Bike rider killed in midnight collision on Vincent Thomas bridge

Sad news from San Pedro, as a bike rider has been killed in a collision after falling on the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

Multiple, virtually identical reports indicate 31-year old Long Beach resident Sergio Tapia was riding north in the right lane of the east-west bridge when he reportedly fell and was hit by a commercial truck, then knocked into the next lane where he was hit by a car.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on what might have caused him to fall, or if there were independent witnesses who saw it happen.

Unlike the replacement Gerald Desmond Bridge, which will have both bike and pedestrian paths when it opens, the Vincent Thomas Bridge has neither, forcing bicyclists to ride in heavy industrial traffic coming to and from the ports in Long Beach and San Pedro. And for some riders, especially those who work at the ports, there is no other viable route.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 28th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Sergio Tapia and his family. 


  1. Allyson Vought says:

    As far as I know it is illegal to ride the bridge at any time. Not only is there no buffer lane what so ever, but the bridge has rather large expansion joints that are much wider than any bike tire that run parallel to the travel direction. A simple bad choice for this man sadly. We riders are forced to ride Anaheim St. from Long Beach to travel to San Pedro which adds an addition 4 or so miles. We are trying to figure out a way to utilize the soon to be completed bike lanes on the Desmond bridge, but as it sits we are going to have a great new bridge, wonderful bike lanes, with no way to travel any further than Terminal Island. Water Taxi or a suspended bike path under the would sure be nice … are you listening City of LA? I have been pushing for some dedicated bike lane that allows for the shortest distance from the great Long Beach infrastructure, but so far all we get are excuses that the land is Port property and not doable. This is why poor individuals who take risks to shorten their commute tragically end their lives for no other reason than they were trying to get home quickly.

  2. What sad news, especially considering the situation described by Allyson.

    Out of curiosity, I checked Google Street View and found a sign on the westbound side that says “Pedestrians Bicycles Motor-Driven Cycles Prohibited”. This poor guy was probably just trying to go home, and he didn’t have the energy to pedal the extra four or so miles required by a less dangerous route.

    God rest his soul.

  3. mark panitz says:

    too bad he could have takjen the LADOt 142s which has bike rack

  4. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Tapia.

  5. JD says:

    This bridge was a replacement for the old folding/floating drawbridge which in the 1950’s crossed the channel just south of its location. Its completion also put the ferry from San Pedro to Terminal Island out of business as it was a quicker alternative to the long traffic jams at both of those locations. The designers gave no thought to the idea that someone might want to walk or ride a bicycle over it, it is a freeway that was built soley to collect tolls from motor vehicles.

  6. Marissa Ruiz says:

    Hello, below is the link for the Go Fund Me website page for any donations for the funeral expense for my husband’s cousin Sergio Tapia who passed away within two days of my father in law Santos Ruiz who is also the Uncle of Sergio Tapia. Sergio was a good young man trying to make his way home from work when this tragic accident occurred. Both giving and loving to his family and friends. These two men were good people who were taken away too soon from this world! Any donations are appreciated. I’m also asking to Please send it to anyone and everyone! Text, email Post it to Facebook, Twitter and any other social media so we can get it out there! This family needs a lot of help at this time! One death in the family is tough, but two within the matter of a few days is unfathomable!

    Also asking for prayers, positive vibes and thoughts at this time for our family❤️
    Thanks you Santos And Marissa Ruiz Jr.

  7. Erich Mosig says:

    On Sunday, December 6,2015, I saw a group of 10 road cyclists riding over the Vincent Thomas bridge. I happened to meet up with them at the Queen Mary Ship and found out that they were cycling the entire west coast having started in Seattle. They were extremely frustrated that there was no continuation or signage of a bicycle path from Redondo Beach to Long Beach.

    There is a need to have a bicycle route thru LA Harbor area !!!

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