You’ve got to be kidding.
A bike rider lost his life in Carson this evening, for no reason other than he was there.
He was pronounced dead at the scene; he has not been publicly identified.
To make matters worse, the victim was not even riding in the street. KTLA says he was on the sidewalk when it fell on him, most likely as the truck was passing him.
Based on the limited description, there was absolutely nothing he could have done to avoid it. The only question is whether the driver struck a support, or if the load was too high to pass under the bridge.
This is the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 26th in Los Angeles County.
Update: KABC-7 reports that the coroner’s office has identified the victim only as an Asian male, and confirms that the truck was passing the victim when the load fell off.
According to a witness, a similar wreck occurred the previous day; fortunately, no one was hurt in that one. He blames trucking companies for cutting corners because truck drivers are on strike at the ports of LA and Long Beach.
As a result, the companies are hiring flatbed truck drivers who simply strap the containers on, and who are paid by the load, rather than the hour, encouraging them to take chances.
Today, it may have cost a man his life.
Update 2: The LA coroner’s office has identified the victim as 51-year old Long Beach resident Robert Castorena.
Update 3: BAC member David Wolfberg forwards what appears to be Robert Castorena’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the LA Times fills in details about shipping companies and how the collision occurred; the truck apparently scraped the underneath of the railroad underpass, breaking the cables that secured the container.
No word on whether the driver, or the company he worked for, will face charges.
Update 4: Police report the driver may face charges depending on the outcome of the investigation; they appear to be looking into whether the load was too high for the bridge.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Castorena and his loved ones.