24-year old road cyclist Christopher Sanchez killed in collision on Rim of the World Highway in San Bernardino

The bad news just keeps on coming.

Just two days after a former Upland councilmember died following a collision while riding his bike, another man has been killed while bicycling in San Bernardino County.

According to the Mountain News, 24-year old Christopher Sanchez was riding south on State Highway 18, also known at the Rim of the World Highway, at lower Old Waterman Canyon Road in San Bernardino when he run down by an SUV driver minutes after 5:45 pm Monday.

Sanchez died at the scene, shortly after being removed from the guardrail he was entangled with. The spandex-clad rider was still wearing his helmet, but was suffering from massive lower body injuries.

(Warning: The Mountain News story describes his injuries in needless detail, so be forewarned before you click on the link.)

The 50-something driver, who was not identified, apparently ran Sanchez down from behind, just yards after a sign warning drivers to watch for bicycles.

It’s not clear if the SUV driver was attempting a dangerous pass, or never saw Sanchez in the first place. Although to his credit, he remained at the scene, and was reportedly distraught after the crash.

Sanchez was a recent graduate of Cal State San Bernardino, and was going to start work at the Riverside County Public Health Department later this week. He had been riding in the area since he was 15-years old, and was very familiar with the roadway.

But as the Mountain News reports, someone on a bicycle can do everything right, and still pay the price.

Meanwhile, the first driver to stop at the scene has already returned to the crash site to place flowers and install a ghost bike for Sanchez.

Anyone who wants to help with Sanchez’s funeral expenses can contact his mother, Kristina Sanchez (RVS), c/o Victoria Elementary, 2910 Arlington Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Sanchez and all his family and loved ones. 


  1. John Cinatl says:

    Hi Folks

    I drove that route last year for the first time in over 20+ years (I always drive the back way using SR-38). Having left Big Bear earlier in the day I was heading downhill. The highway is really narrow with no shoulder and blind turn after blind turn. As a former Caltrans District Bike Coordinator, well aware of the dangers to cyclists on this type of road, I was driving extremely carefully and kept thinking if there is a cyclist behind the next blind turn I won’t see him/her till its too late. As such, I sympathize with both people in this tragic incidence. And sadly I can’t offer a remedy for narrow mountain roadways with many blind curves.

    • Ken Holmes says:

      John, I was CalTrans, too. D08. Thank you for your insight. On another topic in that area. Cars at the stop sign at Lower Waterman Canyon are at a disadvantage trying to get on the 18 going south due to speeding cars coming downhill. I think I saw surveyors, contractors & CalTrans up there a week or two ago. I hope there are plans and funding in the works to deal with that issue.

  2. Wyllow says:

    Thank you for leaving the details of Christopher out! We as a community here on the Mountain are disgusted in our Local new paper for releasing such unnecessary detail.. in disrespect for his family and Christopher, himself/victim. Shame on them!

  3. Miyah says:

    This is terrible. The mountain news article has me in tears, I cant believe what I just read. I am deeply sorry to Chris and his family. May he rest in peace ☮️ ❤️

    • Dean says:

      This article is just as bad blaming the driver. Horrible reporting. You should not have shared this either.

  4. Carole says:

    Incorrect information: Driver did NOT “run him down from behind”. He was not trying to pass him. This happened going northbound. (sign is going southbound) He was crossing the 18 to turn left on the 18.

    • Andy says:

      I was able to speak to someone who was there on scene. And from I’ve been told…the cyclist was going northbound and was making a u turn using the middle but small split portion of the lane and got hit by the suv coming down.

      Article made it sound like the driver ran him down on purpose without looking and skips the fact that a u turn like that is dangerous. Not saying he’s at fault…just very sad that it’s portrayed as if the drive on a blind curve coming down could even spot someone who by that time of the day would have been in the shade.

    • Carol Zurborg says:

      It is pretty inflammatory and to say the bicyclist was “run down.” That makes it sound like he was hit on purpose. Please choose your words more wisely

  5. George says:

    Please do not ride a bicycle on Hwy 18. It is full of blind curves. The last thing that drivers on Hwy 18 want to do is hit a bicyclist. It is not the drivers fault that this happened. The bicyclist darted out in front of the driver.

  6. Carol Zurborg says:

    It is pretty inflammatory and to say the bicyclist was “run down.” That makes it sound like he was hit on purpose. Please choose your words more wisely

    • bikinginla says:

      So, he wasn’t run down? You mean the driver just kind of politely tapped him? Go read the description of the victim’s body, then come back and apologize. Run down was the kindest term I could use for that kind of traffic violence.

      • Andy says:

        Why don’t you reply to what I said?

        • bikinginla says:

          I’m sorry, Andy. I didn’t realize I was obligated to respond to every comment.

          I appreciate the information you provided, and left your comment up so others could see it. However, I have no way of knowing if it’s true, and neither do you. People often offer perspectives on collisions that turn out to be contradicted by later information.

          The reporter who wrote the original article spoke with someone who was actually there, on the record, who said he was first on the scene following the crash. But he was clear that he did not see what happened.

          The information you provided comes second hand, at best, from an unidentified source. I don’t know if they actually saw the crash, heard what happened from another person, making it third hand information, or merely surmised what happened based on details from the crash scene. It’s also not unusual for friends and relatives of drivers involved in crashes to comment here with misleading or inaccurate information.

          When and if I hear from someone who actually saw what happened, or see details from the police investigation, I will be happy to make any corrections I deem necessary.

          Until then, you are free to comment on here, and I am free to respond, or not, as I see fit.

  7. Dean says:

    What a horrible misleading article.

    • bikinginla says:

      The article is based on the information in the original article. If you have other facts that contradict if, by all means share them.

  8. Jessica Sommers says:

    No he rode out in front of the driver off old waterman road. Crossing the highway.

  9. Katherine Martin Pinto says:

    I am deeply sorry my dear friend Christina Sanchez, a wonderful dedicated mom and teacher. I extend my most deep sorrow to the whole family for the loss of your beloved Christopher. May the hope of resurrection given by Christ be alive in your hearts until we all reunited again on paradise earth where our sorrows will be part of the past. Acts 24:15. It is a promise by Jehovah God; very close to be a reality. Rev. 21:3-4

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