Tag Archive for Ventura County

Oxnard woman killed in bicycling fall in Port Hueneme

This is why you always secure loose items on your bike.

According to the Ventura County Star, 53-year old Oxnard resident Maria Dupre was riding her bike on the 800 block of North Ventura Road in Port Hueneme around 6 pm Sunday, when something she was carrying on her bicycle became lodged in her front wheel. She lost control and fell from her bike.

She was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

The paper notes Dupre was not wearing a helmet; in this case, it might have made a difference, assuming she suffered a head injury. Solo falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County; the first occurred just eight days earlier in Moorpark.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Maria Dupre and all her loved ones.

Update: Two dead in Moorpark collision as driver rear-ends Emmy-winning cyclist, then swerves into motorcyclist

Tragic news from Moorpark, as two people are dead in a chain-reaction collision that took the life of a bicyclist and a motorcycle rider.

News initially broke last with a CHP report of a cyclist killed in a collision at the intersection of Moorpark and Tierra Rejada Roads around 5:21 pm.

However, the initial news report from the Ventura County Star, which is no longer available online, suggested that there were two dead at the scene in a collision between car and a motorcycle.

The confusion was cleared up this morning with news reports from the VC Star and Ventura radio station KTVA.*

A Saturn Ion driven by woman, who has not been publicly identified, was traveling south on Moorpark south of Tierra Rejada at 55 mph when she slammed into a cyclist riding on the shoulder, then overcorrected to hit the motorcyclist head-on on the opposite side of the road.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

The road narrows to a single lane south of Tierra Rejada, but has a wide, well-marked shoulder where the first victim was riding.

He was identified this morning as 53-year old Emmy Award-winning sound editor Maciek Malish. KTVA reports he won two Emmys for his work on the X-Files, as well as receiving numerous Emmy nominations. IMDb lists a number of credits dating back to 1987; he was currently working as dialogue editor on the new Westworld TV series.

The other victim was identified 42-year old Fillmore resident Jesse Cushman.

No reason is given for why the driver drifted onto the shoulder at such a high speed, although the description of the wreck suggests some form of distraction, However, it’s still under investigation by the CHP.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

Update: The Star confirms that investigators suspect that distraction appears to have played a role in the crash.

A CHP spokesman said the driver was apparently looking for something in the car when she swerved off the roadway, but it’s too early in the investigation to determine if the 26-year old woman will be charged.

The paper also notes that both victims were wearing helmets. However, a collision at 55 mph was unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman, and all their loved ones.

Thanks to Lester Walters for the heads-up.

*Because of the Star’s paywall, and KTLA not allowing linkage to a single news story, these stories may be unavailable later.


62-year old bike rider killed in Oxnard collision Monday morning

This is not the news anyone wanted for a week celebrating bicycles.

According to the Ventura County Star, 62-year old Oxnard resident Jose Ricardo Marin was hit by an SUV driven by a 75-year old woman around 10:30 Monday morning, at the intersection of A Street and Deodar Ave in Oxnard. He was declared dead at the scene.

The SUV was headed west on Deodar when it struck Marin’s bike; no word on where he was positioned on the roadway or what direction he was riding. The driver, identified only as a Newbury Park resident, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Sad that something like that must be noted in this age when so many drivers flee following a wreck.

A satellite view shows a quiet residential street which serves as a westbound exit route for a PCH offramp, suggesting the driver may have been exiting the freeway.

The paper also notes that Marin was not wearing a helmet, even though the cause of death has not yet been established, and there is no suggestion that he suffered a head injury.

For anyone unclear on the subject, a helmet can provide valuable protection against head injuries, but does absolutely nothing to prevent injury to any other part of the body, and is not designed to offer protection against impacts over 12.5 mph. If it could not have prevented the fatal injuries, whether or not a cyclist is wearing one is no more relevant that if he was wearing boxers or briefs.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared to 25 this time last year, and the second in Ventura County. Marin is also at least the 6th person to lose his life while riding in Oxnard in just the past five years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Ricardo Marin and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

Another drunken hit-and-run, another bike rider left to die in the street

We should all be sick of this by now.

Another drunk driver. Another hit-and-run. Another bike rider left to die in a crumpled heap on our streets.

This time, it happened in Oxnard, at 2:09 this morning, when 43-year old Gerald Garcia of Oxnard was riding south with a friend in the bike lane on Rose Avenue, just below Raider’s Way.

