Tag Archive for Satnam Singh

Singh sentenced to 15 – life for drunken killer multi-hit-and-run; NY writer calls bike lanes cancerous

For once, the sentence for a killer driver fits the crime.

The Ventura County Star reports that Satnam Singh has been sentenced to 15 years to life for the drunken hit-and-run death of 20-year old cyclist Nick Haverland last year.

Yes, I said life.

In addition, he must serve two years for DUI before he can begin serving his sentence for the second degree murder conviction, effectively making it a minimum 17-year sentence.

Singh had a blood alcohol level nearly five times the legal limit when he went on a serial hit-and-run spree at speeds up to 90 mph, culminating in the collision that took Haverland’s life as he rode to take a college final.

Something Singh claims not to remember, as a result of an “accidental” dose of depression medication.

Then again, given the amount of alcohol in his system, it’s surprising he remembers his own name, let alone his homicidal hit-and-run Hummer joyride.

Yet remarkably, despite his actions, the judge received over 100 letters attesting to his fine character.

For those unconvinced, the first collision might — might — have been unintentional. The two that followed, including the one that took Haverland’s life, flowed directly from his drunken attempt to avoid responsibility.

A real prince, that guy.

And I’d like to know just how does someone get that drunk by accident. Let alone gets behind the wheel when he’s too damn wasted to walk, let alone drive.

I’d like to think this sentence will send a clear message to everyone to stay the hell away from the driver’s seat after drinking. Let alone drinking yourself to oblivion.

Not to mention stopping after your first collision, rather than continuing to run after the third.

But I fear too many drivers will look sadly at Singh, convinced they’d never do anything like that.

Then celebrate the season with one more for the road.


Gotham cyclists are up in arms over an assault on both bikes and rationality by New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo, who compares bike lanes to cancer and bike riders to sociopaths.

New York Curbed artfully deconstructs Cuozzo’s highly biased arguments, while Gothamist takes it apart paragraph by scurrilous paragraph. New York Streetsblog fears he’s lost his marbles. The Brooklyn Spoke says, despite his negative assertions, bike delivery people do count and have as much right to safe streets as anyone else.

And it all brings up a great column from the New York Times Magazine, which offers a point-by-point guide to writing a biased anti-bike hate piece of your very own.


The 7th Annual All City Toy Ride takes place this Friday; couldn’t recommend a better reason to ride. Just be careful, because some cops didn’t seem to have a lot of Christmas spirit last year.


More women than men now have driver’s licenses, which is good news according to the Times, since women drive less and have fewer fatalities per miles driven.  Southside cyclists take L.A. city planners on a bike tour of Watts. Phase one of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk opens. LADOT Bike Blog is thankful for Alex Baum’s bicycle advocacy; aren’t we all? Last weekend’s Santa Monica Family Bike Fest is declared a success. Malibu proposes an esplanade with walkways and bikeways connecting the Malibu Pier with Surfrider Beach; wait, a bikeway in Malibu? Seriously? Hermosa Beach revisits the Aviation Blvd bike lanes they turned down earlier this year (scroll down). A look at Long Beach’s Bikeway Route 10. UC Irvine police bust a pair of suspected bike thieves. The Laguna Beach paper calls for more bikeways and a complete streets approach. Plans stall for an Agoura overpass including bike lanes, sidewalks and five lanes of traffic. Bakersfield city planners are looking for cyclists input on improving bike lanes. Natomas CA sprouts signs declaring the city bike friendly; thanks to Amy Senk for the heads-up.

In their new book City Cycling, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler argue that “cycling should be made feasible, convenient, and safe for everyone.” The Feds finally get serious about counting cyclists and pedestrians; unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much until individual states and cities do, as well. It’s okay to be the only non-traffic engineer in the room. Tour Hawaii’s Big Island by bike. Reno bike advocates are successfully reshaping the city. A more than comprehensive list of women’s bike blogs. Bicycling grannies ride in small town Wyoming. Spandex bikewear for the closet super hero. A writer for the Chicago Tribune defends his column calling out scofflaw cyclists and ridicules anyone with the audacity to disagree. A Michigan man is finishing the cross-country bike ride his father was on when he was killed. Your next bike could glow in the dark. A Virginia auto repair shop says it doesn’t make sense to require it to install bike racks, even if the city is trying to be bike-friendly.

London’s transportation department calls on the mayor to develop the world’s largest cycle network. Six steps to survive cycling in London. Cyclists in a BBC documentary on the conflict between drivers and cyclists were paid — and choreographed — to ride as recklessly as possible. An open letter to motorists from UK cyclists. Drinking and riding is a bad idea with a long history. Town Mouse goes temporary bike shopping. The all-time highlights of the Giro d’Italia.

Finally, maybe there is such a thing as too cold to ride. And who knew a simple bike ride was part of global plot to force bike lanes on unsuspecting Americans?

Maybe Cuozzo’s onto something, after all.


A special thanks to Margaret for making a contribution to help defray the costs of operating of this blog; I can’t begin to tell you how much it’s appreciated. If anyone else wants to help support my work here on BikinginLA, I’ve set up at PayPal account to accept contributions like hers. You can transfer funds through your PayPal account or major credit card by directing them to bikinginla at hotmail dot com.

