Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: Man killed riding bike in Desert Hot Springs hit-and-run; 5th Riverside County bike death in 30 days

Please make it stop.

Just one day after reporting on two bicycling deaths in Southern California, another man was killed riding in Desert Hot Springs sometime overnight.

And no, the coward behind the wheel didn’t bother to stick around. Or even call for help.

According to the Desert Sun, the victim was found lying next to his mangled bicycle around 5:45 this morning on Two Bunch Palms Trail near Cholla Drive in Desert Hot Springs. However, police were unsure on exactly when or where the crash occurred.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no description yet of the suspect or the vehicle. There’s also no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike, or what kind of bike he was riding.

He was found lying in the eastbound lane on the lightly traveled road, leading a bicyclist passing by the crash scene to note that drivers can be blinded by the rising sun, which came up at 5:42 this morning — about the time his body was discovered.

With little traffic at that early hour, it’s likely the driver could have easily exceeded the posted 45 mph speed limit on the straight, unbroken roadway.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Palm Desert Police Officer Chris James at 760/329-2904, ext. 351, or the PDPD watch commander at 760/329-2904, ext. 302.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also the fifth bicycling death in the county in the past 30 days.

Update: The Desert Sun has updated their story to indicate the victim was a 43-year old man, though he still hasn’t been publicly identified. 

Police are looking for a maroon 2006-2009 Lexus IS250 sedan, last seen heading west on Two Bunch Palms Trail. Which would suggest that driver was headed away from the rising sun, not towards it. 

Investigators determined that the victim was riding in the middle of the roadway, though they don’t know which way he was going. 

Presumably, they mean in the middle of the lane, rather than down the center line. However, with no shoulder on either side, there’s nowhere else to ride without hugging the edge of the road. 

It’s also important to note that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine the exact point of impact in bicycle collisions; police often rely on where the victim’s body and bicycle landed, which can have little or no relation to where they were hit. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 43-year old Palm Springs resident Christopher Jones. Police now place the time of the crash as around 5:30 am.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Christopher Jones and his loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Riverside bike rider killed in collision with motorcyclist Monday night; 4th Riverside county bike death in 30 days

More bad news today.

According to My News LA, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist in Riverside Monday night.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was attempting to cross Magnolia Ave just east of Jackson Street around 10:25 pm when he allegedly rode directly out in front of a man riding west on a Harley.

He was killed instantly.

The motorcyclist and his passenger were taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries.

A police sergeant appeared to blame the crash on a lack of crosswalks in the area. Yet a street view clearly shows the intersection of Magnolia and Jackson controlled by a traffic signal, with a crosswalk in every direction, suggesting the crash may have been significantly east of Jackson.

Magnolia is a four lane divided street in a residential neighborhood, with bike lanes and a wide planted median, and a 40 mph speed limit.

The question is why the victim would ride out in front of such a loud motorcycle, even if he or she didn’t see it.

It’s possible they were under the influence or distracted in some way, or that the 54-year old motorcyclist may have been traveling at a high rate of speed.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Riverside Police Department’s Traffic Bureau at 951/826-8720.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also the fourth bicycling death in the county in the past 30 days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his or her loved ones.

17-year old bike rider Ernesto Manzano Jr. killed riding against traffic in Monterey Park

Yet another tragic reminder to never ride against traffic.

According the Pasadena Star News, 17-year old Los Angeles resident Ernesto Manzano Jr. was riding downhill on the wrong side of the road when he was hit dead-on by a driver headed in the opposite direction around 6:40 Friday evening.

Sadly Manzano died at the scene.

Authorities place the collision near the intersection of Crest Vista Drive and Windover Way in Monterey Park.

They don’t say what street the crash was on; however, the driver was headed north, which suggests they both were on Cresta Vista.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t believe drug or alcohol played a factor in the crash.

Unfortunately, riding salmon probably did.

Wrong way riding may seem safer, since it allows you to see oncoming traffic. However, it greatly increases the risk of a collision, because drivers don’t expect to see you coming towards them, while dramatically reducing reaction times.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Monterey Park Police Department watch commander at 626/307-1200.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It also appears to be the first LA County bicycling death in two months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ernesto Manzano Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Bike rider dies five days after Jurupa Valley hit-and-run; third Riverside County bicycling death in past week

It’s happened again.

A cowardly Southern California driver fled the scene of a crash, leaving an innocent person dying in the street.

Only this time, it took five days for the victim to pass away.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a man was found lying in the street on the 9400 block of Mission Boulevard in Jurupa Valley around 10:43 pm last Thursday, after reports of a crash involving someone on a bicycle.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital suffering from major injuries; sadly, he was pronounced dead on Tuesday.

The driver didn’t bother to stick around.

The suspect vehicle is described as a white 2012-2018 Ford Focus sedan, missing its passenger side mirror; it was last seen driving west on Mission.

Unfortunately, there’s no description of the heartless killer behind the wheel, or any word on how the crash happened.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Nancarrow at 941/955-2600.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also the second Riverside County bicycling death in just the last four days; a third rider was found dead on Saturday after going missing late last month.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. 

Missing mountain biker Brian Grangaard found dead nearly three weeks after crashing on Hemet area trail

More sad news from Riverside County, where a mountain biker has been found dead nearly three weeks after he disappeared while riding near Hemet.

According to My News LA, 45-year old Hemet resident Brian Darrell Grangaard was reported missing after he failed to return from riding in Santa Rosa Hills on May 25th.

His body was found late Thursday afternoon, hidden by heavy brush at the bottom of an embankment off Vista Del Valle near Rawlings Road.

