San Diego triathlete dies of injuries received in left hook collision last weekend

Last weekend took a horrible and tragically growing toll on Southern California cyclists.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, 35-year old San Diego resident Scott Folck died today of injuries he received a week earlier.

Folck was riding east on Woods Valley Road in Valley Center, northeast of Escondido, around 6 am on Sunday, September 16th, when a Mitsubishi 3000GT driven by a 22-year old San Marcos man turned left in front of him onto Cool Water Ranch Road in an apparent left hook. The paper reports the driver hit his brakes when he saw the rider, but was unable to stop in time.

Despite the early hour, police don’t think alcohol was a factor.

Folck was transported to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido with multiple serious injuries; despite what was termed aggressive surgical intervention, his condition continued to decline and he was pronounced dead at 12:40 this morning.

San Diego’s KCBS-8 reports he was training for an upcoming triathlon when he was injured.

Folck was struck the same weekend that nutritionist Sarah Leaf and Dr. Catherine Campion Ritz were killed in Newport Beach, along with riders in Buena Park and Riverside; neither of the later victims have been publicly identified.

This is the 58th cycling fatality this year, and the 11th in San Diego County.

My prayers and sympathy for Scott Folck and all his family and loved ones.


  1. User1 says:

    My heart goes out to Scott and his love ones. RIP my fellow rider.

    Looks like this is yet another story of getting the facts all mixed up. If Mr. Folck was heading east the driver never would have cross his path at the intersection. If the collision of the bone-headed move did happen how I think it happened. That is that Mr. Bonehead did cross Mr. Folck at the said intersection, and he was on Woods Valley Rd and turning on to Coolwater Ranch Rd, then Mr. Bonehead was going east and Mr. Folck was going west, not east.

    • Lisa says:

      That “bonehead” has a family, Maybe this is a lesson not to ride a cycle at night in all black flying through intersections where the GT driver had a green!!

      • User1 says:

        I think just about everyone has a family, yes? And sense when does someone have a green light to turn into on-coming traffic? Are you trying to insinuate that the driver had a green light? There’s lights at this intersection????

        Due to lack of reporting I think it should be kept open and a “wait and see” if this rider had lights. I think that would more than likely be ascertained from people that rode with him.

        Personally I have a front 5 step light that has some on-coming drivers flashing their brights at me. I also use one of two different back lights. Either a Superflash or a Turbo Superflash.

        So what’s the lesson here? That drivers are unattentive? CHECK!

      • bikinginla says:

        Sorry, but last I read the vehicle code, drivers are required to observe the right of way of others coming in the opposite direction, and not make left turns across their path — let alone into them — regardless of whether they have a green light.

        In every such instance, the person going straight has the right-of-way, not the one turning left. So unless the driver had a left-turn arrow, whether or not he had a green light would appear to be irrelevant.

        And let’s not forget who the victim is here. While the driver gets to go home to hat family you mentioned, Folck’s family will never see him again.

  2. Jim Lyle says:

    My sympathy to all involved: victim, motorist, families and friends.

    Sunrise, a week ago, was at 6:38 am; at six, it would have been dark when the cyclist was hit and may have been a contributing factor.

    Please, be careful out there – everyone.

  3. mark goodley says:

    Horrible::: we raised our family in Escondido for 20 years, and know those roads well. Very Dangerous… PLEASE get the word out that we VERY often INVISIBLE… Until it’s too late… the ONLY SAFETY we have is an EARLY WARNING SYSTEM of multiple VERY BRIGHT LED lights ON DAY and night… Three points is the minimum number of points for the visual cortex to quickly identify location, speed, and distance… As HALF the population is below average IQ (this is just a fact, not a commentary), it takes some people longer to process visual information. BRIGHT Lights can be seen for a MINimum of 200 YARDS…during the DAY time allowing a driver ample time to avoid the cyclists… THIS IS IMPORTANT… GET THE WORD OUT… !!! “Ride BRIGHT and SAVE YOUR LIFE”….

  4. Ness says:

    22 years old, driving a 3000GT, couldn’t stop in time, I bet driving too fast was the problem.

    May thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    • bikinginla says:

      There was a reason I noted the make and model of the car in this case. There’s nothing in the stories to suggest the driver was going too fast; on the other hand, there’s nothing to suggest he wasn’t.

  5. Defense Man says:

    There’s something very fishy about this collision.The “22-year old San Marco” driver’s name wasn’t reported? So was his name excluded because of favoritism? Did the automotive driver see the cyclist or even make the attempt to signal left? Despite the dark conditions. A drivers black box would’ve been helpful here in determining if he signaled left or braked? I want to believe that the cyclist (cat3 rider according to a web search) was aptly dressed for night riding. My instinct tells me the driver of the car approached the left turn fast whilst on a distracted by a digital device.

    • Scott's friend says:

      22-year-old San Marcos resident Nicholas Byrd was the driver. Taking a turn on a very narrow, winding road at 35 mph.

  6. Wes Oishi says:

    A left hand turning driver will be more likely to turn in front of a) cement truck, b) Escalade, c) bicycle? Once you understand where you are in the food chain, adjust your cycling behavior.

    • Scott's friend says:

      How insensitive and callous. Why don’t you keep your smart a$$ comments to yourself. Have some empathy for a family and community that lost their loved one and friend.

  7. Wes Oishi says:

    Sorry Scott’s friend, Others weighed in on safety. It was a general comment on intersections. Riders always, always lose.

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