And yes, I’m totally blown away that she even thought to do that.

Many thanks, Margaret.

Accused Ventura drunken serial hit-and-run driver Satnam Singh pleads guilty, now facing 15 to life

Evidently, the farther you get from San Bernardino County, the more likely cyclists are to see justice.*

Case in point: Satnam Singh, accused in the drunken hit-and-run death of Ventura cyclist Nick Haverland, has changed his plea to guilty to second degree murder and driving under the influence following two days of damning testimony.

The 20-year old college student was riding with a friend to take a college final when he was run down by Singh’s Hummer in May of last year. The Santa Paula liquor store owner reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .39 — nearly five times the legal limit — when he hit Haverland and injured five other people in a series of violent collisions.

Singh now faces 15 years to life in state prison, followed by parole for the rest of his life if he should be released; no word on whether he would ever be allowed to drive again. He was also threatened with deportation upon release from prison if he can’t prove he’s a citizen of the U.S.; odd that something like that should even be in question this far into the case.

Prior to his drunken rampage, Singh had received at least two tickets for speeding, and been accused in another DUI collision just three months before murdering Haverland — a case in which he attempted to have his wife take the fall.

Just more evidence that the state moves too slowly to protect the public in cases like this.

*Then again, Riverside County may not be much better.


Sunday’s shift back to Standard Time means bike commuters will now face evening rush hour traffic in full darkness. And that means you need a good headlight and tail light — preferably flashing — in order to make it back home in one piece, let alone avoid a ticket.

Even if you’re just out for an afternoon ride, it makes sense to throw a light set into your bike bag or jersey pocket in case a flat or other mechanical keeps you out later than planned. Or at the very least, toss in some reflective ankle straps just in case.

After all, it’s better to light a single bike headlamp than to curse the darkness after getting run over.


Tuesday is Election Day. I won’t tell you to go vote in what may be the closest election of our lifetime — not to mention one with a slate of state propositions and local measure that could affect your life for decades to come.

I assume you’re an adult and know just how important this is.

What I will do, though, is urge you to ride your bike to the polls if at all possible to show that our votes count, too. And that it’s long past time for politicians to address our concerns if they want our votes.


Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says that, contrary to perceptions, bikes are actually better for business than cars. Best wishes to LADOT Bike Blogger JoJo Pewsawang as he moves on to hopefully greener pastures. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske looks at California’s cranky and apparently bike-unfriendly Governor Jerry Brown. Calbike says Prop 33 in Tuesday’s election hurts those who are helping the environment — like bicyclists. Maybe your broken carbon frame can be brought back to life after all. The 23rd Solvang Prelude brings thousands of riders to the Santa Ynez Valley. A teenage Santa Barbara hit-and-run driver faces charges for a right hook hit-and-run that critically injured a cyclist. The widow of a Sonoma cyclist now helps others after confronting the man who killed him. A 24-year old Napa driver gets a year in jail for seriously injuring a cyclist while under the influence of marijuana.

Bicycling offers a roster of vintage rides through the wine country, along with five coffee table bike books. CNN talks to gold medal-winning Paralympian and former race car champion Alex Zanardi. A Boulder CO intersection gets a makeover in the wake of two cycling deaths; meanwhile, the city won’t pursue a stage in next year’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge; probably not just because of the tour’s awful name, though. San Antonio’s safe passing law needs better enforcement. A Chicago writer says that cyclists shouldn’t have to bear responsibility for safety or accept that risk is inevitable. Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus reports on riding in the Manhattan blackout following Hurricane Sandy; the New Yorker asks if Sandy will turn the city’s residents into bike commuters. Charging powerless New Yorker’s devices by bike. Thankfully, former L.A. bike and creek advocate Joe Linton survived Sandy, as well. Why are the rules of the road are a lot longer for Boston bicyclists? What would you do if you came across a bike crash? Yet another delay in the case of accused killer Miami DUI hit-and-run driver and musician Carlos Bertonatti.

A writer says Vancouverites are too old to take advantage of the city’s new transportation plan; you’re kidding me, right? Are bike helmets or bike lanes more important for bike safety? British cycling legend Tommy Godwin passes away at 91. The London Times says bikes are the future, and cities must adapt them — but can’t be bothered to make the story available behind their paywall. A Swiss sportswear company is suing cycling’s governing body over damage to the sport following the Lance Armstrong scandal, while Guam could hold the key to real reform in pro cycling. We have a new candidate for the world’s safest cycling city: Berlin. An Aussie cyclist is shot in the ass as he tries to ride away from a group of men in a park. Bringing the internet to Bangladesh by bike. Even the Indian city of Mangalore gets cycletracks before we do.

Finally, as if doping isn’t bad enough, now former doper Alexandre Vinokourov is accused of paying off another rider to let him win the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic.

Is it just me, or is pro cycling is starting to give swamp pits a bad name?

Ride this Saturday to benefit injured cyclist Russell Moon; trial begins in DUI death of Nick Haverland

I received an email today from Dan Weinberg of Helen’s Cycles, announcing the Russell Moon Ride this Saturday to benefit a mountain biker who suffered a life-changing injury last year.

