Update: Cyclist killed in San Diego; 3rd SoCal bike fatality this month

Word is just coming in that a bicyclist was killed near San Diego State University this afternoon.

Details are pending; however, the collision is variously reported to have occurred sometime around 3:30 to 3:45 pm on Montezuma Road near Collwood Blvd. The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding east in the bike lane on Montezuma when he was hit from behind by a Chrysler SUV.

The driver stayed at the scene and called authorities to report the collision. Police report no drugs or alcohol were involved.

Photos from the scene show the victim’s bike on the sidewalk, as well as a shrouded body several feet off the road; San Diego 6 reports his body was recovered from a ravine, which would suggest a high speed impact.

This is the 13th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 3rd this month, after just one in March; it’s also the 3rd bicycling death in San Diego since the first of the year. Yesterday I inadvertently wrote that Larry Schellhase was the 10th cyclist killed this year; his death was actually the 12th.

My prayers and sympathy for the victim and his loved ones. Thanks to Bill Davidson for calling this to my attention.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune puts the time of the collision at 3:34 pm, and confirms that the victim was riding in the bike lane. Meanwhile, Sam Ollinger of Bike San Diego forwards word that the area has a long history for speeding drivers.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 63-year old Charles Raymond Gilbreth; he was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:52 pm. The San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office reports that he was married and lived within the city of San Diego; the report confirms that he was hit by an SUV and thrown onto the side of the road.

A comment on Bike San Diego says that the SUV driver became impatient following behind a bus, and used the bike lane to go around it; the writer says the SUV hit Gilbreth’s bike and threw him in front of the bus, which then ran over him. However, it’s important to note that the description of the rider being run over by a bus doesn’t fit with the ME’s report, or explain why his body was found off the side of the road instead of than within the traffic lanes as would be expected under such circumstances.

Hopefully the SDPD will release more information when their investigation is complete, and the press will follow-up so we can understand what actually happened and why.


Meanwhile, Carlos Morales of the Eastside Bike Club forwards word that L.A. police are on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who left a 60-year old cyclist critically injured.

On April 7, 2012, at 6:25 p.m., a 60-year-old male was riding his bicycle southbound on Duarte Street at 57th Street, when he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on Duarte Street. The suspect fled without rending aid to the victim. The victim is hospitlaized at a local hospital in critical condition.

If you have information to report that could help lead to an arrest in this crime/crime activity, please contact the police at (213) 972-1825.


  1. […] the article here: Cyclist killed in San Diego; 3rd SoCal bike fatality this month … This entry was posted in Blog Search and tagged bike, collision, coming, cyclist, details, diego, […]

  2. Scott says:

    So unnecessary…I bike that road 3 times per week at about the same time. The eastbound side of Montezuma ascending to Collwood has a clearly painted bike lane and ample room for cars, but drivers create two lanes of traffic in a single, wide right lane in anticipation of a right turn onto Collwood. Fast, aggressive, and completely unnecessary motorist behavior in an area that is not particularly congested.

    • bikinginla says:

      Maybe that’s the problem. I’ve found that when a lane is wide enough for two cars, drivers will usually try to make two lanes out of it. One of the most dangerous places I ride is just like that, and frequently results in getting buzzed as drivers try to squeeze by.

      • trevor says:

        There is no doubt (meaning that scientific studies show) that narrow lanes inspire better motorist behavior. Getting into the lane with motorists would have a similar effect, but I don’t expect the average bicyclist to understand that without trying it. Traffic engineers have done the opposite on this corner. They know that motorists cut across the inside corner of a curve so they widened the lane explicitly to let that happen.

  3. […] driver in an SUV. The collision occurred on Montezuma Road by Collwood Boulevard yesterday shortly after 3:30 pm. One of our readers, Shane, just left the following comment (from the U-T […]

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