Another bike rider has lost his life on our streets, just hours after the annual Ride of Silence honored fallen cyclists.
The northbound vehicle then spun out of control and struck several parked cars before coming to rest facing in the opposite direction; the victim’s mountain bike can be seen a short distance away.
The bike rider, who has not been publicly identified in any way, was towing a shopping cart full of recyclables when he or she was struck just minutes before sunrise. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, or whether the bike had lights or reflectors.
Police say the driver was not under the influence, and termed the collision “just a tragic accident.” That’s even though the multiple impacts suggest the driver was moving a high rate of speed; a commenter on Reddit says the car struck a parked truck with enough force to obliterate the bed of the pickup.
This death is even more tragic since it comes on the Bike to Work Day, the one day of the year set aside to honor people on bicycles.
This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it appears to be the first in Panorama City since 2011.
Update: The Daily News reports the victim was a man in his 20s.
Update 2: Contradicting the earlier report, the Daily News says the investigation is still ongoing, and police are looking into whether speed was a factor; the street has a 35 mph speed limit.
According the story, the victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding in the right lane while apparently holding his handlebars with one hand and pulling the shopping cart with the other. He was struck from behind by the driver traveling in the same lane, who went in to hit four other vehicles.
While police don’t advise pulling a shopping cart — or anything else — while riding, the detective in charge of the case noted that the victim had a right to use the full lane, and drivers are required to give bicyclists a three-foot passing distance.
A ghost bike will be placed at the scene at 9 pm Friday.
Update 3: KNBC-4 reports police are looking for a passenger in the car who fled the scene after suffering facial injuries in the collision.
Which raises the question of why someone riding shotgun would run away while the driver stuck around.
Thanks to CiclaValley for the link.
His brother and daughter want to thank the person who comforted him as Loretta lay dying; if you know who that was, they can respond in the comments below, or contact me and I’ll forward the message to them.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Peter Loretta and his family.
Thanks to Joe Linton and John Morlock for the heads-up.