A man riding his bike was killed on Southern California’s killer highway in Huntington Beach Thursday afternoon.
Yet even though police investigators allege the driver was under the influence, they still blamed the victim for the crash.
According to My News LA, the 68-year old man was struck while crossing Pacific Coast Highway at First Street around 1:30 pm Thursday.
The Orange County Register identifies him as Huntington Beach resident John Crouch, while placing the time at 1:38.
Investigators allege Crouch was attempting to cross the six lane highway against the red light when he was run down by a 23-year old Bloomington man, who has not been publicly identified.
Crouch was unresponsive before being taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The driver stayed at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence; no word was given on whether he was suspected of being drunk or stoned
There’s also no word on whether there were any independent witnesses who saw Crouch run the light; however, the intersection was likely to be busy at that hour, which raises the possibility that it was seen by multiple people.
This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; however, it’s just the third that I’m aware of in Orange County.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Crouch and his loved ones.
Huntington Beach and Seal Beach have long held a bias against riders. Even when presented with irrefutable video evidence of vehicular assaults and passing violations they consistently use the excuse “we did not see it, therefore we cannot do anything”excuse! Time has come to change this attitude from cyclists being at the mercy of vehicles that can continue to
assault and intimidate with impunity.
This is an intersection I’m familiar with. Every bicycle rider aside from myself uses the crosswalk walk on the north side of the intersection to travel in both directions across PCH. Almost all east bound bicycle riders who ride in the street ride against traffic; a few use the crosswalk and then ride diagonally across the street to the bicycle pocket lane on first. The white pedestrian light coincides with a red light for eastbound traffic on 1st. but obviously not N-S traffic on PCH. The intersection was worked on a few years ago and for a while full lane loop detectors did detect bicycles, but that is no longer the case. The intersection is a text book case of how bad design encourages non-use or incorrect use by bicycle riders and of course PCH is a highway designed for 60 mph traffic and inattentive driving. Red light running is the norm here. I usually have to wait for drivers to finish running the red light before I attempt to cross this intersection. It also takes forever to get across. The programming here is so biased against cross traffic that I see people walking and riding give up waiting and cross on a red.
I wonder if this isn’t a fatal version of the conflict I regularly see here where bicycle riders in the crosswalk have close calls with drivers turning right onto PCH from first.
A few years ago a speeding driver hit a car stopped at a red here and knocked that car into pedestrians killing one or more. The response was to remove the crosswalk on the south side of this dangerous intersection.
When I cross PCH at this intersection I use the full traffic lanes. A year ago the loop detectors ceased working for me and the city and Caltrains do not give a fuck. Unfortunately this now means I have to wait for a car or press a beg button and then return to the lane I want to be in because I am not turning right. I can see a scenario where I go across as a “vehicular cyclist” am hit by a car running a red light and am blamed for not riding in the cross walk which is the only accepted behavior in huntington beach. This sun bleached idiocracy is the city where I was once told off by a cop for using the bicycle pocket lane to the left of a right hand turn lane “HUG THE CURB!” etc. Last year when the loop detector still worked here I was yelled at by the driver of a life guard truck for taking the lane out of the parking lot (and east onto 1st). I was stopped over the loop detector on my bicycle and told to leave and “use the crosswalk.”
I came across the scene of this fatal collision after the body car and bicycle had been removed but knew that it must have involved someone on foot or bicycle. I’m surprised I haven’t seen any full on collisions given how poorly designed this intersection is. I’ve seen a number of near collisions where drivers turning right cut off and scare crosswalk cyclists who crash and scrape their legs or knees.