Man killed in El Cajon bicycling collision Monday night, press blames the victim

Note: Due to tonight’s breaking news, and the discovery of another fatal bike crash in Perris last week, there won’t be any Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on everything tomorrow.

An El Cajon bike rider died after being stuck by the driver of a pickup Monday night.

Yet somehow, the San Diego paper managed to wait until the second sentence before blaming the victim.

Parroting the coroner’s press release, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 40-year old Jason Wilcox was struck around 10:30 p.m Monday when “he rode into the intersection of Second Street and Pepper Drive” in El Cajon without a helmet.

According to the paper, the driver “traveled into the intersection at the same time” at a high rate of speed, and was unable to stop in time.

Wilcox, who is described as a transient, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died of multiple blunt force injuries 50 minutes later.

There’s no word on which direction either Wilcox or the unidentified driver were traveling.

However, a street view shows a four lane roadway on Second with a 45 mph speed limit and a bike lane on either side, with the intersection controlled by a traffic signal in each direction.

That means either the victim or the driver went through the red light; the way the Union-Tribune’s story is written, it implies that Wilcox was at fault. However, there is nothing in the coroner’s press release to suggest that.

The statement that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed also suggests he was exceeding the 45 mph speed limit.

It should be noted that few homeless people have, let alone use, bike helmets. And even the best bike helmet won’t prevent injuries to other parts of the body; a high-speed collision with a truck is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County. It’s also the second in El Cajon in the last three months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Wilcox and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up. 

Screen shot of the coroner’s press release


  1. Opus says:

    If the wreck was as described, the driver may have had no choice but to remain at the scene. Hitting a cyclist or pedestrian at high speed can render a vehicle undrivable. Shame on them for making it sound like he was virtuous when he couldn’t get away if he wanted to.

  2. JJD says:

    We offer up our prayers for the family and friends of Mr. Wilcox.

  3. Chris says:

    The language used by Coroner is provocative and must have an audio file that should be made available for download.

    Your take might be erroneous. This looks to me like a death far sooner following impact with delayed decleration of death.

    A motive for heroic efforts would be to avoid appearance his poverty denied him medical attention. The Coroner denied him a proper report for sure.

  4. BV says:

    Not to pass any blame, is it just me I often times come across homeless crossing the street on foot/bike with no regard to car traffic, lights, traffic laws or sense? Sometimes they ride salmon splitting lanes at intersections. Sometimes jaywalking with traffic bearing down on them but taking their sweet time crossing. I can count in more than one hand the times I would’ve hit one if I were a bit distracted. Mindset of “I’m here, you’ve got to avoid me”. ie the self driving uber that hit the ped crossing with bike. If it were me, a car is coming I better get my ass across or I’m gonna get hit.

    • RALPH says:

      I have seen people that I thought were homeless act in very dangerous manners. I’m not sure the cause. Some is that we don’t care for people in this country have mental issues. We refuse in spite of right to life to take care of the others in our society. What was teh cause of this accident other than excessive speed I don’t know. The only witness seems to be the driver. Unless there is video from the scene we might never know. But regardless of the man’s situation in life this is not acceptable.

  5. My condolences to the family as well. I agree with your statement. I hope the family pursues clarification as to fault here. I live one block from where the accident occured and in the same complex as the victims sister. I didnt know him but did say “hello” in passing when he was visiting his sister. He was described as a “transient”. I wouldn’t describe him that way. To my knowledge he was living with his sister, a single mom, and he was a great uncle who helped her take care of her kids… That is until Hoban Management decided he couldn’t live here recently for no known reason. He did not want to create problems and respectful enough to leave but returned often to help his sister. This management company caused him to be out at that hour by micro managing tenants. He never created a nuisance here nor gave reason for being treated the way he was. It is my belief that he was thrown out because of his appearance ie long hair. This treatment is unfair and seems to be a common practice by the property management here. Hoban Management should be investigated for discrimination. In my opinion he may be alive if not forced to leave his home. We have too many homeless people in San Diego. This often isnt a reflection of the individual rather power, control and prejudices its a shame a family must read their loved one described the way he was especially when it was no fault of his own that he became homeless.

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