A 2000 Volkswagon GTI driven by 29-year old Oxnard resident Policarpio Diaz was traveling in the bike lane and rear-ended Garcia’s bike. Garcia was thrown off, while Diaz fled the scene with the bicycle still trapped beneath his car.

It’s entirely possible the wide bike lane may have looked like a travel lane in the early morning hour. To a drunk, anyway.

Witnesses aided police in locating Diaz’ car — apparently with the bike still trapped underneath — and they took him into custody a short distance away. Diaz was booked into Ventura County Jail on felony counts of DUI, Hit and Run and Vehicular Manslaughter, as well as two outstanding misdemeanor DUI warrants.

That’s right.

Diaz had two outstanding warrants for DUI, yet he was still allowed to remain on the streets to kill another human being.

Tragedies like this will keep happening as long as our legal system refuses to take drunk driving, hit-and-run and other traffic crimes seriously. Garcia is just the latest in a long string of traffic victims, with no end in sight.

And if that doesn’t piss you off, maybe it should.

This is the 11th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County. It’s also at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Oxnard in the last 38 months.

My deepest sympathy to Gerald Garcia and all his family and friends.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa and Kelly for the heads-up.

And no thanks to the California DMV and a legal system that continues to value the rights of drunk drivers over the right of the rest of us to simply stay alive.

Update: Bike rider killed by big rig truck near Ventura County Medical Center

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in a Ventura collision this morning.

According to the Facebook page for KTVA-1390 in Ventura, a bicyclist was hit by a big rig truck around 8:30 am at the intersection of Loma Vista and Hillmont, near the Ventura County Medical Center. The victim was taken to the medical center, where he died of his injuries.

A satellite view appears to show bike lanes on Loma Vista. Danny Gamboa reports that the medical center is currently undergoing construction work, and it was a transfer truck involved in the construction project that hit and killed the victim, who has not been publicly identified.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 73rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Ventura County. That compares with three in the county for all of last year, and four in 2011.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the tip.

Update: The Ventura County Star identifies the victim as a 49-year old Ventura resident. I’m told he was a construction worker; his name is known, but hasn’t been publicly released pending notification of next of kin. 

According to the paper, he was killed in a left cross collision, as the victim was crossing Loma Vista on northbound Hillmont, while the truck was turning left onto Loma Vista from southbound Hillmont. Under those circumstances, the rider should have had the right of way; the question becomes why the driver didn’t see him. 

Update 2: The Star identifies the victim as Scott Adamson; I’ve known his name since yesterday afternoon, but held off publishing it until I was sure his next of kin had been informed of his death. The paper also reports he wasn’t wearing a bike helmet; I don’t know many helmets strong enough to protect against a semi. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Scott Adamson, and all his family and loved ones. 


Bike rider killed in Oxnard collision; third SoCal cycling death in three days

More bad news, following the death of two young riders over the past weekend.

According to the Ventura County Star, 45-year old Oxnard resident Daniel Martinez Meza was killed when he was hit by a car attempting to enter Highway 101 in Oxnard this morning.

Meza was riding north on Rose Avenue approaching the 101 overpass around 8 am Monday when 20-year old Pablo Tellez Chavez attempted to change lanes to access the freeway onramp, striking Meza, who died at the scene.

It looks like bad road design may be at least partially responsible for this one. A satellite view shows a bike lane over the overpass, but no markings of any kind to guide drivers or cyclists leading up to it, creating an inevitable conflict zones as riders move left to enter the bike lane and drivers drift right to access the onramp.

The paper notes that Meza was not wearing a helmet. Whether that is relevant depends entirely on whether he died as a result of a head injury, and whether the collision was even survivable, based on the speed of the car that hit him and exactly how the collision unfolded.

This is the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared to 65 this time last year. It’s also the 6th in Ventura County — twice the total for all of last year — and the second in Oxnard since the first of this year.

My sympathy and prayers go out to Daniel Meza and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Machiko Yusada for the heads-up.

Update: A comment from Colleen provides some further clarity in this case.

This is indeed a bad road design. I drove past this accident this morning. A white sheet on the pavement in front of a car brings you to tears. The bicyclist was actually 1/3 the way over the overpass, not approaching the on ramp. Cars that wish to enter the North bound 101 fwy have about 10-20 feet to enter the far right lane before they are prohibited to do so by the solid white line which is also part if the bicycle lane. Drivers INTENTIONALLY speed pass the long line of law abiding drivers, cross over the bicycle lane and solid white line, and force their way into the fwy on ramp lane. Every day on my way home from work I witness one of these drivers nearly causing an accident by illegally cutting in front me or someone ahead if me, many time with a bicyclist in the bike lane. The plastic orange reflective posts should be installed along each side of the bike lane that crosses the overpass so the drivers will be discouraged from cutting in front of others and killing people. Until then, I would be happy to see a motorcycle cop posted there giving tickets.

