Archive for Bicycle Safety

More blood on the streets of San Diego; unidentified man killed riding motorized bicycle in North Clairemont

The carnage continues on the streets of San Diego.

Just three days after 57-year old Laura Shinn was killed while riding her bike in Balboa Park, by a driver alleged to be high on meth, another bike rider has lost his life riding in the Clairemont neighborhood.

According to multiple sources, the victim, described only as a man in his 60s, was struck while riding his bike at the intersection of Genesee Ave, Chickasaw Court and Saulk Ave around 5:31 Friday evening.

He died after being transported to a local hospital.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim, who was riding some sort of motorized bicycle, had just turned right from Sauk Ave onto northbound Genesee, most likely into the bike lane on Genesee. He then allegedly swerved left in front of the driver of a high-powered Mercedes SUV.

However, that seems unlikely if he saw the car bearing down on him as he turned, unless the driver may have been exceeding the 40 mph speed limit and closed the distance faster than expected.

It’s also questionable why he would have swerved into the left lane as the paper describes, when there is nowhere to turn left on the the divided roadway.

Which is not to say it didn’t happen that way, but it does raise a number of questions.

The 30-year old driver stayed at the scene, and was reportedly cooperating with police.

The paper also reports the victim wasn’t carrying ID with him, hampering efforts to identify him.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County.

That’s one more than Los Angeles County, which has roughly three times the population.

If you’re not mad down there yet, maybe you should be.

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

 

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in Balboa Park collision Tuesday morning; murder charge for alleged DUI driver

The death toll continues to mount in San Diego County.

Just five days after the county saw its tenth bicycling death of the year, another rider lost their life riding in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

The victim, who has yet to be publicly identified in any way, was riding on Pershing Drive, south of the Morley Field Disc Golf Course on the northwest side of the massive park, when he or she was struck by a driver around 7:30 this morning.

The rider was found lying unresponsive in the roadway when first responders arrived, and died after being transported to a similarly unidentified hospital.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators; no word on whether police suspect distraction or intoxication played a role in the crash.

Video from the scene shows a mangled road bike off to the side of the road.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no visible bicycle infrastructure. No other information is available at this time.

This death comes three months to the day after another person was killed riding across Highway 163 through the park.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County, which seems to be rushing to keep up with Los Angeles County, with roughly three times the population.

Update: Sasha Jovanovic reminds us that the stretch of Pershing where the crash occurred was supposed to have a separated bikeway by now

Update 2: The San Diego Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 57-year old San Diego resident Laura Shinn

According to the paper, Shinn was a prominent architect and planner who regularly commuted to her work at San Diego State University, where she oversaw the planning and design of several campus facilities.

Laura Shinn worked as SDSU’s director of facilities planning and was serving as the 2021 president of the board of directors of the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego chapter. She also was a founding member of the Women in Architecture group in San Diego.

In a statement, SDSU described Shinn as “an incredibly talented architect who helped oversee much of our university’s development and growth.”

Shinn was run down from behind as she rode north on Pershing, which the paper says does have a bike lane.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam Milavetz was arrested on suspicion of DUI after allegedly drifting into the bike lane to strike Shinn. 

The paper reports he was jailed on “suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.” The murder count suggests this was not his first DUI, and he had likely signed a Watson advisement as a condition of a previous conviction. 

He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday. 

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laura Shinn and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for heads-up.

Update: Man found dead in bicycle crash on Angeles Crest Highway Saturday, after apparent medical emergency

More bad news, as if we haven’t had enough already.

According to Zackary Rynew, a group of motorists came upon a bike rider lying unconscious in the roadway on Angeles Crest Highway around 8 am this morning.

Rynew later placed the crash just before the fire station on Highway 2; unfortunately, I can’t locate it on a map.

The victim was described only as a man with a mustache, who appeared to be in his 60s, and wearing an orange bicycle helmet.

Several people attempted CPR, but he was unconscious with no signs of life when paramedics arrived.

It’s not clear at this time whether he was a victim of hit-and-run, or if he died in a solo fall.

A brief report from My News LA confirms the death, placing the crash at 8:19 am at Mile Marker 27.5, though they don’t identify the victim as someone on a bicycle.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hopefully we’ll get more details soon.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in Los Angeles County.

Update: My News LA has identified the victim as 62-year old Glendale resident Steve Gerdes.

He apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency while riding his Cervelo east on Angeles Crest, and collapsed on the spot. 

Update 2: A comment from Mary Smith clarifies that all the people who discovered and attempted to revive Gerdes were motorists, and the only people who rode by on bicycles continued without stopping or offering to help. 

Something to remember when the next time someone tries to assign motorists and bicyclists into irreconcilably conflicting camps. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers Steve Gerdes and his loved ones.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Update: 27-year old man killed in Oceanside hit-and-run late Thursday; tenth bicycling death in San Diego County this year

Another day, another Southern California bike rider murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

This time in Oceanside, where a man identified as 27-year old Carlsbad resident Jackson Williams was left to die on Oceanside Blvd late Thursday night.

