Update: Bike rider killed when suspended driver veers into Oceanside bike lane

And then there were two.

Less than two hours after a man was killed riding his bike in Long Beach, another man was killed while riding on an Oceanside highway.

According multiple, mostly identical reports, the victim was struck from behind while he was riding west on State Route 76 east of Melrose Drive around 11 am.

Oceanside police were unable to revive him at the scene, and he died after being airlifted to an Escondido medical center.

He has not been publicly identified at this time.

The 25-year old driver reportedly veered into the bike lane where the victim was riding. He was arrested at the scene on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, as well as driving with a suspended license.

A satellite view shows three through lanes on westbound SR-71, with a double left turn lane, right turn lans and a bike lane. There’s no protection for the bike lane, which runs between the right through lane and the right turn lane, despite the apparent 55 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information is urge to call OPD officer David Paul at 760/435-4431 or Sgt. Rick Davis at 760/435-4906.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County. It’s also the second in Oceanside this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 70-year old Wildomar resident Paul Cornish.

Update 2: It was later discovered that the driver, Felix Ruizbazan, was driving a stolen car

Update 3: Twenty-six-year old Felix Ruiz Bazan pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; in addition to driving a stolen car without a license, Bazan was high on meth at the time of the crash.

He faces ten years behind bars when he’s sentenced.

Meanwhile, Cornish once held the record for the fastest crossing of the US by bicycle, which eventually led to the creation of the Race Across America (RAAM).

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Cornish and his loved ones.



  1. TJ Knight says:

    Rest In Peace to the cyclist. This road is on the Oceanside Double Century which I’ve ridden twice. It’s heavily traveled by motor vehicles, but I’ve always used lights and rode with a group, and I’ve felt relatively safe.

  2. Bill Sellin says:

    Hwy 76 may have added the now standard bike lane to left of right turn only lane (RTOL), but there is no bike lane otherwise. That is only a shoulder, with debri, drain grates, bad pavement and only a 4″ edge of road line, not a bike lane 6″ line, and no signs and no stenciled bike lane indications on the lane. Farther west it morphs into a bike lane – see dashed segment at Guajome Lake Rd & stencils on the east bound side there. The short bike lane left of the RTOL gives a space out of the gutter & right hook zone, and it is illegal to go straight from a RTOL, much less from the edge on the right of a right turn only lane..

    Melrose does have Class II Bike Lanes – but some dolt at Google has added Hwy 76 as also having bike lanes on the cycling layer for this portion.

    Those are just points of fact – not any more safety in having a bike lane over a rideable shoulder when a motorists rear ends you there. Riding on the shoulder or in a bike lane makes you more invisible; see http://cyclingsavvy.org/2017/07/ride-like-youre-relevant/

    CalTrans needs to get it’s bicycle infrastructure improvements up to speed with current MUTCD designs; see how our own DOT says to mark a transition from a Bike LAne to left of a RTOL on page 1389 at http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/camutcd/docs/2014r2/CAMUTCD2014-Part9_rev1.pdf

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks Bill. I assume the news stories are based on a press release from the OPD since they’re all pretty much the same. Since they identify the crash as occurring in the bike lane east of Melrose, I’m guessing it happened in the bike lane you describe, rather than on the shoulder. But I could be wrong.

  3. S says:

    The rider was killed where there is a desigated bike lane, before any turn lanes. The road does narrow there, including the bike lane. That portion of highway 76 does not have a rumble strip whereas further west there are rumble strips between the bike lane and traffic lane. Are rumble strips an effective means to keep cars from veering into the bike lane? If so, how do we get Caltrans to install more along 76? With all the distracted drivers looking at phones, I would think it would be of great benefit to help restore the driver’s focus, especially with the typical car speeds on 76- drivers are traveling quite fast through that stretch typically 55-75mph.

  4. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

  5. Fjl says:

    Those look like some garbage bike lanes in Oceanside. The “Bike Lane” stencil extends into the gutter. Crap like that needs to be illegal. Gutters are intended to drain stormwater.

  6. Kathy Murphy says:

    Paul Cornish, the deceased cyclist, was a brilliant man!. Besides being an avid cyclist, he was a very knowledgeable tax accountant. For many years he prepared my in-laws tax returns. After 2010, I started taking my mother-in-law to his office for her tax return preparation. He would keep us in stitches the entire time we were there. Never had a problem with her tax returns. I always admired the pictures he had displayed of him on his bike! I will miss him!

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