Bike rider killed in Santa Ana collision; third SoCal cyclist killed in two days

Note: Due to tonight’s breaking news, you can find this week’s updated bike events on the Events page.

It’s happened again.

For the third time in just over 28 hours, a Southern California bike rider has been killed in a collision with a motor vehicle, this time in Santa Ana.

The Orange County Register reports 52-year old Santa Ana resident Alfonso Franco was riding on the south (eastbound) side of the 2100 block of West 17th Street around 10:45 pm Thursday when he attempted to cross over to the north side. He was struck and killed by a vehicle headed west on 17th.

Franco was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports there were no controlled signal lights in the area that would have allowed the victim to cross safely.

A satellite view shows a six lane roadway with a 40 mph speed limit; at that hour, it’s likely the driver could have been traveling much faster.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County. It’s also the second in the county in the last two days, and the fourth bicycling death in Santa Ana since 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfonso Franco and his family. 



  1. David says:

    And most disturbing is that this blog cannot capture the many car bike injury accidents of all levels of severity that are never reported in the media.

    If we were able to tabulate those on a daily basis, a running ticker like the stock market may be needed.

  2. James says:

    I don’t believe I’ve seen an inch of bike lane in Santa Ana or even a hint that a traffic engineer has considered the possibility that a pedestrian might want to cross a street. Even the downtown/oldtown and surroundind streetcar suburbs are devoid of any concern for non-motorized transportation. 17th is a highway with an absurd amount of space given over to median (not sidewalk) landscaping. You can enjoy the sterile golf course like scenery as you drive 50 mph in an inattentive and relaxad manner.

    • billdsd says:

      How would a bike lane have prevented a collision that was due to crossing the road?

      • Ralph says:

        In this case it might not have helped. However if there is bike infrastructure there likely would be pedestrian infrastructure also. Having the infrastructure may have lead to a better choice made by the cyclist. I know that is a lot of if’s but when there is nothing for a good number of road users they make do with what they know or think might be the right thing to do.

  3. Lois Rubin says:

    Santa Ana’s streets are really bad for bike riding. It’s probably due to the fact that Santa Ana is older than most of the communities in the OC. It’s also a community where a lot of the residents use bikes as their regular means of transportation.

    If the recreational cyclists could somehow band together with the for-all-purposes cyclists we might have a political voice.

    • bikinginla says:

      There are far more bike riders in Southern California than there are people who vote in most local elections. If we could just get bicyclists to get off their asses and vote for their own self-interests, there would be no bike-unfriendly or dangerous cities here.

  4. Richard says:

    I did not want to click the link in the emails that now require us to do that to see all and have missed a few recently, but did read this entire post, because we should all do that at least. few after all are. it is why we die. we can notice it happening far more then we do and this bloggers devotion to writing about every death does help me live the reality of the loss. it is not biking though that is doing the killing of course…it is those as here who drive, who make that deadly choice too often needlessly. whatever causes our deaths I believe that knowing of them is worth the drearyness. it is my hope that those closest to the deceased will eventually agree with me and refuse to ever drive a car needlessly again.

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