Still waiting for official confirmation, however, I’ve received two credible reports that a bike rider was killed at PCH and Seal Beach Blvd in Seal Beach around 8:12 this morning from people who passed by the crash site.
More information when it becomes available. However, it looks like SoCal’s killer highway has taken yet another life.
If confirmed, this will be at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in Orange County.
Update: Still no official confirmation of the crash. However, I received the following update from Allyson Vought Friday evening.
My friend was at the accident scene just after it occurred. He said the rider was on a black Kestrel road bike and sadly was face down on the roadway — unmoving. The bike had been struck from behind at speed and a vehicle’s windshield was badly damaged.
This is a particularly bad intersection that Strava calls “time the light.” It’s a downhill from a bridge into Seal Beach on PCH that we riders always make speed — while watching for cars that can travel 50 mph plus through the intersection while traveling straight — or speed ahead of riders on a long right hand turn lane that takes you to the 405. Cars often interfere with the riders in making this turn and all of us have had to dodge, slow or slam on the brakes all too often here! Important to note that this is a marked bike lane as well. Solo riders are often not seen or just ignored by careless drivers in too bag a hurry.
Update 2: We finally have official confirmation from the Seal Beach Police Department. However, his name has not been released, despite being well known in the community. Thanks to Nani Luculescu for the heads-up.
Update 3: The Orange County Register has identified the victim as 64-year old Long Beach resident Paul Smith.
I refrained from naming him over the weekend, even as his name became common knowledge, out of respect for his family until he was publicly identified.
The paper reports around 150 people attended a memorial service for Smith on Sunday afternoon, on an unpaved shoulder of the roadway where he was killed. They recalled him as a loving, generous and devout man who was a friend to everyone he met.
In 2016, Ed Ryder prepared a report on Southern California’s deadly coast highway through San Diego, Orange and LA Counties for this site, based on stats from the CHP’s SWITRS crash database.
It hasn’t gotten any safer in that time.
Thanks to Richard, John McBrearty and Jeff for the above link.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Smith and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Derek Willburn and Cleave Law for the heads-up.