80-year old man riding bike killed by alleged stop sign-running DUI driver in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon

Sometimes the needless death of an innocent person doesn’t merit even a few inches in the local paper.

Let alone a passing comment on the nightly news.

On Monday, I started hearing reports of someone killed in a collision while riding a bicycle in Costa Mesa, based on posts from the notoriously unreliable Nextdoor app.

By Tuesday morning, the location had shifted to nearby Newport Beach, along with comments suggesting the driver had been arrested. But still no confirmation from the coroner’s office or any of the local news outlets.

Sadly, that changed with this cryptic press release from the OC Coroner.

The coroner reported that 80-year old Ernest Adams died at a Santa Ana medical center early Monday morning, following a collision somewhere in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.

That was followed by a post on a Newport Beach news blog placing the 3:16 pm collision at 16th Street and Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.

According to the site, multiple witnesses reported seeing the suspect blow through a stop sign before slamming into Adam’s bike; a street view shows a residential street controlled by a four-way stop, with bike lanes in three directions, next to Newport Harbor High School.

Twenty-year old Norwalk resident Alexis Garcialopez was reportedly arrested for DUI causing serious injury after failing a roadside sobriety test.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to vehicular homicide in the wake of Adams’ death. Because after 80 years on this earth, he definitely deserved a better ending.

This is at least the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ernest Adams and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up.

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