Sometimes, our worst fears are realized.
That was the case last week, as the Orange County Register made a brief mention of a bicyclist who critically injured when he was struck from behind while riding in a Huntington Beach bike lane.
Sadly, they announced today that he did not survive his injuries.
The 29-year old victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on Warner Avenue at Springdale Street at 5:27 pm Tuesday when a driver veered into the bike lane and struck him from behind.
He was taken to UCI Medical Center, where he died on Saturday, four days after he was injured.
The driver remained at the scene, and police do not suspect drugs or alcohol use. No word on why he moved into the bike lane where the victim was riding; however, since the wreck occurred at or near the intersection, he may have been making a right turn.
A street view shows a typical six lane Orange County street with a center turn lane, and wide lanes built for excessive speed.
This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Orange County; that compares with 74 in SoCal and 16 in the county this time last year.
It’s also the third bicycling death in Huntington Beach this year, and the eighth in just the last two years.
Update: A comment below from Bill Selin caused me to go back and check my records, revealing two errors.
One was the Garden Grove death of Suzy Ramage and her dog, which had been mistakenly categorized as Los Angeles County, rather than OC. The other was an unknown rider also killed in Garden Grove a few weeks later, which I had neglected to add to my database.
As a result, I have corrected the totals above to reflect one additional fatality in Southern California, and two in Orange County.
I apologize for the error.
Update 2: A gofundme account has been set up for the victim. I’m told that his name won’t be officially released until his parents can arrive here from Mexico to identify the body.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.
This one is another Martyr to Bike Lanes
Heading east it’s not your too often “sun-in-my-eyes” situation. “Twighlight” was at 5:35… Sunset not until 6:17
Until the roads start getting slower & designed to include all traffic, he had the right to occupy the lane & be more visible with lane position
He was legally forced to edge ride in a bike lane, inconsequential to traffic and thus invisible, on a road that pushes with a Level Of Service to a lot of cars as fast as possible.
What does OCTA do about lowing down traffic in this society? Shame. Will they pay?
What does Huntington Beach Police do about enforcement & education? Shame. Will they pay ?
Did he just get hit riding where he was “supposed” to be?
Wonder if he had been (B)right with a not required, but still a good idea, flashing tail light & HiViz / reflective vest he might have been more obvious to the motorist who rear ended him in the bike lane…
Heading east it’s not your too often “sun-in-my-eyes” situation.
That is a 3 travel lane plus left turn lane and the bike lane is dashed to be used for right turns.
No parked cars, good line of sight… only 45 MPH…
“Far to Right” and mandatory Bike Lane laws should be changed – but if motorists are still driving so damn fast & more & more people are bicycling, this kind of car-nage will continue.
My count is 15: I am including Yeny Vergara who was off road mountain biking.
* rear ended edge rider (far to right sharing lane or in a Bike Lane)
*Timothy Binau, 41 (April 1, 2015, Anaheim)
Robert Horton, 62 (May 4, 2015, Santa Ana)
Michiko Day, 66 (May 30, 2015, Laguna Hills)
Steve McDonald, 55 (June 11, 2015, Huntington Beach)
Jorge Covarrubias, 40 (June 16, 2015, Stanton)
*Suzi Ramage,& dog Sonny,55 (June 23, 2015, Garden Grove)
Priscilla Vallejo, 13 (July 13, 2015, Santa Ana)
Unnamed ?, 58 (July 14, 2015, Garden Grove)
Yeny Vergara, 36 (July 22, 2015, Crystal Cove)
Jonathon Wilson, 23 (August 2, 2015, Newport Beach)
*?Nadia Silva, 3 (September 10, 2015, Huntington Beach)
Rafael Romo, 51 (September 14, 2015, Placentia)
Henry Miller, 59 (September 16, 2015, San Clemente)
Kathleen Walker,37 (September 27, 2015, Orange)
*TBA, 29 (October 17, Huntington Beach)
Thanks for the correction, Bill. As noted above, I’ve corrected the story to reflect two additional deaths in Orange County that I hadn’t included before.
And while we may disagree about bike lanes, I’m in complete agreement about the need to change the must use and ride-to-the-right laws, as other states have done.
We lift up our prayers for the family and friends of the victim.