Archive for Bicycle Safety

Fullerton bike rider killed riding into parked truck Saturday afternoon — or possibly the victim of a hit-and-run

For the third time in just four days, someone riding a bicycle has been killed in a Southern California crash.

This time in Fullerton.

And it’s unclear whether the victim rode into the back of a parked vehicle, or may have been struck by a hit-and-run driver.

According to a press release posted to Facebook by the Fullerton Police Department, the victim was found lying in the roadway on northbound Beach Blvd north of Rosecrans Ave around 12:55 pm Saturday.

Police investigators concluded that the victim, identified only as a man in his late 30s, rode into the back of a truck parked illegally in a no-stopping zone, and fell off his bike.

He died at the scene, despite the efforts of firefighters.

However, commenters to the Facebook post complained that the cops version of events just doesn’t take sense.

The first said the victim was struck by a hit-and-run driver directly in front of a friend’s house, and that local residents provided CPR until first responders finally arrived 30 minutes later.

Meanwhile, more than one person suggested it was more likely that the victim was struck by a driver while trying to pass the truck, while others suggested that a slight rise and clear sight lines make the official version unlikely.

Hopefully someone saw it, and can tell police investigators what really happened. Anyone with information is urged to Fullerton Police Traffic Accident Investigator Manes at 714/738-6815.

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

It follows other fatal crashes in Yucaipa and Pomona.

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

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Update: 30-year old man killed riding bike in Pomona collision, few details available

As if today’s news about fallen Yucaipa mountain biker Monique “Pua” Parmalee wasn’t bad enough, now another bike rider has been killed, just over 24 hours later and 44 miles away in Pomona.

According to SGV CityWatch, the victim was riding at East First Street and San Lorenzo Street in Pomona when he was struck by the driver of an SUV just before 7:30 pm Thursday.

The 2 Urban Girls website places the time of the crash at 7:28 pm.

The victim, described only as a 30-year old Latino male, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

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

A street view shows a T-intersection with narrow two lane streets in an industrial area bounded by railroad tracks on one side. However, there’s no way of knowing at this time just where or how the crash occurred.

Anyone with information is urged to call the traffic services bureau of the Pomona Police Department at 909/802-7741 or 909/620-2048.

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.

Update: The victim has been identified as Adan Orozco; no city of residence was given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adan Orozco and his loved ones.

Thanks to mcderpy87 for the heads-up.

Update: Woman killed in Yucaipa crash with motorcyclist identified as former MTB pro Monique “Pua” Parmalee

Not many details yet, but I’m getting word of woman on a bicycle killed in a Yucaipa collision yesterday afternoon.

A 2:35 pm Facebook post from the Yucaipa Police Department reported that Wildwood Canyon Road was closed between Mesa Grande Drive and Canyon Drive, next to Wildwood Park, due to a fatal traffic collision. They added later that it involved a crash between bike rider and a motorcyclist.

A commenter says she knew the victim, identifying her as a “beautiful, young, athletic, wife, mother,” while other comments confirm it was the person on the bicycle who was killed.

An Instagram post calls her a “bright light” in the bicycling community, describing her death as “an absolutely crushing blow to a young family” he’s close with.

There’s no word on the condition of the motorcyclist.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now; hopefully we’ll get more information soon. If you know something, let me know if there’s anything you can share.

This is at least the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year. And it’s already the third that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County, which is off to a very bad start to the new year.

Update: No word yet on how this crash occurred, but now we know who the victim was. And why so many in the local bicycling community were so upset when they got the news. 

VeloNews is reporting that 42-year old retired pro endurance mountain biker Monique “Pua” Parmalee was the woman killed in Wednesday’s collision. 

Parmalee, known as Pua Mata before her marriage to Chris Parmalee, was described as a “fierce and ferocious competitor” on the bike, but quiet, kindhearted and compassionate off it. 

Here’s how the magazine describes the ten-time national champion’s racing career

A native of Oahu, Hawaii, Monique Parmalee rose to prominence in the U.S. mountain bike scene in the early 2000s as a top cross-country rider on the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) circuit. A tenacious and focused racer, Parmalee was known best as both Monique Sawicki and Pua Mata. She excelled at cross-country races that stretched beyond the typical hour-and-a-half duration, and began winning ultra-endurance and Marathon-length MTB events on the budding U.S. circuit. Parmalee also blossomed into one of the top 24-Hour solo MTB racers on the planet.

She claimed three U.S. titles in 24-Hour solo racing and seven national Marathon MTB titles. In 2009 Parmalee finished seventh place at the UCI Marathon MTB World Championships. Parmalee also won Costa Rica’s grueling La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain bike race in 2012 and 2013, and finished second at the U.S. cross-country mountain bike national championships in 2013.

She leaves behind her husband and two young children, boys aged just six and four. A fundraising campaign for her family has raised over $36,000 of the $150,000 goal in just 24 hours. 

I’m told the park near where she was killed is a popular exit point for mountain bikers coming off the local trails. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Monique “Pua” Parmalee and all her family and loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale, Zachary Rynew and Cani for the heads-up. 

