Just hours before Los Angeles gathered to celebrate what our streets could be, we received another tragic reminder of what they still are today.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that a man was killed in Van Nuys Saturday evening, one night before Sunday’s CicLAvia a few short miles away.
The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s, was riding his bike east on Victory Blvd around 6 pm Saturday, when he reportedly ran the red light at Kester Ave just as a driver was entering the intersection on Kester.
He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
However, the crash could not have happened the way the paper describes; according to the Daily News, the driver was headed west on Kester, which is a north-south street.
Most likely, the driver was traveling north or south on Kester, but could have been on Victory.
He or she stayed at the scene, and reportedly rendered assistance, as required by law.
As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who saw the crash. Although at that hour, there should have been witnesses on such a busy street.
Victory is one of LA’s most dangerous streets; a one mile section just a short distance east of the crash scene is one of the city’s top Vision Zero High Priority corridors.
Yet like most streets on the list, little or nothing has been done to protect innocent lives.
This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.
It’s also the 16th in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.
Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Fabian Abarca of North Hills. Oddly, the reports continue to say the driver was headed west on Kester, which is impossible on a north-west street.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Fabian Abarca and his loved ones.