He makes a compelling case for why we all should participate.

So I’ll let Dan tell the story.


7:30 AM, Saturday, November 3, 2012
Ocean Ave & San Vicente Blvd, Santa Monica


Just over a year ago, Russell Moon was returning home from a mountain bike ride when a driver turned directly across his path and made contact. Russell sustained a serious spinal cord injury and is now a quadriplegic.

Prior to his life-changing injury, Russell had a thriving dental practice and taught dentistry at UCLA. He now focuses on his recovery participating in intensive physical therapy throughout the week.

Russell loved cycling, not only for the fitness benefits, but because of the sense of community it exuded. This non-competitive ride is the opportunity to ride for Russell, and honor his love for cycling.

Russell climbed effortlessly and was a confident descender. Whenever he sees his cycling friends he often says goodbye with the accompanying request; ‘Ride for me’.

All participation fees and additional donations will go directly to Russell for physical therapy and rehabilitation. If you can’t participate in the ride, please sponsor someone who is riding or you can donate here. Thank you.

Course Description

The 62-mile course will start at Ocean Ave and San Vicente Blvd at 7:30 AM on Saturday, November 3rd and take PCH to Encinal Canyon Rd, we will then take a right on Decker, then a left down Mulholland and back on PCH, to the original starting point. Click here for route map.

Helen’s Cycles will provide food and water the top of the 5.9-mile climb located at Decker Canyon Road and Mulholland Hwy.

If you choose not to climb, you can ride on PCH to Trancas Canyon Rd (at the west end of Zuma Beach) and return for a total of 41 miles.

Russell Moon will be at the end of the ride from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

The plan is for Russell to be on hand at the end of the ride at Ocean Ave and San Vicente Blvd. You will have a chance to give him encouragement and acknowledge his courage over the past year.

$25 donation on line.
Day of Event Registration
7:00 AM at the start of the ride – Ocean Ave and San Vicente Blvd, Santa Monica
$25 cash or check.

Registration & donations

Course map


Satnam Singh, accused of killing Ventura cyclist Nick Haverland in a drunken hit-and-run collision spree, is finally on trial. Singh had a BAC of .39 when he was arrested at his home, nearly five times the legal limit. And he was involved in another drunk driving collision just three months before killing Haverland — even if he tried to blame it on his wife.

Hopefully, he’ll get the sentence he deserves following his conviction, which seems inevitable.



Try as I might, I just can’t manage to ignore the whole Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Bicycling says even if he did dope — or maybe, even though he doped — the penalties imposed in l’affaire Lance may have broken the rules. Red Kite Prayer offers a 23-year trail of ignored clues that Lance was dirty, and suggests that the real hope for cleaning up pro cycling may come in the form of a reporter’s lawsuit.


Maybe we got his attention, as Calbike says Mayor Villaraigosa is ready to try one more time to get a three-foot law passed. Streetsblog looks at UCLA’s new bike box. LADOT Bike Blog reviews last month’s BPIT meeting. Bikerowave hosts a class on basic bike fit on the 18th. Better Bike comes out against Measure J. Will Campbell plays leapfrog with a safe and courteous Dash Bus driver, while Boyonabike! offers tips on bike commuting. Santa Clarita launches a new bike website; we’ll know they’re serious about cycling when they link to this site, right?

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition offers an in-depth look at OC bike injury stats. You don’t expect good things to appear at midnight on Halloween, but the sharrows on the coast highway in Corona del Mar may be the exception. Two-thousand cyclists are expected to participate in Oceanside’s Bike the Coast Ride this weekend. San Diego could get reverse-angle parking spots to improve driver visibility and eliminate dooring. If you want to ride on Edwards Air Force base, you’d better wear a helmet — and be prepared to yield to any motor vehicle, whether or not you have the right-of-way. A 12-year old Santa Cruz rider is intentionally doored on Halloween night. A San Francisco cyclist is wanted for a violent assault on a Muni station agent who tried to stop him from bringing his bike into the station.

Three ingredients for a world-class bicycling network from People for Bikes. Slate says riding with headphones is incredibly dumb. For once, AAA offers motorists good advice on how to drive around cyclists and pedestrians. Good infographic on the nation’s first protected bike lane in NYC. Great series of photos on bicycling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The Wall Street Journal says novice New Yorkers are dusting off their bikes, while the NY Times observes it’s an effective way around the post-hurricane traffic mess; now the city just has to keep everyone riding once things improve. And even gas station owners are telling people to try bikes.

Ottawa considers lowering the speed limit on a dangerous roadway to protect cyclists, and confronts the classic conflict between bike and pedestrian advocates and city planning engineers; seems like every city eventually has to fight that battle. An RAF pilot says maybe that driver really didn’t see you. A UK rider punches another cyclist after they collide in a tunnel. If you think you have it rough, try biking in Yemen.

Finally, a Bakersfield driver was twice convicted of DUI and arrested at least three times for driving with a suspended license — yet remained on the road to kill an 18-year old driver on Monday.

And it turns out the bike wasn’t stolen, but the rider was wanted — and carrying nearly 10 grams of drugs.

