Archive for Bicycle Safety

Victorville bike rider killed in midnight hit-and-run; no description of driver or car

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

According to the Victorville Daily Press, the victim was riding west on Mojave Drive, east of Amethyst Road in Victorville, when he was rear-ended by a driver early Wednesday.

San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies responded to find the victim, whose identity is being withheld, lying unresponsive in the roadway at 12:29 am.

He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died just 35 minutes later.

No word on whether the crash was reported right away, or how long he may have been lying there before he was discovered. Or if any delay in receiving treatment may have contributed to his death.

However, it’s unlikely that a crash on a roadway with a 60 mph speed limit would have been survivable, in any case.

There’s also no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike that would have made him more visible in the late night darkness.

No description has been given for the driver or the suspect vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputies C. Bennington or T. Wetzel at 760-241-2911.

This is at least the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

Update: 39-year old man killed riding bike in Oxnard collision; 3rd fatal Oxnard bike crash this year

Then there were three.

According to KEYT-TV, a 39-year old Oxnard man was killed when a van driver slammed into his bike early Thursday morning.

Which makes him the third bicyclist killed in the city already this year.

He was reportedly riding on Channel Islands Boulevard west of J Street when he was run down by a 51-year-old Oxnard man driving west on Channel Islands at 4:25 am.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene.

There’s no word on which direction he was riding, or if he had lights on this bike in the early morning darkness.

The Ventura County Star reports the driver was behind the wheel of a 2018 Ford Transit Van, which has a van’s high, flat grill that dramatically increases the risk to anyone not inside a vehicle.

Like someone on a bicycle, for instance.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; police don’t believe intoxication played a role in the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Officer Joseph Clarke at 805/385-7750, or email joseph.clarke@oxnardpd.org.

This is at least the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Ventura County, which usually averages that many bicycle deaths in an entire year.

Update: The victim was identified as 39-year old Oxnard resident Rojelio Minjarez

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rojelio Minjarez and his loved ones.

Man killed in collision attempting to ride bike across Anaheim freeway onramp, CHP blames victim’s clothing

Freeway ramps are among the deadliest places to ride a bike.

That was driven home once again early Friday morning, when a man was killed trying to ride across an Anaheim onramp.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on Lakeview Ave at the onramp to the westbound 91 Freeway around 4:50 am Friday.

Before he could reach the pedestrian crossing, he was struck by a car attempting to enter the freeway, driven by a 67-year old Anaheim woman.

No word on whether he died at the scene, or passed away after being taken for treatment.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A CHP spokesman was quick to absolve the driver of responsibility, instead blaming the victim’s dark clothing, and poor visibility due to rainy conditions and the early morning darkness.

However, no mention is made of whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike, or whether the onramp itself was lighted.

There’s also no mention of how the design of the onramp may have contributed to the crash. Dual slip lanes that begin at the intersection with East Riverdale Ave could enable drivers to accelerate to highway speeds before ever entering the freeway, especially at that hour.

But it’s much easier to blame the victim’s clothing than to confront road conditions that not only made a collision more likely, but less survivable.

It’s also yet another tragic reminder to avoid freeway ramps whenever possible, which are seldom designed for the safety of anyone not encased in a couple tons of glass and steel.

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

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

51-year old Anthony Duran killed walking bike in Indio crash; alleged driver held on felony hit-and-run charge

A man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking his bike in Indio last week.

But because the news stories identified him as a pedestrian, it didn’t cross my radar until the driver was arrested on Wednesday.

The victim, identified as 51-year old Indio resident Anthony Duran, was found lying badly injured in the street at Monroe Street and Avenue 42 around 4:50 am on Thursday, February 4th.

Police determined Duran was walking his bike across the intersection when he run down by a pickup driver, who fled without stopping.

Duran died at the scene. There’s no word on just how long he had to lay there, alone and bleeding, before someone saw him.

Police arrested 28-year old Mark Bravo of Indio on Wednesday; he’s being held on $75,000 bond on a single count of felony hit-and-run.

