A man was killed when he was struck by two drivers while walking his bike across the street in Long Beach.
Or maybe three, since Long Beach authorities were quick to throw him under the bus.
According to a press release from the Long Beach Police Department, the victim, who was originally thought to be riding his bike, was struck around 6:20 am Thursday near the intersection of Redondo Ave and 11th Street.
He was crossing southbound Redondo, and had stopped in the left lane to wait for traffic to clear when he was struck by the driver of an SUV, and knocked into the left lane on the other side.
A driver headed in the opposite direction swerved around him, before he was hit by the driver of a second car as he lay in the roadway.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite efforts to save him.
Both drivers remained at the scene. A police spokesman said neither driver was intoxicated, and weren’t distracted by their cellphones.
However, there is also no way of knowing if the drivers were distracted without examining their phones, which requires a warrant. And there are many other forms of distraction, which may or may not have contributed to the crash.
A story from the Long Beach Post reports that the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was allegedly crossing the street illegally in low light conditions, according to unnamed authorities.
The reports are unclear exactly where the victim was crossing the street, saying only that it was somewhere south of 11th.
However, according to CVC 21955, the prohibition against crossing mid block only applies if there is a traffic signal at both ends of the block. In this case, there is a traffic light on 10th, but not on 11th.
So it’s hard to understand how the victim could have broken the law by simply crossing the street.
Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Det. Allen Duncan at 562/570-7355.
This is at least the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth bicycling death in Long Beach, in what is turning out to be a very bloody year for the city.
Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Mike Yanis, who was homeless.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mike Yanis and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Michael Muhammad for the heads-up.