Update: Early morning crash kills cyclist on PCH in Huntington Beach

More bad news.

Less than two hours after a disabled bike rider was killed in Arleta, a woman was killed riding her bike in Huntington Beach.

The Orange County Register reports that the cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on PCH just south of Seapoint Drive when she was rear-ended by a car around 4:40 am.

She was hit with enough force to knock her into the southbound lanes, and was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she died.

The driver stayed at the scene and called police; police said he did not appear to be under the influence, and was not arrested.

A satellite view shows a four lane divided highway with a wide marked shoulder where the victim likely would have been riding, although she could have been forced into the traffic lane by parked cars or some other obstruction.

No word on whether she had lights on her bike nearly two hours before sunrise.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Orange County. It’s also the 13th bicycling fatality in Huntington Beach since December, 2010.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Long Beach resident Nadia Silva. 

Update 2: According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Silva was crossing the southbound lanes of PCH from the center median when she was hit, and places the location as between Seapoint and Goldenwest Streets

Police say speed doesn’t appear to be a factor. Which leaves the question of why Silva and the driver did not seem to see each other on the straight, unobstructed roadway.

My deepest sympathy for Nadia Silva and all her loved ones.

9 comments

  1. dangerd says:

    So if I hit someones car from behind and scratch their bumper I get sued and my insurance goes up but if you run over a biker from behind you just walk away?
    Same old same old.

    • It’s too early to assign blame in this crash. For all we know the driver was entirely blameless.

      Of course, we’ve had so many examples where drivers were definitely to blame, but got away with almost no consequences, that I can understand your cynicism.

  2. Rick says:

    For me the road closure till perhaps after 9 am being around hundreds of minutes in duration is significant.

    I would rather they “soberfy” the speed limit in half then ever have to do another so thorough apparently investigation.

    I also would of like to learn more about what goes one between five am and six am, then 7 am till 8 am, the another hour or more at such a scene.

    The deceased deserves no less even if ceremonial, but an awful lot of documentation and evidence would seem to be collectible and we learn so little typically.

    Such fatalities involve other then accidental dynamics even if neither victim nor ostensible killer did or did not do anything specific.

    They are going to occur if no changes are made by us, and our decision to not improve safety is not accidental it is just one that devalues life not ensconced in dangerous to anyone so appropriately nonsociopathically equipped life.

    To say you are not in danger if you be the danger is not a defense it is a confession of complicity.

    So for not prior to her being killed even in lieu of such outcome risking killing others my utter gratitude. It is to her credit that she was not behind the wheel of a car when someone died. We must give her that. No matter what anyone says she did wrong she did not only not kill herself, she killed nobody and this is the best reason to ride a bike. At least you will not be the survivor saying it should of been you who died, or something far worse.

  3. JD says:

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

  4. Joshua Cohen says:

    Sounds conspicuously like the driver was distracted.

  5. James says:

    It’s interesting that the police were quick to claim that “speed was not a factor” as if they want to head off any suggestion that people drive too fast on PCH. In that part of PCH 60-70 mph is normal. I use that section everyday and it is like riding on the shoulder of a freeway. At those speeds there is no chance of survival if the driver doesn’ significantly reduce speed and that is unlikely because this stretch of PCH puts drivers in the same state of mind as the freeway or a rural highway. You can drive 70mph for miles, zone out and play with your phone. At those speeds a driver would not necessarily have to time to react to avoid a collision. Also a cyclist is likely to underestimate the speed of an approaching car. I’ve seen research that shows that people’s ability judge speed and distance of approaching vehicles breaks down when viewing vehicles travelling above 40mph. I believe Tom Vanderbuilt mentions this in “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)” if anyone wants to read about it. I rarely make a vehicular left on PCH. In a couple a seconds a car goes from being “way back there” to right behind me goin 70mph. In countries where traffic engineers take the safety and loves of cyclists and pedestrians it would be considered totally inappropriate to have people in cars driving more this fast anywhere they interact with vulnerable road users. Try crossing the street at Seapoint and PCH. You might come close to being killed by a driver accelerating above 70mph to beat or run the red.

    It is very hard to find a gap in traffic in this part of PCH and intersections are far apart. There is nothing between seapoint and Warner in Sunset Beach for instance. A cyclist attempting to turn around is screwed. There is no crosswalk and no bicycle sensitive loop detector at the Wetlands parking lot.

    Drivers in Huntington Beach don’t belive cyclists have the right to exist. They don’t see cyclists in front of them on two lane streetcar era streets in old downtown HB and they routinely drive in or swerve into bike lanes. It may be that the only ones that do see me are the ones that see me and then swerve into the bike lane just as they pass me to send a message.

  6. James says:

    The idea that “speed was not a factor” is fucking absurd. The speed of the driver is what guaranteed a fatality. Had the driver been driving a more appropriate speed (for a sceneic highway in a beach town) on a street that didn’t encourage drivers to speed and zone out the person might have seen the cyclist in time. Had the car been travelling at a more appropriate speed the cyclist may have been able to more accurately guess the speed and distanc of the approaching vehicle and time her lane change better. Speed is the overwhelming characteristic of this road.

    I assumed the cyclist was travelling north and attempting to make a left hand turn. The cyclist may not have been aware of the bike lane with bicycle specific loop detector (to make a two point left turn) on seapoint as these are rare around here.

  7. Jeff says:

    Sad Sad Sad. I have a solution. Lets get the horizontal line divider cones that are about 4 feet high. the same ones that are on the 91 freeway that keep you from going in or out of the express lanes. Place them on the line every 10 feet so bikes will stay in the line and hopefully a visual barrier for motorist. Start them from Seal Bch to Newport bch and lets start saving lives.

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