Cyclist killed in Blue Line collision, third SoCal cyclist killed in three days

This has got to stop.

For the third time in the last three days — and the fifth time since the beginning of the year — a cyclist has been killed in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area.

According to the Contra Costa Times, an unidentified Hispanic cyclist approximately 30-years old apparently tried to beat the Blue Line train across the tracks; or possibly was not paying attention — though how you miss an oncoming train is beyond me.

The collision occurred at 1:46 pm Thursday at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Wardlow Road in Long Beach. Personnel from Long Beach Fire Department reported that the rider was dragged several hundred feet following the impact, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Please, take it front someone who grew up around trains.

You won’t beat a train across the tracks, and it’s not worth risking your life to try. I tired — and barely made it — once, and had a close enough call that I never want to try it again.

Note: the Contra Costa Times story has photos; however, there is a very disturbing image of the bike under the train that you may not want to see.

Update: The Long Beach Post has additional photos of the collision scene. Again, use your discretion; some people may be disturbed by the photos — myself included.


  1. The Trickster says:

    Sounds like you’re having a week a bit like we did a few months back 🙁

    A slight aside – there is a rather nicely done ghost bike where the girl got doored on Tamaki Dr, and the council has partially fixed the cause of the crash by removing the bad parking spaces.

  2. BOBO says:

    I heard a local official the other day attacking the lack of “safety” of our transit system that results in these types of “accidents”. This person was demanding that tems of billions in taxpayer monies be spent on unnecessary grade separations to “protect” these “innocent” people from these awful “killer” trains.

    The fact that these “innocent” people were, in almost all cases, found to have been driving while legally drunk, or otherwise were fools who deliberately choose to drive around railroad gates and through red traffic lights, in front of oncoming trains, to kill themselves, was conveniently omitted from this vacuous emotion laden argument?

    Of course, this person didn’t mention or apparently think that same demogogic logic should be applied to auto crashes from the same irresponsible causes that kill 43,0000 and injure two and a half million people annually?

    Maybe, using such demogogic thinking, we should ban cars, or spend trillions to grade separate all traffic on local streets, too? After all, don’t all of the rest of us, who behave responsibly, have an obliagation to tax ourselves in an unlimited manner to publicly subsidize such personal stupidity and irresponsible behavior?

    If people are going to insist on being this stupid, driving while illegally intoxicated, and driving cars or bikes irresponsibly in front of oncoming trains, then the rest of us owe them nothing. And, we should certainly be under no obligation to tax ourselves and spend billions of tax dollars to prevent this kind of willful individual stupidity. And no, in spite of the bleating by those of you who choose to be pandering self righteous demogogues on this issue, it isn’t the trains fault.

  3. Marq says:

    This was my neighbor and friend Wallie. He is a black male who is actually 52 but could pass for a 30 years old. He was a drinker and it was probely his fault but It is tragic all the same. His sister came by on Friday and let us know the news. His service will be held later this week. Please be kind with your comments, my wife is really broken up about this.

  4. karL says:

    The photo’s are not displaying for me and the comments there are closed but like here the notion of grade seperation is raised and unlike here not debunked.

    What should be added is that track confinement is the real problem as it limits the range of transit of rail luxury to only tracked miles. Yes Hummer owners will die if they crash into transit vehicles set free- especially if they are at fault, but yes even if they are not. The reality is though that for every hummer driver innocently squashed by a inattentive metro employee driving a 500 passenger rubber tired double decker quadra-articulated general motors inertial energy storing engine powered many pedestrians and others will be spared- and perhaps millions of children given much fresher air- so that if not doc’s they can still be teachers with what lesser brain etc. injuries not having to breath quite so many idling engines or coal powered ‘Volts’ presently has all of us suffer.

    WE can outgrow the bumper carmentality- rich people can have low windows essentially justlike th old days they’ll have to suffer the lethal temptatiions of again. Or we can pay of the existing petty numbers of transit drivers like tobacco farmers and allow robotically drivin impersonal but still maximally luxuriious minivans to take overth estreets, and I for one would be willing to eliminate all self driven vehicles including bikes to see that happen. Anyone reasonalbe would be willing to say the sidewalks are enough for everyone else or even they shold be about mobility not special interests etc.

    As far as those who admit to having risked such a death themselves it’s true the lack of rubber allows ungodly acceleration- ground shaking really, having lived briefly next to a station with the entire building shakingly literally from the earth being spun every time insane amounts of wattage get applied in the freak show that metro is toyed with- other solutinos ot productivity of courseo make more sense like A/B stops with intelligent alternation that drastically cut car cost even for rail down in allowing lighter smaller powertrains and regenerative braking across a long enough distance and time to be efficient if not skipping electricity altogether. (its’ wires being so skinny toand from stations already that flywheels to alternators are alrleady needed begging the questinof why bother with electricity at all thereafter when like sprinters they can be kicked out ofthe station with mere gears and/or cables and such.

    So blaming a bicyclist and equating him to a drunk car driver is lazy. His drinking even is quite different. We see, hear, breathe, more. If the photo’s really have been sabotaged or taken down which I doubtthat’s sad. Trains travel faster then they need to, accelerate for nonpassengers and the car industry not to maximise dollars spent- I’m sure youcan move more opassengers with the same tradck even with slower but more plentiful contraptions. “Light” they certainly are not- cable cars where light, lacked air conditioning,and of course got there powerfrom gravity and friction and not just tracks but elegant inertial physics. The actually accelerated faster but to lower speeds and do I guess still up north up hills with lots of body to cushion impacts insteadof just poor flies on lonely windshields.

    His death is statistically insignificant though of course. As is the present percent of noncar users or nonrecreational cyclists from an expendability perspective.

    WE can stay home and not be noticed if only a third of those driving alone coudl be given gps gadgets and software to enable simpler then turning key and reving hours a day was enabled for them as well. A mere third- in such an outcome his son can forgive me, us even. That train couldn’t stop for fear of offending car ‘owners’ is a truth he shall eventually given a chance c ome to as well. I’ve never heard of shutting down an existing underpass, for any reason, especially ones so obvious asto be unstated. Stop subsidising wealthy train riders and he probably would of been riding it and not risking his life using the street for ‘free.’ Technology allows us to ride bikes and rail one for merit now- and it’s high time tostop using transit dollars to subsidise either Seatle, Tokyo or anthying but mobility.

    The bike manuals don’t even mention not wearing blinders- but car cribi sheet does- forexample. It’s teh tracks that killl us notfrom there lumpiness but from there seperating sane mobility from the rest of the city. Bikes don’t need much more then a track teh design guidliones show tracks for climbing stairs- we should have them for riding as welll- only inches not feet wide, but ubiquitous and not for amateurs- or at least not deny trains the same access we suffer.