Breaking news: Cyclist killed by SUV in Irvine Wednesday afternoon

According to the Daily Pilot, a 42-year old cyclist was killed while riding in Irvine this afternoon.

The collision occurred around 1 pm Wednesday on northbound Shady Canyon Drive south of Quail Hill Parkway when the rider, who has not been publicly identified, was struck from behind by a Mercedes SUV.

The Orange County Register reports that two other cyclists were performing CPR when authorities arrived; the rider was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Not surprisingly, the unidentified 35-year old driver and her infant passenger were uninjured.

The collision is still under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact Sgt. Dennis Maisano at 949-724-7023.

This is the 7th cycling fatality in Orange County this year, and 47th confirmed traffic-related fatality in Southern California.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

Update: The Contra Costs Times identifies the victim as Duane Parkinson of Irvine, a detective with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department; he leaves behind a wife and three children.

Update 2: According to the Contra Costa Times, a co-worker says Parkinson may have fallen in front of the SUV that killed him; the 15-year veteran is described as someone who was loved by everyone.

“People say `oh he was a great guy,’ about someone but Duane was that really, really great guy,” said Sgt. Phill Dupper who started his career with Parkison at the county jail. “Everybody loved him. He treated everybody the same, from grounds keeper to council members. He loved being a detective, always smiling.”         


  1. That’s becoming one of my bigger fears. I can listen for potential right-hooks and watch out for people coming out of driveways. I can ride in the lane and hope that people see me, but I can’t always be sure.

    • bikinginla says:

      The good news is, hit-from-behind collisions are relatively rare occurrences, though they are one of the leading causes of fatal collisions due to the high speed differentials on highways and other high-speed roadways.

      Other than positioning yourself to be as visible as possible, my best advice is to never ride with headphones. By listening closely to oncoming traffic, you can learn recognize the sound of vehicles coming too close or too fast from behind. More than once I’ve bailed off the road because I heard a vehicle coming right at me.

  2. Not that I wish this upon anyone, but given that it’s a sheriffs detective who was the victim I expect the investigation on this one will be very thorough.

  3. Mark Elliot says:

    >Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

    Needless to say, news of fatalities shouldn’t come by way of a tip but instead through a coordinated reporting mechanism. When I heard via a forum about a recent collision injury here in Beverly Hills, I couldn’t reach the cyclist.

    Now, our local papers print a police blotter, but notably they omit traffic incidents – even fatalities. A call to our PD about showed that the blotters are compiled by reporters calling the PD. There is no automatic feed from the PD.

    Given the tools available today, it’s entirely feasible that a police department can create those feeds by incident type. Cyclists would benefit from being able to tap into a ped- or bike-involved collision, just as our papers would benefit from a property crime feed.

    Shouldn’t we put this on the bike community’s agenda, just as we’re talking to PDs about bike registration and officer training?

  4. Mark Elliot says:

    Maybe we need a virtual ‘ghost bike’ site where we could memorialize the victims, remember the perpetrators, and note circumstances as we work toward safer streets and prudent road behavior across all road users.

  5. BikingBrian says:

    According to the comments in the OC Register article, the crash happened roughly at the location at the Google map link below. A cyclist passing northbound through the private gated Shady Canyon community would be using the side path on the west side of Shady Canyon Road. After leaving the private community, this is the first and most convenient location where a cyclist can get back on the road. It’s quite possible there’s more to the situation than a “simple” hit from behind, we shall see what comes out of the investigation.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks, Brian — I really appreciate your insights. You’ve already explained far more than I knew about this collision. Please keep us informed as this moves forward if you learn anything else.

      • BikingBrian says:

        Will do. Another point to note is that the trees partially obstruct the view of the road as it curves right. Also, northbound is a significant downhill. Finally, the posted speed limit is 50 (!) mph.

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