Update: Man found dead in bicycle crash on Angeles Crest Highway Saturday, after apparent medical emergency

More bad news, as if we haven’t had enough already.

According to Zackary Rynew, a group of motorists came upon a bike rider lying unconscious in the roadway on Angeles Crest Highway around 8 am this morning.

Rynew later placed the crash just before the fire station on Highway 2; unfortunately, I can’t locate it on a map.

The victim was described only as a man with a mustache, who appeared to be in his 60s, and wearing an orange bicycle helmet.

Several people attempted CPR, but he was unconscious with no signs of life when paramedics arrived.

It’s not clear at this time whether he was a victim of hit-and-run, or if he died in a solo fall.

A brief report from My News LA confirms the death, placing the crash at 8:19 am at Mile Marker 27.5, though they don’t identify the victim as someone on a bicycle.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hopefully we’ll get more details soon.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in Los Angeles County.

Update: My News LA has identified the victim as 62-year old Glendale resident Steve Gerdes.

He apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency while riding his Cervelo east on Angeles Crest, and collapsed on the spot. 

Update 2: A comment from Mary Smith clarifies that all the people who discovered and attempted to revive Gerdes were motorists, and the only people who rode by on bicycles continued without stopping or offering to help. 

Something to remember when the next time someone tries to assign motorists and bicyclists into irreconcilably conflicting camps. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers Steve Gerdes and his loved ones.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

7 comments

  1. Mary Smith says:

    I was one of the first responders at the scene around 8:30-8:45 am, Sat. am, after my sister and I passed a car stopped in the north bound lane of Hwy. 2, with his flashers on and waving his arms for cars to slow down and avoid the 62 y/old male bicyclist that was found collapsed on the north bound lane with his intact bike and helmet on. My sister and I (we are both licensed nurses) passed the victim slowly and 2-3 men were kneeling next to him and providing aid. My sister and I parked a few feet up the road in a turn out. I quickly took first aid supplies, water etc. back to the injured man. I quickly assessed he was unconscious, non responsive, not breathing and barely had a carotid pulse. Myself and 4 other men initiated CPR, verified that 911 had been called and was en route. The man’s bike and helmet were intact and with no evidence of being damaged or broken. All the people that came to this man’s aid were motorists. While performing CPR, 2 bicyclists rode passed the fallen man, but they did not stop to assist or ask if we needed help. There was no one apparently cycling with the male victim. It was about 82 degree weather and the road is on a steep incline. When paramedics and fire EMT’s arrived, I gave them a verbal medical status report of the emergency to the paramedics, EMT’s and the CHP officer. The paramedics attempted several times and minutes to defibrillate the victim at the scene. The CHP officer thanked us for our assistance and we returned to our own vehicles.

  2. Howard says:

    We were the first on scene, apparently right after this fellow went down. We were heading South and swung my car to block the road. I went to the cyclist and my buddies flagged traffic and got folks to go down to a area to send/receive to call 911. By coincidence, my group rides ACH all the time and so assumed at first that he’d been hit, but no signs of trauma and still clipped in one side. He was breathing but deeply unconscious and non-responsive. Everything that Mary said was accurate. We all did CPR once we lost pulse, but it was probably 10 minutes after CPR started before EMS arrived. Sadly, it was pretty clearly medical; After we positioned him for CPR we could tell that the helmet and bike were fully intact,except for left hood (typical of any fall), no skid marks from a car or anything that would indicate car or motorcycle involvement. This all happened about 100 yds down from the Forest Service fire station at mile 3+, but no one appeared to be around.

    • Mary Smith says:

      Thank you, Howard, for your update and info. I/we all appreciated your quick response and assistance to the biker and to us as a group of first responders. All of us/you included, worked diligently as strangers to help this man. May he Rest In Peace. May his family be comforted and consoled during this time of loss.

  3. Lynda Wolfe says:

    Mary and Howard, thank you for leaving these comments. I am Steve’s sister. We just cycled together last month. Losing Steve has been devastating to say the least. Knowing others were there to lend him aid and be with him as he passed means a great to us. Thank you. Lynda Gerdes Wolfe

  4. Howard Kahn says:

    Lynda, I am very sorry for your and your family’s loss. If it is at all helpful, he couldn’t have known what was happening, or even if something was wrong, or he would have been off his bike. It had to have been very quick with little, if any, pain/suffering.

  5. Mary Smith says:

    Dear Lynda: I am so sorry for the loss of your brother, Steve. Be reassured he was well taken care of and attended to in his final minutes of life with Howard, myself, 4 other male motorists and my sister, Kathleen, also a nurse, providing essential first aid supplies from her car. All in all over 12 people including the first to the scene motorists, EMT’s, Paramedics and a CHP officer all came to the aid of your brother, Steve. May your brother test in peace and May you, your family and Steve’s friends and loved ones find comfort and solace during your time of grief.
    Sincerely: Mary Smith

  6. Mary Smith says:

    Dear LA Bike Community and friends and family of deceased bicyclist, Steve Gerdes. I just spoke to Mr. Gerdes wife, Courtney, and Mr. Gerdes, sister, Lynda, per their request. Courtney wanted to thank all of the motorists, first responders, paramedics and EMT’s that initiated CPR and their valiant efforts to resuscitate Steve, in the morning on July 17, 2021 on Highway 2. In their grief, they are thankful and appreciative to all who assisted and provided emergency care in the final minutes of Steve’s life. May Mr. Steve Gerdes continue to Rest In Peace and may his wife, family, friends and colleagues continue to comfort each other in their time of grief.

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