It’s not surprising that a painted bike lane may not seem safe as drivers speed by at 55 mph or more.
But sometimes, the sidewalk isn’t safe, either.
According to the Desert Sun, a 65-year old woman was killed when she was struck by a pickup driver as she was riding on a Palm Desert sidewalk.
The victim, later identified as Palm Desert resident Thereseem Smith, died at the scene.
She was riding on the sidewalk next to northbound Highway 74 near Haystack Road around 7:20 Monday morning. A driver traveling in the opposite direction veered across two northbound lanes and a painted bike lane before jumping the curb and slamming into Smith’s bike, knocking her into a grassy area several yards away.
Sheriff’s deputies found the driver unresponsive. Paramedics took the 61-year old Palm Desert man, who hasn’t been publicly identified, to a local hospital in unknown condition.
It’s not clear at this time whether he was injured as a result of the crash, or if he may have crashed due to a medical emergency, or for some other reason.
This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County. She’s also the second bike rider killed in Palm Desert in the last two months.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thereseem Smith and all her loved ones.