If there was any justice, he’d face a second degree murder charge for allegedly leaving his victim there to die; there’s no way of knowing if Duran could have survived if he’d gotten help sooner.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Anthony Duran and his loved ones.

32-year old man riding bike killed in collision with SUV driver near El Cajon

A man was killed riding a bike on a country road east of El Cajon Wednesday night.

And for a change, investigators were quick to blame the driver.

According to multiple identical stories from the City News Service, the victim was riding a cruiser bike on east Willow Glen Drive, west of Dehesa Road near the Singing Hills Golf Resort, when he was run down from behind at 7:20 pm.

The helmetless victim, who has been identified only as a 32-year old man, died at the scene.

A CHP spokesman said the eastbound driver, a 48-year man from El Cajon, somehow drifted to the right, striking the victim’s bike at around 45 mph and hurling him to the roadway.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. However, there’s no word on whether the driver’s phone was examined for evidence of distracted driving.

There’s also no word on whether the victim suffered a head injury; if not, it really doesn’t matter whether or not he had a helmet. And a crash at that speed was likely not survivable, with or without one.

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

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

73-year old man killed riding bike in Oxnard collision; 2nd bike-riding Oxnard septuagenarian killed in three weeks

For the second time in three weeks, someone has been killed riding a bicycle in Oxnard.

And each time, the victim was a man in his 70s.

The Ventura County Star reports 73-year old Oxnard resident Eliseo Ramirez was riding on the shoulder of northbound Rice Road shortly around 8:13 Tuesday morning.

Somewhere south of East 5th Street, Ramirez allegedly swerved left into the path of a 49-year old woman driving in the left lane of the four lane, 55 mph roadway.

He died at the scene.

The driver stayed, and was not charged, though her truck was impounded as evidence.

No explanation was given for why Ramirez crossed the roadway, or why he apparently didn’t see the large black pickup speeding up on him.

His death comes just three weeks after 75-year old Adolfo Ambriz Heredia was killed less than three miles away.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eliseo Ramirez and all his loved ones.

 

Man riding bicycle killed in double Menifee crash, as 2nd driver leaves scene; 3rd fatal Riverside County bike crash this year

For the third time in just three days, a bike rider was killed in Southern California.

And for the third time, a driver left the scene — although police were quick to excuse it.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 43-year old Lake Elsinore resident Alex Herrera was crossing Highway 74 just west of Briggs Road in Menifee around 10:45 Saturday night, when he was struck by a westbound driver, flung onto the other side of the roadway, and run over by another driver headed east.

Herrera died at the scene before police could arrive.

The first driver stopped and waited for police, though he was unsure who or what he struck on the dark roadway.

The second driver kept going without stopping, but lost his license plate in the crash. Police were able to track him down and were quick to absolve him of responsibility, suggesting he may not have known he hit anyone.

Because evidently, it’s perfectly normal to keep driving after feeling a large, unexpected bump without stopping to see what the hell it was.

Like maybe another person, for instance.

Police said there was no sign drug or alcohol intoxication played a role in the crash, and neither driver was ticketed or arrested at the scene.

There’s no word on why Herrera was crossing the highway west of the intersection with Briggs, with no street lights or businesses to light the roadway.

There’s also no indication if he had lights on his bike that would have made him visible in the darkness.

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

Drivers have left the scene in all but two of those deaths, including all three in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alex Herrera and his loved ones.

Update: Man riding bike killed by carjacker in horrific DTLA hit-and-run crash; victim was on his way to join a group ride

This time, it really is murder.

A 46-year old bike rider is dead, the innocent victim of a speeding carjacker trying to make his escape through Downtown Los Angeles Saturday morning.

Now police are looking for the car thief and killer, who simply walked away after a second crash.

According to KABC-7, the series of events started when a passing pedestrian asked a newspaper delivery driver for a ride on the 900 block of Wilshire Blvd. When the driver refused, the man jumped into the running pickup while the man was stocking a newsstand.

