Tag Archive for Ventura County

Morning Links: 300 days in Moorpark distracted driving case; applications now open for Great Streets grants

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.


Life is cheap in Ventura County.

The Ventura County Star reports 27-year old Rachael Hill was sentenced to 300 days in jail for killing bicyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman just outside of Moorpark last year while “distracted by a portable electronic device.”

Probably texting, in other words.

Hill received an unwarranted gift when the Ventura County DA inexplicably filed the case as misdemeanors, rather than the felony charges recommended by CHP investigators.

She’ll begin her sentence November 4th, and will most likely serve just a fraction of that time before she’s released from county jail.

On the other hand, we should probably be grateful she got any time at all.

Meanwhile, Hill sentenced both men to death, and their families to a lifetime without them.


Applications are now open for the second round of LA’s Great Streets Challenge projects.


The official trailer has been unveiled for a new documentary about cargo bikes, called Motherload.


A triathlete gave up a probable gold medal while competing in Cozumel, Mexico, when he stopped to help his heat-stroke stricken brother across the finish line.

There’s a new record for the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle, as a bullet-shaped ‘bent hit 89.58 mph in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge.



Peter Flax says riding an ebike does not make you a bad person, and that ebikes aren’t about replacing bicycles, but replacing cars.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes that bicycling and equity advocates will converge on Atlanta in November for The Untokening: A Convening for Just Streets and Communities to reclaim the streets and make them safe and accessible for all.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests walking, expanded bikeshare and bike valets as possible solutions to the transportation crunch getting to the Rams games at the Coliseum. Improved bike lanes would also help, while benefitting USC students and local residents on non-game days.

The 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postposed due to last June’s brushfires in the San Gabriel Valley has been rescheduled for March 5th; the 19-mile open streets event will allow people to walk, jog, skate and bike through eight SGV cities.



Seven years after being paralyzed from the waist down in a dirt bike crash, a California man is able to ride a recumbent under his own power after receiving an electronic spinal implant.

Only eight tickets have been written in the entire state of California for violating three-foot passing law since it went into effect in September 2014; out of 10 drivers asked about the law by a San Francisco TV reporter, not one knew it even existed.

A mountain biker had a close encounter of the scary kind when he was confronted by a mountain lion while riding in Foothill Ranch; a bike rider was killed by a mountain lion on the same trail in 2004.

Laguna Beach plans to deal with safety problems on PCH by somehow moving cyclists off the deadly roadway instead of building the bike lane recommended in a recent safety study; as always, the real reason appears to a preference for parking spaces over human lives.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a bike rider was killed when he allegedly turned left in front of a car.

Palo Alto approves plans for a Dutch-style protected intersection to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.



Cosmo recommends riding to work, and offers solutions for five excuses not to.

Bicycling explains what goes on with your body when you crash.

Nikon introduces a new $500 action cam, while GoPro unveils a new $800 drone.

A Virginia cyclist outruns a road raging tractor driver who tried to cut him off in a bike lane.

North Carolina approves a four-foot passing law, while allowing drivers to briefly cross a center line to pass cyclists when they can see far enough to do it safely.

A New Orleans chef turns to Uber after her bicycle is stolen and someone steals the seat off her other bike.



The Ottawa trucking official who caused a stir by saying cyclists should have to stop half a block back from intersections so they don’t interfere with turning trucks doubles down, complaining about the complaints he received, while noting we all just want to get home safely. Never mind that in any crash with a bicyclist, the truck driver probably will, while the bike rider, not so much.

Halifax drivers complain that new protected bike lanes meant the loss of 49 parking spaces, even though the city installed 79 new spaces just a few blocks away to more than mitigate the loss. Meanwhile, someone keeps moving a Halifax bike corral out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

A writer for the Guardian says we need to kick our addiction to driving.

A London man describes a fist fight between a road raging cyclist and his equally road raging Uber driver, while getting billed for the driver’s trip to the hospital.

Iranian women continue to ride their bicycles, despite a religious edict from the country’s supreme leader banning the practice because it “exposes society to corruption” and “contravenes women’s chastity.” Because we all know bike riding makes you a slut, right? And that goes for men, too.

Caught on video: A Chinese ebike rider was badly injured after being kicked off her bike by someone on a passing scooter.



