Let’s see someone blame the victim this time.
It was just over a week ago that an Ocean Beach writer penned a truly awful piece blaming the victims of this year’s 13 bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for contributing, if not causing, their own deaths.
Make that 14 now.
But this time, the victim appears to be as blameless as humanly possible.
According to multiple, nearly identical stories, a man was riding his bicycle in the westbound bike lane on Camino Del Rio South in East Mission Valley Tuesday night, when he was hit head-on by a wrong way driver traveling east in the westbound lane.
Authorities place the crash west of Texas street, around 8:50 pm Tuesday.
The victim, publicly identified only as a 42-year old man, died at the scene.
Raw video from the crash site shows a crumpled red road bike in the tall weeds on the shoulder of the roadway, next to debris from the driver’s car, separated by a chainlink fence from the busy 8 Freeway.
The rear flasher on his bike continued to strobe on the broken bicycle, long after the crash.
The 25-year old driver’s car was stopped nearby, the windshield shattered over the steering wheel. Which means she had to see him in the bike lane directly in front of her if she was paying any attention to the road in front of her.
Police do not suspect intoxication; however, there’s no mention of whether she may have been distracted. Remarkably, though, she doesn’t seem to have been arrested, or even ticketed, at the scene.
Given that she was on the wrong side of the roadway, and somehow unaware of a grown man on a bicycle right in front of her car, it’s hard to imagine that she wouldn’t be criminally liable.
If nothing else, the presence of the bike lane to her left should have been a clue that there might be someone on a bicycle there, let alone that she was driving the wrong way.
Although these days, I suppose we should give her credit just for sticking around.
But the simple fact is the man on the bike was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to do, and lost his life to the plague of traffic violence — and an apparently negligent, if not distracted, driver — anyway.
This is at least the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which is suffering through an exceptionally bloody year.
Update: The victim has been identified as 42-year old San Diego resident Matthew Peter Keenan.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew Peter Keenan and all his loved ones.
Due to the time spent researching and writing this piece, and the late hour, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll be back as usual on Friday to catch up on what we missed.