Update: Twelve-year old bike rider killed in Camarillo; fourth SoCal bike death in just four days

And that makes four.

Four bicycling deaths across the northern SoCal region, from San Bernardino County through Pasadena and, now, Camarillo.

All in just four tragic days. And all at roughly the same time of day.

The Ventura County Star reported earlier tonight that a 12-year old boy was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after he was hit by a vehicle in a possible hit-and-run.

Now KABC-7 is reporting that the victim has died of his injuries; they also say that police have spoken with the driver.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Carmen Drive and East Edgemont Drive around 5:10 pm Sunday. No information yet on how the collision occurred, and the victim has not been publicly identified.

KABC-7 reports the victim was not wearing a bike helmet; California law requires one for any bike rider under the age of 18. Whether it could have done any good in this case remains to be seen.

This follows a pair of teenage riders killed in train collisions in Montclair and Upland on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, and a cyclist killed while riding near Caltech in Pasadena on Saturday. Oddly, each of the collisions took place between 5:10 and 5:30 pm.

This is the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Ventura County since the first of the year; that compares to three bicycling deaths in Ventura County for all of last year.

My prayers and condolences go out to the victim and all his family and friends. 

Update: Details are still sketchy, and no ID on the victim yet. However, KTLA-5 reports the boy was riding west on Carmen Drive with two friends when he tried to cross the street and was hit by a 2000 Toyota Avalon driven by a 79-year old woman. 

Update 2: The Ventura County Star identifies the victim as 12-year old Joseph Johnson of Camarillo; unfortunately, any other details are hidden behind a subscriber-only paywall.

Update 3: A police report corrects the information in the KTLA report above. According to the report, Johnson and his friends were riding salmon, headed north on the southbound side of Carmen Drive, when he cut across Carmen at Edgemont Drive, where he was hit by the car.

Based on the description, it sounds like it may have been a difficult collision for the driver to avoid, as the bike would have darted across her path from an unexpected direction. And depending on the speed of the car, which is not noted in the report, a helmet may actually have made a difference in this case.

The report notes that the collision is still under investigation, and asks anyone with information to contact the Camarillo Police Department at (805) 388-5100.

Oddly, it also asks to hear from people who are “aware of anyone that might have been involved in the accident,” suggesting that there may have been another vehicle involved, which would explain the early reports that this could have been a hit-and-run.

Bike rider killed in Oxnard collision; 3rd SoCal rider to die in 4 days — and 10 ahead of this time last year

A bad week just keeps getting worse.

The Ventura County Star reports that a 68-year old bike rider was killed when he was hit by a massive SUV operated by an 18-year old driver.

The collision occurred around 8:35 last night on Pleasant Valley Road west of Terrace Ave in Oxnard. According to the paper, the victim was hit by the eastbound GMC Jimmy when he entered the roadway from the south side of the street.

However, there is is a clearly marked bike lane along the roadway, suggesting that the driver may have drifted into the bike lane to hit the rider from behind, or that the cyclist may have been forced into the traffic lane for some reason. It’s also possible that the rider may have crossed over the sidewalk to enter the street from the nearby residential area, though that should have placed him in the bike lane, rather than in the path of the truck.

The victim was pronounced dead after being transported to Ventura County Medical Center.

This is the 30th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, placing us far ahead of this time last year, when just 20 riders had died on SoCal streets. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in Ventura County, already exceeding the total of three for all of last year, and matching the total of four in 2011 — just five months into the year.

The victim is the third cyclist to die in Southern California in the last four days, two of which occurred in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy for the victim and his family. 

Thanks to Machico Yasuda for the heads-up.

Update: 12-year old bike rider killed by semi-truck in Simi Valley

Heartbreaking news, as word is just coming in that a young bicyclist was killed in a collision with a semi-truck in Simi Valley tonight.

According to the Ventura County Star, a 12-year old boy was struck by a Fresh and Easy delivery truck while riding his bike around 7:30 pm Saturday at the intersection of Tapo Street and Alamo Street.