Two people killed by alleged DUI hit-and-run driver while riding against traffic in Rancho Cucamonga bike lane

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

Okay, make that two people.

KTLA-5 is reporting that an alleged drunk driver killed a man and woman riding salmon in a Rancho Cucamonga bike lane Tuesday night.

Although the fact that they were riding against traffic wouldn’t matter if the impatient driver hadn’t decided to use the bike lane as an illegal traffic bypass lane.

The victims, identified only as a 41-year old man and a 33-year old woman, both from Upland, were riding in the bike lane on Foothill Blvd and Etiwanda Ave around 8:20 pm.

That’s when 23-year old Fontana resident Robert Gubany allegedly swerved into the bike lane to bypass backed-up traffic, apparently without checking to make sure it was clear, and slammed head-on into the two victims.

The woman died at scene; her companion died after being taken to a local hospital.

According to The Daily Bulletin both victims were homeless; the paper also reports that the woman is 42-years old, rather than 33.

Gabney continued driving without stopping, until he was involved in another crash later that night.

He was arrested at the scene of the second crash on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Hopefully, prosecutors will add a charge of felony hit-and-run resulting in death.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators at 909/477-2800.

This is just the second and third bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, and the first two that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

They’re also the first two bike riders killed by a hit-and-run driver in Southern California in 2023.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

 

38-year Maria Estrada killed riding a bike in unincorporated Nuevo Thursday night, first SoCal bike death this year

It took less than two weeks for the year’s first person to lose their life riding a bicycle on the mean streets of Southern California.

My News LA is reporting that a woman riding a bike was killed in unincorporated Nuevo Thursday night.

Although how or why seems to be unclear at this time.

Thirty-eight-year old Perris resident Maria Estrada was riding with another person when she was apparently run down by a motorist around 7 pm last night.

The crash occurred on the 30700 block of Montgomery Avenue, just north of Nuevo Road. A street view shows a two lane rural roadway forking off from Nuevo Road, with a narrow paved shoulder on either side.

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

There’s no word on the driver, or barely even a mention that the vehicle that hit her had one. There’s also no word on the other bike rider.

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

This is the first bicycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maria Estrada and all her loved ones. 

Ramona resident Michelle Scott dies, 3 years after she was severely injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike to work

This is a story I hoped I’d never have to write.

And to be honest, I’m struggling to write it now.

Because a Ramona woman has died, three years after she was severely injured in a hit-and-run.

Michelle Scott was 53 when she was the victim of a horrific collision while riding her bike to work on October 2nd, 2019.

She was struck by the driver of a Ford SUV at 6:30 am while riding on the right shoulder of northbound State Route 67, north of Dye Road.

The driver fled without stopping, with her bicycle still stuck in his grill for more than a mile before it finally fell off.

Police arrested then 34-year-old Ramona resident Chase Edward Richard six days later, holding him on $1 million bail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, after a neighbor spotted his damaged SUV hidden under cardboard in his garage and painted another color.

Richard served two years of a 44-month sentence after accepting a plea, and is now free on supervised probation, and still must serve 200 hours of community service.

Scott was initially hospitalized with a severe brain injury, and spent the next three years in various long-term care facilities. At best he was able to gesture with her thumb, and struggled to say the name of her husband of 35 years.

She died November 27 when she was disconnected from life support after developing an infection.

Michelle Scott will be buried at Miramar National Cemetery, thanks to her husband Don’s military service; a celebration of life is planned for January 4th.

This is at least the 81st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Scott is also at least the 26th bike rider to die as a result of a hit-and-run in Southern California since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michelle Scott and all her family and loved ones. 

Update: 71-year old man riding bike killed by hit-and-run driver in San Diego’s Valley Center neighborhood Saturday

Go ahead and call it murder.

Because once again, a heartless coward has left an innocent victim to die alone in the street.

This time in San Diego.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding north on the shoulder of Cole Grade Road above Horse Creek Trail in the city’s Valley Center neighborhood when he was apparently run down from behind by the driver of a northbound pickup or SUV around 5:34 Saturday evening.

The victim, identified only as a 71-year old Valley Center man, died at the scene.

The driver fled, leaving behind their right front headlight; police are looking for a Ford Expedition SUV or F Series pickup, no model year or color given.

There’s no word on how fast the killer driver was going at the time of the crash, or how long the victim lay in the street before paramedics arrived. Or whether he could have been saved if the driver had called for help after the crash.

But clearly, whoever was behind the wheel didn’t care enough find out.

A street view shows one lane in each direction, with left and right turn bays leading west to Horse Creek Road. Sadly, there is a bike lane on the recently repaved southbound side of Cole Grade, but not on the northbound side where the victim was riding.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Oceanside Area CHP office at 760/643-3400.

This is at least the 80th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

At least 25 of those have been killed hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified as 71-year old Mario Lucero of Valley Center; community members described him as a beloved grandfather, landscaper and friend.

The Oaxaca, Mexico native leaves behind his son and daughter, as well as six grandchildren. Family members are trying to return his body to Oaxaca for burial. 

Lucero was killed on his way home, shortly after stopping at his favorite restaurant after work. 

His 20-year old granddaughter wonders if he could have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help. 

