Orange County bike rider killed in solo fall; 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year

Sad news from San Clement.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, 59-year old Henry Miller III collided with a pole at 243 Calle Empalme in San Clemente around 5:40 pm Wednesday. He died at the scene.

A satellite view show a quiet, winding residential street.

The Orange County Register adds a little more information. According to the paper, Miller was riding east on Calle Empalme when he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the curb, and was thrown headfirst into a lamppost.

Police were unable to find a reason why Miller lost control. There was no debris in the street and no other vehicle appeared to have been involved. The street does have a downhill slope, but levels out about 50 yards from the crash site.

It’s possible that he may have picked up too much speed going downhill, or that he lost control after a close pass by a car, without getting. Or he could have become distracted or disoriented in some way.

The paper also notes that Miller was not wearing a helmet.

There’s no way to say if wearing one would have made a difference. However, relatively slow speed falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714/647-7000.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County. That compares with 67 this time last year, and 14 in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Henry Miller III and all his family.


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