Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Death of San Diego lacrosse executive Dylan Herrick finally confirmed, over 2 months after he was injured riding bike

Too often, the press never follows-up after reporting about a crash.

Which means it may take weeks to know whether the victim lived or died. If ever.

Sadly, this time, he didn’t.

As we mentioned on Friday, we’ve finally found confirmation that San Diego resident Dylan Herrick passed away in the hospital, shortly after suffering a life-threatening head injury when he was struck by a driver last November.

The 27-year old Herrick was riding north on the 2000 block of Morena Boulevard in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood a little after 10 pm on Thursday, November 14th, when he was rear-ended by a 67-year old pickup driver traveling in the same direction.

A front office staffer for the San Diego Seals professional lacrosse team, Herrick’s death was announced on the Seals Twitter account, and confirmed by the league later the same day.

Dylan Herrick; photo from San Diego Seals Twitter account

I’m told his death was also recently confirmed by a family member.

Herrick was reportedly riding a black beach cruiser while ghost riding another bike, holding the second bike with his right hand as he rode. According to the police, neither had lights or reflectors, despite the late hour.

Neither drugs nor alcohol were suspected of being a factor in the crash.

Morena Blvd is a two lane divided roadway lined with apartment buildings on the northbound side, which means the parking lane would likely have been full at that hour, forcing Herrick to ride in the number two lane.

Unfortunately, the painted bike lane on the southbound side offers no benefit to bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction, while the straight, wide lanes make it likely drivers would exceed the posted 40 mph speed limit during nighttime hours.

This is at least the 79th bicycling fatality in Southern California last year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County, all of which occurred in the City of San Diego.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dylan Herrick and all of his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for his efforts to confirm this story.

53-year old man killed in El Cajon hit-and-run; Kevin Wilson 2nd San Diego County bicyclist killed this year

Last year, there were just four confirmed bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for the entire year.

Or maybe five, if we include a man who reportedly died in the hospital after he was struck by the driver of a pickup while ghost riding another bike in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood last November, but which I have been unable to confirm.

After yesterday, there’s already been two bike riders killed this month alone.

According to multiple sources, 56-year old La Mesa resident Kevin Wilson of La Mesa was riding east in the bike lane on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive in El Cajon Monday morning, when he was run down from behind by 56-year old Craig Wendell Nelson around 10:45 am.

Wilson was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Nelson reportedly veered his car into the bike lane, slamming into Wilson’s bicycle before fleeing the scene; there are no word on whether he stopped or slowed down before speeding away.

He abandoned the damaged car on Sloane Canyon Road, and was arrested after a police helicopter crew spotted him hiding in the bushes.

He’s being held at the San Diego Central Jail on $50,000 bond on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, and expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s El Cajon area office at 619/401-2000.

This is at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County; two of those three deaths have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Wilson and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2018

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Oceanside collision; first SoCal bicycling death of the year

Unfortunately, it had to happen sooner or later.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a woman was killed in Oceanside around 7:20 pm when a driver slammed into her bicycle.

The crash occurred at near west State Route 76 and Benet Road.

The paper reports SR-76 is a surface street in that part of Oceanside, with stop lights at major intersections.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the first bicycling death I’m aware of in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County.

That compares with at least 78 SoCal bike deaths last year, and four in the county.

Update: According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, the collision occurred at SR-76 at Bennet Road in Oceanside. , with investigators blaming the victim for running the red light. 

A street view shows a busy intersection with a two lane road with a 45 mph speed limit on Bennet, while SR-76 has four lanes with a 55 mph speed limit. Most SoCal drivers routinely exceed the posted limits by 5 to 15 mph.

There is simply no excuse to allow speeds like that on a surface street, unless your intention is to kill innocent victims.

It also seems extremely unlikely that the victim would have run the red light at an intersection like that, unless she was caught mid-crossing when the light changed.

Which is not the same thing in any sense.