A flier from the LAPD places the time of the theft as 7:50 am.

Unable to get back into the truck, the delivery driver jumped into the back as the man sped off towards DTLA, then wisely jumped out a few blocks later, tumbling to the ground.

Witnesses saw the carjacker careening through the streets, weaving from side to side at a high rate of speed while driving on the wrong side of the roadway.

After turning onto eastbound 7th Street, he slammed into a man who was riding east just before 7th and Olive Street.

However, according to the police flier, the victim riding against traffic in the westbound bike lane — which means the driver rear-ended him while all the way on wrong side of the street.

The victim landed on the hood of the truck, and was carried nearly 100 feet before being thrown off, then tumbled another 150 feet before coming to a rest at Hill Street, a full block from where he was hit.

KTLA-5 reports friends of the victim identified him as Branden Finley, a member of the Ride for Black Lives group; he was reportedly on his way to join a group ride when he was killed.

Paramedics attempted without luck to revive him, before declaring Finley dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, the driver continued east on 7th until he crashed into a pair of vehicles and took off on foot, melting away on the Downtown streets.

Bizarrely, he was walking barefoot and carrying a steering wheel, presumably from the truck he stole.

He was described as a Black man around 5 foot 6 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds, and may have suffered a head injury from hitting his head on the windshield.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white hoodie and black pants, after removing the blue hoodie he was originally wearing.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713, or e-mail hm at 31480@lapd.online. During weekends and off-hours, call 1-877/527-3247.

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

Three of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

Update: The LA County coroner has confirmed the victim’s identity as Branden Finley, a 46-year old father of two.

“I still don’t even think it’s real. I feel like it’s a dream. Right now, it’s a nightmare, and I feel tomorrow I’m going to wake up and this day will never exist,” his daughter, Koi Finley, told ABC7.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Branden Finley and his loved ones. 

Bicyclist killed in Perris hit-and-run Thursday night; driver arrested hours later

Just over two weeks into the new year, a second bike rider has been killed in Riverside County, both the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

But at least this time, the killer was caught a few hours later.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding through the intersection of Goetz Road and Mapes Road in Perris around 8:30 pm Thursday when he was struck by a car driven by 28-year old Perris resident Nathan Craig Rogers.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, died at the scene.

Rogers fled the scene, but Patch reports he was taken into custody around 11 pm Thursday.

At last report, he was being held on $75,000 bond on suspicion of felony fatal hit-and-run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.

Sadly, California’s lenient hit-and-run laws mean Rogers is looking at just four years behind bars, with another year in county jail for the misdemeanor manslaughter charge.

And that’s only if the judge rules the sentences should run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Kiebach at 951/776-1099, or the Perris Station at 951-210-1000.

This is at least the 4th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 2nd that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Half of those SoCal bicycling deaths have ben the result of hit-and-run drivers, both in Riverside County.

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

Update: Motorcyclist and bicycle rider collide near Jamul in East San Diego County, both victims killed

One crash. Two bikes. Two dead.

In a rare double tragedy, a man on a bicycle was struck by another man on a motorcycle near Jamul in East San Diego County.

Both died within minutes.

According to multiple sources, the victim on the bicycle was riding at the end of a group of road cyclists as they rode east on Otay Lakes Road near the Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground.

The motorcyclist was riding east with three other motorcycle riders when he somehow slammed into the other man on the narrow two-lane road around 9:30 am today.

They both received CPR at the scene, but were pronounced dead after ten minutes.

They were described only as men in their mid to late 30s.

There’s no word on what may have caused the crash.

This is at least the 3rd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Chula Vista resident Julius Cunanan; he leaves behind his wife and two young sons, one just a month old. 

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $25,000 in two days, surpassing the $15,000 goal. 

Update 2: The motorcyclist has been identified as 43-year-old Jonathan Michael Charbonnet, also from Chula Vista. 

Still no word on why Charbonnet collided with Cunanan’s bicycle.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julius Cunanan and Jonathan Michael Charbonnet, and all their loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

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