Nothing says the holidays in Southern California like another ghost bike.
That’s what we’ll need, once again, after a man was disconnected from life support on Sunday, following the Friday morning Huntington Beach collision.
He was taken UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead around 1:30 yesterday afternoon.
The Daily Pilot reports the 57-year old man, identified by the Orange County coroner as Anaheim resident Mario Gomez, was riding his bike against traffic when he was struck.
No word on which street he was riding on, or what direction he or the driver were traveling; both streets have unprotected bike lanes.
And yes, the driver remained at the scene, as legally required.
Huntington Beach police note that Gomez wasn’t wearing a helmet, which is valid for a change, since he died of head trauma. Although they don’t say how fast the driver was going, or if the crash would have been survivable with or without one.
Nor do they note whether he was originally from this country. Many Central American immigrants are taught to ride facing traffic, and bring that habit with them — too often with results that are all too predictable in Southern California traffic.
None of which absolves the driver of responsibility to pay attention to the road ahead of him, and note any conflicting traffic, regardless of which direction it’s coming from.
Any anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Investigator Adam Turner, 714/536-5670 or Investigator Daniel Kim 714/536-5666.
And let’s give a special shoutout to The Orange County Tribune, which somehow labelled the violent crash that took the life of another human being a mere “mishap.”
This is at least the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Orange County.
It’s also the second bicycling death in Huntington Beach this year.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Gomez and all his loved ones.
Thanks to a pair of anonymous sources for the heads-up.