This is not the news any of us wanted tonight.
Multiple sources are reporting that a bicyclist was killed while riding in Mission Valley in San Diego around 8:31 pm Thursday.
According to the Union-Tribune, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on Friars Road near Rio Bonito Way when he crossed the road diagonally and was hit by a BMW traveling in the same direction.
He died before he could be taken to a hospital. The driver, who remained at the scene, suffered a minor injury in the collision.
A street view shows four lanes of traffic on what appears to be a high speed roadway, narrowing to three near the Rio Bonito Way exit. Meanwhile, a satellite view shows a curving road with an entry lane not far west of Rio Bonito.
There’s nothing on the opposite side of the roadway, which raises the question of why the victim would have been attempting to cross; a more likely explanation is that he may have been moving from the right parking lane into the through lane as the roadway narrowed.
It’s also possible that he may not have been able to see the car coming up behind him, as it could have been hidden by the bend in the road, especially if it was traveling at a high rate of speed. It also would have been out of view if it had entered Friars Road via the ramp at Qualcomm Way, so poor road design may have been a contributing factor.
This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in San Diego County; it’s also the seventh in the city of San Diego. That compares with nine in the county this time last year, and just one in the city.
Update: KUSA-TV reports that it’s unclear if the driver may have been under the influence.
Update 2: Vision Zero San Diego forwards raw video footage from the scene, which shows a green bike lane that was not shown in the satellite view. It also shows extensive damage to both the car and the bike, suggesting the collision occurred at a high rate of speed.
There is a visible debris field in the right lane shortly after the onramp from Qualcomm Way merges into Friars Road; the victim and his bike came to rest shortly after the exit lane to Rio Bonito Way.
Note: This video shows graphic damage from the collision, and may be difficult to watch.
Update 3: Turns out out the real story is a lot different from what was originally reported.
According to a press release from the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, the victim was a 65-year old Matthew Driggers, a homeless man who was walking his bike across the street when he was struck.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew Driggers and his loved ones.
Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the young victim.
Someone responded to my comment on the UT article that the cyclist was trying to cross to get to the westbound lanes. I would take that with a grain of salt until we get further confirmation. That story doesn’t make much sense since it would be easier/safer for the cyclist to take Rio San Diego back to Qualcomm Way. A more likely scenario would be trying to get to the left turn lane just past the 805 bridge. But that is shear speculation at this point.
The wreckage shows a high degree of directionality on the part of the cyclist. Notice the impact path from the right front corner to slightly to the left of center on the windshield, and the strong indications of impact from the left on the bike. Based on what I could see on the video the cyclist was crossing the road as fast as he could to clear the road because of the limited sight line when hit by the weapon vehicle.
Like Ted I place a high portion of the blame on the road design and speed limit, with a high probability that the driver of the weapon vehicle was excessively speeding. Or IOW the cyclist waited until he couldn’t see anyone coming and based on previous observation decided he had just enough time to clear the road before traffic cold get to the spot where he was crossing, but the speed of the weapon vehicle was much higher than the other vehicles he had been basing his estimate on.
The link from Vision Zero has a summary of the police report. The man was walking his bicycle across the street, jaywalking, and got hit. No side reflectors on the wheels as seen in the video link. 8:30 pm at night.