Archive for Bicycle Safety

Man killed riding bike in Fullerton crash Monday evening; 16th Orange County bike death this year

A bad year for Orange County bike riders just continues to get worse.

According to multiple sources, a 33-year old man was killed riding his bike in Fullerton Monday evening.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding in the area of Bastanchury Road and Lancer Way when he was struck by a Mercedes-Benz driver headed south on Bastanchury around 5:43 pm.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital.

The driver remained at the scene, and Fullerton police do not believe drug or alcohol use played a role in the crash.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have at this time. No word on how the crash happened, or whether the victim had lights on his bike after dark.

However, an email from Lois adds a few more thoughts.

This is a super dangerous crossing where a downhill proceeds to a right turn on a busy road with no clearance. Mountain bikers with no road riding experience frequently cross to the far side and ride salmon style to make the next left back to the Fullerton Loop. There’s a much safer but slightly longer and less exciting route to get to the same place. It has a light at the crossing. Maybe the city should have a sign to direct the Loop riders in that direction but many still won’t take it.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Accident Investigator H. Barclay of the Fullerton Police Department at 714/738-6815.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Orange County, which has seen an already too-high average of 12 bicycling deaths in recent years.

That puts it neck-and-neck with Los Angeles County, which has also seen 16 bike deaths this year, with over three times the population.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his lived ones.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Man killed riding bike in South LA hit-and-run Wednesday night; 7th fatal bicycling hit-and-run this year

Once again, a heartless hit-and-run coward left an innocent person to die on the street.

And once again, there’s a $50,000 reward to bring the killer to justice.

According to KTLA-5, the victim was run down around 9:15 pm Wednesday as he was riding Main Street, just north of 120th Street, in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood of South LA.

He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was described only as male, which could be an indication that police weren’t able to immediately identify him.

The driver continued north on Main without stopping; the suspect vehicle is described only as a dark-colored sedan.

There’s no other information available at this time. No word on how the crash happened, or whether the victim had lights on after dark.

Or if the driver did, for that matter.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Flannery or Officer Mitchell at 323/421-2500.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles, despite mention of just half that amount in the KTLA report.

This is at least the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

At least seven of those deaths in LA County have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his love ones.

Update: 42-year old woman killed in Lake Forest bicycling crash; 15th Orange County bike rider killed this year, equalling LA County

A 42-year old woman was killed riding a bike in Lake Forest Sunday afternoon, just hours after another Orange County bike rider lost his life.

According to the Orange County Register, Orange resident Hanna Tran was somehow struck by a motorist around 4 pm at Santiago Canyon Road and Modjeska Grade Road.

She was taken to Mission Hospital, where she was pronounced dead an hour later.

Once again, there is no word on how the crash happened. And the only mention of the driver is that he or she remained at the scene.

Orange County sheriff’s investigators report that there’s no evidence either the victim or the driver was under the influence; however, the investigation is ongoing.

The crash occurred just two and a half hours, and 32 miles away, from where Ho Cheong was killed riding his bike in La Palma.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

That equals the total in LA County, with over three times the population.

Update: The Orange County Bicycle Coalition reports that Tran may have been killed as a result of road work on Santiago Canyon, which had greatly reduced lanes on the popular riding route, without any provision to keep bicyclists safe during the construction. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Hanna Tran and his loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Victor Bale for the update.

24-year old Cypress man killed in La Palma crash; first of two OC bike riders killed hours apart

Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for the victims of traffic violence turned out to be a very bad day for Orange County bike riders.

In the first of two fatal bicycling crashes just hours apart, a 24-year old Cypress man was killed in a collision at Crescent Ave and Walker Street in La Palma.

According to the Orange County Register, Ho Cheong was somehow struck by a truck around 1:25 pm; he was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he died nearly half an hour later.

There’s no word on how the crash may have happened.

Then again, the Register doesn’t even bother to mention if the truck had a driver, let alone if he or she may have been responsible in any way.

And there’s not a word about the victim beyond his name and age.

This is at least the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ho Cheong and his loved ones.

Update: Claremont woman killed in Friday the 13th bicycling collision, driver arrested for vehicular manslaughter

Sadly, Friday the 13th lived up to its reputation for a woman riding her bike in Claremont.

According to the Claremont Courier, the woman, identified only as a Claremont resident, was riding north on Mills Ave near Rockford Drive around 9 am Friday.

A driver headed in the opposite direction lost control attempting to pass another vehicle and skidded across the roadway, hitting the victim head-on.

She was taken to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where she died.

Thirty-eight-year old Claremont resident Cheryl Becker was arrested for vehicular manslaughter. She also faces a charge of child endangerment because her children were in the car with her at the time of the crash.

Not surprisingly, police say speed may have been a factor.

A street view shows a two lane roadway on Mills, with a center turn lane and bike lanes in each direction. Police say there’s been an increase in unsafe driving on the street in recent months, including drivers exceeding the 40 mph speed limit.

Friday’s crash took place just blocks from where Sandra Wicksted killed Leslie Pray in a 2018 collision as Pray was riding her bike. Wicksted was sentenced to 16 years for voluntary manslaughter earlier this week, after prosecutors pled down from the original murder charge.

This is at least the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as long-time Claremont resident Terri Wolfe Ingalls, who was killed less than a week after her 62nd birthday. 

According to the Claremont Courier, she was run down just moments after leaving her home. Her final act may have been waving to her neighbor as she set out on her bike. 