Don’t leave home without your reflective clothing. Once again, using your bicycle to whack the driver you just collided with is just not what it’s designed for.

And evidently, riding a bicycle will remove all your skin and strip you naked.


Bicyclist killed in Oxnard hit-and-run; 17-year old driver arrested

Apparently, you’re never too young to take a life while driving under the influence.

The Ventura County Star reports a bike rider was killed in an Oxnard hit-and-run Friday morning, and the 17-year old driver taken into custody minutes later.

Forty-two-year old Oxnard resident Gregory Dominguez was riding near the intersection of Lakehurst Street and Janetwood Drive a little after 7 am Friday when he was struck by an SUV.

The driver continued down Lakehurst, knocking down numerous mailboxes before crossing the road, and crashing into a magnolia tree with enough force to knock it down.

The driver, who has not been publicly identified, then fled the scene on foot, but was arrested nearby. Police say drugs or alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Dominguez was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Star reports local residents have tried in vain to get city officials to do something about speeding drivers on what should be a quiet, residential street.

Evidently, they need to do something about teenage drivers who are drunk or stoned at seven in the morning, as well.

This is the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gregory Dominguez and all his loved ones.

Update: Ventura bike rider killed in midnight hit-and-run

A Ventura bike rider has been left to die by a heartless and cowardly driver.

According to KABC-7, a male bike rider was hit by vehicle at Telegraph Road and Saticoy Avenue shortly after midnight today.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene; his identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver fled the scene, leaving his victim lying in the road, where he was found by police responding to the call.

No word yet on how the collision may have occurred.

A satellite view shows the area is a mixture of farmland and housing developments. There appears to be a substandard bike lane headed east on Telegraph, with only a fragmentary bike lane westbound at the intersection with Saticoy, giving way to a narrow shoulder to the west with a 50 mph speed limit. Meanwhile, Saticoy is marked as a bike route, with no improvements to the street.

Police are looking for a white, four door Nissan sedan with substantial front end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call the Ventura Police Department’s Traffic Unit at 805/339-4323.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Ventura County. That exceeds the total for all of last year in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 14-year old Jonathon Hernandez of Ventura; KABC-7 reports he was a football player at Buena High School in Ventura.

He was apparently riding at that hour because he was upset after an emotional family meeting to mark his sister’s birthday, who died of leukemia a few months earlier; family members did not know he had gone out. He had called friends to say was coming over because he needed to talk. 

Surveillance video shows he was struck by a white flatbed tow truck driving east on Telegraph, which should have major front end damage based on evidence at the scene.

He was then struck by a silver or light-colored SUV as he lay in the road, which also continued east on Telegraph without stopping.

Based on the description, the tow truck driver should face a murder charge once he’s apprehended, since Hernandez wouldn’t have been struck by the second vehicle if the driver had stopped as the law and basic human decency requires. Which does not absolve the second driver of his or her own responsibility. 

A fund has been established to pay for funeral expenses. As of this writing, it had raised nearly $6,000 of the $10,000 goal in just seven hours.

Update 2: Police have identified the driver of the tow truck as Martin Henderson, the owner/operator of a towing company that contracts with Ventura.

They say he had the right-of-way as Hernandez allegedly ran the red light; presumably they base that on the same surveillance video that showed the two collisions.

Regardless of who may have been at fault, it does not excuse leaving a young man to die on the street.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jonathon Hernandez and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up. 

Update: Bicyclist killed Tuesday in Ojai Valley

This has got to stop.

For the fourth time in the last four days, bike rider has been killed in a SoCal collision, this time in Ventura County.

According to the Ventura County Star, a man was hit by a box truck while riding his bike in the Meiners Oaks area of the Ojai Valley just before 1:30 pm Tuesday, as the driver was leaving a private parking lot on East El Roblar Drive east of Felix Drive.

The victim was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His identification has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver remained at the scene.

There’s no word on where the victim was on the road or which direction he was riding, or which direction the driver was turning. A street view shows a two lane roadway with a parking lane on either side and a 25 mph speed limit, though that would not seem to be a factor in this case.

Anyone with information is urged to call 477-4100.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old Ojai resident Christopher Angelos.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Angelos and his loved ones.

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.

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