Archive for Bicycle Safety

Riverside bike rider killed by speeding drunk — or maybe stoned — driver in Rialto

Let’s call it what it is.

Murder.

Maybe that’s not what the law says. Or what the DA will charge.

But when death is the entirely foreseeable consequence of getting loaded and speeding down a busy roadway, that what it is.

It’s no different than if the driver had fired a gun down the street, then was surprised to learn he actually hit someone.

In effect, that’s what happened in Rialto Tuesday evening, when an intoxicated high-speed driver ran down a man on a bike.

According to KTLA-5, a 34-year old Riverside man was was riding his bike west on Rialto’s Industrial Drive at North Riverside Ave around 6:52 pm when a driver headed north on Riverside slammed into his bike.

The victim, who was not publicly named, was lying dead in the roadway when police and paramedics arrived at the scene.

Both the driver and his passenger were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. Thirty-two-year old Hesperia resident John Godinez was booked on a DUI charge upon his release.

Hopefully additional — and more serious — charges will be added later.

Anyone with information is urged to call Rialto police at 909/820-2550.

This is at least the 34th 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 the victim and all his loved ones.

Man killed in collision while walking or riding bike on Santa Ana sidewalk

More evidence bike riders aren’t safe anywhere from reckless drivers.

Not even on a sidewalk.

And whether or not they’re actually riding their bikes.

According to the Orange County Register, a man was killed around 10:15 pm Tuesday when he was struck by a driver near the intersection of Fairview and Harvard Streets in Santa Ana.

The victim was walking or riding his bike on the west sidewalk along Fairview when man driving south on Fairview somehow jumped the curb and slammed into him.

The driver pulled into a nearby parking lot before calling 911 and running back to the scene.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was taken to a Santa Ana hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There’s no word on why the driver jumped the curb. It’s possible he may have been distracted or under the influence; it’s also possible there may have been another vehicle involved.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8200.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

Maywood bike rider killed in Boyle Heights hit-and-run; police alibi driver in advance

Once again, a bike rider has lost his life at the hands of a hit-and-run driver.

But this time, the police have given him — or her — a ready-made excuse for the crime.

According to a statement by the LAPD, 24-year old Maywood resident Jaime Ramirez was killed by the driver of a semi-truck at Lynwood Ave and 8th Street in Boyle Heights around 9:30 pm Friday night.

Ramirez was riding south on Lynwood, splitting lanes between a car and the semi, when he either lost control of his bike or was hit by one of the drivers as he neared 8th, and somehow fell under the rear wheels of the truck.

The driver kept going without stopping, failing to notice — or ignoring — a witness chasing behind in his car, honking and flashing his lights.

Despite frantic efforts to save his life, Ramirez died at the scene.

Unfortunately the driver received an alibi in advance, courtesy of the LAPD, who said he or she may not be aware they’d hit anyone.

So now all the driver has to do to get away with it is claim just that, regardless of whether it has any basis in fact.

The truck was described as an all-white semi with sleeper cab and a box trailer, and no visible logos or other markings, California license 4MY4587. Police believe the driver may be on the way to Fresno.

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

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh in the City of Los Angeles.

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

Thanks to Megan Lynch and John Dammon for the heads-up.

 

 

22-year old Castaic woman killed by street sweeper while riding her bike in Valencia

Sadly, the recent rash of bicycling deaths continued over the weekend, with yet another victim lost to our streets.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, 22-year old Castaic resident Kori Sue Peters was riding on Rye Canyon Road at Beale Court in Valencia just after midnight Sunday when the driver of street sweeper hit her from behind.

She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The driver cooperated with investigators, and did not appear to be under the influence drugs or alcohol.

According to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, Rye Canyon is one of just two viable bike routes between Castaic and Valencia.

Sheriff’s investigators determined that she didn’t have lights on her bike, and also blamed her dark clothing for apparently making herself invisible to the driver of the street sweeper.

While bike riders are required to use lights after dark and have reflectors on their bikes, there is no requirement to wear light colored clothing, even though it’s probably a good idea after dark, though not always practical.

And drivers are expected, if not required, to notice whatever or whoever is in the road directly in front of them.

I’m told that Peters leaves behind two children, and may have recently returned home to work on a substance abuse problem without her kids.

In other words, she was trying to turn her life around.

And now she’ll never get the chance.

This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kori Sue Peters and all her family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Nina Moskol for the heads-up.

Santa Clarita mountain biker dies on Simi Valley trail Saturday morning

Cars and drivers aren’t the only dangers we face.

Sometimes it’s your own body that lets you down.

That’s what happened yesterday morning on trail above Simi Valley, where a man apparently died of natural causes while riding with a group of friends.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding on the Undertow Trail, which they describe as a popular mountain bike trail south of Hummingbird Ranch outside Simi Valley, when he began to feel ill around 10:40 am.

His riding companions told him to turn back, and called 911.

The Ventura County Fire Department and a county helicopter crew responded; sadly, the 52-year old Santa Clarita resident died before rescue personnel could arrive.

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

It’s also a reminder to see your doctor on a regular basis — especially if you’re having unexplained chest pains or difficulty breathing, no matter how fit you may feel.

