After going nearly a full month without a bicycling fatality anywhere in Southern California, we now have two deaths just days apart in the Inland Empire.
According to the San Bernardino Sun, 81-year old San Bernardino resident William Francis Easley, a well-known business owner, philanthropist and political leader was killed while riding his bike early this morning.
Easley was riding with another cyclist just after six am when he was struck by a car on the 1000 block of E. Lynwood Ave. His riding partner, a local physician, immediately began CPR, but Easley died after being transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
The paper reports both riders were using rear flashers and reflectors in the early pre-dawn hour, and that Easley was wearing a helmet; however, it does not note whether he suffered a head injury.
More details come from the Riverside Press-Enterprise, which clarifies that the riders were struck from behind while headed west in the right lane on Lynwood. A satellite view shows an extremely wide right lane; however, it’s likely there were cars parked along the curb at that hour, which could have forced the riders into the traffic lane to void the door zone.
The unlicensed driver remained at the scene and reportedly cooperated with investigators.
Easley was an experienced rider, according to the Sun, and would regularly ride with a small group of cyclists.
He had started his career as an accountant, and had gone to own a chain of business interior companies, as well becoming involved in restaurants and real estate, and had been active in local politics.
His death comes just two days after another rider lost his life in Riverside; prior to that, it had been a full month since the last fatal bicycling collision in Southern California.
This is the 83rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Bernardino County; he is also the sixth bike rider to lose his life in the city of San Bernardino in just the last three years.
My deepest sympathy and prayers to William Easley and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Mark Friis, Executive Director of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance for the heads-up.
Most riders, even most highly experienced riders, don’t avoid the door zone. If you’re playing the probabilities without prior information, they were probably in the door zone when they were hit from behind.
Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Easley.