It was another bad weekend for Southern California cyclists, with yet another fatal hit-and-run, as well as one more in the seemingly endless list of bike riders killed by drunk drivers.
However, in both cases, the riders may have been at least partially at fault.
After killing a woman riding a bike, a heartless ex-con stopped for a midnight snack at Jack in the Box before fleeing the scene.
At least, that’s what the police initially thought.
About 12:15 am on Friday, 43-year old Lauretto Jean Romo was riding a mountain bike on Highland Avenue where it meets the 215 Freeway bridge in San Bernardino. According to reports, she was wearing dark clothing and riding west in the eastbound lane — without a light — when she was hit by a dark green vehicle, which then took off.
Romo was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:42 am.
For a change, the stories did not note whether she was wearing a helmet, perhaps recognizing that it wouldn’t have mattered. The car hit with so hard that the bike was broken in half and pieces of the vehicle were found at the scene.
According to the Press Enterprise, police followed a trail of automotive fluid about 200 yards to a nearby Jack in the Box, where surveillance video showed Bobby Joe Jackson, a convicted bank robber out on federal probation, calmly ordering a meal at the drive-through window in a green Honda Civic. Employees reported that he appeared to be intoxicated.
Problem is, it looks like he didn’t do it. San Bernardino police cleared Jackson after he turned himself in on Monday.
Authorities continue to look for a dark green vehicle with front end damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Dave Carlson at 909/384-5664.
The irony is, had the driver remained at the scene, he or she probably would not have been at fault; now the driver faces up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $10.000 for a fatal hit-and-run.
In a separate incident, a cyclist was killed by a suspected drunk driver in Ramona on Saturday night, about 28 miles northeast of San Diego.
The Ramona Sentinel reports that 54-year old David Bruce Menea was riding west on Main Street near Kalbaugh Street, and attempting to cross the street when he was hit and thrown onto the roadway by an SUV driven by 32-year old Suzanne Nicole Reed.
Meanwhile, the SUV continued into a stop sign, over an embankment and struck a parked car with two people inside, knocking it through the front window of a nearby liquor store.
Even though the driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI, media reports blamed the cyclist for the collision. According to the Sentinel, a CHP officer said that Reed was “unable to avoid the bicycle in front of her,” while other reports indicate that Menea was “illegally crossing” Main when he was struck, with no explanation of exactly what that means or how he may have violated the law.
Then again, it’s easy to blame the cyclist when he’s not alive to tell his side of the story.
Luxembourg cyclist Kim Kirchen plans to return to racing, despite suffering a heart attack earlier this year — and with an implanted defibrillator. And local racer Rahsaan Bahati donated a limited edition Cannondale Graffiti Bike to raise funds for World Relief and Chicago Cubs Charities.
Park(ing) Day prepares to take over the city on Friday, with parking space parks from the Bikerowave and Flying Pigeon; Green LA Girl directs your attention to sites from Santa Monica Spoke and de Lab, as well as the website for Park(ing) Day LA.
LADOT Bike Blog creates a Google Map showing all the department’s bicycling facility projects completed or underway this year. LACBC reports progress on bike racks in the McArthur Park, Pico Union and Rampart Village areas, and calls on cyclists to support improvements in the new West Hollywood General Plan. A USC writer calls for a real plan to deal with the 10,000 to 15,000 cyclists on campus. Claremont may play host to a stage in next year’s Tour of California. A writer for the Orange County Register joins with the OC Wheelmen to challenge other bike clubs to enforce safety rules for their members. A gutter bunny transforms into safer cyclist. Compared to Singapore, bicycling in Las Vegas isn’t that bad. Who says bikes don’t have turn signals? Biking Cape Cod in the fall. In a doubly tragic event, a driver hits a cyclist after leaving a birthday party — then kills himself after realizing he’d just killed the man who’s birthday he’d been celebrating; link courtesy of Witch on a Bicycle. The cyclist killed by a New York City bus on Saturday after being doored by a driver has been identified as a 23-year old woman who rode her bike everywhere; the driver was charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle. An Oklahoma driver unexpectedly pleads no contest to first degree manslaughter and DUI for the death of two cyclists last year. The Interbike Trade Expo returns to the Anaheim Convention Center next year, and moves up to August. Handcrafted fixies will go on display in London next month. More offerings to drool over from Eurobike. including the latest foldies. Brit riders can visit the birthplace of the Titanic in Northern Ireland this weekend. Cyclists wanting to lose weight should cut down on carbs, not cut them out.
Finally, transform your two-wheeled steed into a real one. Well, sort of.