What the hell is going on in San Diego County?
For the first seven months of this year, it was one of the safest places to ride a bicycle in Southern California, with just four deaths.
Even though just one is one too many.
Yet the county has doubled that total in just the last ten days, with the latest death coming yesterday in Carlsbad, where the victim was collateral damage in a police chase.
The crash occurred around 1 pm at Carlsbad Boulevard near Palomar Airport Road, either in or near Carlsbad State Beach.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene, while both the 28-year old motorcyclist and his passenger, a 22-year old woman, were hospitalized with serious injuries.
There’s no word on when or where the pursuit started, or how fast the motorcyclist was going at the time of the crash.
However, it raises inevitable questions about the wisdom of police chases that place innocent people at risk, and whether a parks cop was properly trained in how to conduct a chase.
Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Investigator Adam Bentley at 442/339-5559.
This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.
It’s also the 4th bicycling death in the county in the last ten days, and the second in Carlsbad.
Update: According to the Union-Tribune, the victim has been identified as 68-year old Solano Beach resident Brad Allen Catcott.
Catcott was reportedly moving from the bike lane to a turn lane when he was run down by the fleeing motorcyclist, and succumbed to blunt force trauma.
The paper reports Carlsbad Police referred questions to State Parks officials, who said there “is no new information to share with the public” ten days after the crash.
Not that they’re trying to cover their collective ass or anything.
My deepest prayers and sympathy for the Brad Allen Catcott and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.