Update: 44-year old cyclist killed in Bermuda Dunes — 2nd Riverside County cycling death in four days

Dear God, not again.

Southern California’s unbelievable — and prior to last month, unimaginable — plague of cycling fatalities continues, as yet another rider succumbs after being struck by a vehicle.

And once again, in Riverside County.

According to KCBS-2, 44-year old La Quinta resident Mark Ledbetter was hit by some sort of vehicle, described only as a gold Dodge, on the 79900 block of Country Club Drive in Bermuda Dunes. The collision occurred just after 7 am Saturday; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second cyclist was also hit and slightly injured, but did not require hospitalization.

No other information is available this time.

This is the 44th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Riverside County. It’s also the second Riverside cycling death in the last four days, and the third in just three weeks.

And it’s the 15th SoCal in just the last five weeks — an utterly unacceptable average of three deaths every week.

And it’s got to stop.


My sympathy and prayers for Mark Ledbetter and all his family and loved ones.

Update: MyDesert.com offers more details on how the collision occurred. 

According to the website, Ledbetter was riding westbound alongside 29-year old Chad Priest on Country Club Drive; Priest was on the shoulder and Ledbetter was riding in the traffic lane, with the shoulder dividing line between them.

A 2009 Dodge Caliber driven by 32-year old Coachella Anthony Peraza struck them from behind, hitting Ledbetter full on while striking Priest with his passenger side mirror. CHP investigators don’t know how fast Peraza was driving, or why he failed to avoid the two riders.

Ledbetter was declared dead at the scene around 7:30 am, while Priest received moderate cuts and bruises on his left side.

The investigation is ongoing; no word on whether Peraza will face charges. But for once, it doesn’t sound authorities are jumping to blame the victims. 


  1. Defensive Cyclist 1 says:

    Hello. My condolences to all the riders deaths this summer. As a cyclist I’d like to know if the Cerevellum Hindsight 35 (http://www.cerevellum.com) is worth the price..it is high tech camera? I cannot depend on my old helmet mirror and with technology I want something that would capture a hit from behind – knock on wood. The gentlemen at this blog is a multi athlete who reviews high tech gadgets – including the Cerevellum.
    (http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/09/look-at-rear-facing-cameras-for-bike.html) in addition to a couple bike cameras. Has anybody heard of these bike cameras? I am not affiliated with either website. I am in Southern California and given the rash of cycling accidents I would feel safer if I knew a driver would be caught as result of using a rear camera or any other recommendations would be appreciated. Thank to the replies.

  2. Joanne Ohanesian says:

    Mark Ledbetter was an exemplary husband, father, friend and human being. His passing is an enormous loss to humankind. Prayers to Mary and Tice.

  3. Lindaree Ledbetter Pearce says:

    i offer my prayers and deepest sympathy to Marks family,his untimely death is a shock to his family and friends.

  4. Deanna says:

    Mark was one of the nicest, most caring person I’ve ever known. He was always positive and so full of life… He never passed judgement, always checked on his friends, and was just all around an awesome person! My prayers go out to Mary(God he loved you Mary), Tice, and Marks mom and sister!

  5. Paul says:

    Mark and I grew up in Bay Park California (Mission Bay). Mark was an awesome person and will be missed by all. This is just a shock I’m lost for words. R.I.P. Bro!!!!!

  6. bikinginla says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss, and deeply appreciate everyone’s kind words for Mark. However, so far at least, the stories available online have told us nothing about who he was, or how this collision occurred.

    If you have any information you could share so those of us who didn’t know Mark can have a better understanding the man we’ve lost, or if you have a photo you’d like to share, I’d be very grateful.

    Too often when a cyclist is killed, the larger bicycling community never learns anything about the victim, and so we don’t have any understanding of the enormity of the loss felt by those left behind.

  7. SD says:

    First off, just want to wish my sincere condolences to Mark’s wife Mary and son Tice. I knew Mark since elementary school.

    Does anyone know the circumstances of the motorist? I looked up the location on google maps and the road is narrow (no bike lane) with a curve near where the accident happened. Curious to know if the motorist was charged with anything.

  8. Eric Goforth says:

    For anyone that would like to help Mary & Tice, please consider contributing at or at least sharing this link: http://igg.me/p/200803?a=779842

  9. […] 44-year old cyclist killed in Bermuda Dunes – 2nd Riverside County cycling death in four days (bikinginla.wordpress.com) […]

  10. I am Mark’s sister. Thank you for your kind words. I am separately and apart from my family looking for information or to speak with anyone who knew Mark. Please contact me via private message on Facebook. Thank you. Mindy

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