Tag Archive for San Diego County

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.

Update: Teenage bike rider killed Monday afternoon in San Diego solo fall

A teenage San Diego boy has died as a result of a fall onto train tracks in the Encanto neighborhood this afternoon

According to KFMB CBS-8, the 14-year old, who has not been publicly identified, was riding down a steep hill at a high rate of speed when he hit a fence at 2:30 pm and was launched into the air, landing on the trolley tracks that run parallel to Imperial Avenue at 60th Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering massive head trauma.

He was not wearing a helmet. And yes, in this case, it matters.

The only hill visible in a street view is to the north on 60th, suggesting he was descending southbound and jumped the curb, striking the fence blocking access to the tracks.

Under California law, anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while riding a bike. And solo falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against, though it’s possible that his speed may have exceeded the design limitations for a helmet.

KSWB Fox-5 suggests he landed in a way that a helmet may not have been much benefit.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County; it’s also the second in the City of San Diego.

Update: The victim has been identified as Jose Guadalupe Hernandez Dominguez of San Diego.

However, the location has been changed to Imperial Ave and 61st Street, suggesting that he was riding down the hill from the north side of Imperial, not the south.

Multiple news reports indicate he was riding with a friend when he struck the curb and crashed through the guard rail, going airborne and landing hard on the tracks.

In a report unconfirmed by any other source, KGTV ABC10 says he and his companion were fleeing from a robbery attempt as they sped down the hill. 

The poorly written story alternately gives his age as 13 and 14, though, and says the two boys were riding along the trolly right-of-way, which is impossible since it runs along Imperial, rather than on 61st, and there is no significant hill in either direction on Imperial.

Update 2: CBS8 is confirming that Dominguez and his friend may have been fleeing from a group of men who robbed them.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Guadalupe Hernandez Dominguez and all his family and loved ones.

San Diego woman killed by alleged road raging, DUI hit-and-run driver

Sadly, a well-loved San Diego woman has died a day after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Mission Beach.

Sixty-nine-year old Maruta Gardner had reportedly gotten off her three-wheeled bike to remove some graffiti at the entrance to the jetty at 800 San Diego Place around 5:45 pm Friday, when an alleged road raging driver sped around to the right of another car, driving on the shoulder and slamming into Gardner.

She was hospitalized with a skull fracture and life threatening injuries, and passed away before 11 am Saturday.

The 23-year old driver, who has not been publicly identified, reportedly got out of his car to check the damage, and paused to look at Gardner before getting back into his car and speeding away. He was stopped by police a short distance later and was arrested suspicion of driving under the influence.

A retired educator, Gardner was well-loved within the local community, and recognized forgoing out of her way to help make it a better place. She had been honored by the city council last November for her years of service to the city.

She made a habit of riding her tricycle along the beach looking for graffiti with cleaning materials in tow.

Friday, it cost Gardner her life.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maruta Gardner and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

 

Update: 44-year old bike rider killed in Spring Valley collision

Word is just coming in that a bike rider has died following a collision in the La Presa neighborhood of Spring Valley, east of San Diego.

Unfortunately, very few details are available at this time.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the victim suffered severe injuries when he was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Jamacha Blvd and San Miguel Street at 6:07 pm today, and died after being taken to a trauma center.

No information is available on the identity of the victim, or how the collision occurred, though the paper notes the driver remained at the scene.

A satellite view shows a narrow, gutter zone bike lane in each direction on Jamacha, with San Miguel entering from a small hill, controlled by a stop sign. There appears to be a 45 mph speed limit on Jamacha.

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

Update: The Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 44-year old Spring Valley resident Raymond Brown. 

The paper reports he was struck by a westbound SUV as the driver was approaching San Miguel Street; a CHP spokesperson said it was unclear which direction Brown was riding or who was at fault. 

However, there’s no word on exactly where the collision occurred; unless the driver was within 100 feet of the intersection, he should not have been driving in the bike lane — assuming that’s where the victim was riding. And even in that case, a cyclist in the bike lane would have the right-of-way.

The paper also notes that Brown was wearing a helmet, even though a collision at the speed posted for the roadway is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raymond Brown and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

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