Tag Archive for Santa Ana

Breaking news: Bike rider killed on 5 Freeway in Santa Ana

This one doesn’t make a lot of sense.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, a male bike rider was killed while riding on the 5 Freeway in Santa Ana last night.

The collision took place on the southbound I-5 north of 4th Street just before 11 pm, when the rider was struck by multiple vehicles. The victim has not been publicly identified; no word on whether authorities know who he was, or if it is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

No information is given for how the collision occurred, or whether he was riding on the shoulder or in the traffic lanes. However, there is an exit ramp at 4th; if he was attempting to continue on the freeway it would have put him in the path of exiting vehicles.

And no explanation is given for what he was doing on the freeway at that hour. Or at all.

Hopefully more information will become available later that will shed light on this troubling case.

This is the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County; that compares to just two in the county this time last year. And he is the fifth cyclist to be killed in Santa Ana in the last 36 months.

Update: It gets even stranger.

According to the Orange County Register, 21-year old Tustin resident Jordan Ames was riding south in the center carpool lane — not the right shoulder — when he veered in front of traffic and was hit by a Honda CRV. He was then thrown into the main traffic lanes, where he was hit multiple times.

How he even got to the car pool lane on a busy freeway — let alone what he was doing there — is still to be determined. A lot of questions will have to be answered before this one makes any sense.

Meanwhile, a commenter describes coming on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the crash. But be warned, the description is very graphic; you may not want to read it.

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jordan Ames and his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

Bike rider killed in Santa Ana collision; third SoCal cyclist killed in two days

Note: Due to tonight’s breaking news, you can find this week’s updated bike events on the Events page.

It’s happened again.

For the third time in just over 28 hours, a Southern California bike rider has been killed in a collision with a motor vehicle, this time in Santa Ana.

The Orange County Register reports 52-year old Santa Ana resident Alfonso Franco was riding on the south (eastbound) side of the 2100 block of West 17th Street around 10:45 pm Thursday when he attempted to cross over to the north side. He was struck and killed by a vehicle headed west on 17th.

Franco was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports there were no controlled signal lights in the area that would have allowed the victim to cross safely.

A satellite view shows a six lane roadway with a 40 mph speed limit; at that hour, it’s likely the driver could have been traveling much faster.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County. It’s also the second in the county in the last two days, and the fourth bicycling death in Santa Ana since 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfonso Franco and his family. 

 

Bad night for cyclist shootings in Southern California; cyclist killing driver gets 25 to life for murder

Two bike riders lost their lives to gunfire Thursday night.

One in San Diego, and a second in Santa Ana six hours later.

According to the North County Times, San Diego police responded to reports of gunshots and a man down around 7pm on South 35th Street near Durant Street.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, had been riding his bike near his home when he was shot. He fell off his bike, then ran towards his home, collapsing before he could get there.

Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.

Six hours later, a second bike rider was shot and killed in Santa Ana in what police describe as a gang-related shooting.

The Orange County Register reports that 20-year old Edgar Omar Sura of Anaheim was found suffering from multiple wounds when police responded to reports of gunshots around 1am on the 4500 block of Westminster Avenue.

According to KABC-7, Sura was riding his bike when he was shot around La Bonita Avenue and 17th Street; like the victim in San Diego, he tried to run away, but collapsed before he could reach a nearby condo complex.

Authorities may offer a reward of $50,000 for information on the shooter(s).

These are the fifth and sixth fatal shootings of bike riders in Southern California this year, and the second each in both San Diego and Santa Ana.

Update: The San Diego-area victim has been identified as 44-year old Juan Carlos Martinez of Mountain View. 

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Finally, a fallen cyclist gets the justice he deserves.

Sixty-eight-year old Armando Herman Villalobos of Home Gardens was riding his bike home from the grocery store when he allegedly cut off a truck driven by 23-year old Anthony Ray Lopez of Corona.

Egged on by his passenger after an afternoon of drinking, Lopez followed Villalobos’ bike, yelling and cursing at him. When the cyclist ignored them, Lopez bumped the back wheel of the bike with his truck, yet somehow Villalobos managed to stay upright.

