Update: Bike rider killed at deadly Fullerton intersection; second cyclist killed at same location since 2012

Some locations are more dangerous than others.

Which seems to be the case here, as a bike rider was killed in a collision at the intersection of Bastanchury Road and Morelia Avenue in Fullerton at 12:04 Saturday afternoon. Initial reports indicated he had been critically injured; however, according to the Orange County Register, he passed away at 3:45 pm after being taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange.

The OC Coroner’s office identifies the victim as 19-year old Anaheim resident Rafael Correa, Jr, and places the location at where the Juanita Cooke Greenbelt Trail intersects with Bastanchury, suggesting the Correa was coming off the dirt trail when the collision occurred.

Remarkably, this is the exact same location where La Habra resident Richard Paine was killed in a  hit-and-run after exiting the bike trail two years ago this week. Which suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the design of the intersection itself.

Both the Register and the coroner’s office suggest Correa collided with a vehicle, implying that he may have come off the hill leading to the intersection and been unable to slow or stop in time on the dirt surface.

Regardless of cause or who was at fault, Fullerton officials should take a close look at the site to determine what can be done to prevent any future incidents. One death is a tragedy; two in the same location, in a similar manner, suggests a serious design failure.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County, which compares to six in the county this time last year.

In fact, the total is early equal to the 12 deaths in Orange County in all of 2013. It’s also the third bicycling fatality in Fullerton in just the last two years.

Update: The Orange County Register confirms that Correa was riding downhill on the bike trail, and was unable to stop before sliding into the roadway and crashing into an eastbound car on Bastanchury.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Fullerton PD Traffic Bureau at 714/738-6812.


My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Correa, Jr and all his loved ones.



  1. Mit Sprinter says:

    I agree. A criminal investigation could spare us the further ‘expense’ of certain civil servants who more then enable such a patriotic slaughter of our 51st.

  2. Lois says:

    I ride the hill in Fullerton frequently. It’s steep to the base and ends on a road with narrow lanes, a blind curve and cars going 50 mph. The trail is heavily used by bikers, runners, and horse riders. Any kind of barrier at the base would be better than nothing. The crossing itself is off to the side of the base so there’s no reason not to put up a barrier.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks Lois. I wondered about that when I looked at the street view, questioning if some sort of diverter would prevent riders from blowing out into the street. On the other hand, it might pose more of a risk of riders colliding into it if they can’t stop.

      • Lois says:

        It would either be colliding with the barrier or going into traffic. I know which choice I would prefer. Plus a barrier would keep antsy horses and dogs from bolting out in traffic. My b.f.’s dog was hit by a car at that spot. ( he survived).

  3. lou says:

    The city of fullerton finally settled the horrific landslide mess along Euclid and Rosecrans for millions of dollars more than what the matter could have been resolved for earlier. It appears this is SOP with Fullerton City – litigate, litigate, then dump the burden onto the residents. They keep their defense attorneys gainfully employed this way. IMO, they are negligent in permiting known hazards like this to exist along the Fullerton loop. The officials have a duty to not only protect riders who come to enjoy the trail, but its residents from known liabilities. They could easily cut a diagonal trail and close off the current trail and steep grade. It’s reckless negligence – the same kind of mentality and culture that fostered the

  4. Tim says:

    WOW what a sad story. I’m glad that more and more cities are creating biking lanes and many are even making protected biking lanes. Bicycling in Fullerton is a real treat for our residents to get out and enjoy the city and nature. We need to make outdoor cycling safety a priority. Thanks for the story.

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