Reports are coming in that a bike rider was killed in Compton this morning, and a building partially destroyed by an out-of-control driver.
According to KTLA-5, the crash occurred on the 1100 block of E. Compton Ave before 10:50 Monday morning, when the driver of a van was reportedly unable to avoid hitting the bicyclist before crashing into the storefront.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, has was pronounced dead at the scene. Attorney James Johnson indicates he may have been a man in his 50s.
There’s no explanation for how the collision occurred or why the driver was unable to avoid striking the rider. However, the position of the victim and his bike, in relation to the impact with the building, suggests he may have been thrown a significant distance by the impact of the crash.
In addition, the building — the site of a planned real estate office — suffered significant structural damage and may have to be red tagged, implying that the wreck may have occurred at a high rate of speed.
In a report that is not yet online, KABC-TV places the impact at 10:27 am at 1137 E Compton Blvd.
They also report the driver taken into custody, although other reports indicate he was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment.
You can view the KABC report in a cellphone video recorded by a viewer.
This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County.
That compare with just 24 in SoCal on this date last year, and ten in the county. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in Compton since 2011.
Update: According to KNBC-4, the driver was headed west on Compton when he somehow veered across three lanes of traffic to hit the victim head-on before slamming into the building.
The 22-year old driver was found unconscious following the crash.
The victim had apparently just stopped for food; a shopping bag lay on the sidewalk next to his body.
Meanwhile, KABC still hasn’t posted their report online. However, an update to the story suggests the driver was not taken into custody as originally reported.
The station reports that, while the investigation is ongoing, police describe it as just a tragic accident — despite the description in the KNBC story.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.
Thanks to Michael MacDonald and James Johnson for the heads-up, and to Vanessa for the cellphone video.