It may not have made a difference in this case.

But it might in yours.

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

Update: Report on Long Beach bicycling crash has been taken down; victim remains in critical condition

Earlier today, we reported that the victim in yesterday’s Long Beach crash had died, based on a report on Long Beach Local News.

However, that page has since been taken down with no explanation.

As a result, I have removed my article until we have a further update on the condition of the victim. So let’s all hope they were wrong, and offer her our prayers.

And let’s hope LBLN learns how to run a retraction.

Update: I’ve receive confirmation from someone with the Long Beach Post that the victim of this crash is still alive, and remains in critical condition. 

So let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

Thanks to John McBrearty and April Morris for their help with this story.

Man lying in street next to bike killed in Redlands crash

Just in time for this year’s Ride of Silence, yet another person has died while riding or walking a bicycle, this time in Redlands.

According to the Redlands Daily Facts, a man was killed when he was struck by a driver while lying in the roadway next to a bicycle.

The 21-year old driver was returning home from work around 2:30 am Tuesday when she spotted the victim lying in the southbound lane of Orange Street north of Pioneer Avenue in Redlands, but was unable to swerve in time to avoid him.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 31-year old transient, was declared dead at the site.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

There’s no word on why the victim was in the street, or if he had been riding or walking his bike.

It’s possible that he may have fallen off his bicycle for some reason, or he could have been the victim of a prior hit-and-run.

The speed limit on that section of Orange was either 40 mph or 45 mph, depending on which side of Pioneer the crash was on despite being in a residential neighborhood.

Either way, an impact at those speeds is unlikely to be survivable.

This is at least the 28th 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 the victim and all his loved ones.

………

Because of tonight’s breaking news stories, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we’ve missed.

If you’d like to remember the victims of this week’s crashes, or any of the other bike riders so needlessly lost to traffic violence over the past year, there will be Rides of Silence in Redding, Fullerton and Orange, as well as in Los Angeles and at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and throughout Southern California.

 

 

Eight-year old boy killed in collision while riding his bike in Ladera Ranch

Every traffic death is tragic.

But some are just too hard to take.

According to Mission Viejo Patch, an eight-year old boy was killed when he was struck by a car in Ladera Ranch Monday evening.

Second grader Jaxon Ortiz was riding his BMX bike near his Ladera Ranch home around 6:30 pm when he reportedly entered Orange Blossom Circle from a walkway without stopping for traffic.

He was hit by the car, even though the driver was only traveling at 15 mph, according to the initial investigation.

Ortiz was taken to Mission Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Unfortunately, no cross street was given, making it impossible to pinpoint just where the crash occurred.

No other details are available at this time. And no explanation why Ortiz’ death hasn’t been reported by the mainstream media.

A crowdfunding page to pay funeral expenses and benefit his family has already exceeded the $50,000 goal, raising nearly $70,000 in just 15 hours.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jaxon Ortiz and all his family and loved ones.

 

Update: Man riding a bicycle killed by speeding driver in possible DTLA street racing crash

A man riding a bicycle is dead because a driver couldn’t keep his foot off the gas pedal.

And he may not have been the only one speeding.

According to KTLA-5, the crash occurred around 8:55 Thursday night on the 2100 block of South Alameda Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

Although earlier reports put the time of the crash closer to 8:30 pm.

The northbound driver lost control when he hit the railroad tracks and smashed into the victim at high speed, then slammed him into a utility pole.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was deemed beyond medical help when firefighters arrived, and died at the scene.

For once the driver stuck around. Probably because he was trapped inside his overturned car with minor injuries, and he had to be removed by the firefighters.

Witnesses reported that he was driving at least 50 mph before the crash, and appeared to be racing another driver.

Police took him into custody on suspicion of negligent manslaughter. Which sounds like the bare minimum he should be charged with.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 877/527-3247.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez, who was reportedly homeless. Which does not make this any less tragic, or minimize the severity of the crime in any way.  

The driver, who still has not been publicly identified, was driving on a suspended license. 

One more reminder that taking someone’s license away doesn’t always stop them from driving. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez and all his loved ones.

 

Man in his 60s killed in Santa Ana when he fell off his bike into the street

Sometimes, sidewalks only offer the illusion of safety.

Especially when it’s a narrow sidewalk along a busy, fast-moving street.

According to the Orange County Register, a man was killed when he fell off a Santa Ana sidewalk, and was struck by a passing car.

The victim, identified only as a Hispanic man in his 60s, was walking or riding his bike headed east, on the north sidewalk, under the railroad overpass on First Street near Standard Ave around 8:30 pm when he somehow fell in front of the driver’s car.

A Santa Ana police advisory reports that the driver immediately stopped, and several bystanders gathered around the victim in the street to protect him from traffic. He was taken to OC Global Trauma Center, where he passed away.

The sidewalk appears to narrow significantly under the overpass, which could have caused the man to fall.

The police statement said the driver was only traveling 25 mph at the time of the crash, which seems unlikely; the speed limit is 40 mph on that section of First, and most Southern California drivers routinely exceed posted speeds by 5 mph to 10 mph, or more.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department’s Traffic Division at 714/245-8200.

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

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

 

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