40-year old cyclist killed in Whittier; 14-year old Garden Grove cyclist dies as final fatality of 2011

Just 13 days into the new year, 3 cyclists have already been killed on Southern California streets.

According to the Whittier Daily News, two cyclists were crossing Whittier Blvd in Whitter, headed north on Rockne Ave around 10:40 am, as a car approached from the east; only one rider made it across the street.

Forty-year old Joseph Parra was struck by the Dodge Magnum and died at the scene. Police note that the driver remained at the site, and no criminal behavior was suspected.

A photo on the Daily News site shows minor damage to the left front of the car, with a smashed windshield on the driver’s side.

Google Street View reveals the riders had a stop sign, while the driver had an uncontrolled intersection, suggesting that the riders may have gone through the stop. However, it is also possible that the driver may have been speeding, or the cyclists’ view of the oncoming car could have been obstructed in some way.

This is the first cycling fatality in Los Angeles County this year, along with one each in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up.


A search for information about this collision also uncovered one final fatality for 2011.

According to a release from the Orange County Coroner’s office, 14-year old Albert Nguyen of Garden Grove was hit by a car while riding his bike at the intersection of Gilbert Street and Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove around 4:45 pm on Thursday, December 29th. He died at 6:30 pm on New Years Day at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

Reports indicate he was killed in a right hook after riding his bike off the sidewalk into the path of a turning car.

That makes Nguyen the 71st — and hopefully last — traffic-related bike fatality in Southern California in 2011, and the 13th in Orange County.


  1. Allan says:

    RIP Albert

    Always difficult hearing about the young ones going down. 🙁

  2. DanaPointer says:

    Can’t help but once again advocate for 2 CA law changes, pedestrian light turning green few seconds before car green and also banning right on red everywhere. I’m quite convinced huge number of pedestrian and kid sidewalk cyclist fatalities would be spared with these 2 law changes, maybe even this 14yr old would have been spared. But ofcourse politically winning data and arguments is hard to come by.

  3. For those of you who may disagree with the “no right on red” suggestion, I lived in Australia for seven years where drivers may not turn on a red. As a native Californian, at first I felt frustrated and actually expected the car behind me to honk. After a while, waiting at a red light became a peaceful intermission from the rest of the drive. Now, back in California, I miss that mandatory “time out” from the drive.

  4. Albert Nguen's Friend says:

    R.I.P Albert Nguyen, my dear friend.
    Everyone, including me misses you very much and love you.

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