The paper says the truck was turning onto Alamo from southbound Tapo when it struck the boy, who has not been publicly identified; a report from KTLA-5 suggests the truck was actually leaving a nearby parking lot when the collision occurred.

No word which direction the truck was turning or how the collision occurred; a satellite view shows bike lanes in three of the four directions leading to and from the intersection, but not in front of the Fresh and Easy store.

As if the death isn’t tragic enough, the victim was riding with an eight-year old friend who may have witnessed the wreck.

Simi Valley police are investigating the collision, and the driver is reportedly cooperating.

This is the 28th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Ventura County; that equals the total for Ventura County for all of last year.

My prayers for the victim and his family. 

Update: By now, it’s clear from some of the comments below that the victim’s family has been notified of the death, but the victim still has not been publicly identified. If anyone would like to share the name of the victim so he can be remembered with the respect he deserves, or has any more information on how this collision occurred, please let me know. You can add a comment here, or find my email address on the About page.


Update 2: The Simi Valley Acorn has identified the victim as Jacob Sellers of Simi Valley, and added some details that clarify the situation, at least in part. 

According to the paper, the victim’s mother, Brenda Sellers, was told that Jacob was crushed under the back wheels of the truck, which dragged his bike some distance down the road. The driver was apparently unaware of the collision; a motorcycle rider had to chase him down and tell him he’d hit someone. 

A comment left here by a woman who identifies herself as Brenda Sellers says he was riding on the sidewalk and was riding too fast to avoid the truck.

And yes, minors are allowed to ride on any sidewalk in Simi Valley.

According to Sellers, her son did everything right.

“The bike he was on had brakes, he knew how to use his brakes. . . . So it breaks my heart that there are people mad because they think he was in the street riding his bike or he was assuming that he had the right of way, because that’s not Jacob, that’s not how he was,” she said.

“He was wearing his helmet. . . . He was doing everything he was supposed to be.”

She may be right.

Based on the description, it would appear that the truck driver may have failed to notice Jacob riding on the sidewalk, and pulled forward across the bike rider’s path as it turned right — a danger most bike riders would recognize, and one that few 12-year olds would have the skills to avoid.

Jacob Sellers was on this way home for dinner, riding his new bike, when he was killed just a week after his 12th birthday.

A fund has been established in Jacob’s memory; as of Friday night, it had raised over $15,000, surpassing the initial goal $10,000.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the Acorn link.

Police target distracted drivers for a whole month, Ventura farmers fear you’ll pee on their crops

Once again, police agencies around the state and across the country are targeting distracted drivers in the month of April.

Last year’s stepped up enforcement efforts lead to over 57,000 drivers being ticketed for texting or using hand-held phones behind the wheel. Not to mention another 3,800 nabbed for other illegal and unwise behaviors, such as eating, shaving and applying makeup as they sped down the roadway.

Not that you’d do anything like that, of course.

Which is why, like me, you probably wish police would dedicated themselves to the same level of enforcement the other eleven months of the year.

Because 60,000 tickets a month, every month, might actually get California drivers to put down their phones and pay attention behind the wheel. And maybe even save a few lives in the process.

Yeah, right. I know.

Here’s the press release from the LAPD. Thanks to Paul B. for the heads-up.



Ventura County farmers fear people and animals using a new rural bikeway will pee on crops and be sickened by pesticides, something that evidently never happens at farms located along rural roadways frequented by bike riders.

I grew up in farm country — no, really, my high school team was called the Lambkins for chrissake — and spent much of the first 30 years of my life riding in rural areas. And I can assure you that when the need arises, there are far better and less visible places to take a leak than the middle of some farmer’s cropland.

Even though it may not necessarily be a bad thing.

And if a farmer can’t manage to apply his pesticides in a manner that allows him to control where it ends up, he probably shouldn’t be using them in the first place.

Then again, as someone who has been crop dusted on more than one occasion, it hasn’t killed me yet.

Although, now that I think of it, it may explain a lot.

Thanks to Machiko Yasuda for the heads-up, and Bike SD’s Sam Ollinger for that number one link.


Today’s must read — an examination of design-oriented traffic safety vs. passive safety. It may be a little dense for us non-planners, but definitely worth the read.


I get a lot of emails from various people and companies wanting me to promote their products.

Some just don’t interest me, while others get lost in the shuffle. And many end up in the delete file for one reason or another; often because they have the audacity to offer me some small discount in a vain attempt to lower my editorial standards.

No, seriously.

