Update: Teenage bike rider killed on Aviation Blvd in El Segundo

I hate news like this.

Ricky Montoya

Photo from GoFundME page

Early this morning, I received an email saying that a young bicyclist was killed in El Segundo over the weekend. However, I was unable to confirm the news until now.

I’ve now been told from multiple sources that 25-year old Richard “Ricky” Montoya of Lawndale was killed while riding home at 124th and Aviation Blvd in El Segundo; some sources place the collision somewhere between 122nd and 124th.

Details are still sketchy, however, it appears he was hit sometime Saturday night, and passed away at a hospital later that night or the next day. One source says the driver was speeding, however, that has not been confirmed.

Memorial for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Memorial for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa.

I have a call into the El Segundo Police department, so hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

Meanwhile, Montoya’s family is raising funds to pay for his funeral expenses; so far they’ve raised less than 10% of the $15,000 needed. Plans are also in the works to place a ghost bike on Wednesday.

This is the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in LA County. That compare to 19 in SoCal this time last year.

Update: A comment below says that Montoya was 25, and was a resident of Lawndale; I’ve corrected this story to reflect that.

Scene of the collision on Aviation Blvd; photo by Danny Gamboa

Collision site on Aviation Blvd; photo by Danny Gamboa

Update 2: Still no official word about this collision. However, after visiting the site, Danny Gamboa reports marks indicating the point of impact and and where Montoya’s body came to rest are over one hundred feet apart, supporting the suggestion that he was hit at a high rate of speed.

He also reports Montoya’s bike was properly lighted, and that debris on the side of the road suggests he was riding in the right lane when he was hit. 

Meanwhile, a reader forwards word from a Nixle alert that Aviation will be closed from 5 am to 10 am Saturday so police can continue their investigation at the crash site.

……..

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ricky Montoya and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Margaret Wehbi and Danny Gamboa for their help in confirming the bad news.

 

Ghost bike for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike for Ricky Montoya; photo by Danny Gamboa

20 comments

  1. john moran says:

    Reporting rumours isn’t news, it’s gossip! Maybe it would make more sense to spend the time and effort to get the facts before reporting what may or may not have happened, that does a disservice to those of us who really are concerned and involved in making cycling safer for all. I’m leaving your blog since it’s more of a gossip column than news.

    • bikinginla says:

      Actually, I’ve received confirmation from a number of sources — including friends of the family, as well as the GoFundMe page I linked to — so there are no “rumors” or “gossip” repeated here. I spent the better part of the day working to confirm the information I received, and as indicated, I sat on the story for several hours until I was able to confirm it from multiple sources.

      I don’t know what more you need.

      I have never reported any story based on rumor, and will never post any story about a bicycling fatality without confirmation. In fact, I have refused to write about a number of reports I’ve received about fallen riders over the years that I have not been able to confirm.

      So what are the facts here? A teenage bike rider named Richard Montoya was killed while riding his bike within a two-block stretch of Aviation Blvd over the weekend, a fund has been established to pay for funeral expenses, and there are plans to install a ghost bike on Wednesday.

      There are still details left to confirm, as I have indicated, as there always are with any breaking story, and I am doing my best to confirm them. But that doesn’t change the facts reported here.

      I would hope you’ll continue to rely on this site for news regarding bicycling in Southern California and around the world, as many others do every day.

      But if you don’t feel you can trust the information posted here, then by all means, feel free to leave.

      • Paula says:

        Thank you!!! I’ve been searching for info on this accident for DAYS. We live in that neighborhood and my daughter had to detour around the accident on Aviation to get home. She saw the emergency vehicles, the mangled bicycle and a person draped with a tarp. She arrived home around 10:30 pm very shaken and we’ve been trying to ascertain what happened ever since Saturday night. There are now people onsite making a memorial. My heart goes out to this family. Why is there no official info in any of the newspapers or other news sources?

    • Paula says:

      It’s a fact. My daughter saw it as she came home on Saturday night and we’ve been trying to find info ever since. There is now a memorial being placed at the site. It’s heartbreaking and I was frustrated that I couldn’t find any word about it in the Daily Breeze or LA Times.