Garrett guilty, Singh seriously blotto, more 2011 cycling fatalities & new interactive Westside bike map

Our frequent South Bay/OC tipster sends word that Adam Garrett has plead guilty in the hit-and-run death of cyclist Hung Khac Do in Fountain Valley last May.

This is the case in which Garrett not only ran Do down in his ’94 Camry, but inexplicably called police the next day pretending to be a witness. And the police, being far more intelligent than Do evidently assumed, quickly realized they were talking to the actual killer.

Garrett agreed to a plea including 180 days in a private jail, with time off for work, school and church release, as well as three years formal probation, 200 hours community service, $14,000 restitution and court fees. One slip-up and he’ll spend the maximum of four years behind bars.

On the other hand, I’d say that letting him out to attend church seems particularly appropriate.

Anyone who could leave a stranger to die in the street — then call police in a failed attempt to find out what they knew — could benefit from a little spiritual counseling.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link to the Star article; Dj Wheels sends a link the Times’ story on the case.


Satnam Singh, the driver charged with murdering Ventura cyclist Nick Haverland in a drunken rampage last May, had a potentially fatal level of alcohol in his system when he killed Haverland and injured five other people.

According to the Ventura County Star, Singh had a blood alcohol level of .39 — nearly five times the legal limit. And well above the .25 to .32 level at which most people would die of alcohol poisoning.

So high, in fact, that Singh’s attorney argued the 2nd degree murder charge should be dropped because his client was too drunk to form the disregard for human life required under the law.

“The degree of intoxication was so high it would have rendered him incapable to entertain any kind of implied malice,” Biederman said.

I realize he’s just doing his job. But this is exactly why so many people hate lawyers.

Fortunately, judge Charles Campbell concluded that after knocking a mother and daughter off their bikes and rear-ending a car, Singh had to know what he was doing.

A witness described following Singh as he raced to his home at speeds up to 80 mph after he sent Haverland flying through the air to his death.

DJ wheels notes that Singh is currently out on $500,000 bail, with arraignment set for 9 am on January 18th in Courtroom 12 of the Ventura County Superior Court. Singh is allowed to work at the liquor store he owns, but may not consume alcohol, or be in possession of it outside of work.

Something tells me I wouldn’t want to bet on that.

Not surprisingly, Singh also faces a civil suit from Haverland’s family.


It doesn’t look like we’re going to get on to happier subjects anytime soon, as last year’s bike fatalities keep rearing their ugly head.

A comment from TQ lead to the discovery of three more cycling deaths that I was previously unaware of, which have been added to Part 1 of the In Memoriam list.

1/14/11 13-year old Kayel Smith was riding against traffic in Lake Elsinore when he veered right to cross the road, and was struck from behind by a vehicle on the opposite side; Kavel suffered major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

2/16/11 A 50-year old transient and registered sex offender was fatally injured when he was hit by a VW Beetle while crossing an intersection in Fountain Valley; he was wearing dark clothes on a black bike with no lights or reflectors.

In addition, an unidentified cyclist was hit by a motorist after failing to stop for a stop sign in Santa Ana on 6/24/11; I have a report that he died after being placed on life support, but I’m still waiting for confirmation.

That brings last years total cycling deaths in the eight-county Southern California area to 79; 70 killed in collisions — traffic or solo — and nine by shooting. That compares to an average of 68.2 fatalities for the last five years on record (2005 – 2009), and 15 more than each of the previous two years (55 in 2008 and 2009).

Going forward, I’ll drop Santa Barbara County from this list to conform with the seven-county region covered by the Southern California Association of Governments.

This week I’ve focused on the people behind the statistics. Next week, I’ll offer a breakdown of the statistics, including at least one starting finding.


Culver City bike advocate and KCRW Chief Engineer Steve Herbert has created a wikimap of bike facilities on the Westside.

Borrowing from San Diego’s Bike Parking Map, I began today Westside Bicycle Facilities map, an interactive Google map which is open to everyone to add bike facilities they know of for the benefit of all in the cycling community. It’s easy to update, simply press the EDIT button on the screen, enlarge the map to the location of the bike rack, shop or other facility being added, click the Blue Balloon place mark and then point and click where the facility is. Next, change the icon to represent the facility noted: A green cyclist for bike parking, a yellow shopping bag for a bike shop, and add any notation which will aid in locating the facility. Then press SAVE & DONE.

The power in this is the collaborative nature of Google Maps, as one person could never keep up with the all updates, but utilizing the power of the community at large we can empower everyone in creating a potentially useful reference tool.

Briefly started as a map of Culver City facilities, it quickly became apparent a regional coverage area makes more sense & given the lack of restrictions there’s nothing to prevent people from adding facilities on the map outside of the Westside region such as downtown, the valley, South Bay, Orange County….

I hope the community embraces this and adds their knowledge to the effort.


Catching up on a few items I haven’t had a chance to post until now:

The County of Los Angeles is still accepting comments on the new county Bicycle Master Plan prior to the public hearing before the County Regional Planning Commission scheduled for 9 am on January 11th, at the Hall of Records, Room 150, 320 West Temple Street Downtown.

