Once again, authorities have apparently kept an elderly driver on the road until it was too late.
And a woman visiting from out of state paid the price.
According to KESQ-3, the victim, identified only as a 38-year old woman from Iowa, was riding on the shoulder of State Route 62 when she was rear-ended by an 80-year old woman in Joshua Tree Wednesday afternoon.
The crash occurred around 2:20 pm on SR62, also known as Twentynine Palms Highway, west of Rice Ave, when the driver made what police described as an unsafe turn onto the shoulder, striking the victim’s bicycle from behind.
She was taken to the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, where she was pronounced dead.
The driver was taken to the same hospital with minor injuries. Police do not suspect she was under the influence.
They did not, however, address whether the driver’s age may have played a role.
It’s hard to know when someone is too old to drive safely; the age varies from one person to another based on their own abilities.
But far too often, we find out someone shouldn’t be driving only after they kill someone.
The driver was identified by the CHP, though I won’t be naming her here unless charges are filed.
This is at least the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.