Correction: I originally wrote that the driver was arrested for DUI. However, I misread the ABC 10 News story, which actually said a second crash occurred as police were investigating the crash, and it was that driver who was busted for DUI. Thanks to Zero 007 for the correction

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Breaking News: Garden Grove bike rider killed in collision with semi driver; 11th SoCal bike death in just three weeks

Too often, we get word that someone had been killed riding a bicycle, but struggle confirm the story.

This time, we have the opposite problem.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, a 31-year old man was killed when he was hit by the driver of a semi-truck in Garden Grove just before 6 pm last Friday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene ten minutes later.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know.

No location was given, other than some street, somewhere in Garden Grove. No word on how the crash happened or who was at fault.

And no name or city of residence was given for the victim; that much, at least, should eventually be provided once they notify his next of kin.

Hopefully, the press will finally get around to the story and give us a little more information.

This is at least the 78th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

The victim was also the third Orange County bike rider to be killed in the last three weeks, and the 11th SoCal bicyclist killed in what has been a very bloody holiday season.

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

87-year old Andres Moreno killed while riding bike in San Bernardino collision Monday; 80-year old driver not charged

This month just keeps getting worse.

Somehow, we missed the news that an 87-year old man was killed while riding his bike in San Bernardino on Monday.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, the victim was critically injured while allegedly crossing an intersection against a red light at 4:16 Monday afternoon.

The victim, later identified as 87-year old San Bernardino resident Andres Moreno, was reportedly riding south on Crestview Avenue at Baseline Street when he was struck by an 80-year old driver heading west on Baseline.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died sometime later.

Reports indicate Moreno was riding through cross traffic when he was hit in the left lane on the four lane street; the driver claims he didn’t see him before the crash.

As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses other than the driver who saw which direction had the right-of-way, or if there actually were other cars in the intersection.

It simply doesn’t make sense that an 87-year old man would blow a red light, especially with cross traffic flowing through the intersection, unless he was unable to stop for some reason.

But chances are, we’ll never know why this crash occurred, or if it really happened the way it’s been described.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino Police Detective Dan Costa or Sgt. Jeff Harvey at 909/384-5792.

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

Moreno is also the ninth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, and the second this week, both on Monday.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andres Moreno and all his loved ones.


Bike rider killed on Whittier Blvd in unincorporated LA County; second Whittier Blvd bicycling death in one week

Nothing like marking the holidays with yet another fatal hit-and-run.

Even if officials are unlikely to call it that.

According to the Whittier Daily News, 64-year old Whittier resident Alfred Tiscareno Jr. was riding west on Whittier Blvd when he was struck by a driver near the onramp to the 605 Freeway in unincorporated LA County near Whittier, around 6:50 Monday evening.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

There’s no explanation for how the crash occurred; hopefully, more details will be available after the holiday.

The driver, identified as 69-year old Rameshbhai L. Bhakta of Montebello, fled scene, but later called CHP investigators to report his involvement. He was reportedly cooperating with authorities, and has not been arrested.

And even though he he failed to stop and render aid, as required by law — or presumably, even call 911 to report the crash — he probably never will be.

Especially since Bhakta is not believed to have been under the influence, which too often seems to be the only thing that matters.

The crash is still under investigation; anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer G. De Luna at 562/868-0503.

Tiscareno’s death comes just one week after Whittier’s beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin was killed, also on Whittier Blvd, less than seven miles away. Over 250 bike riders turned out to honor him on Sunday.

Now the Whittier bike community has one more victim to remember. And one family’s Christmas season will never be the same.

This is at least the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 34th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Tiscareno is also the eighth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, in what is turning out to be a very bloody December.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfred Tiscareno Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

Update: Bicyclist killed in Hesperia crash Tuesday evening; 8th SoCal bike death in ten days

Then there were eight.

Eight people killed riding their bicycles in Southern California in just ten days.

Eight families who won’t have a happy holiday, now and most likely for years to come.

According to the Victorville Daily News, the latest came in Hesperia Tuesday evening.