SCAG Senior Planner Alan Thompson forwards a link to download the Southern California Council of Government’s draft Regional Transportation Plan covering the years from 21012 to 2035. If you want to know where transportation planning is headed for the next 23 years, it might be a good idea to check it out.

LADOT is looking for a Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Coordinator and Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator for the next year.

You have less than two weeks to comment on Glendale’s proposed bike and pedestrian master plan.


And a few others items that have intrigued and/or infuriated me lately —

Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali uncovers the corporate theft of a Venice Blvd bike lane, and gets a promise from city officials to get it back.

Freakonomics suggests you’re more likely to be injured walking drunk than driving under the influence; Flying Pigeon points out that many of those drunk walkers are injured or killed by cars. And I might add that the problem with driving drunk isn’t the risk of being injured, it’s danger that you could kill someone else.

The estimable Will Campbell looks at Pedestrians Behaving Badly on the L.A. River Bike Path.

A New Mexico tribal government caves in to public pressure and decides to prosecute a driver for killing cross-country cyclist John Anczarski, after they bungled the investigation by failing to properly investigate the crash scene or conduct alcohol or drug tests. And the driver can look forward to a slap on the wrist, since tribal authorities can only prosecute misdemeanors, with a maximum of one year per charge. Maybe they can come up with 40 or 50 counts to charge him with, to be served consecutively.

A Mississippi woman who ran down a cyclist, then drove over her head trying to move her car to the side of the road, gets off with a lousy $50 fine — and then has the heuvos to appeal her already incredibly weak slap on the wrist. Not to mention she has to pay over twice the amount of her fine to do it.

The family of a fallen cyclist files suit against the NYPD for withholding information and bending over backwards to let a killer driver off the hook.

Remarkably, a Lehigh Valley paper gets it exactly wrong, insisting — incorrectly — that most bike safety experts consider shared lanes safer than designated bike lanes, even after a local bike advocate is killed crossing a bridge that used to have bike lanes.

Yet another sports broadcasting jerk tries to get himself fired by tweeting that he intends to run over any cyclist he sees in the street. Here’s hoping he succeeds. At getting himself fired, that is; you can email the station’s General Manager here.

Nearly 50 years after Bob Dylan sang “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand,” some cyclists continue to criticize people who have the temerity to not ride or dress the way they do. Seriously, if you want to wear spandex do it. And if you don’t, don’t. End of story.

Finally, some sick SOB strings wire over the entrance to a Canadian trail and fells an eight-year old girl riding her bike. Yes, clothes-lining an eight-effing-years old.

I hope he’s proud of himself.

LB shooting victim ID’d, Doug Caldwell killer goes to trial, Ventura’s Satnam Sing faces murder charge

Coroner’s officials identified the cyclist shot and killed in Long Beach on Tuesday night as 34–year old Pablo Ortiz. The shooting took place around 7:30 pm on the 2100 block of East 14th Street; anyone with information is asked to call the LBPD Homicide Detail at 562-570-7247.


Trial will begin next week in the case of Gordon Catlett Wray, the driver accused of killing local scientist and cyclist Doug Caldwell, and injuring fellow rider Scott Evans. Jury selection and opening arguments are both scheduled for Wednesday at the San Fernando Courthouse, 900 Third Street in the city of San Fernando, case #0SR05313.

Reports are that both sides have stipulated to the cause of death — that is, that the victims were run over by Wray’s Camry — however, the fact that this is going to trial indicates that Wray’s attorney thinks he can get his client off. From what I’ve heard, they may claim that the sun was in his eyes, making it impossible to see the riders in front of him.

If you’ve got some free time next week, some cyclists sitting in the courtroom could help prevent any glare — or smokescreens — from blinding the jury.

Thanks to John Stesney for the reminder.


Dj Wheels sends notice of a little good news, if you can call it that, that I missed somehow last week.

The Ventura County Star reports that a murder charge has been added to the charges against Satnam Sigh, the driver who killed college student Nick Haverland and injured several other people in a series of allegedly drunken hit-and-run collisions in Ventura last month.

According to the Star:

Senior Deputy District Attorney Richard Simon said second degree murder requires proof that the defendant acted with conscious disregard for life, not intent to kill, Simon said.

Prosecutors determined Singh’s actions fit that definition based on the defendant’s high blood alcohol level, speed and the fact that he fled multiple crashes before the collision that killed Haverland, Simon said.

“All those told us that he knew what he was doing was dangerous, but he did it anyway,” Simon said.

In addition to second degree murder, Singh faces charges of felony drunk driving, felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor hit-and-run.

Needless to say, he’s pleaded not guilty to all charges.


Bikeside’s Alex Thompson offers an in-depth update on the Culver City collision case to include the good news that the driver could potentially face DUI charges after all. Hats off to everyone at Bikeside for taking the lead in covering this important case.

The Culver City Police Department has taken over the investigation, and officers are looking for any photos or video of the scene prior to intervention by police or fire officials, as well as testimony from independent witnesses (re: not cyclists or the driver). Anyone with information is urged to contact CCPD Officers Davis, Cisneros or Newman at 310/253-6254.