      • bikinginla says:

        Unfortunately, some tragedies like this never make the news. That’s why I do my best to make sure every fallen rider is remembered here, at least.

        I’m very sorry your daughter had to see that. I know first hand how disturbing something like that can be; some images you never forget.

      • Steph says:

        Any chance did you see two people in the car or was there just one ?

  2. Deborah says:

    I hate reading these reports, probably not as much as you hate reporting them. Thanks for keeping tabs on how dangerous it is for cyclists in LA. Lives matter.

  3. CiclaValley says:

    So sorry to hear this news. Cars drive faster in that part of El Segundo than the Pasadena Freeway with poor bike infrastructure.

  4. Hilda says:

    As a very close friend to the family, this is not gossip. Maybe a few errors. Ricky was actually 24 and passed away at the scene.

  5. Hilda says:

    My apologies he was 25. He was a resident of Lawndale

    • Margaret says:

      Hilda,

      I live in the neighborhood next to Aviation. I ride on that street daily. My heart goes out to the Montoya family and friends.

      I would like to donate to the funeral fund, but do not want to via GoFundMe. Is there a way to donate via PayPal or check? If you prefer to keep the info private, then please email me at panarechATgmailDOTcom

  6. Gordon says:

    Thank you for reporting about Ricky. I have seen the memorial this week and the ghost bike tonight. Sorry to hear that a fellow cyclist was killed on a road I drive on every night. My condolences to the Montoya family. I have to wonder, with no disrespect for Ricky, if the current fad of riding without reflectors and lights (and no brakes on fixie bikes)and wearing all dark clothing is contributing to many of the bicycle accidents these days. Drivers these days do not care enough to look out for us cyclists, so we need to do everything we can to be visible at night. Hopefully Ricky can ride on forever in Heaven.

    • bikinginla says:

      I don’t know what Montoya was wearing, but his bike was properly lighted. It also appears he was struck from behind, so whether or not he had brakes on his bike is irrelevant in this case.

      Nice sentiment in that last line, though.

  7. Arturo says:

    Has anyone been able to ask if the Air Force Base cameras caught the accident on tape. ..R.I.P my friend Richard

    • bikinginla says:

      Not a peep from the ESPD, so no telling what they have or haven’t asked for. If it wasn’t for the alert that they were closing the road to investigate — which didn’t happen after all — there would be no confirmation from them at all that anything ever happened.

      So sorry about your friend, Arturo. My prayers go out to you, and all those who loved him.

      • Arturo says:

        Oh i see…Thank you for your prayers, Richard was a good friend and a great human being…I still cant believe what happened to him.

  8. Mark Lien says:

    From the picture, it looks like he was heading south on Aviation. The right lane in this direction is narrow. He would have needed to take the lane to avoid getting rear ended on a narrow 4-lane road.

  9. Mike Walker says:

    I drive this stretch two or three times a week. I’ve seen horrible planning going on for the major infrastructure project along Aviation in this area. At one time the right lane had gigantic white bike stickers laid down on the road in the right lanes next to the temporary concrete barriers. This was crazy in my opinion and perhaps gave bicyclists a false sense of security. The barriers acted to prohibit a bicyclist from moving anywhere even if evasive action was necessary! Now South Bound traffic on Aviation is backing way up to the North of Century as only one lane of traffic is allowed to continue South from that point. The right lane at that point (going South)is now used for right turn traffic only onto Century towards LAX, Another horrible decision as motorists hit the pedal even harder after waiting to get past the Century light! This stretch of road should have been off limits to bikes during this project, in my humble opinion. But no, LAWA or City of LA, or ??? decided to mark it as safe for bicycling / commuting to work? This was a poor choice. This could be the reason for the ongoing investigation. I pray that the truth comes out for the family. And perhaps they have retained legal representation as they grieve the loss of a loved one. RIP Ricky, and thank you to those who help us all remember with the “ghost bike” program. The memorial is growing now for all to see and hopefully this will have the added effect of slowing motorists as they should pause to remember this young man.

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