Tag Archive for Ventura

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. 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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