Update: San Diego bike rider killed in Balboa Park collision Tuesday morning; murder charge for alleged DUI driver

The death toll continues to mount in San Diego County.

Just five days after the county saw its tenth bicycling death of the year, another rider lost their life riding in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

The victim, who has yet to be publicly identified in any way, was riding on Pershing Drive, south of the Morley Field Disc Golf Course on the northwest side of the massive park, when he or she was struck by a driver around 7:30 this morning.

The rider was found lying unresponsive in the roadway when first responders arrived, and died after being transported to a similarly unidentified hospital.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators; no word on whether police suspect distraction or intoxication played a role in the crash.

Video from the scene shows a mangled road bike off to the side of the road.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no visible bicycle infrastructure. No other information is available at this time.

This death comes three months to the day after another person was killed riding across Highway 163 through the park.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County, which seems to be rushing to keep up with Los Angeles County, with roughly three times the population.

Update: Sasha Jovanovic reminds us that the stretch of Pershing where the crash occurred was supposed to have a separated bikeway by now

Update 2: The San Diego Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 57-year old San Diego resident Laura Shinn

According to the paper, Shinn was a prominent architect and planner who regularly commuted to her work at San Diego State University, where she oversaw the planning and design of several campus facilities.

Laura Shinn worked as SDSU’s director of facilities planning and was serving as the 2021 president of the board of directors of the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego chapter. She also was a founding member of the Women in Architecture group in San Diego.

In a statement, SDSU described Shinn as “an incredibly talented architect who helped oversee much of our university’s development and growth.”

Shinn was run down from behind as she rode north on Pershing, which the paper says does have a bike lane.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam Milavetz was arrested on suspicion of DUI after allegedly drifting into the bike lane to strike Shinn. 

The paper reports he was jailed on “suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.” The murder count suggests this was not his first DUI, and he had likely signed a Watson advisement as a condition of a previous conviction. 

He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday. 

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laura Shinn and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for heads-up.

3 comments

  1. Ben Castro says:

    After doing some basic research of the streets located near Balboa Park in San Diego. All streets listed in the news article where the bicycle accident occurred, do indeed have Class II bicycle lanes (Infrastructure) in place in all directions.

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