73-year old man killed in Fountain Valley left cross collision; Southern California on pace for nearly 100 bike deaths this year

Once again, a driver has proven that paint is no protection.

Whether it’s a bike lane. Or in this case, a crosswalk.

According to the Daily Pilot, a man died after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Fountain Valley.

The victim, identified as 73-year old Fountain Valley resident Dac Them Kieu, was riding his bike in the crosswalk on Garfield Ave at Brookhurst Street, on the border with Huntington Beach, when he was hit by the driver of a massive Ford pickup around 6:57 am.

Dac was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The Orange County Register reports the 65-year old driver was turning left off eastbound Garfield when he crashed into Dac, who was riding east in the crosswalk, which would put him on the westbound side of the street.

The fact that Dac was in the crosswalk suggests he had been riding on the sidewalk. That means he wouldn’t have been riding against traffic, since both the sidewalk and crosswalk are bidirectional.

Although drivers don’t always look for anyone coming from the opposite direction, even though they should.

The driver remained at the scene. Police do not believe intoxication played a role in the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call the traffic bureau of the Fountain Valley Police Department at 714/593-4481, reference incident #22-22611.

This is at least the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

That puts us on track for nearly 100 SoCal bicycling deaths this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dac Them Kieu and all his loved ones.

4 comments

  1. Christian says:

    Although it’s not illegal to ride “salmon” on the sidewalk(if riding on sidewalk is legal in that city), I would suggest everyone not do so. Being a cyclist myself, I’m personally more cognizant for riders/peds than average person. And having personally experienced riding as passenger in car nearly missing w cyclists riding salmon, the problem w average driver whether merging into street from driveway, or making L/R turns at intersections. They do look both ways/sides, but their eyes don’t look far enough in the opposite direction for a person going 10-15 mph on bike riding salmon vs a ped walking 2-4 mph.
    And please don’t reply w the typical agro “you’re victim shaming”, “well it’s legal, we should be safe”… I’m just telling you to stay safe, yeah you’re maybe in the right, but you’ll prolly end up dead.

  2. Bill says:

    If the truck driver had a green left arrow, the crosswalk pedestrian signal should not have been showing a white “WALK” but a red hand. Salmon riding a sidewalk onto a sidewalk at a signal should be safe – if you stop with the pedestrian signals and cross at pedestrian speeds. This sounds to be a completely avoidable conflict if the motorists was keeping eyes open for crosswalk users and if the cyclist was on the correct side of the roadway. And dismount walk in crosswalks, and expect turning motorists to not see you.

    • Christian says:

      Google maps, the light on east/west Garfield does have protected L turn arrow but turns to generic green “L turn when safe”. Problem is, when was last time you saw a cyclist riding on the sidewalk dismount to cross the street? Or cross at ped speed on bike? IMO ppl have ignored the fact biking has become inherently unsafe over last 10-20 years. And advent of smart phones, only adds to infinite distracted drivers.

  3. j says:

    People are ignoring that there are reasons to ride correctly in either direction on a sidewalk.

    FOr me the main reason is the direction of the wind. You want to be up- not down, from the tailpipes!

    If going a short distance you want to not have to cross twice needlessly!

    But when doing this extra effort is worth it being safe.

    However we know that very safe biking is sometimes not enough if overwhelmed by very bad driving and/or designs.

    I welcome anyone studying facts closely but for those of us who have been doing that multiples of 10-20 years is is hard to make simple accurate statements the dissolve some entity of any role.

    Biking is safe enough to pursue now, and it is a duty to do so.

    I have been tardy to return to it in this area and now have issues delaying that further.

    I miss it and in no way do I feel there is any win in not biking!

    Sometimes people encounter me when I’m not biking and say “but you would get hurt” which i have found bizarre and can now say I got hurt NOT BIKING!!

    The bus being free contributed to that. I still sprinted across streets on foot, but without biking to maintain joints etc. that is dangerous!

    It only takes a few months to destroy decades of fitness enough to do damage that take more than a few months so far to get handle on. Bones can grow wrong, tendons can be damaged, range of motion can begin viscious cycles.

    I typed and used bus short distance and avoided pollution insignificantly by not breathing outdoors during cardio.

    The fact is NOT biking does hurt and kill and comparing statistics in that with biking I can’t remember the best analysis of.

    Driving is not much better than bussing. Even walking now is impaired from not biking!

    I walked so much last year!

    When exercise is inherent in commuting it is awesome as in extending life decades awesome. Bike in LA surprising lacks Oxygen tanks being routine. However even steam reformation releases oxygen from water in snagging it from methane!

    The danger of biking is in not bringing your own air to do so here. Not from cars etc! At home hero’s of mine including one met today have filters in every room!

    NOt a luxury but so much can be afforded with what biking saves versus driving. To pay for a car, and not drink bottled air in it or at least filtered when indoors…

    ignores BIG DATA.

    Inhaling air outside if you can afford better while outside dements, encancers, dooms. I agree few can both drive and clean the air they even just THEY breathe.

    Too many TESLA owners inhale filthy toxic air anytime there not ensconced in the contraption that at best simulates a decent tool.

    I am getting used to inhaling absolutely insane amounts of carcinogens daily despite trying to schedule a half day operation to remove a large mass that might be cancer already.

    It’s almost like I need to use the pandemics exception for telemedicine to get quality care from a similar city but with decent air. All providers here have a conflict inhaling it themselves!

    Statistics to be fair to cite require huge work to not lie with.

    I have been honest about the air. I disagree that societally riding legally as indicted here by commentors is issue.

    The main reasons cars kill people on bikes is because there are not more on bikes and fewer in cars in such situations. Ask yourself when the last time you had a chance to run over someone riding in crosswalk was? IT’s not happening enough to prevent it from happening!

    May those who perish despite there own prudence being reasonable be seen as hero’s for making it safer for the rest of us accordingly. To goat them into glip scapes is real evil I say.

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