74-year old Hemet man killed in San Jacinto collision, victim allegedly swerved into passing car

I don’t think so.

News broke last night that a man suffered major injuries when he somehow swerved into a car while riding in San Jacinto Saturday evening.

It seemed unlikely then.

It seems more unlikely now, after learning the victim has died.

According to My News LA, 74-year old Hemet resident Pedro Garcia was fatally injured he as he was riding in the right lane on southbound Lake Park Drive, below Soboba Road, in San Jacinto around 6:30 pm Saturday.

Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators allege Garcia somehow swerved left for no apparent reason and crashed into the side of a passing car, falling into the roadway.

He was taken to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he died at 11:13 pm.

The driver remained at the scene and called for help.

It’s possible that Garcia may have moved to his left without looking, or hearing the car coming up beside him.

However, it seems more likely that the driver may have been passing too close, or swerved to his right and sideswiped Garcia’s bike.

Particularly if there were no independent witnesses who observed the crash. Which seems likely, given the remote location on a weekend evening.

It’s also extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact position of a bicycling collision, due to the lack of skid marks or other forensic evidence.

Unfortunately, Garcia isn’t around to give his side of the story, which leaves the driver’s statement as the only evidence for deputies to base their investigation on. And drivers have a vested interest in seeing their own actions in the best possible light, regardless of the circumstances.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Deputy Ray Cortez of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at 951/654-2702, or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Pedro Garcia and his loved ones.


  1. Serge Issakov says:

    Agreed. Suddenly swerving is one thing. Suddenly swerving so much as to cover three feet just before or while being passed by a car that is supposed to be passing with at least three feet of clearance is quite another.

  2. Pedro Garcia says:

    To whom wrote this article. I am the deceased son. I’m feeling lost with no answers and have not heard from the detective. I have left several messages to Ray Cortez of the San Jancito Sheriff Department and have not received a call back. The night a Sheriff Officer came to my fathers home was three hours later and therefore I didn’t not get to see my father before he passed. I have a lot of questions and no answers. If anyone knows anything or can give me some type of advice please reach out. Thank You!

    • bikinginla says:

      Pedro, I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish there were some words that could bring you comfort now. My heart is with you and all your family.

      You should be able to get a copy of the accident report, which could give you a little more information, although it’s likely to only reflect the driver’s point of view, since your father is not there to give his side of the story. Beyond that, I would strongly recommend getting a lawyer. You may or may not have a good case against the driver, or some other party, but it’s the only way you’re likely to find out what really happened.

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