A bike rider has died after he was critically injured while riding in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.
According to the Orange County Register, 23-year old Corona del Mar resident Jonathan Wilson died about an hour after he collided with a parked minivan.
The paper reports the collision occurred around 1:27 PM at 1801 Bayside Drive, while Corona del Mar Today places the location further up the road near the intersection of Bayside and El Paseo Dr.
Matching photos from the scene with a street view suggest he was riding north on Bayside, in between the two locations.
No explanation is given for how or why he hit the van.
Photos accompanying the Register story show a mountain bike lying near the curb, with the back of the van in badly damaged. That suggests Wilson somehow hit it at a high rate of speed, which is surprising given the flat road surface.
Even though the road has sharrows, the impact point on the van is just to the left of the curb. So the question becomes why he was riding so close to the curb, and how he reached a high enough speed to cause so much damage.
And whether he didn’t see the row of parked cars directly ahead of him, or was forced to the right in some way.
Unless a witness turns up, we may never know.
This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County. That compares with 57 in SoCal this time last year, and 12 in the county.
Wilson also the 11th cyclist killed in Newport Beach in the past five years, and second to die in a solo crash in the city in just the last two weeks.
Update: According to the Newport Beach Police Department, Wilson was riding an electric bike, would could explain the force of impact evident from the damage to the minivan.
He was initially found conscious and responsive, while suffering from numerous lacerations.
And no, he was not wearing a helmet.
Update 2: Corona del Mar Today cites a police spokesperson as saying neither drugs or alcohol appeared to be a factor, and it did not appear that Wilson was forced into the van by another vehicle.
Update 3: Customers at the Corona del Mar Starbucks where Wilson worked as a barista remembered him as kind, sometimes silly and always friendly.
Update 4: Wilson may have been using his cell phone at the time of the crash, though it’s not clear if he was texting, talking or performing some other task.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jonathan Wilson and all his loved ones.
Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Wilson.
This was a close friend of ours. He was such a good guy and helped out others. We will never forget him.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Meg. Every traffic death is tragic, especially when the victim has his whole life ahead of him.