Update: Another month, another cycling fatality — bike rider killed in Lake Elsinore area

That didn’t take long.

After an exceptionally deadly month of July, in which 13 SoCal cyclists lost their lives, yet another rider was killed on the very first day of August.

According to the Southwest Riverside News Network, the victim was hit by a pickup at approximately 4:50 pm on Grand Avenue near the intersection with Blackwell Blvd in Lakeland Village.

The Lake-Elsinore-Wildomar Patch reports that witnesses saw the rider enter traffic quickly, leaving no time for the driver to respond before the collision.

A satellite view shows an uncontrolled intersection on Grand, with stops signs on Blackwell. However, there’s no indication whether either party may have entered from the side street, or who may have had the right-of-way.

A man who lived nearby heard the impact, but didn’t hear the sound of brakes prior to the collision. He ran out and called 911, then knelt down and put his hand on the victim’s chest, reportedly feeling a heartbeat but no breathing. Paramedics declared the man dead at the scene.

Patch reports the cause of the crash is under investigation; the victim has not been publicly identified.

A photo on the Patch site shows a badly mangled road bike with panniers and what appears to be a cooler on the back rack, suggesting he may have been riding home from work at the time of the collision.

This collision also occurred at the same intersection as another fatal bike collision in 2010.

This is the 43rd traffic-related bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Riverside County.

My sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Update: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Harry Dettloff of Lake Elsinore. The NC Times says he was hit while crossing Grand Avenue just north of Baldwin, and puts the time of death as 5:08 pm.

Update 2: According to the Press-Enterprise, Dettloff was riding with traffic on the west shoulder of Grand Avenue when a Nissan Frontier truck driven by 60-year old Patrick Wattson of Wildomar struck him from behind at around 40 mph.

A CHP spokesman said the truck drifted off the road because Wattson was “momentarily inattentive.” The officer also notes that Dettloff wasn’t wearing a helmet, though it’s not clear how much benefit a helmet would have provided in a collision at that speed.

Now a man is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to pay attention while operating a two-ton truck.

But hey, it was just an accident, right?


  1. […] reading here: Another month, another cycling fatality — bike rider killed in Lake … This entry was posted in Blog Search and tagged august, cyclists, deadly, didn, exceptionally, […]

  2. Deborah says:

    I am so sorry for the family of this Death. I also lost my son in June 2012. My heart goes out to them. I feel your pain and know it is deep. Prayers are with you. Deborah

  3. Anthony Alexander says:

    Your right on- It was just an accident. No question mark. My heart
    goes out to the Family.

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