That didn’t take long.
Just four days into the new year, a cyclist has lost his life, the first bicycling fatality of 2016 in the seven-county Southern California region.
According to the Press-Enterprise, 33-year old Loma Linda resident Steven Ortiz was hit by a car while riding at Bryn Mawr Avenue and George Street at 12:07 pm today. He was pronounced dead at Loma Linda University Medical Center half an hour later.
A street view shows a two-lane, three-way intersection with a stop sign on George.
Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.
This is the first bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Bernardino County; there were three cyclists killed in the county last year.
Update: The Press-Enterprise reports that the wreck was caused when Ortiz was apparently left-crossed by the 92-year old driver.
According to the brief description, both Ortiz and the unidentified driver were traveling south on Bryn Mawr. However, the only way they could collide under those circumstances would be Ortiz was riding on the wrong side of the road, which is not mentioned in the story.
It’s also possible that the paper may have gotten Ortiz’ direction wrong.
Update 2: Mark Friis forwards a press release from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department that indicates the Press-Enterprise did get it wrong.
The release says that Ortiz was riding north on Bryn Mawr, rather than south, and was unable to stop when the southbound driver turned left in front of him onto George.
Which raises the question of whether a 92-year old driver still belonged behind the wheel.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steven Ortiz and his family.
Thanks to Erik Griswold and Mark Friis for the heads-up.