Good question. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Lucero and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Man killed getting off bike on Downtown LA freeway offramp in early morning crash; 4th SoCal bike death this week

Then there was four.

For the fourth time this week, someone riding a bicycle was killed on the streets of Southern California.

This time in Downtown Los Angeles.

And once again, there’s very little information available.

According to KFI-AM, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a driver near the Third Street off-ramp from the northbound Harbor Freeway, aka Interstate 110, around 12:51 am Friday.

The victim was struck when he got off his bike after reportedly riding on the offramp, which suggests he may have been illegally riding on the freeway in the moments leading up the crash.

He died at the scene.

There’s no word on why the victim may have been on the freeway, especially at that hour, or how and why the crash occurred.

This is at least the 79th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 26th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; he’s also the 14th person killed riding a bike in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: A week later, the victim has finally been identified as 85-year old Charles Mullins; no city of residence was given.

And still no explanation for how the crash occurred, or why he may have been riding on the freeway offramp.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Charles Mullins and his loved ones.

Update: Man killed riding bike in Redlands collision this morning; no details available

It takes a lot of effort to steel myself to write about yet another bike rider killed on our streets, sometimes.

I tell myself I’m just waiting for more information. But in reality, I’m working up the strength to confront another needless tragedy.

Especially when it’s the third time in three days.

That was the case today, when I received an email forwarding a report from the Redlands Police Department, which announced the death of a man riding a bicycle near 5th Ave and Marion Road, shortly before 9 this morning.

A response to the post indicated that seven people, including two doctors, struggled to save the victim’s life before paramedics arrived. He died at the scene, despite their efforts.

A street view shows a separated bike lane in both directions on 5th.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have right now.

This is at least the 78th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

 

Update: I received the following comment from Amanda Frye in response to this crash, which I asked if I could share here — including the first indication that the victim may have been a 18-year old kid. 

Never mind that the crash still hasn’t seen a single word in the local press.

On the same day that the Redlands City Council voted to raise speed limits all over the city, Long Beach City Council voted to lower speed limits throughout their city to reduce accidents and save lives.

Two days later in Redlands, a 16 year old boy riding a bicycle near Moore Middle School was struck and killed.  The Redlands City Council justification for raising speed limits were based on an obviously flawed Engineering and Traffic Survey (ETS) conducted by a company from out of town.  The Engineering report contains obvious omissions including schools in the vicinity or residential area with bicyclists and pedestrians.  These engineering road condition omissions would have provided justification for lower speed limits in the vicinity where  the 16 year old was killed, Fifth Avenue was listed as 45 mph with no notation in the survey for a school in the vicinity.  Redlands’ Moore Middle School borders Fifth Avenue.  It appears that Redlands staff just rubber stamped the study with little to no review or oversight.  Other Redlands schools on streets included in the ETS were not noted either resulting in raised speed limits in residential neighborhoods with the public pointing out these omissions. Near my house the engineer missed the large bicycle symbols on the road as this is a popular bicycle route and failed to note a residential area with pedestrians and bicyclists or an open drainage channel.  How could these items be missed?

While residents were asking for lowering speed limits to make our roads safer for everyone, Redlands city council voted to raise the speed limit claiming the police said they had to raise speed limits in order to enforce them. The action and rationale lacked logic especially given the flawed Engineering and Traffic Survey. The California Vehicle Code provides the local authority the ability to lower speed limits to make our streets safer for all.

Update 2: The victim was identified by relatives as 16-year old Juan Pablo Carrillo-Salazar, who was just visiting Redlands from his home in Mexico when he was killed. 

A crowdfunding campaign to send Carrillo-Salazar’s body back to Zacatecas for burial has raised just $135 of the modest $6,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Juan Pablo Carrillo-Salazar and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Kate Condon, Amanda Frye and Helen Salazar for the heads-up. 

31-year old Margarito Castro killed riding bike in high speed San Jacinto hit-and-run; driver arrested for voluntary manslaughter

Evidently, Sunday was a bad night for bike riders in the Inland Empire.

Less than two and a half hours before an unidentified man was killed in a Chino Hills hit-and-run, another man lost his life in San Jacinto.

And that driver also fled the scene.

According to My News LA, 31-year-old San Jacinto resident Margarito Castro was in the center lane waiting to cross State Street at Dillon Ave around 8:21 pm when he was struck by 21-year-old motorist Savaughn Jojuan Colon Barnes of Hemet.

Barnes was traveling south on State “at a high rate of speed” when he crossed into the center lane, striking Castro before speeding away.

Castro died at the scene.

Barnes was taken into custody at an apartment building four miles away on the 1900 block of Acacia Ave in Hemet, after a witness to the crash gave police the license plate number of his car.

He’s being held on $100,000 bail, after being arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter and hit-and-run resulting in death.

Anyone with information is urged call the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at 951/654-2702, or dispatch at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 77th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Castro is also the 26th SoCal bike rider killed by a hit-and-run driver since the first of the year.

Update: I just got this response from Castro’s older sister.

Castro’s family is raising funds to pay for his funeral. So far, they’ve raised $3,000 of the $15,000 goal.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Margarito Castro and all his loved ones.

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