Call it an act of self-defense.
If you believe the driver, that is.
According to Palm Springs TV station News Channel 3, a bike rider was killed in Rancho Mirage this morning by a speeding driver, who claims he was trying to get away from someone who was attempting to run him off the road.
Sure, let’s go with that.
The victim was struck at the intersection of Ramon Road and Rattler Road around 6:49 am. A photographer for the station who witnessed the crash reported that the victim was rear-ended as he was riding east on Ramon Road, with the force of the impact sending him cartwheeling through the air.
He died at the scene. A Facebook post identifies him as road cyclist Will Campbell.
The young driver of the white Honda Accord reportedly overcorrected as he was speeding down the road, swerving to the right and slamming into Campbell’s bike. He was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Another driver reportedly stopped at a gas station a little further down the road, lending credence to reports that a second vehicle was involved.
While road rage is a possibility, street racing is as well, especially since the crash occurred near a high school.
A street view shows Ramon Road is a six lane virtual highway, with a bike lane on the eastbound side. The street has a 55 mph speed limit, which the reporter at the scene says drivers frequently exceed.
This is at least the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.
Campbell’s death is the second fatal bicycling crash in Rancho Mirage this year, and the fifth on deadly Ramon Road since 2015.
Update: A party will be held at 5 pm tomorrow at the La Quinta Brewery to celebrate Will Campbell’s life.
My deepest sympathy and prayer for Will Campbell and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.