Grangaard had apparently lost control while descending steep the curvy road, and ridden off the roadway at a high rate of speed.

He is believed to have died the same day.

There are now helmets, smart watches, and other devices that can report your exact location in the event of a fall or collision. While something like that could have aided in the search, there’s no way to know at this time if rescuers could have gotten to Grangaard before he succumbed to his injuries.

A crowdfunding page to help pay for the search raised $2,000, equalling the goal.

The investigation remains open, and anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s San Gorgonio Office at 951/769-2000.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Darrell Grangaard and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Update: 21-year old Corona resident killed by hit-and-run driver late Thursday night

Once again, someone on a bicycle has been left to die in the street by a heartless coward.

This time in Corona.

According to a press release from the Corona Police Department, 21-year old Corona resident Benjamin Montalvo was riding south on the 1600 block of Rimpau Avenue with two friends when he was run down from behind by an unidentified driver just before midnight Thursday.

Montalvo died at the scene, while his killer fled without stopping; the suspect vehicle was described only as a dark-colored sedan.

Authorities place the time of the crash around 11:54 pm.

Unfortunately, there’s no other information available at this time.

A street view shows a four lane road with a center turn lane in a business district, transitioning to a residential area a few blocks later. It would likely have been quiet and dark at that hour.

Anyone with information is urged to call Corona Police Officer David Dopson at 951/817-5845, or email David.Dopson@CoronaCA.gov.

This is at least the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Update: A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run after turning herself in Friday night; other charges may be considered. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benjamin Montalvo and all his family and friends. 

61-year old bike rider killed in early Monday Rancho Cucamonga crash; few details available

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in San Bernardino County.

And once again, there’s almost no information available.

According to the Fontana Herald News, Eric John Konz was struck by a driver while riding near the intersection of Etiwanda Ave and Whittram Ave at 2:25 Monday morning.

A 61-year old Rancho Cucamonga resident, Konz was pronounced dead at the scene just over 20 minutes later.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

No word on how the crash occurred, or whether the driver stuck around after the crash.

Or even if Konz had lights on his bike at that early morning hour.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eric John Konz and all his loved ones.

 

Bike rider killed in Coachella collision; third SoCal bicycling death in two days

Yet another person has been killed riding a bicycle in Southern California.

According to KSEQ-3, a bike rider was struck by a driver on Tyler Street near Avenue 54 in Coachella around 9:18 pm yesterday, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police report the driver stopped, and cooperated with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time, including the identity — or even the sex — of the victim.

But that’s more information than the Desert Sun reported, which apparently thought the crash involved a zombie car, since they didn’t even mention the driver.

A street view shows a dusty desert intersection, with a pair of two lane roads controlled by a four way stop.

This is how Victor Bale describes it.

This is an area I also ride often. It’s mostly an agricultural area with many date trees. There are no bike lanes, but with a low level of traffic, it’s relatively safe as drivers usually just move over into the oncoming traffic lanes. I must mention that there are no street lights in that entire area and at night it’s not a place to ride. My guess is this person was perhaps homeless or poor, and a bike was the only form of transportation available to him or her.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also the third person killed riding a bike in Southern California in the past two days, following deaths in Irvine and San Diego on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his or her loved ones. 

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in hit-and-run; driver moved the victim before fleeing

SoCal streets are getting more dangerous as our cities reopen from their Covid-19 slumber.

The latest example comes from San Diego, where a man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in the city’s Rolando neighborhood Tuesday evening.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim was riding west on the sidewalk near the Salvation Army Kroc Center on University Ave around 7:05 Tuesday evening, when he allegedly turned in front a westbound driver at University and Alamo Drive.

The driver then got out of his car and moved the victim back into the street, before fleeing the scene. Although why he moved him, and from where, is unclear.

It’s also not clear why the victim would have turned in front of the driver’s car when Alamo exits to the right off westbound University, rather than the left.

The victim died after being taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest; he’s described only as a man who appears to be in his late 40s.

Police eventually found the suspect’s car abandoned a little over a mile away, at El Cajon Boulevard and 68th Street.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon to help clear up the apparent discrepancies.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: Police arrested a 30-year old man later the same night, alleging he was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

70-year old woman killed in Irvine crash; 7th Orange County bike death this year

Orange County, we have a problem.

Just five months into the year, the county has already seen seven people killed riding their bikes.

The latest came this morning, when a 70-year old woman lost her life at the hands of motorist, who was barely mentioned in news reports.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck somewhere near the near the intersection of Portola Parkway and the 261 toll road around 9:59 am.

She was pronounced dead on at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or whether it happened on Portola or the 261.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect he or she was under the influence.

Victor Bale forwards word that the intersection is near the entrance to the Peters Canyon Trail.

According to Bale,

It’s a pleasant and popular trail in Orange County that can be used to head to Laguna Beach and Dana Point or further south to San Clemente or Oceanside. It also is used to lead to trails that go to Newport Beach’s back bay.

He added,

I’ve been at that intersection probably hundreds of times, typically riding on Portola over the 261 to reach the trail on the other side.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t tell us if she was exiting the trail onto Portola (can be sketchy and you need to be very careful) or if she was trying to reach the trail via Portola as I usually do.

Hopefully we’ll learn more after the holiday.

Anyone with information is urged to call Motor Officer Mike Bergstrom at 949/724-7212, ext. 2046.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 70-year old Irvine resident Linda Smythe

Still no word on how the crash occurred; however, Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin reports she was thrown 105 feet by the force of the impact, which suggests she was struck at a high rate of speed. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Linda Smythe and her loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Bill Sellin for the information. 

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