Bypassers found Williams lying in the traffic lanes of Oceanside Boulevard just west of Interstate 5 around 11:30 pm; witnesses reported he was not moving or breathing, and suffering from severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on whether he was wearing a helmet, which might have a difference in this case.

Or not, depending on the speed of his killer’s car.

Investigators believe he was riding east on Oceanside when he was run down from behind by the driver of a black 2014 to 2016 Nissan Versa Note hatchback, based at least in part on evidence left at the scene. The car is likely to have damage to the front grill, hood and undercarriage.

It was last seen headed east on Oceanside past the I-5 bridge.

Anyone with informations urged to call Accident Investigator Kevin Lissner of the Oceanside Police Department at 760/435-4651.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County.

At least 14 of those deaths have been hit-and-runs, including four just in the last two and a half weeks.

Update: This is the cost of traffic violence. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jackson Williams and all his loved ones.

 

Update: 32-year old bike rider killed in collision with Amtrak Surfliner in Oxnard; 6th SoCal bicycling death in less than 2 weeks

Another day, another ghost bike.

But at least this time there wasn’t a motorist involved.

Ventura talk radio station KVTA reports a man was killed when he was run down from behind by an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks in Oxnard Tuesday morning.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 32-year old Oxnard man, was reportedly riding north on the railroad tracks roughly 100 yards from the Oxnard Transportation Center when he was struck by a northbound train just after 11 am.

The Ventura County Star places the collision at 11:09 am, on the tracks at Fourth and Meta streets.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Oxnard Police Commander Luis McArthur, the engineer of Pacific Surfliner Train 763 sounded his horn several times and tried to stop, but couldn’t bring the train to a halt in time, despite witness statements that it was traveling at just 20-30 mph before the crash.

The victim made no effort to get out of the way as he rode with a hoody pulled over his head; however, there’s no evidence that he was wearing headphones or earbuds.

Which raises the question of why he wasn’t aware of the massive train bearing down on him. Let alone what he was doing on the tracks in the first place.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County, which exceeds the total for all of last year.

It’s also the sixth Southern California bike death that’s come to our attention in less than two weeks.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Oxnard resident Esau C. Castaneda.

Investigators have ruled out suicide as a cause of death, but still have no explanation why he didn’t hear the train approaching.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esau C. Castaneda and his loved ones.

 

Man riding bicycle killed by LA hit-and-run driver nearly two weeks ago; no mention in news until now

Once again, someone riding a bicycle has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

And once again, it never made the news.

According to My News LA, a man on a bicycle was run down by a driver at 2:30 am on Tuesday, June 22nd, while riding south in the west crosswalk of Melrose Ave at Normandie Ave, near LA’s Little Armenia neighborhood.

The driver kept going without stopping.

The victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified nearly two weeks later, was taken to a local hospital, where he died sometime later.

As usual, there’s no word on why the public wasn’t informed until My News LA broke the story on Sunday.

Police are looking for the driver of a white two-door 2019-21 Camaro with a black convertible top, likely with noticeable front-end damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division detectives at 213/473-0236, or call Crime Stoppers at 800/222-8477. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also at least the fifth in the City of LA.

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

Man killed 3 weeks ago in South LA hit-and-run; police belatedly announce $50,000 reward for death of Leo Dimeglio

Sadly, we don’t know much more now than we did this morning.

According to a press release from the LAPD, a man later identified as Leo Dimeglio was riding his bicycle east on Jefferson Blvd at West Blvd in South LA around 11:41 p.m on June 10th, when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver.

Dimeglio was pronounced dead at the scene; there’s no word on his age or residence.

The driver continued east on Jefferson without stopping, which suggests he or she was likely traveling in the same direction as Dimeglio prior to the crash.

Police are looking for a dark-colored SUV, most likely with heavy damage.

There was no explanation given for why the LAPD waited almost three weeks to ask for the public’s help in finding the driver, or even release word that someone had been killed on city streets.

It also makes you wonder if there are more bicycling deaths they haven’t bothered to tell us about.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD South Traffic Division Detective Daniel Ramirez or Officer Andrew Guzman at 323/421-2500.

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

This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also at least the fourth in the City of LA.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Leo Dimeglio and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up. 

75-year old Allen Hunter killed by alleged DUI hit-and-run driver, while riding on Coast Highway in Solana Beach last week

Finally, we have confirmation.

We’ve known since Thursday that a man was killed while riding his bike in Solana Beach last week.

But it’s taken this long for the San Diego County medical examiner to update their website, and for the story to make the news.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 75-year old San Diego resident Allen Hunter was the victim of a hit-and-run last Tuesday — one week ago today.