The paper describes her as a “thoughtful, lovely” mother of four, and grandmother of seven, who checked in on her elderly parents every day. 

They’ll all have to find a way to get along without her now.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Terri Wolfe Ingalls and her loved ones.

Man killed riding a bicycle in Lemon Grove; few details available

Multiple sources are reporting that a man was killed while riding a bicycle in Lemon Grove Thursday night.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, the victim was struck by a driver around 7:50 pm, somewhere in the vicinity of Massachusetts Ave and Westview Place.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was rushed to Scripps Mercy Hospital with visible leg trauma, where he died.

The driver remained at the scene; investigators don’t suspect intoxication. There’s no word on whether he or she may have been distracted.

A street view shows bike lanes on Massachusetts north of Westview, which disappear without warning as the street goes from one to two lanes of traffic in each direction.

However, there’s nothing to suggest that may have played a factor in the crash at this time.

This is at least the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Placentia woman dies days after falling off her bicycle in Huntington Beach; 13th Orange County bicycling death this year

Somehow, we missed this one.

According to My News LA, a 50-year old Placentia woman died two days after falling of her bicycle in Huntington Beach.

Police investigators say Wendy Cendejas apparently fell making a left turn into traffic while riding east on Warner Ave, west of Sceptre Lane, around 6:30 pm on Saturday, October 17th.

She was found by police lying in the roadway, with her bicycle nearby.

Cendejas was taken to UCI Medical Center, where she died the following Monday.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Warner, with a center left turn lane onto Scepter from eastbound Warner; there’s also a painted shoulder on each side that she could have been riding in.

It’s unclear from the description if anyone actually saw her fall. And there’s no information on what may have caused the fall, which could have been anything from simply losing her balance to striking some sort of obstacle in the roadway.

Or her fall could have been caused by a driver in some way.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator D. Demetre of the Huntington Beach Police Department at 714/536-5670.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Wendy Cendejas and her loved ones. 

Bike rider killed in crash near Redlands; no details available

Another person has been killed riding a bicycle in Southern California.

And once again, almost no details are available.

According to My News LA, a bike rider was killed in a collision at 5:32 Thursday morning on San Timoteo Canyon Road at Redlands Boulevard in Redlands.

However, the location appears to put it in Riverside County, near the border with San Bernardino County south of Redlands.

A street view shows a heavily trafficked T-intersection, with two-lane roadways in each direction.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time; there’s no word on the identity of the victim or how the crash happened.

Let alone why.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

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

 

Update: Man killed riding bike in early morning Piru crash; CHP rushes to blame the victim

The more I think about this, the angrier I get.

Details are still sparse, but multiple sources report that a middle-aged man was killed riding his bike in Piru early Tuesday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on westbound Highway 126 east of Main Street in Piru when he was struck by a driver just after 5:45 am.

He died at the scene. The driver remained and cooperated with investigators.

Naturally, CHP investigators didn’t hesitate to blame the victim.

After an on-scene investigation took place, CHP officials determined the bicyclist may have been riding in the traffic lanes and the driver of a Nissan Sentra was unable to avoid colliding with the bicyclist, according to a CHP news release. The driver sustained minor injuries.

Never mind that bicyclists have as much right to be in the roadway as motorists do. Or that the traffic lane is exactly where they’re supposed to ride.

According to California law, while bike riders are allowed to ride on the shoulder, they’re neither required or expected to. And nothing to the right of the fog line is legally considered part of the roadway.

In addition, CVC 21202(a)(4) clearly states if the traffic lane is too narrow safely share — which includes most right hand lanes in Southern California — the rider may use the full lane.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

Then there’s statement from the CHP that the driver was unable to avoid the collision.

So let’s be clear.

Unless the victim was riding without lights or reflectors in the early morning darkness, the driver should have been able to see him. But if he wasn’t, the CHP would undoubtedly have mentioned that.

And if the driver had his headlights on, which would be legally required at that hour, he would have been able to see him anyway — unless he was driving too fast for his headlights, which is a violation of California’s Basic Speed Law.

“No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”

The key word there in this case is visibility, which includes darkness.

So unless the victim was riding against traffic — which again, the CHP would have mentioned — the question remains why the driver couldn’t see a grown man on a bicycle directly in front of his or her car?

And why is the CHP once again blaming a victim for his own death?

Because we all deserve to know.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP at 805/553-0800.

This is at least the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Gregory Alcozar, who the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office describes as being a transient. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gregory Alcozar and his loved ones.

Update: Woman riding bike killed by semi driver in Long Beach hit-and-run; 2nd fatal Long Beach bicycling hit-and-run in 3 months

A woman has been killed while riding a bike in yet another SoCal hit-and-run.

And once again, it happened in Long Beach.

According to the Long Beach Post, the victim was struck by the driver of a semi-truck at Artesia Blvd and Downey Ave around 9 pm Wednesday.

The driver continued without stopping, leaving his victim, identified only as a 56-year old Bellflower resident, to die at the scene.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on which direction she was riding, or how the crash happened. And no information on which way the driver fled.

The truck is described only as a semi with a white cab and large white trailer. It may or may not have any visible damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Police investigators at 562/570-7355.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the second fatal bicycling hit-and-run in Long Beach in the last three months.

Update: The victim has been identified as 56-year old Lisa Termin of Bellflower.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Lisa Termin and all her loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up. 

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