Please make it stop.
The deadliest year in memory got even worse, when someone was killed riding their bike in Canyon Country this afternoon.
There’s no word on the identity of the victim, or what may have caused the crash. There’s also no information on the driver, raising the possibility they may have fled the scene.
Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.
This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.
Update: This story is still developing. I received the following email from Hamid Valai with additional information contradicting much of. the earlier reports.
Hi Ted, thank you so much for reporting on our deadly streets. I rolled on the accident scene in Santa Clara today minutes after it had happened.
First, the news is wrong. This did not happen in Sand Canyon. It happened on the Santa Clara Truck Trail, about a mile south of Fire Department Camp 9 (who first responded to the scene). Here is a Google maps link of the accident site.
I had just met this group minutes before the accident and talked to the victim while we were filling up our bottles at the Fire Department mentioned above. I didn’t get his name, but he was a really nice guy who told me about all the trails in the area (I was visiting this area and not really familiar with it). They descended The Santa Clara Truck Trail a couple of minutes before me. I was devastated to roll on to the accident scene.
Also, the driver did not flee the scene. He was on the phone with 911 on speaker phone, while they gave CPR instructions to the cyclist’s friend. He was probably in his late 20’s or early 30’s driving a BMW convertible. The front windshield was destroyed along with other front-end damage from the impact.
I did not see the accident. I have no idea who was at fault. All I know is that it happened around a tight bend in the road, where you have no idea who’s coming around the corner.
You can see my Strava post with some pictures and my description.
This was absolutely devastating. A wonderful day or riding turned tragic. I just attended the Andrew Jemel memorial ride last week in Griffith Park. As an avid cyclist, this is very disturbing. Thanks for all the help in reporting on cycling fatalities.
Update 2: The victim has been identified as 37-year old Los Angeles resident John Hermoso.
Update 3: Phil Gaimon added this to what we know.
They called him Panda. Local Rapha ride leader. https://t.co/limkqZjJih
— Phil Gaimon (@philgaimon) May 2, 2022
Update 4: Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for the CHP to blame the victim.
According to a CHP spokesperson, Hermoso was riding on the wrong side of the road as he rounded a blind curve, and slammed into the driver’s BMW, which was traveling at a sedate 15 mph.
Yes, 15 miles per hour. Which seems pretty damn unlikely.
It also doesn’t make sense that an experienced ride leader would take a blind curve on the wrong side of the road. Or that a collision with a vehicle traveling at 15 mph would result in fatal injuries, especially for a helmeted rider, unless he was traveling downhill at an extreme rate of speed.
What makes far more sense is that both Hermoso and the driver were hugging the centerline, and traveling at far more than 15 mph. And that the CHP investigated with their usual windshield bias.
But we’ll never know what really happened until we hear from the other people on the ride.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Hermoso and al his loved ones.
Thanks to Hamid Valai and Michael Kim for the heads-up.