Update: 48-year old man found dead near his bicycle on Coast Highway in Encinitas, no sign of collision

Sometimes, there are no easy explanations.

That appears to be the case in Encinitas, where a man was found dead near his bicycle early Sunday morning.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the victim was discovered lying in the northbound bike lane on South Coast Highway south of Chesterfield Drive, near the Chart House restaurant, around 12:07 am.

He died at the scene, despite the efforts of paramedics. He was identified only as a 48-year old man, although the U-T says he was believed to be an Encinitas resident.

Sheriff’s investigators report there was no sign of a collision, and suspect the victim may have had a solo crash.

However, it’s also possible that he could have lost control of his bike after being sideswiped, or been the victim of an overly close pass. Or just as likely that his death could have been caused by a medical condition or a problem with the road surface.

There’s also no indication whether drug or alcohol use may have played a role.

Anyone with information about the crash is urged to call the Traffic Division at the North Coastal Sheriff’s Station at 760/966-3500.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 48-year old Ryan Currie; no city of residence was given. 

A sergeant with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department indicated that Currie was not wearing a helmet when he was found, however, there’s no indication yet that he suffered a head injury, which is the only reason that would matter.  

He placed the location where Currie was found on the 2700 block of South Coast Highway 101, near the Welcome to Cardiff sign. There is no indication at this time that Currie was struck by a vehicle.

Photos circulating online show evidence of the crash where the curbs for the protected bike lanes begin, leading some to conclude that they were the proximate cause of Currie’s crash. 

While the curbs could have been difficult to see after dark, especially if there was no light on Currie’s bike, there is nothing yet to confirm that his bike hit one of the curbs, or that they actually led to his fall.

Update 2: According to the Union-Tribune, Currie was not wearing a helmet, and toxicology reports are still pending to determine if he was under the influence. It’s also unclear if the light built into his cruiser bike was working at the time of the crash, despite the lack of lighting along the roadway. 

Compounding the tragedy, Currie’s four children have now been orphaned by the crash, after their mother passed away five years ago. 

According to a biography posted online by Spieker Senior Development Partners, Currie worked in the continuing care retirement community field, owning several projects. He was a graduate of West Point and served as a U.S. Army captain with the 101st Airborne Division, according to his bio. Messages left with the development company were not returned.

Currie and his late wife, Megan, were high school sweethearts and married in 2000, a year after she graduated from college, according to her obituary.

The obituary said she died in 2019 at the age of 41 after a long battle with cancer. The couple had four children.

A count by bike advocate Serge Issakov suggests that 32 bicyclists have been injured riding on the protected bikeway since it was installed in 2020. There is an argument to be made that the low asphalt curbs could be difficult to see, especially after dark.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ryan Currie and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young and Malcomb Watson for the heads-up.

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