If you’re going to bribe me, at least make it worth my while.

But every now and then, someone will approach me with an idea that actually makes sense. Like this one, attempting to raise funds for an ultra-reflective bike tire called LIT.

I rode something similar when I tested the Urbana Bike a couple of years ago. And never felt more visible; even without lights, the bike could be easily seen on the darkest streets.

Combine a reflective stripe like that with the durability of Gatorskins, and I’m there. Which, thanks to LIT’s puncture protection layer, it just might be.

So if, unlike me, you’ve got a few extra bucks to invest, this is one project I might just recommend.

In fact, I think I just did.

Meanwhile, this is one Kickstarter project that really should get funded, but probably won’t.


Here’s your chance to vote for funding for CicLAvia or Bicycle-Friendly Business Districts, among other projects for My LA2050; I cast my vote for the latter, since getting businesses on our side will do more than anything else to speed acceptance of bicycling in the City of Angeles. The proposed $3 billion bond issue to repair L.A.’s streets is being revived, with hearings throughout the city this month; I still can’t support it unless it includes provisions to repair the city’s broken sidewalks and speed up implementation of the L.A. bike plan as street get repaved. The latest Unity Ride will roll Sunday, April 28th to strengthen ties between L.A. and the San Fernando Valley — much of which is L.A. Letter writers weighing in with the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council were overwhelmingly in support of bike lanes on Colorado Blvd; I understand speakers at Tuesday’s meeting strongly backed the proposed lanes, as well. Update: In a bit of late-breaking news, the Eagle Rock NC voted to supported buffered bike lanes on Colorado Blvd. Bike lanes are proposed for Cal Poly Pomona, where cyclist Ivan Aguilar was killed a little over a month ago perhaps due to the lack of them. KCRW traffic maven Kajon Cermak wants to know if L.A.’s newly synchronized traffic lights have sped up your drives through the city; I can’t speak for driving, but I seem to get stopped at more lights when I ride these days.

Applications for Newport Beach’s new Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee are due Wednesday; meanwhile, donations to the city’s Bike Safety Improvement Fund totaled over $75,000, which Newport Beach will match on a three-to-one basis. A proposed bill would force drivers to acknowledge they understand the dangers of distracted driving when they get their license. Bike safety is finally coming to Bakersfield. Cyclelicious says those traffic light detectors work better if you lay your bike on its side. Specialized Creative Director Robert Eggers says the company is intoxicated by bicycles, and wants to spread the disease to everyone. Good advice on how to ride through parking lots. A cyclist is killed in Red Bluff traffic collision.

A writer for People for Bikes correctly points out that for every “FU” we cyclists utter, there’s an equal and opposite “FU” from motorists; the antidote, he says, is to say “careful” instead. This is another reason why it’s hard to get women excited about bicycling. Proper etiquette for group rides; a lot of experienced riders could stand to read this as well as beginners. No irony here, as America’s wounded warriors have until Friday to submit applications to ride with the man who sent them to war. A Minneapolis man is arrested for the apparent drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist. A Minnesota writer who previously opposed bike lanes commits to riding every day this month. Ohio redefines the word bicycle to include four-wheeled pedal-powered vehicles. That Philly man who rides with his cat on his shoulder is the new handlebar-mustached face of GoPro. A New York study shows most pedestrians are hit by cars while walking in the crosswalk with the light, and cabs are no friend to cyclists. The New York Post is shocked! shocked! to spot Alec Baldwin riding a bike sans helmet and talking on a cell phone; only the latter is against the law in New York. An open hate letter to Miami’s bike thieves, in which the writer wishes them a social disease.

Toronto’s notoriously anti-bike mayor is accused of public drunkenness and possible drunk driving. It ain’t easy to keep your cool when a professional cyclist grabs your ass. Oxford advocates call for more bike lanes, or not. Bucharest bike advocates fight the city’s dangerous bike lanes by adopting and eliminating them. A call for police to target New Zealand cyclists riding without lights at night. Sadly, an Aussie cop is killed while riding to celebrate his 52nd birthday.

Finally, continuing this week’s theme, a BMX-biking Colorado bank robber gets 41 months in Federal prison; probably a better getaway choice than yesterday’s beach cruiser. And a suspected drunk driver fled the scene after rear-ending a car near the Malibu Pier, then slammed into six parked cars and damaged a house; the driver turned out to be the son of Gone With the Wind star Clark Gable.

Frankly my dear, I do give a damn.

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