Update: 72-year old Irvine Bicycle Club member killed riding bicycle in Laguna Hills collision; 14th OC bike death this year

A man was killed riding a bicycle in Laguna Hills Friday morning.

And that’s almost all we know right now.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a driver near Paseo De Valencia and Alicia Parkway around 10 am.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or whether the victim died at the scene or was transported to a hospital.

The driver apparently stopped after the crash, and was questioned by the police.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Orange County. That’s more than the county saw for the entire year in 2019 and 2021, and one less than 2020.

And it’s only September.

Update: Bill Sellin forwards a post from the Bicycle Club of Irvine, which identified the victim as 72-year old BCI member Jeff Rosenthal. 

Rosenthal was reportedly approaching Alicia Parkway in the westbound bike lane on Paseo de Valencia when he was rear-ended by a motorist, who has not been publicly identified. 

He leaves behind his wife of 41 years, as well as an adult son and daughter and their children.

I also received the following email from Ed Rubinstein, Orange County bike lawyer and a longtime friend of this site.

Thank you for your reporting, but I cannot let the rider who was killed remain anonymous. He was my best friend.

I do not have any information on how or why the crash happened, but I do know the wonderful human being whose life was snuffed out too soon.  His name was Jeff Rosenthal. He was 72 years old, retired, and he had just celebrated his 41st anniversary with his wife Barbara. Jeff, like me, originally was from Long Island, NY. He was an experienced cyclist who used to ride over 7000 miles per year until he reduced the frequency of his rides slightly as he recently got back into surfing.  He rode with the Bicycle Club of Irvine where we met about 10 years ago.  He was my best friend, the witness at my wedding and we rode together no less than weekly. Jeff had a quick wit and was always smiling. He was the friend you could always count on to help, but he never wanted to bother others. He was out riding Friday morning. He butt dialed me that morning. He told me he had a flat. and I offered to pick him up as it was hot outside. He said he was almost home, and would call me if he needed any help. I wish he had accepted my offer. I now suspect I was the last person with whom he talked to that day.  I am gutted and the world has lost someone precious.

Jeff (right without glasses) and myself in 2019 after riding a self-supported century

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jeff Rosenthal and all his family loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Ed Rubinstein for their help. 

12 comments

  1. Bill sellin says:

    Jeff Rosenthal of Laguna Niguel
    Active member of the Bicycle Club of Irvine.
    No details know but he was an experience cyclist.

  2. He was the Gabai of our synagogue and will be severely missed. May his memory be for a blessing

  3. This is so sad to hear. Rest in Peace, Jeff. May OC not let his death be in vain, and install protections for OC residents who just want to ride a bike safely and get home to their loved ones without harm.

  4. Brit says:

    Jeff was one of my best best friends in High School back in Great Neck, NY. A super guy who would do anything for anybody. He sure had my back on a number of occasions. My condolence to his wife Barbara, his kids and his many friends in CA and other places.
    Brit

  5. Ken Heller says:

    Jeff and I grew up about 2 blocks from one another in Great Neck NY. I can remember wrestling with each other on his living room rug and listening to his stereo which was a damn site better than mine. And the fact that he had a great dog which is something my parents would never never ever let me have. Funny what sticks with you.

    We had reconnected 3 times over the last 15 years ago since I started going to high school reunions. He was a fine man and he helped jog my memory about lots of other great things we did together as kids.

    Rest in peace my friend.

  6. Al Rodriguez says:

    For those of you in the Irvine Bike Club, there are riders in Santa Barbara who share your pain. Jeff often came up our way to visit his daughter who lived up here for a while and he would also ride with a close friend (he apparently made friends easily). Jeff had a devilish sense of humor and we never missed a ride with him when he was in the area. We’re just at a loss over his untimely and unfair passing. Pass along our deep regards to your cycling community and above all else, ride safely!

  7. Michael and Yelena Koffman says:

    We met Jeff about ten years ago after moving to OC and joining Chabad of Mission Viejo and quickly built a friendship. He had an amazing gift to make people around him comfortable and a little more happy every moment you deal with him. He always was ready to help in any way and it was so natural that it was easy to accept.
    We all, whose life he touched, will always keep a warm feeling of blessing knowing him.
    Our deepest condolences to Barbara and kids.

  8. Alan Rudolph says:

    Jeff has been a friend since High School! A blithe spirit, always ready with a joke, corny, but delivered with a crooked smile and a infectious chuckle. Hadn’t seen him since we were in California, but he was a frequently in my thoughts as someone I was lucky to share time with. They can’t take that away from me!
    I am sure you wii have a “Good News, Bad News” joke the next time we meet, make it a new one.
    Rudy

  9. Alan Rudolph says:

    Jeff has been a friend since High School! A blithe spirit, always ready with a joke, corny, but delivered with a crooked smile and a infectious chuckle. Hadn’t seen him since we were in California, but he was a frequently in my thoughts as someone I was lucky to share time with. They can’t take that away from me!
    I am sure you will have a “Good News, Bad News” joke the next time we meet, make it a new one.
    Rudy

  10. Ken and Barbara Hershberg says:

    Jeff was my best friend. I’ve known him 50 years. We spent much time together playing squash, riding bikes, traveling, and just getting together socially.

    You will not find a better human being. He was always the life of the party, excited to make new friends and one of the wittiest people I’ve ever met. He gave everyone in his company the gift of laughter.
    It’s hard to believe someone so alive is now missing from our lives.
    Our love goes outs to Barbara, Alex, Lindsay, Janet, and the grandkids.

  11. John Ingram says:

    Jeff was one in a million – he was always smiling, friendly and damn quick witted! I always looked forward to his trips up to Santa Barbara, not only for the fun bike rides we enjoyed in the Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez areas but also for the exhilarating laughs he elicited from his many friends here with his humorous tales and jokes.

    Jeff was a great guy who was taken from us far too soon. He will be sorely missed. My heart-felt condolences go out to Barbara and his extended family.

  12. Peter Gerrard says:

    I’ll miss that stellar smile.

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