There seems to be no end to the recent carnage on the mean streets of Southern California.
For the eighth time in just ten days, someone was killed by a driver while riding a bike, this time in Hesperia Thursday evening.
According to the Victor Valley News Group, a man identified as 67-year old Hesperia resident Eugenio R. “Eugene” Arayata was riding his bike just three blocks from his home when he was run down from behind on Cedar Street at Long View Avenue.
The newspaper places the time of the crash at around 5:30 pm on Thursday, October 12th.
Arayata was riding next to the curb when the westbound driver apparently drifted over to the right to strike him, throwing Arayata several feet through the air.
He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where he died sometime later.
The driver, who was not publicly identified, remained at the scene, the windshield of his Lexus shattered.
An earlier story shows the remains of Arayata’s bicycle crumpled in the gutter, a green shopping bag dangling to the street, as a police investigator photographs it.
A nearby resident complained about speeding on Cedar, noting the lack of painted lane markers on the narrow residential street contribute to drivers traveling all over the roadway. However, there is nothing to indicate at this time that the driver was speeding at the time of the crash.
According to family members, Arayata had retired just three months earlier, but continued working to pay property taxes on his home of 20 years, and loved riding his bike around the town.
It’s unclear if he was riding home from work when he was killed.
This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.
Just ten days ago, that total stood at just 35 for the seven county region, exceptionally low for this late in the year.
But SoCal drivers seem to be making up for lost time.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eugenio R. “Eugene” Arayata and his loved ones.