A 16-year old Rancho Cucamonga cyclist died August 5th, nearly a week after he collided with a car.
Bernie Cota, who would have been a junior at Rancho Cucamonga High School, was riding his bike to a friend’s house on Friday, July 29th when the wreck occurred at the intersection of Milliken Ave and Terra Vista Parkway. No other details about the collision are currently available.
Cota was not wearing a helmet at the time, even though helmets are required for anyone under 18 in California. He suffered severe brain injuries, and despite surviving emergency surgery, lingered in a coma before being declared dead on Friday, August 5th.
According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, his organs were donated after his death.
All of Cota’s organs were healthy and his mother opted to have them donated. She is absolutely certain that her son would have wanted it that way.
“Many people got good news that day,” Denise Cota said.
But many others received news that broke their hearts, including friends, relatives and Bernie Cota’s two younger brothers, Brent and Brandon.
A public memorial was held for Cota this past weekend, while a local hair salon and pizza parlor both held fundraisers for the family; friends made and sold t-shirts and bead bracelets to raise money for the funeral.
A local mortuary offers a moving slide show of a life cut short.
This is the 49th confirmed traffic-related cycling death in Southern California this year, and 4th in San Bernardino County; Cota was the second teenage cyclist to die in the county this month.
My heart and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. Thanks to Ann for forwarding the news.