Word is that tonight’s Critical Mass may visit the crash site to protest the crash and initial police investigation; then again, knowing CM, it may not. But at any rate, the positive relationship with the LAPD should survive.

Meanwhile, a broad coalition of local cyclists and organizations have been working on an official response; look for a statement in the near future.


Two arrests have been made in the beating of cyclists participating in the mostly-clothed L.A. edition of the World Naked Bike Ride earlier this month.  Twenty-year old L.A. residents Carlos Rojas and Amanda Arellano were booked under $75,000 and $35,000 bonds, respectively. Two other male suspects are still being sought.


LACBC member John Morlock will be hosting a car wash from 9 am – 2 pm on Sunday, July 3rd at 316 W. Florence Ave in Inglewood to raise funds for Ride2Recovery, a nationwide program that helps wounded vets reclaim their lives through cycling. There will also be a taco truck onsite for those who want a great lunch — or don’t have cars and still want to contribute.

And I’m sure no one would object if you just want to stop by and make a contribution. Or if you walked next door to get a cobbler for dessert from one of the best restaurants in Southern California.

While this isn’t affiliated with LACBC, it’s a great cause and one I support 100%. So if you find yourself driving or riding anywhere near the area on the 3rd, stop by and tell John I sent you.

Maybe they’ll even wash your bike if you ask nice.


Miscellaneous pro cycling news:

Twenty-eight-year old Austrian ultracyclist Christoph Strasser wins this year’s RAAM. RadioShack’s Levi Leipheimer overcame a two-minute margin to win the Tour de Suisse by a razor thin 4 seconds. Pro cycling’s winningest team could lose its sponsorship and cease to exist in fallout over doping cases — despite taking the High Road.

The Claremont Cyclist profiles the groundbreaking Greg LeMond, who turns 50 this weekend, and has his name on my bike. Ex-fellow Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is represented by a high-powered team of made-up lawyers; frankly, he needs the best team of imaginary barristers money can buy.

The contest I mentioned here last week to send someone to work with Team Liquigas­–Cannondale at next month’s Tour de France has been won by Joe Praino of Arlington VA.

And former framebuilder extraordinaire Dave Moulton raises a very intriguing question — why has the rate of deaths for pro cyclists doubled since UCI required helmets for all racers?


A new street signal will finally be installed for the murderous North Hollywood intersection that took the life of 12-year old Emily Aleman and cycling hit-and-run victim Robert Painter. L.A. cyclists put together their own DIY bike destination map. Rick Risemberg says if this is the way they plan to build a bike boulevard, we’re better of the way things are. The latest BPIT meeting is compared to a tar ball, and not favorably. Changes are coming to Downtown L.A., with bike lanes planned for Fig, Flower, Spring and Main Downtown. A profile of bike, river and eco-activist Joe Linton. Actor Donald Sutherland hits a cyclist with his SUV in Santa Monica. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says even though cyclists can be annoying, drivers should chill and let us live, and sentiment I share and for which I thank them. Sidi America will offer special deals at I. Martin Friday night; why do things like this always happen when I’m broke? Maybe because I usually am, no?

A group of South Bay cyclists say the proposed South Bay Bike Plan needs to include a real extension of the beach bike path through King Harbor. The family of Michael Nine, who was killed in a collision with a gardener’s truck in Newport Beach last year, files suit against just about everyone; as usual, be forewarned that ignorance abounds in the comments. A San Diego cyclist is buzzed by a patrol car, then written up for riding — apparently legally — in the traffic lane. The SF Chronicle says door zones, no; helmets yes. Cyclist’s riding the famed Golden Gate Bridge now face a 15 mph speed limit, with a 5 mph limit when passing peds; can a speed limit be legally enforced on vehicles that often lack speedometers? For a bike paradise, Marin County is pretty dangerous. Cyclists are urged to attend Monday’s State Assembly Transportation Committee hearing to support the proposed 3-foot passing law; word is the controversial 15 mph passing differential exemption has or will be removed.

Despite the negative headline, a car writer doesn’t seem to take a clear stand on whether an Interstate Bike Route System is a good thing or a bad thing; thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up. No surprise, it turns out the top cities for bike commuting are happier, too. A People For Bikes blogger narrowly averted tragedy at 15 by not getting a car. Green colored bike lanes are no longer considered experimental by the feds. A new study shows bike projects create more jobs than other transportation infrastructure. Sibling’s cross-country bike tour honors victims of drunk drivers. A man travels across country by bike to visit every major league ball park and ask for a job. Utah cyclists ride for respect and road courtesy. A Wyoming highway patrolman saves a cyclist towing two skateboarders from a drunk driver. Denver gets it’s first cycle track. A truly heartless hit-and-run driver hits and seriously injures an 11-year old, then gets out of her car to reclaim her hubcap before fleeing the scene. An 86-year old cyclist is killed in a time trial accident at the National Senior Games. Mystery art bikes return to Muskegon MI. A short, quick list on bike path etiquette; can’t say I disagree. The Wall Street Journal says New York’s bike wars are over and we won; even the Australian press say peace could be at hand — for New Yorkers, not for Aussies. Is Janette Sadik-Khan’s predecessor trying to sabotage her work? Evidently, it’s perfectly legal to run over a cyclist a second time — after she had already hit the rider once and gotten out of her car to check on her — in Mississippi. This is why you don’t run your dog next to your bike, especially on hot days.

A pro mountain biker is identified as one of the Vancouver hockey rioters — but not the one making out in the famous photo. Toronto officials waste no time in getting rid of popular bike lanes. Apparently, London’s transportation agency counts cyclists as just one-fifth of a car. Britain’s Conservatives go on record as opposing efforts to give walking and cycling priority in road projects. A lovely ride through London town; link courtesy of Bike Commute News. How to prepare your body and your bike for more riding. It’s amazing what you can do with a little tin foil, oil and a lot of patience. A Copenhagen cyclist is killed when a car being chased by police goes off the road at 112 mph. Advanced advice on wheel truing from Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs.

Finally, a big congratulations to the man who’s bringing bike culture to the hill country of North Carolina, as Zeke has been named a Haywood County Hometown Hero (scroll to page A10). And a NY cyclist says cyclists are people too, so ride responsibly and don’t be a tool, while the Onion offers their own unique take on bike safety.

Legal update: DUI driver arraigned for injuring Adam Rybicki, Valencia sentencing today

These days, it seems like there are as many court cases involving cyclists than there are riders on the streets.

Fortunately, cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels has done his usual great job of keeping us up to date with the latest legal proceedings — including charges against the under-aged, allegedly intoxicated driver who ran down who hit Adam Rybicki head on, and Thursday’s sentencing for Marco Antonio Valencia, convicted in the hit-and-run DUI death of Joseph Novotny.

Editor’s Note: While Dj Wheels provided updates on these cases, any commentary or information beyond the actual status of the cases are mine. So blame me, not him.

Jaclyn Andrea Garcia:  Charges were filed May 19th at the Torrance Courthouse for the DUI collision that critically injured cyclist Adam Rybicki this past April. The Supervising Judge recused all the judges there from hearing the case, with no public explanation for his actions; however, rumor has it that Garcia’s mother is a court reporter in Torrance, which would explain the recusal.

As a result, arraignment was held Tuesday in Department 5 of the Inglewood Courthouse, Case #YA081126. Garcia’s attorney, George Bird, entered a plea of not guilty to all four counts:

1) CVC 23153(a) – DUI w/ injury
2) CVC 23153(b) – DUI w/ BAC over .08 and injury
3) CVC 23153(a) – DUI w/ injury
4) CVC 23153(b) – DUI w/ BAC over .08 and injury

Bird also informed the court on the record that his client has voluntarily surrendered her driver’s license, entered into a three-month alcohol program, voluntarily attended 18 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and has begun electronic alcohol monitoring with the SCRAM device made famous by Hollywood’s favorite outlaw.

Too bad it’s just a little too late.

Had Garcia sobered up a few months earlier, Adam Rybicki might not be in a coma right now, the victim of a 20-year old woman still drunk and behind the wheel at 7:15 in the morning.

And you can bet that none of the actions Garcia took in surrendering her license or entering rehab were her idea; it was no doubt ordered by her attorney in an attempt to show remorse and get his client released with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

After all, it’s worked for any number of Hollywood celebrities, whose first stop after hitting the tabloids is usually a stint in luxury rehab.

And by all accounts, Garcia’s high-priced attorney knows what he’s doing. Maybe if Dr. Thompson’s attorney had ordered him straight into rehab, he might be a free man today.

Let’s hope that the court takes this case seriously, and doesn’t let yet another driver buy her way out of taking responsibility.

Speaking of the infamous Good Doctor:

Dr. Christopher Thompson:  The date for oral arguments has been continued upon the court’s own motion in the appeal of Dr. Thompson’s conviction for intentionally injuring two cyclists in Mandeville Canyon by slamming on his brakes in front of them.  The new date is now 6/29/11.

Marco Antonio ValenciaValenica was convicted last month in the hit-and run DUI death of cyclist Joseph Novotny. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for today (Thursday) at the San Fernando Court; he faces up to 24 year to life in prison.

Shawn Fields:  Fields is charged with the hit-and-run DUI death of 17-year old cyclist Danny Marin in Pacoima last October. Fields reportedly told investigators that he thought he might have hit something, because he remembered seeing sparkly dust flying over him — from the windshield shattered by Marin’s body. Pretrial/Trial Setting Conference is scheduled for 6/22.

Patrick Roraff & Brett Morin:  Roraff and Morin are charged with causing the death of rising pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado in April of last year. The two were allegedly street racing when Roraff lost control and slammed into Alvarado, who was riding on the opposite shoulder. Pretrial conference is scheduled for 7/7.

Stephanie Drew Segal:  Segal is charged with the hit-and-run DUI death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura last year (notice a theme here?). She allegedly plowed into Laing after leaving a local wine tasting room, and entered into a rehab facility after her arrest. Preliminary setting is scheduled for 6/28; Wheels notes that the docket says the DA has been ordered to have victims present, which is unusual for this type of hearing.

Renato Demartino:  Demartino is charged with the hit-and-run death of 22-year old cyclist Marco Acuapan, who died in April, four months after he was allegedly hit by Demartino’s car while riding in a bike lane in Tustin. A pretrial conference scheduled for 6/1.

