Bike rider killed in Mid-City LA crash by apparent drunk and/or stoned driver

Sometimes you just want to scream.

Bicyclists are told to light up their bikes after dark. Yet even lighting it up like a Christmas tree isn’t always enough to keep a rider safe.

Especially when a driver is on drugs or has been drinking.

Or maybe both.

That’s what LA police say happened last night in LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, as a bike rider, described only as a Hispanic man around 55-years old, was killed in a collision just before mid-night.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was struck by a passenger van around 11:43 pm on Fairfax Avenue near Sawyer Street. KTLA-5 places it between Sawyer and Venice Blvd.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on how the collision occurred. However, KTLA reports the driver, who remained at the scene, was taken into custody on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Even more infuriating is that video from the scene shows the victim had a flashing headlight and taillight on his white bike, as well as colored flashing lights on his rear wheel. So he should have been easily visible, even at that hour.

The bike appears relatively undamaged in the video, making it hard to guess what might have happened.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in LA County; it’s also the 7th in the City of Los Angeles. That’s two more in the city compared to this time last year, even though bicycling deaths in the county are down by one-third.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.


  1. Brian Nilsen says:

    This morning on KTLA the reporter made it sound like it was a left cross. I don’t have it recorded, but I distinctly remember them saying that the rider was hit by a left-turning driver.

  2. If motorists lives were maimed in the same mode-share proportions as those of bicyclists, elected decision-makers would act differently.

    In the name of environmental justice and social equity, WHEN will bicyclists’ lives matter?!!

  3. Allen says:

    Damn, that totally sucks. I hope they throw the book at this person and charge them with murder.

    PS, those are not flashing lights on the bike’s rear wheel, in the cycling world we call those reflectors.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks for the correction. However, if you watch the video closely, you can see the wheel lights flash and change colors. They appear to be TwistiLit lights; I’ve got a few myself. Not bright enough for head or taillights, but they make good spoke lights, as they seem to have been used here.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Unfortunately, it’s not just cyclists whose lives are endangered by idiots who drink and drive, or text and drive, or talk on their phone and drive. These people put everyone on the road at risk, whether they be cyclists, pedestrians, or other motorists. And yes, it just makes you want to scream. And if I get the chance, I will scream at an offending motorist. Not that it does much good. Everyone thinks they’re the exception to the rule.

  5. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

  6. Vox_Populi says:

    Just breaks my heart. Here is a rider who made the effort to be seen yet killed by an irresponsible driver. My prayers to family and friends of the victims family.

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