This is why you need to carry ID with you when you ride.
Yes, every time.
According to the Orange County Register, authorities have struggled to identify a man who was killed riding his bike in Las Flores early this afternoon.
The victim, who investigators believe was in his 30s, was riding on westbound Oso Parkway near Antonio Parkway, between Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita, when he was struck by the driver of a pickup around 1:45 pm Monday.
Sheriff’s deputies found the victim sprawled on Oso Parkway, dead on arrival.
The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. He is not suspected of being under the influence.
There’s no word on how the collision may have occurred, though the severity of the crash implies high speed.
A street view shows a three lane virtual freeway with a painted bike lane on the right, where drivers are likely to exceed the posted 55 mph speed limit — making an unprotected lane dangerously inappropriate.
And yet, somehow, an Orange County fire captain blamed the victim for not wearing a helmet, even though a crash at those speeds is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.
This is at least the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.
Update: We finally know the identity of the victim, as well as a little more about how the crash happened.
The sister of the victim has identified him on a GoFundMe page as Pablo Valdez, no age or residence given.
According to the description, he was killed when the pickup driver pulled out of a gas station without looking.
Which means I was wrong in assuming that speed was a factor. Although it’s still questionable whether a helmet would have helped in this instance, if Valdez really was run over by the truck as his sister writes.
As of this writing, the GoFundMe page has raised nearly $17,000 of the $20,000 goal.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Pablo Valdez and his loved ones.
Thanks to Kenny Uong for the heads-up.