Then the passenger, 24-year old Christopher Isenhower, said “Let’s go for him,” according to a witness; Lopez gunned his engine, hitting Villalobos’ bike and sending him flying to his death. Lopez then fled the scene after stopping to dislodge the bike from under his truck.

Isenhower reported the hit-and-run to Riverside sheriff’s deputies later the same night — presumably after sobering up a little.

The Valley News reports that Lopez was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison on Friday, the sentence dictated by sentencing guidelines for first degree murder following Lopez’ conviction on August 30th.

No word on the charges or potential sentencing facing Isenhower, who appears far from innocent in this case.

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Photos courtesy of Michael Eisenberg

Michael Eisenberg sends word that the bike lane-blocking bus layover on Rinaldi Street has finally been repainted, as promised by Lynne Goldsmith at Bike Metro.

I saw this final restripe on the commute to work this morning. The bike lane used to be the closest 3 feet to the curb. They narrowed each car lane 1 foot. There is a broken line area where the buses are supposed to park, and this guy missed the mark by 40′, but the restripe job covered the entire block, so I guess it really doesn’t matter. There really isn’t safe passing room between the bus and the right car lane, but the restripe adds a little more visual acuity to the situation.

The shame is that the block before this one there is a really large dead area where the street is extra wide as it transitions of the 118 Fwy overpass where the buses could park without impeding any traffic or bike traffic.

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I couldn’t resist sharing this email from San Diego rider gottobike in response to yesterday’s discussion of Jerry Browned as the new, well-deserved term for getting dangerously buzzed by a passing car while riding your bike.

I was carefully Jerry Browned while cycling in San Diego the other day. While bicycling through a construction area, a motorist swerved into the bike lane at a high rate of speed and came very close to clipping me (the “classic” Jerry Brown). With gravel, sand, and dust flying, he segued this Jerry Brown maneuver into a right hook, and then quickly corrected and shot down a frontage street that paralleled our course.

When I caught up with the motorist to compliment him on his Jerry Browning skills, he assured me that even though he had cut in front of me, he had done it very carefully.

I’m sure this careful Jerry Browning did not present any risk to the motorist.

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Finally, you can thank me later.

Suspect arrested in hit-and-run death of Michael Vega; bike-jacking bank robber and Sat’s Tour de Fat

Let’s start with good news from the Inland Empire.

The Press Enterprise reports an arrest has been made in the late August hit-and-run death of Michael Vega in Rancho Cucamonga.

According to the paper, published news reports and a phone tip led police to a truck driven by construction worker Jason Cox; after inspecting the vehicle, they arrested Cox on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run resulting in death or injury.

It will be interesting to see how they can make the intoxication charge hold up, since Cox had over two weeks to sober up.

The paper says he’s being held in the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on $250,000 bond.

But before you get too excited, remember this is the same DA and court system that let the street racing killer of Jorge Alvarado off with just three lousy months in jail.

Thanks to Joe Devito for sending the link.

Update: The Inland Valley Daily Enterprise reports that the tip that led to Cox’s arrest came as a result of a video plea for information from the Sheriff’s Department that was posted on their website Tuesday.

Deputies received a tip Wednesday evening pointing them towards Cox, who drove a work truck for a construction company in Chino. When Police inspected the truck, they found heavy front-end damage, as well as paint the matched the truck and the bike.

Cox will appear in court on Monday.

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A Santa Ana cyclist chases down a bike-jacking bank robber with the help of a stranger, recovering his bike and leading to the arrest of the thief, who had previously failed to carjack three separate vehicles.

The thief may want to consider a new career once he gets out. Which isn’t likely to be anytime soon.

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This weekend’s big bike news is the return of Tour de Fat at L.A. State Historic Park — a full day of bikes and beer, starting with a can’t miss bike parade through Downtown from 11 to noon, with registration for the parade starting at 10 am.

Entertainment runs from noon to 5 pm. I’ll be there volunteering at the LACBC booth until at least 1 pm, so stop by and say hi; anyone who signs up for LACBC membership gets a token for a free beer.

And if you hurry, there’s still time to sign up to trade your car for a bike worth up to $2,250.

Admission is free. Costumes are encouraged, but remember the forecast is for temperatures in the mid to upper 90s on Saturday. So you might want to dress for the weather and wear as little as possible.

And no, you don’t need arrive by bike; there’s plenty of parking in the area, and it’s walking distance from the Chinatown Metro station.

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Don’t forget tonight’ Dinner & Bikes (& Cupcakes) with Elly Blue, one of the cycling community’s leading writers and thinkers, presented by LACBC affiliate Santa Monica Spoke.

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The Los Angeles Valley College Valley Star newspaper takes a look at California’s recently passed three-foot passing law. Jessica Simpson’s dad is given permission to drink again following an August DUI arrest, as long as he stays out of cars, bikes or motorcycles; nice to know the courts take these things not very seriously. West Hollywood teams with Sustainable Streets to offer a free Confident City Cycling course this Sunday. Courtesy of my friends at Altadenablog comes word of a lifelong cyclist and ex-Marine who won’t let MS stop him from riding, turning to Altadena custom bike-maker BlackSmith for a competitive hand bike. A Shell Beach physician is killed by a big rig after allegedly riding through a stop sign in San Louis Obispo; for some reason, a local TV station quotes bike injury stats from the Royal — note that word — Society for Prevention of Accidents. A bicyclist is injured every nine days in Mountain View; maybe he should learn to ride more carefully. It’s starting to seem like open season on bike riding pastors, as a Crestline Baptist minister is injured on a training ride.

People for Bikes wants your helps landing a $250,000 grant. The League of American Bicyclists responds to the National Women’s Bike Summit in Long Beach by announcing the launch of Women Bike to encourage greater female ridership. Analyzing Ebony magazine’s unhappy bicycle wedding. New bike helmet impact sensor automatically calls for help if it detects an impact. Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske offers advice on how to cover your ass if you lead a group ride. The massive Interbike trade show cracks down on non-industry entries; I’ve got a press pass, but no money to go, dammit. A suburban Iowa town is the latest to attempt to ban bikes. A Houston cyclist avoids serious injuries after falling 25 feet off a bridge. A Michigan judge agrees to sentence a hit-and-run driver to a minimum term after she pleads guilty, despite a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Why cyclists do the things we do. Remarkably, a jury concludes that it was just a coincidence that a New Jersey driver happened to run down and kill the teenage boy who vandalized his car. New York is failing to protect its vulnerable road users; a blind Detroit attorney sues the city for failing to stop reckless cyclists. Not surprisingly, a Brooklyn driver isn’t charged after hitting a cyclist and driving through a fence into a 50-foot pit. Courtesy of our friend Zeke comes word of a South Carolina salmon cyclist who was the victim of a hit-and-run; also by way of Zeke is a nice story of a successful 25-year old bike shop — as well as word that Albert Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity while riding his bike. No, really, if you’re going to carry 12 grams of dope on your bike after dark, use some lights.

Editors at the Washington Examiner fan the flames of bike hatred with a highly inflammable headline unsupported by the even-handed article. Edmonton cyclists get their first bike box, which is one more than L.A. cyclists have. Better UK bike commutes through technology. As usual, British courts give a slap on the wrist to a killer driver who failed to see a cyclist before running him over; they’re almost as bad as New York. The World Anti-Doping Agency considers amnesty for riders who confess to drug use, but too late to help Lance, who rudely insists on riding anyway. You won’t want to miss the tongue-in minutes of an appeasing — not appealing — Aussie bike club.

Finally, after a driver attempts to run a cyclist off the road, they talk it out like British gentlemen. And it turns out giving birds the bird won’t stop Aussie avian attacks.

Yet another life wasted, as 15-year old bike-riding boy killed in apparent Santa Ana gang shooting

Okay, so this isn’t exactly breaking news.

At first, I was waiting for more information. Then I found myself putting it off as long as possible because I just didn’t want to write about the colossal waste of life and immense idiocy of yet another gang shooting.

All because a boy was riding his bike in the wrong neighborhood, or wearing the wrong colors.

Or just, you know, because.

And yet, there it is.

About 6 pm Sunday night, 15-year old Jimmy Hernandez was riding on the 2000 block of West Myrtle Street in Santa Ana when a vehicle pulled up next to him. One of the people inside fired a single shot; Hernandez fell off his bike and tried to walk away before collapsing and dying at the scene, as the driver sped away.

A Santa Ana gang detective stopped a burgundy Lexus in the area, leading to the arrest of known gang members and convicted felons Brian Jose Miguel and Alberto Santana, 18 and 20-years old, respectively.

KABC-7 reports Miguel will be charged with murder, while Santana faces a parole violation related to the murder.

The two are suspected in two other recent shootings, as well.

Now one young life has been snuffed out, almost before it has even begun. And two others have been carelessly thrown away, likely facing a lifetime behind bars.

And if that’s not a waste of life, I don’t know what is.

This is the fourth fatal shooting of a bike rider in Southern California so far this year, and the first in Orange County. That compares with nine last year.

My deepest sympathy for Hernandez and his family.

13-year old girl critically injured in OC hit-and-run; Tour of California press conference in Beverly Hills

A 13-year old girl was critically injured in yet another Southern California hit-and-run when she was run down in a Santa Ana crosswalk on Monday.

She was riding north on Greenville Street when she was hit by a vehicle travelling west on Warner Avenue at 7 p.m. The jackass who hit her — and I use that term advisedly — kept going without making any attempt to stop, leaving it to bystanders to attempt to offer aid and comfort as she lay bleeding in the street.

Do I really need to mention what I think should be done if they ever catch the jerk?

Anyone with information is urge to contact the Santa Ana Police Traffic Division at (714) 245-8214.

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Actor Patrick Dempsey, and pro cyclists Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson will hit Beverly Hills Wednesday morning for a press conference for the Amgen Tour of California.

Do I really need to point out the irony the Westside’s least bike-friendly city — with not one inch of bikeway anywhere within the city limits — hosting the nation’s biggest professional race?

No, I didn’t think so.

But maybe Patrick, Dave and the gang will stop by tonight’s Bike Up! LA benefit for the California Bicycle Coalition while they’re in town.

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A road raging driver runs a young L.A. cyclist — and afterwards, says he’s glad he did.

In 1908.

Sad how some things never change.

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Roadblock asks what will it take to create safe streets in L.A. — and offers advice on how to ride safely in the meantime. LACBC’s highly successful City of Lights starts a youth program on the Eastside. Matthew Ruscigno explains how to travel fast and light on your next bike tour. Gary writes about exception bike writer and advocate Elly Blue. LADOT is testing surfaces for the Spring Street green bike lane to find one that will stick around for awhile. Better Bike looks at the laws governing cycling in California, and says you’ve got 30 days to convince the Westside COG to make it more ridable. Learn how to maintain your bike for just $10 in Santa Monica. An unnamed 22-year old Lancaster man is killed while riding without lights in Butte County.

A Santa Rosa runner suffers a broken skull when she turns in front of a passing cyclist who fled the scene; and yes, while it’s up to the runner to make sure the way is clear before turning around, a hit-and-run cyclist is every bit as much of a schmuck as a hit-and-run driver. A Santa Barbara cyclist wants to thank the people who came to her aid — and talk to the driver who failed to see her in the bike lane. Kern County could get a new bike master plan. An Orange County cyclist is awarded a $6 million settlement following a 2009 collision with a John Wayne Airport shuttle bus.

Engineering streets to improve health. Looking at Lance Armstrong as the fallen hero of a Greek tragedy. Biking non-profits are doing well despite the bad economy. An advice columnist explains why cyclists should ride with traffic. Las Vegas’ very own Gran Fondo will start on the Las Vegas Strip the day after Interbike, and offer a ride over the Hoover Dam. Organizers of a Denver century ride drop a requirement that riders reveal their income in order to register; gee, who could possibly object to that? Houston cyclists are being harassed by a man in a black Honda. A Philadelphia driver faces charges for running down a rider while high on drugs — the day after he was arrested following a three-car collision. Dave Moulton’s legendary Fuso frames are about to be born again.

The Telegraph’s London Editor says the vast majority of British cycle lanes are either totally pointless or actively dangerous, but the carnage claimed by some simply isn’t real; meanwhile, a writer for the Evening Standard says he gave up cycling because it was too dangerous — but blames other cyclists, as well as bad streets. A British father uses cycling to fight back from brain cancer; thanks to Ed Cable for the heads-up. London cyclists may get a jump on other traffic at red lights, while Paris cyclists get permission to go through red lights.; thanks to David Huntsman for the link. Odd math, as Alberto Contador is banned for two years but could be back racing by August, which seems somewhat less to me. New Japanese road markings tell bike riders where to go.

Finally, BMC phenom Taylor Phinney has a discussion with his body; evidently, the guy is as funny as he is fast. And I wish I had this T-shirt when I still lived in Colorado.

More bad news from Orange County, as Santa Ana hit-and-run victim died last weekend

Somehow, another one went under the radar.

Last Friday, news broke that an unidentified cyclist was severely injured in a Santa Ana hit-and-run. Unfortunately, he died from his injuries on Saturday — barely meriting two paragraphs in the Orange County Register.

No wonder I missed it.

The victim was riding on the 100 block of South Broadway when he was hit by a pickup around 6:45 pm Friday; paramedics found him lying unconscious in the roadway. The rider, identified today as 39-year old Elfego Lozano-Nicolas, was in critical condition when he was transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he died the next day from blunt-force head trauma.

The Register reports that the driver left before police arrived. Reading between the lines, it sounds like he may have stopped briefly before fleeing the scene — particularly since police have a detailed description of the truck.

Authorities described the vehicle as a white pickup, possibly a Toyota Tundra, with a ladder rack and ladders on top, as well as blue lettering running on the length of the truck. The pickup is missing a hubcap, which was left at the scene of the traffic accident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Santa Ana police at 714/245-8701

This is the fifth cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County this year, following 13 last year. It’s also the second bike death in Santa Ana since last June.

Thanks to Louis for the heads-up.

16-year old Orange County cyclist critically injured

This hasn’t been a good weekend for teenage cyclists in Southern California.

Just two days after a Pacoima rider was shot in an apparent gang-related attack, a 16-year old Orange County cyclist was critically injured after a collision with a car in Santa Ana Sunday afternoon. According to the Orange County Register, the cyclist was riding across Lacy Street between Fifth Street and Santa Ana Blvd when he collided with a vehicle traveling north on Lacy — the story subtly assigns blame to the cyclist while noting the accident is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, Gustavo Arellano of the Orange County Weekly, author of the popular Ask A Mexican column, was on the scene to witness the aftermath of the collision.

Arelleno said that the car hit the rider — rather than the other way around — with enough force to shatter the windshield, leaving a massive dent in the vehicle and breaking the bicycle in two. While no blood was visible, Arelleno did not see the rider move his hands or legs, and says “the teen’s tortured gasps for air were a sound I hope to never hear again.”

He credits police and fire personnel for arriving on the scene within minutes of the 1pm collision, and places blame on the conflict between the city’s “ambitious plans to remake its downtown core and the head-in-the-sand approach to the area’s actual needs.”

“This is already a neighborhood that’s way overcrowded,” said a lady who identified herself only as Yuri. She had no idea of the city’s plans for her neighborhood, which include squeezing in high-rise apartments. “We need parks, not more buildings–there’s already too many apartments! With more people and more cars on these small streets, there’s going to be more accidents!”

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Even after everything, Murrieta’s Floyd Landis still loves cycling. San Diego’s San Louis Rey River Trail is extended three more miles. Get your free Ride a Fucking Bike sticker here. A Georgia insurance executive says bike riders face risks on the road, and there’s not much consolation in saying “it wasn’t my fault.” A 60-something cyclist in my home town is critically injured in a collision; no information on his name, direction or travel, whether the driver was distracted, wearing a seatbelt or whether charges might be filed. An 11-year old Iowa cyclist is critically injured in a hit-and-run; police say the driver may not even know she hit anything. Cell phone use while driving is even more dangerous than previously thought. Over 2300 riders roll the roads of New Zealand, despite warnings from police. Brisbane’s shared bike/pedestrian paths turn into danger zones as both users compete for space. Will a better water bottle holder revolutionize cycling? A 19-year old Brit cyclist hopes to raise £1 million to thank a hospital for saving his life. Instead of charging cyclists to use the roads, we should get tax cuts and the thanks of motorists.

Finally, a writer claims that most cars carrying two or more passengers have a smaller carbon footprint than the average man on a bike.

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