He was riding on the South Coast Highway 101 near Lomas Santa Fe Drive around 10:35 am on June 22nd when he was run down from behind by vehicle allegedly driven by 21-year-old Lucas Beau Morgans of Solana Beach.

Hunter was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in nearby La Jolla, where he died of multiple blunt force trauma around 6:30 that evening.

A Reddit post from last Thursday adds a little more information.

Morgans was arrested later the same day, about six miles from the crash scene, on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run resulting in death or injury and felony DUI causing great bodily injury.

He was released after posting bail, and isn’t due back in court until October.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Allen Hunter and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Update: 34-year old woman killed in La Jolla collision; eighth bicyclist killed in San Diego County already this year

What the hell is going on in San Diego this year?

News is just breaking that a woman was killed in a collision while riding in La Jolla yesterday afternoon, continuing the county’s unusual rash of bicycling deaths.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, which appears to be the only source reporting on the story so far, the crash occurred in the south lanes of North Torrey Pines Road approaching La Jolla Village Drive around 4:20 pm.

The victim, identified only as a 34-year old woman, was reportedly riding in the right lane of the roadway when she merged into the left lane, and was struck by a 74-year old driver.

She died at the scene.

The driver remained following the crash — which should not need to be said, but sadly, does — and was not suspected of being under the influence.

However, the report raises a few questions, since there is a bike lane on Torrey Pines Road where she would have presumably been riding, unless she had shifted into the right lane in preparation for merging into the left lane.

In which case, why didn’t she see the large oncoming Mercedes to her left — and why didn’t the driver see her?

There is also the question of why she was merging into the left lane, since there is no street to the left on the three-way intersection. It’s possible she was attempting to make a U-turn, or may have been turning onto a pathway that appears to lead to the UCSD campus on the north side of the roadway.

And as always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses, other than the driver, who actually saw her move in front of the car that killed her. Although there should have been several people around the busy intersection at that hour who may have seen the crash.

The story reports that the collision is still under investigation, so hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in San Diego County already this year, in what is turning out to be an exceptionally bloody year.

Update: The victim has not been publicly identified. However, comments below indicate she was from India with her husband, and the mother of a one-year old child.  

Meanwhile, Douglas Alden left the following comment.

I passed by the crash on my bike commute home shortly after it happened. It occurred in the southbound lanes of North Torrey Pines Road just north of the intersection with Revelle College Drive. The police had closed the road in both directions and several cars were pulled over. The body of the woman that was killed was covered by a yellow sheet and was still lying in the street in front of the car. It is possible that the cyclist was crossing lanes to make a left from southbound North Torrey Pines onto Revelle College Drive. There is a protected left turn lane at the intersection. It is hard to speculate without knowing all the facts.

There are a number of other comments below that add insight to this tragedy.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 34-year old Swati Tyagi, a postdoctorate researcher with the Salk Institute, who was working on the aging process and neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia. 

Which raises the tragic question of what scientific breakthroughs in the field could be lost or delayed because of her needless death. 

Tyagi leaves behind her husband of six years, a scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, and their 11-month old son, who is just shy of his first birthday. 

Meanwhile, her parents and other family members have been unable to enter the US due to Covid restrictions in India, or to get her body sent back to the country of her birth, compounding the tragedy. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Swati Tyagi and all her loved ones. 

Update: Bicyclist killed in rural Jamul in San Diego County; ebike rider allegedly rode in front of massive SUV

Note: No Morning Links today, after battling with my diabetes all day yesterday. We’ll be back on Friday, as usual. 

And yes, diabetes sucks.

………

Someone was killed in a collision while riding a bike in rural Jamul last night.

Unfortunately, that’s about all we know at this time.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the crash occurred around 7:25 pm Wednesday at 14710 Lyons Valley Road, a few hundred yards east of Skyline Truck Trail.

The victim died at the scene within minutes of the crash, before firefighters could arrive.

A street view shows a narrow two-lane roadway, with no usable shoulder; CHP records describe it as “not well traveled.”

No other details are available.

There’s no information about the victim, or how the crash occurred. And the U–T story doesn’t even mention what kind of vehicle was involved, let alone whether it had a driver.

In fact, there’s no mention of a driver at all.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more later.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; however, it’s the seventh that I’m aware of in San Diego County already this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as a man, but no name or age was given. The driver was ID’d as a 39-year old woman in a GMC Yukon SUV. 

The location has been updated as the intersection of Lyons Valley Road and Monterey Crest Drive.

According to the latest reports, the victim, who was riding a Motiv ebike, was headed south Monterey Crest Drive when he allegedly entered the intersection directly in front of the westbound SUV. 

Given the size, flat front and high-clearance of the SUV, there’s little chance of survival if the truck was traveling at speed. 

As always, however, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver, particularly given the rural intersection at dusk. 

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

%d bloggers like this: