Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: Killer driver arrested after 3 Huntington Beach bike riders struck — one fatally — in apparent vehicular rampage

This time it’s murder.

A Huntington Beach bike rider has been killed after a rampaging driver appeared to intentionally target three people riding bicycles in less than an hour Sunday night.

According to KABC-7, the attacks started around 10 pm when a man was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a crosswalk at Warner Avenue and Edwards Street, suffering minor injuries.

That was followed half an hour later as a second man suffered minor injuries when he reported being deliberately sideswiped by a hit-and-run driver just a few blocks away on Edwards Street at Brad Drive.

Then as police were investigating that crash, a third victim who had been riding a bicycle was found lying in the street less than a mile away near Heil Avenue and Springdale Street around 10:45 pm, suffering from major injuries.

He died at the scene.

At this time, none of the victims have been identified.

Huntington Beach police investigators believe the same driver was responsible for all three crashes, in a single night of vehicular mayhem.

Witnesses describe the vehicle as appearing to be a black Toyota four-door sedan, which suffered significant damage to the front bumper on the passenger side.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Huntington Beach Police Department’s WeTip hotline at 714/375-5066; anonymous tips can be submitted to OC Crime Stoppers at 855/TIP-OCCS (855/847-6227).

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

It also appears to be the second intentional murder of a bike rider in the county this year, following the February death of Dr. Michael John Mammone in Laguna Beach.

Update: KTLA-5 talks with another bike rider, who says he was also chased by a driver who tried to strike him on Sunday night. He had to ride between two cars to escape. 

A neighbor who witnessed the fatal crash says the driver never slowed down after hitting the victim, and that the car may have been a Volvo rather than Toyota. So look for a black sedan with major damage to the right front. 

They also report Huntington Beach police are struggling to identify the man who was killed. 

Which is yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID with you. And preferably something that won’t be stolen if you become incapacitated, like a RoadID or some other form of wearable identification. 

Update 2: Now two lives could be effectively ended. 

KABC-7 reports police have arrested an unnamed juvenile for using a car as a weapon to attack at least three people riding bicycles, murdering a 70-year old man and injuring two others. 

There’s no word on possible charges, but it’s likely the kid will face at least one felony murder count, as well as charges of assault with a deadly weapon. If he’s tried as a juvenile, he could be held until he turns 21; if the Orange County DA charges him as an adult, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. 

Or worse. 

The victim has been identified as 70-year old Huntington Beach resident Steven Gonzales.

No motive has been announced for the attacks, but it could have been a copycat of the East Bay Area attacks from earlier this year, in which young people in stolen cars attempted to door or strike people riding bicycles or e-scooters.

The difference is, no one was killed then. 

Update 3: According to The Daily Pilot, the boy was arrested Tuesday night on one count of homicide and and two counts os assault with a deadly weapon after they found the suspect’s vehicle in the 6000 block of Warner Ave.

He’s being held in OC Juvenile Hall. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steven Gonzales and all his loved ones.

Three-year old Odalys Navarro killed by hit-and-run dirt bike rider in Mead Valley; 17 year old boy arrested

Some things are just too sad to process.

Like the needless death of a toddler as she rides a bike next to her mother.

And the arrest of a teenaged boy for the hit-and-run that took her life.

The Los Angeles Times reports that three-year old Odalys Navarro died Monday, four days after she was run down from behind by someone on a dirt bike as she rode her bicycle in the rural Riverside County community of Mead Valley.

Her mother, who is five months pregnant, was also seriously injured in the August 31st crash.

The CHP places that crash near the intersection of Steele Peak Drive and Palm Street shortly after 7:30 pm, as they were coming home from the park on the dirt sidewalk.

The motorcycle rider fled the scene.

This is how Rubi Navarro, the victim’s mother, described the crash on a crowdfunding page.

It was a Thursday afternoon 8/31 that was supposed to be filled with joy and laughter, tragedy struck. A hit-and-run incident involving a motorcycle left my child and myself lying on the ground, fighting for our lives. It is difficult to put into words the pain and anguish my family has endured since that fateful day.

My little girl, who was only 3 years old going on to 4 in about a month and I were walking home from the park when the motorcycle came out of nowhere. The impact was severe, leaving both of us with life-threatening injuries. The reckless driver, without a shred of humanity, callously fled the scene, leaving my family shattered and broken.

CHP investigators later found the suspect and his dirt bike, and booked the 17-year old boy on charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing fatal injuries.

His name was withheld because he’s a juvenile. Which means that, unless he’s charged as an adult, he can only be held until he turns 21, even if he’s convicted.

The crowdfunding campaign to pay Odalys Navarro’s funeral costs, and her and her mother’s medical expenses, has raised a little more than $5,000 of the $25,000 goal.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the CHP’s Riverside investigators at 951/637-8000.

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

There’s nothing sadder than a ghost bike for a child.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Odalys Navarro and all her family.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Bicyclist killed by San Diego Coaster train Sunday afternoon; no details available

Someone riding a bike was killed by a train in San Diego over the holiday weekend, but very little information is available yet.

Which what usually what happens on holiday weekends.

San Diego’s CBS8 reports a bike rider died when they were struck by a northbound Coaster train on Washington Street around 3:25 Sunday afternoon.

The tracks were closed between the Old Town Station and Santa Fe Depot.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

There’s no word on the identity of the victim or how the crash occurred. However, a street view shows a full crossing gate, which suggests the victim may have ridden around it — if it was working.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and just the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which compares to nine this time last year.

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

Bike-riding man killed in Quartz Hill collision Monday night; seventh LA County bike death this year

A man was killed riding a bicycle in northern Los Angeles County Monday night.

According to KFI radio, the victim was riding east on Avenue L near 42nd Street West in Quartz Hill when he was rear-ended by a 24-year old driver around 10:50 pm Monday.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence. He was not charged, even though police could not explain why he struck the victim’s bike.

There is a bike lane in both directions on Avenue L, but there’s no word on whether the victim was in the bike lane when he was hit.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer M. Averbeck at the CHP’s Antelope Valley Area office at 661/948-8541, or the CHP Los Angeles Traffic Management Center at 323/259-3200.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Bicyclist killed in early morning Moreno Valley crash; few details available

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

And once again, we know next to nothing.

According to My News LA, someone riding a bicycle was struck by a driver on eastbound Alessandro Boulevard at Graham Street in Moreno Valley around 5:20 am Tuesday.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to nearby Riverside University Medical Center suffering from severe injuries, and died shortly later.

The driver of a Kia Optima remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

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

A street view shows a painted bike lane on Alessandro, running between the two through lanes and a right turn bay. However, we have no way of knowing at this time if that may have contributed to the crash in any way.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Moreno Valley station at 951/486-6700.

This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

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

Update: Bruce Elliott, captain of Don’s Race Team, killed in Mentone collision Saturday; 2nd area bike death in two days

Sometimes it’s just bad news on top of bad news.

And this one is going to hit a lot of people very hard.

I’ve just gotten confirmation that there was, in fact, a second bicyclist killed in the Highland/Mentone area over the weekend.

The CHP reports that a bike rider was killed by the driver of a Chevy SUV on SR-38 and Garnet Street in Mentone around 9:35 am Saturday.

He died at the scene.

I’m told the victim was well-known cycling coach Bruce Elliott of Big Wheel Coaching and Don’s Race Team, though that has not been officially confirmed.

Elliott was reportedly on a group training ride at the time of the crash; no other details are available at this time.

His death came just 13 hours after, and less then a dozen miles from where a 68-year old man was killed crossing a street in Highland on his bike Friday night.

He was also the third person killed riding a bike in Southern California in less than 24 hours, following another fatal crash in Hawthorne on Saturday.

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

This has got to stop.

Update: Commenter GregW reports that he saw the crash on Saturday.

I was a first hand witness to the fatal crash in Mentone on Saturday. An SUV struck the cyclist head-on after entering into their oncoming left turn lane. I was with the cyclist until emergency services arrived. If anyone has more information regarding the man’s identity I’d like to get in contact with his family to give my condolences.

Update 2: The San Bernardino County Coroner confirmed the victim was 55-year old Redlands resident William Bruce Elliott, who was pronounced dead at 10:21 am at Loma Linda University Medical Center, despite the coroner being called to the scene.

They place the location of the crash at Mills Creek Road and Highway 38, instead of at Garnet Street; however, that appears to be the same roadway.

I am told the group was setting up for a left turn from Hwy 38 onto Garnet Road, which is a downhill.

There is no traffic light, though there is a dedicated left turn lane. Traffic goes fast through there and often the oncoming traffic will cross over the lane lines as there is a slight S turn bend. It was a head on collision that threw Bruce into other riders, who then attempted CPR.

Update 3: A memorial service will be held at 2 pm this Sunday, August 6, at The University of Redlands Memorial Chapel. All friends and family wanting to honor Bruce Elliott and support his family are welcome.

Elliott’s family has requested that contributions be made to a crowdfunding campaign in lieu of flowers. The funds will be split between the nonprofit Bikes for Kids Foundation and the Grand Teton National Park; at this writing, it has raised over $9,000 of the modest $12,500 goal.

Update 4: The Redding Record Gazette confirms Elliott was the “captain of Don’s Bikes Race Team and part of Big Wheel Coaching, a group that mentored area riders,” and was well-loved in the local community.

“Bruce was an extraordinary guy,” said Scott Welsh, the Redlands Bicycle Classic media director. “He was very positive and energetic and had a good outlook on life. The cycling community can be an interesting cast of characters, but he was a bright, positive light and a natural leader.”

In addition to his love of bicycling, Elliott was a revered physical education teacher at Bella Vista Elementary School in Desert Hot Springs.

Bruce Elliott was also remembered in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, where he served as the head of the Hopkinton Public Schools Health and Wellness Department for six years, from 2012 to 2017. 

According to the Hopkinton Independent

“He was a wonderful guy, such a hard worker, so positive,” (Hopkinton High School principal Evan Bishop) recalled. “He always had a smile on his face, always willing to roll up his sleeves and do whatever he was asked to do. He understood the stress that a lot of students were feeling and was just a really dependable, kind, caring, supportive colleague and leader of his department.”

Jeanne Reimonn was a Hopkinton neighbor and friend and remained in contact with the Elliott family after they moved. Bruce and Cindy Elliott have two grown children: a son, Wyatt (who graduated from HHS), and a daughter, Ainsley…

Reimonn noted the dangers of cyclists sharing the road with motor vehicles and said Hopkinton’s new downtown bike lanes are the type of thing that should be promoted.

“Bicycling infrastructure is something that we need more of,” she said. “It would help prevent some of these accidents.”

Photo from Spotfund page

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William Bruce Elliott and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Jeffrey Rusk for the heads-up.

Breaking news: KCBS-2 reports bike rider killed in Hawthorne crash, no details available

More bad news this weekend, as KCBS-2 reports someone riding a bicycle was killed in Hawthorne yesterday.

Unfortunately, no details are available at this time.

According to the station, the crash occurred at Ocean Gate Ave and Rosecrans Ave.

Video from the scene shows what appears to be a fat tire bike in the left lane on Rosecrans less than 100 feet from the intersection, not far from a tent covering the victim.

The station reports it’s not clear whether the driver stayed at the scene.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.

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

If the driver did flee after the crash, it would be least the 11th fatal hit-and-run involving a SoCal bike rider this year.

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

68-year old man killed riding a bike in Highland collision; police blame victim for not using crosswalk

Evidently, it was a bad weekend for SoCal bicyclists.

Starting with news that a man was killed riding a bike in Highland on Friday.

The Fontana Herald is reporting that a 68-year old man was struck by an eastbound driver while attempting to ride his bike across Baseline Street near McKinley Street around 8:25 pm.

The victim, a resident of Highland, apparently died at the scene.

According to the Highland Police Department, the victim was crossing outside of a crosswalk and without lights on his bike, a little less than half an hour after sunset.

However, while he should have been using lights in the growing dusk, bicyclists aren’t pedestrians and there is no requirement that someone on a bicycle must use a crosswalk — any more than drivers are required to cross at an intersection rather than mid-block.

The driver, a 69-year old man from Grand Terrace, remained at the scene.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Highland Police Department at 909/425-9793.

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

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

29-year old bike rider murdered by driver in intentional crash, 2nd bike rider killed in Long Beach hit-and-run this month

Go ahead and call it murder.

The Long Beach Police Department is.

According to multiple reports, 29-year old Long Beach resident Leobardo Cervantes died last Saturday, after he was intentionally run down by a hit-and-run driver earlier this month.

Cervantes was riding his bike near California Ave and Harding Street in Long Beach just before 8 am on Sunday, July 9, when police say he was struck by a speeding driver traveling east on Harding.

He was rushed to a local hospital with severe injuries, where he died 13 days later.

There’s no word on just how or where the crash occurred, or why LBPD investigators concluded the driver deliberately struck Cervantes.

Police are looking for the driver of a dark-colored sedan, who fled east on Harding. Unfortunately, there’s no description of the driver, or any other information about the suspect vehicle at this time.

Nor is there any word on a motive for the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LBPD Homicide Detectives Donald Collier or Chasen Contreras at 562/570-7244, or anonymously through Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at 800/222-8477.

It’s worth noting that Long Beach police could have issued a hit-and-run alert using California’s Yellow Alert system within minutes of the crash, rather than waiting for more than two weeks until the victim dies, and trail went cold.

And despite what the CHP states, the system is not limited to fatal crashes.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third fatal hit-and-run involving someone on a bicycle in Long Beach since the first of the year — and the second just this month.

And it’s at least the tenth fatal hit-and-run involving a SoCal bike rider this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Leobardo Cervantes and all his loved ones.

33-year old Riverside man killed riding bike in Fontana collision last Sunday

Evidently, it takes a long time for news to escape San Bernardino County.

The Fontana Herald News is reporting that a man riding a bicycle was killed in Fontana last Sunday.

According to the paper, 33-year old Riverside resident Manjeet Singh was struck by a driver while riding at Jurupa and Mulberry aves around 6:16 pm on July 16th.

He was transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he died.

There’s no word on which street Singh was riding on, which direction the driver was going, or how the crash occurred.

Then again, the paper doesn’t even a mention of that there was a driver.

The paper reports the Fontana Police Department is still investigating. So hopefully, we’ll learn more.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manjeet Singh and all his loved ones.

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