Danae Marie Miller:  Miller is charged with the death of world-class triathlete Amine Britel; she was allegedly drunk and texting when she rear-ended Britel, who was riding in a marked bike lane. Pretrial conference scheduled for 7/15.

Captain John David Hines:  Hines, a Long Beach Fire Captain, is accused of plowing into cyclist Jeffrey Gordon, then fleeing the scene, despite legal, and professional, obligations to stop and render aid. He had allegedly been drinking for hours in a local bar before getting behind the wheel, and had a BAC of .24 at the time of his arrest — three times the legal limit. And once again, he reportedly checked into rehab right after his arrest. Pretrial conference scheduled for 6/17.

Satnam Singh:  Singh is charged with killing 20-year old college student Nick Haverland in yet another hit-and-run DUI — this time, in a hit-and-run rampage involving three separate collisions in a matter of minutes that left five people injured and Haverland dead. Pretrial conference scheduled for 6/14; Singh remains in custody with the Ventura County Sheriff.

Satnam Singh to be arraigned today for Wednesday’s drunken triple hit-and-run rampage in Ventura

According to cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels, Satnam Singh will be arraigned today for the alleged triple hit-and-run rampage on Telegraph Road in Ventura.

Singh’s drive home from work Wednesday evening left five people injured, starting with a mother and daughter riding their bikes single file in the bike lane, followed by a family stopped at a red light in their pickup. And ended, tragically, with the death of 20-year old Ventura College student Nick Haverland as he road his bike to take his final exams.

And yes, I’m resisting the urge to call it murder. Just barely.

Let alone what I think about someone who could do this.

It is possible that Singh was so drunk he had no idea what he was doing. But I’m waiting to see what his blood alcohol level was at the time of his arrest; speaking strictly for myself, I’d consider anything less than .20 to be proof of intent.

If you’re in the Ventura area today, I’d strongly suggest attending the arraignment if you can. A room full of cyclists would go a long way towards showing just how seriously we take this case.

Wheels reports the hearing will take place in Room 13 of the Ventura County Superior Court, 800 South Victoria in Ventura. If you can make there, I’ll be happy to share whatever thoughts or impressions you may have.

Meanwhile, thanks to the Ventura County Star for their moving profile of Haverland; I’ve complained many times that press coverage too often reports the barest facts following a collision, without ever giving a hint of the human being behind the story.

The Star makes it very clear just who he was.

And that his death was a loss, not just for his family and friends, but for all of us.

Update: Rampaging hit-and-run Hummer driver kills one cyclist, injures five other people


Starting around 6:50 pm Wednesday, 49-year old Satnam Singh of Ventura allegedly went on a drunken rampage on that city’s Telegraph Road, leaving trail of victims in his in wake.

Five people were injured — including a mother and her 13-year old daughter riding their bikes single file in the bike lane. Tragically, 20-year old Ventura College student Nick Haverland was killed while riding his bike with a friend on their way to take their last finals, just three miles from the school.

A police spokesman said Singh was traveling westbound on his way home from his job in Santa Paula when the carnage began, first hitting the two women, leaving them with injuries including broken bones. He then fled the scene before plowing into a pickup stopped for a red light at Petit Avenue, injuring a couple and their 16 year-old son.

Once again, he kept going, eventually drifting into the bike lane to smash into Haverland near the intersection of Mara Avenue; a witness reports an extremely hard collision, apparently killing Haverland instantly.

Again, he fled from the scene, this time followed by a witness — possibly the friend Haverland had been riding with — eventually stopping at his home on the 100 block of Kennedy Avenue, just one block south of Telegraph.

When police arrived, Singh was still sitting inside his vehicle, which some have identified as a Hummer H3; the vehicle had significant damage, and police were unable to open the driver’s side door as a result. Singh refused to exit his Hummer, resulting in a 20 minute standoff.

Police eventually entered from the rear hatch and dragged Singh out; he was reportedly taken to Ventura County Medical Center for treatment of bite wounds from police dogs.

It’s just too bad that the drunken S.O.B. was probably too intoxicated to feel them.

Inexplicably, the police report identified the exact address of Singh’s home, almost inviting retaliatory attacks against the driver; like the other press reports, I’m refraining from posting it here or linking to the report for that reason.

I hope everyone has the sense to refrain from retaliation and let the justice system do its job.

Singh was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony hit-and-run and felony DUI. The investigation is ongoing, and hopefully will result in adding murder charge for Haverland’s death.

The first collision could have been the result of a drunken error. But it’s difficult to argue that by the third collision, it was anything but an intentional act.

According to the Ventura County Star, Haverland was a 2009 graduate of Ventura’s Foothill Technology High School. His former principal describes him as “a great kid,” reporting that both staff and students are very upset by the news.

As an aside, Rex Reese emailed that Singh’s name is an anagram for Man Ass Thing.

Works for me.

One thing is certain. Life as he knew it is over for Singh.

Life for Haverland is just over.

My heartfelt sympathy to the family and friend’s of Nick Haverland, and best wishes to all the victims.

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