No bias here.
A man riding a bicycle on Southern California’s killer highway in Long Beach was killed by the driver of a semi-truck, who kept going after the crash.
So naturally, police blamed the victim, and absolved the driver for failing to stop.
The member-supported Long Beach Post is reporting that the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding his bike east on PCH at Harbor Drive when police say he “collided” with a semi traveling in the same direction around 9:18 this morning.
He died at the scene.
The LBPD’s description of the crash is based on security cam video that apparently depicted the impact, although they don’t clarify whether the victim rear-ended the truck or somehow backed into it.
Or maybe, just maybe, the driver passed too closely, in violation of California’s three-foot passing law, as well as the new requirement to change lanes when possible to pass a bike rider, and somehow sideswiped the victim, or cause him to fall under it.
We may never know.
The cops were also quick to absolve the driver of any responsibility to stop after the crash, saying he or she may not have known it happened.
Because apparently, drivers aren’t required to be aware of what happens with their massive vehicles, or any damage or deaths they may cause.
Let’s hope they clarify things at some point.
A street view shows a four lane highway with center turn lane, and right turn lanes in each direction.
This is at least the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.
Three of those deaths appear to be hit-and-runs.
Update: Long Beach police have clarified that the victim apparently fell off his bike and was struck by the truck driver.
Which doesn’t explain why the driver passed close enough to hit him if he fell beside the truck, or why the driver wouldn’t be aware he’d hit someone.
It’s also possible that a too-close pass could have been what caused the victim to fall.
Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Collision Investigation Detail Detectives Kevin Johansen or Joseph Johnson 562/570-7355.
Update 2: The victim was identified as 59-year-old homeless Long Beach resident Kevin Evans, who was on his way to volunteer with the nonprofit Care Closet Long Beach when he was killed.
The Long Beach Post describes him as someone who was always willing to help others, despite his own situation.
More than 20 years ago, Evans grew tired of the stresses of having to pay a mortgage and utilities, so he decided to leave that behind to pursue a “camping” lifestyle, his friends said.
Eventually, with the support of Care Closet Long Beach, Evans was able to use his experiences to help others, especially homeless residents, going through tough situations, Given said.
He died just three days short of his 60th birthday.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.
Thanks to Psmith for the heads-up.