police were unable to revive him at the scene, and he died after being airlifted to an Escondido medical center.

He has not been publicly identified at this time.

The 25-year old driver reportedly veered into the bike lane where the victim was riding. He was arrested at the scene on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, as well as driving with a suspended license.

A satellite view shows three through lanes on westbound SR-71, with a double left turn lane, right turn lans and a bike lane. There’s no protection for the bike lane, which runs between the right through lane and the right turn lane, despite the apparent 55 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information is urge to call OPD officer David Paul at 760/435-4431 or Sgt. Rick Davis at 760/435-4906.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County. It’s also the second in Oceanside this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 70-year old Wildomar resident Paul Cornish.

Update 2: It was later discovered that the driver, Felix Ruizbazan, was driving a stolen car

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Cornish and his loved ones.

 

Update: Fallbrook bike rider killed by alleged drugged teenage driver

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been killed by an intoxicated driver.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a 59-year old Fallbrook man, whose name has been withheld, was riding on the shoulder of northbound Old Highway 395 south of Pala Mesa Drive when he was hit from behind around 3 pm Tuesday.

The driver, 19-year old Sulem Areli Garcia, also of Fallbrook, reportedly veered off the road to strike the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was booked on suspicion of manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs; however, there’s no word on what she’s suspected of being on. Presumably, police will also get a warrant to determine whether she was using her mobile phone at the time of the crash.

A street view shows an unobstructed two lane highway with a wide paved shoulder on each side.

This is the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Fallbrook resident Paul Burke; a GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit his family. 

Meanwhile, the woman accused of killing him pled not guilty at her arraignment.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Burke and his loved ones.

Oceanside bike rider dies after apparently crashing into a tree

For the third time in two weeks, a bike rider has died in an offroad fall in Southern California.

San Diego’s CBS2 is reporting that an unconscious man was found around 9:40 this morning just off a bike path in Oceanside, near North Santa Fe Avenue and state Route 76.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was found with his bicycle next to a tree at the bottom of an embankment. He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite attempts to resuscitate him.

No other information is available at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident Investigator Gabe Cobian with the Oceanside Police Department at 760/435-4989.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County.

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

 

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Carlsbad when she reportedly veered out of bike lane

The deadly beat goes on, as a woman was killed riding her bike in Carlsbad this morning.

According to multiple sources, the 59-year old woman was riding south on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Blvd when a witness reports she drifted out of the bike lane in front of high-speed traffic, and was hit by a car sometime after 10 am.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photograph from the scene show an aqua beach cruiser lying between the number one and two lanes, while another shows her tarped body resting on the bike lane marker itself. Which raises the question of just how far she strayed out of the bike lane, if at all.

Lining up a street view with the photos places the collision site somewhere along here, with a door zone-buffered bike lane next to two lanes of traffic.

The left turn lane suggests she may have been attempting to make a U-turn or turn left into the power plant. Or she may have swerved to avoid an obstacle or a vehicle pulling out from the curb.

There’s a 35 mph speed limit on the street; however, the straight, uninterrupted traffic lanes are likely to encourage speeding through that section.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the sixth in San Diego County. That compares with ten in SoCal this time last year, and three in the county.

Correction: I originally located the collision site further north away from the turn lane; thanks to Skip Pile for the correction.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Joyce Smith of Carlsbad.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joyce Smith and her loved ones.

Update: San Diego cyclist killed in pre-dawn trolley collision

More bad news today.

Multiple sources are reporting that a San Diego bike rider was killed by a trolley in the city’s Barrio Logan neighborhood.

The victim, identified only as a 27-year old man, reportedly stopped at the trolley crossing alongside Harbor Drive near Sampson Street around 5:45 this morning.

After a southbound trolley passed, he rode around the crossing bars, and was immediately struck by a second trolley headed in the opposite direction. Emergency personnel tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said that he was wearing earbuds, and may not have heard the second trolley approaching.

San Diego’s KUSI TV reports employees of both Naval Base San Diego and cyber-defense company BAE Systems, located nearby, rushed to the scene, concerned the victim may have been one of their co-workers.

This is a tragic reminder to always wait until the crossing arms are raised before walking or riding across any railroad tracks.

This is the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Diego County; it’s also the third bike-related death in San Diego since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 27-year old Robert Jamil-Hanna Warren, possibly of National City.

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

Update: Bike rider dies following Santee collision after allegedly veering into traffic

A woman has died after a collision in Santee in San Diego County.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim, who has not been identified, was riding along the northbound curb on Cuyamaca Street near River Park Drive when she allegedly veered across two lanes of traffic. She was hit by a car, whose driver unsuccessfully swerved to avoid her.

The woman was conscious following the collision, but died after being taken to Sharps Memorial Hospital.

The time of the collision is in doubt, however; the U-T says it was just before noon, while San Diego’s KNSD-7 places it at 4:30 pm.

Police say the driver does not appear to be at fault.

This is the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 67-year old Margo Symmonds-Lavanway, who appears to have been homeless.

Update 2: The generous and well-loved woman was reportedly riding her bike to collect recyclables to raise money for people in need. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Margo Symmonds-Lavanway and her loved ones.

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