76-year old Long Beach woman killed in hit-and-run while riding tandem bike; police quick to blame the victim

A 76-year old woman riding a tandem bike with her husband was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Long Beach Sunday afternoon.

And police investigators apparently couldn’t hesitate to display their windshield bias.

According to a press release from the Long Beach Police Department, 76-year-old Long Beach resident Gaylin Reese and her husband were riding their tandem in the bike lane on eastbound on 2nd Street near Marina Drive when they allegedly sideswiped a car around 12:24 pm Sunday.

Police report there was heavy traffic at the time, and all the cars were stopped when they somehow a) left the bike lane, and b) hit the side of the car with enough force to knock both riders off their bike.

Sure, that seems likely.

Both victims were taken to the hospital, where Reese died on or before Tuesday; her husband, who hasn’t been named, was treated for minor injuries.

Investigators are also quick to absolve the driver of any responsibility for the collision, observing that they may not have even been aware of the crash. Which is certainly what their lawyer will claim now, even if the driver is found.

Police also note that both victims were wearing helmets, which clearly didn’t do any good in this case. There’s no word on whether Reese even suffered a head injury, or if she died from other causes.

What seems far more likely than the official police version is that Reese and her husband were riding in the bike lane when the driver became impatient, and tried to pull into the bike lane to get around stalled traffic.

Something we’ve all seen countless times before.

They then hit the Reese’s bike with enough force to knock them both off, resulting in significant injuries to Mrs. Reese.

And unless the suspect vehicle was a large truck, it strains credibility to think the driver would have been unaware of the impact.

Yes, it’s possible that the collision occurred exactly as the LBPD investigators describe it.

It just seems pretty damn unlikely.

Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Collision Investigation Detail Detective Joseph Johnson at 562/570-7355, or call anonymously at 1-800/222-TIPS (8477).

This is at least the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, the ninth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County, and the year’s second fatal hit-and-run involving someone on a bicycle in Long Beach.

It’s also at least the ninth fatal hit-and-run involving a SoCal bike rider this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gaylin Reese and all her family and loved ones. 


  1. Richard Fox says:

    So very sad and suspicious as stated. That’s a narrow bike lane there. I wish Long Beach would make the 2nd Street bridge and environs safer for cyclists. I take my chances riding on the sidewalk over the bridge, despite the ordinance “No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within any business district; upon the sidewalks of bridges…” This couple was probably out for a pleasant casual seemingly safe ride perhaps on the Long Beach beach path, along the quiet streets of Naples Island, and heading for the new CycleTrack on Marina Dr and on to Seal Beach. There’s no option to connect those two quiet areas other than riding over the bridge with heavy traffic since they’ve banned the sidewalk for bikes, it’s a flaw. And now this poor guy is a widower.

  2. Christian says:

    Ridden that route many times from GG to LBC/Belmont Shores. Doesn’t seem that sketchy. Maybe sketchy part is the on/off ramp at Appian Way. But in the area of eastbound 2nd street, the bike lane merges to the left of the right turn lane. I can see where a car either impatient/last minute decides to make a right would sideswipe a bike coming from behind them to slowed traffic.

  3. J says:

    “intended for early information use rather than being a formal investigative report.

    is not read by press release writer, NOT UNDERSTOOD RANKINGLY, as you note, because info is not opinion as argument, it is however ironically facts.

    And the only fact known include fatality and hit and run.

    But TED!!

    Did you forget the goal is to lull perp into safety, that friends await if the blue line is crossed to visit them and get exhonerated?

    Let’s give them that benefit until cuffs are on.

    So THIS DRIVER IS THE VICTIM HERE. Once we know name we will crowdfund him seven figures. NO bank account needed! A debit card lovingly endowed by those lucky to not have killed yet to no credit just luck of them will be usable at any bar in town. We just need this martyr’s name for the funded card!

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