More bad news.
According to the Pasadena Star-News, a bike rider described only as a man in his 30’s was hit and killed while riding near Caltech in Pasadena this evening.
The paper reports the collision took place at Del Mar Blvd and Wilson Avenue just north of the campus about 5:30 pm; the L.A. Times places the location mid-block between Wilson and Michigan Ave, with the time of the collision around 6 pm.
The victim was taken to Huntington Hospital where he died from his injuries. The driver of the compact car remained at the scene and was reportedly cooperating with police.
No other details are available at this time; no word on which way the rider was headed or how the collision occurred.
This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, 17 of those deaths have been in Los Angeles County. This is also the third bike death in Pasadena since 2011.
My prayers and deepest sympathy to the victim and his loved ones.
Update: The Star-News reports that the victim, who still has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was a 25-year old resident of Los Angeles.
According to the paper, he was riding west on Del Mar with a female companion when he was struck from behind, with the force of the impact throwing him into a parked car.
The woman he was riding with was not struck by the car.
Update 2: The Caltech Bike Lab is sponsoring a petition calling for better east-west bike routes in Pasadena, including sharrows on Del Mar; whether it would have helped in this case may never be known.
Update 3: In a comment below, a blogger links to her thoughts about witnessing the collision. According to her, the victim was thrown across the road to collide with the parked car before landing crumpled on the sidewalk, suggesting an impact of significant force.
Update 4: The victim has been identified as 25-year old Los Angeles resident Phillip O’Neill.
When I learn about a case like this, in which the victim has not been publicly identified, I pray it’s not someone I know. And feel guilty, because even if I don’t know who it is, someone else will.
Because it’s never just a stranger on a bike.
It’s always someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, sister, brother, cousin, nephew, co-worker or friend. It’s someone someone loves, or likes or maybe even can’t stand, if only just a little.
It’s never just a statistic, regardless of those stats I keep.
It is a real person who was here, and now, suddenly and without warning, isn’t. A meteoric flash of life snuffed out in a relative instant, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of those left behind.
It’s always heartbreaking. It’s always tragic. It’s always a loss beyond our comprehension, if only because we can never know what might have been.
And it is always — always — unnecessary.