At least this time it wasn’t a hit-and-run.
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal is reporting that someone was killed while riding a bicycle in Valencia this morning.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was apparently riding on southbound McBean Parkway at Skycrest Circle Drive when they were struck by the driver of a Bud Light semi-truck around 9 am Monday.
Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time. Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.
This is at least the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.
The victim was also the fifth person killed while riding a bicycle in SoCal since Wednesday.
Update: KTLA-5 has identified the victim as a 17-year Santa Clarita resident Louie Alexander Barba.
The station reports he was riding an ebike, though it’s unclear if that had anything to do with the crash.
The station places the crash at Decoro Drive and McBean Parkway in Santa Clarita, rather than two blocks away at McBean Parkway and Skycrest Circle Drive.
Update 2: I receive the following email from Nina Moskol, of BikeLA chapter Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, which adds some context to the story.
As of now, there are no particulars that we have received to share regarding the crash, other than the crash location. It could be noted however, that the area where the crash occurred is posted for 45 mph traffic with 3 lanes apiece traveling north and southbound. Named as a parkway, motor and truck traffic are often traveling on it at highway speeds. The parkway is flanked on either side with sidewalk, and oversized sidewalks, referred to here as paseos, which are intended for pedestrians and cyclists to use. Sidewalk riding is legal in this part of the city.
Unfortunately, it looks like the crash occurred in an uncontrolled intersection. This parkway is really hard for pedestrians and cyclists to cross, unless at a signalized crosswalk or via the nearby bike/ped bridge.
The nearest signalized intersections would have been a few tenths of a mile away from Skycrest, where the crash happened, and the only bike/ped bridge is further north of where the crash occurred too, serving a park and elementary school. If he was traveling to school at COC, this bridge would have been in the opposite direction of his intended destination. Regardless of the travel choices to make, the teen cyclist never had a chance against a semi-tractor trailer.
A crowdfunding page to benefit his family has raised over $35,000, far exceeding the $21,000 goal.
According to the page, Barba was riding his bike to school at the Academy of the Canyons, where he was in his final year of high school.
They describe him this way —
Louie was not just any teenager; he was a beacon of joy, hope, and dreams. A brilliant student, he was adored by his peers, teachers, and every life he touched. Those hallways of the Academy will surely miss his infectious laughter, his unwavering dedication to learning, and his unforgettable presence.
But school was just one facet of Louie’s vibrant life. The great outdoors was his playground. Whether it was skiing down snowy slopes, cycling through mountainous terrains, fishing under the serene sky, or camping under the stars, Louie was happiest when he was amidst nature. And what made these experiences even more precious was the company of his beloved family. Louie leaves behind his mother, Oksana; sister, Ivanna; father, Louie; and stepfather, Chris.
SCVBC is planning on placing a Ghost Bike near the crash site on Monday at or around 7pm.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Louie Alexander Barba and all his family and loved ones.