This morning, I received two separate reports of a serious crash involving a bike rider and a tractor-trailer on Santa Monica Blvd in West Los Angeles.
David Drexler emailed to say he had driven past a crash involving a tractor-trailer at the southbound onramp to the 405 freeway on Santa Monica Blvd.
I could not get on the highway there at approx. 10 am, ramp was closed and highway patrol looked like it set up an investigation scene. There was a very crumbled bicycle in the middle lane of the on ramp sitting at the back tires of the truck that was sitting in the lane as well. The victim must have been removed earlier.
That was followed by this tweet from CG.
It's true. I drive by this on ramp everyday to turn onto Beloit Ave. I had to drive by the truck to make my turn. I did not see the accident and this was before any first responders were on the scene. It was awful, the cyclist was under the truck. #RIP
— CG (@healthdatanerd) November 8, 2018
Then late this afternoon, Caltrans District 7 confirmed the death on Twitter.
@bikinginla here’s your update
— CG (@healthdatanerd) November 8, 2018
As anyone who has tried to ride that section of Santa Monica Blvd knows, it is a very dangerous, poorly designed and overly crowded intersection, with a high risk of a right hook or left cross from drivers attempting to get onto the 405.
Not to mention the usual jockeying for position from too-often distracted drivers trying to snake through the congestion.
Most riders don’t try it second time, opting for the safety of Ohio Blvd a few blocks to the north; those who do usually stick to the sidewalks, which are often blocked by homeless people.
And even that requires coming off the sidewalk to ride past the onramp.
For whatever reason, this person sadly paid the price for that bad design.
This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.
Update: A GoFundMe page has identified the victim as Frank Guzman; it’s raised over $500 of the $5,000 goal in the first few hours.
A family member describes him like this.
Frank was a kind, thoughtful soul. Always smiling and positive. He was biking because he enjoyed the fresh air and was doing it to lose weight and maintain an active lifestyle. We miss him dearly. We love you, Frank!
— E (@pacoymadge) November 10, 2018
She added this —
Frank was 31, lived in Glendale and is survived by his parents, two siblings, his girlfriend and niece who he adored. He worked full time and was also in school trying to further his education. He was a foodie. Loved to try new things & always seeking adventure.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Frank Guzman and all his loved ones.
Thanks to David Drexler and CG for the heads-up.
This is so terrible. My heart breaks when I hear about these things.
I think I know this person. Do you have more details of this accident
Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have right now.
Saw the aftermath. Tired of hearing about bicycle fatalities. We need to pressure Lapd and other SoCal law enforcement to start writing tickets for flagrant violations of traffic laws. It’s like the broken window syndrome… One driver runs a stop sign and soon little old ladies and law abiding citizens are consistently not following traffic laws.
Start the pressure by calling the traffic desk of your local cop shop and make a general complaint about basic lack of traffic laws being obeyed. Call and have your friends call. Let’s call everyday until we stop the madness.
He was my brother and my wingman when I rode my bike. I wasn’t there Frank but I will ride with you soon again. Thanks for being there for me when I needed someone.
Sorry for your loss and wish you peace in your sorrow.
This really shocked me when i found out about Frank i give my blessings to his family and i want his family to know that Frank and his family are our family too.
We offer up our prayers for the family and friends of the victim.
I ride with red flashing lights both front & rear. Front flashing headlight, and another on my helmet. I rode over 12k miles last year. Most of it on PCH. I get tired of hearing that drivers can’t see me, or think they have enough room. But the atmosphere that law enforcement presents is absolutely SHAMEFUL at times. There is both front & rear facing video of this incident. You can hear the displeasure from witnesses in the distance, about how the Sheriff handled the situation. Also have more video of the two other responding officers. I’m sorry for the rider that lost his life on such a nice day. This is an intersection that I use a lot. Pay-Attention. That’s the “secret to life”… It’s only a “secret”… because nobody does. Pass it on.
Check out https://youtu.be/f4sK1_6tIus. I think it’s reasonable to ask how to become more visible?
This is a go fund me. For frank. A dear close friend of mine. Known for almost 20 years. And taken too soon. We will miss him and will never forget the great times we had.
I was told about this news just yesterday. Frank was my cousin on my dads side ( my dads sister is franks mother, graciela). My cousin Lupe also from my dads side contacted me yesterday. Im in such shock and in numbness. Im speechless and cant wrap my mind around this. I was trying to get in contact with him before this and sadly got too distracted and busy and forgot to try again… im so upset about this… my aunt is devastated upon comprehension. My heart hurts so much. Im so sorry frank i just had a baby 4 months ago and hadnt seen my family yet to show them my new baby and frank wont be there
I just made relief on my bus last Thursday and was wondering why traffic was so bad, that’s when I saw all the cop cars and the corner’s van … I wish I could unsee it. #RIP
Shaneka, thank you for commenting. However, I edited your comment to remove part of the description you gave. Let’s all remember that several members of Frank’s family have already commented here, and that other family members and friends will see this; they don’t need to have images like that in their minds when they remember him.
Thank you for writting this post. I first heard about this accident from a friend who was walking my dog in the area who told me what happened. As nurse I am no stranger to death and the fragility of life. However, his death haunted me and I couldn’t stop trying to find something on the news, I had to know who it was. Frank must’ve been a very special person. I just saw the bicycle today as a tribute. RIP Frank Guzman