A man was riding his bike at Seventh Avenue and Cactus Street when he was struck by a driver around 6:28 pm, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time. There’s no information yet about the victim, or how the crash might have occurred.

A street view shows a wide open two lane road with sand-covered shoulders on Seventh, intersected by a narrow paved street to the west and a dirt road to the right.

No speed limit sign as visible, but multiple signs call on drivers to give bicyclists a three-foot passing distance.

This is at least the 75th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: The Victor Valley News has identified the victim as 50-year old Hesperia resident Armando Salinas. 

The paper reports he was killed in a hit-and-run by the driver of a pickup traveling south on Seventh. Paramedics found his body lying in the southbound lane just below Cactus Street. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy D. Whitson or Deputy D. Caudle at the Hesperia Sheriff’s station at 760/947-1500.

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

And let’s all pray this tragic streak stops now. 

Coroner confirms death of a homeless man struck by driver in West LA last week; Craig Feldman was 68

Sadly, we now have confirmation of the bicycling fatality in West LA last week.

As we reported last week, Howard Valai forwarded Nextdoor post reporting that a bicyclist was hit by a driver on Barrington Ave somewhere between Olympic and Pico Boulevards around 10 pm on Monday, December 9th.

He also found a report on the Citizen app showed police investigating a fatal collision at Barrington and Exposition around the same time.

Various reports suggested the victim may have been homeless, but there was no official confirmation of the death or any description of a possible victim.

However, another post by the woman who first reported the crash post again to say she’d spoken with residents of a nearby homeless camp, who confirmed that a homeless man named Craig was killed in the collision.

That provided Valai with enough information to check the county medical examiner’s website, where he found the following record.

Separately none of these were enough to confirm the death. But together, they confirm that a 68-year old homeless man named Craig Feldman died when he was struck by a driver’s vehicle that Monday night.

What’s missing is any word on how the crash occurred, or why. Or whether any action was taken against the driver.

Sadly, there was no mention of this crash in the local media.

Then again, the death of a homeless person seldom makes the news. Yet no life should be less important than any other; no death shouldn’t matter.

Hopefully we can find out more soon.

And hopefully, Craig Feldman will be remembered as more than just a name on the medical examiner’s website.

This is at least the 74th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 33rd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; Feldman’s death is also the 17th in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

And the seventh SoCal bike death in less than ten days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Craig Feldman and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Howard Valai for his help in tracking down the information for this post.


Beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin killed in Whittier collision Monday morning

What happens when you kill a beloved community icon with your car?

Probably nothing.

The Whittier Daily News reports that 61-year old Whittier resident Danny Martin, well known for waving at strangers from the seat of his three-wheeled bike, was killed in a collision early Monday morning.

According to the paper, Martin was riding to a Bible study class when he was struck by a driver while crossing the 16500 block of Whittier Boulevard.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said he was not at an intersection or in a crosswalk when he was struck. The driver stayed at the scene, and authorities said that speed was not a factor.

Although Martin’s mangled bike would seem to belie that. It’s hard to imagine how that kind of damage could occur without excessive speed.

He also left his usual bike helmet at home, wearing a Christmas hat in its place.

A former motocross racer, Danny Martin was severely injured testing a new motorbike at Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert in 1981, spending a full year in a coma. When he finally awoke, he was paralyzed and told he would never walk again.

Yet after a year of physical therapy, he regained the ability to get around on his own, and learned how to ride an adult tricycle.

He never quit, spending the better part of the past four decades riding around Whittier with an American Flag flying high above his trike, and signs praising God attached to it after becoming deeply religious during his recovery.

Martin became a local icon beloved throughout the city, often by people whose only contact with him was a friendly wave as they passed by in their cars.

That love was shown by the Whittier community in 2016, when he was struck by a driver who destroyed Martin’s bike and briefly put him in the hospital.

A crowdfunding campaign to replace his bike trike raised over 14 times the original $1,000 goal; the Daily News reports the extra money paid Martin’s rent for a full year.

And it was shown again last night, when hundreds of people turned out for a candlelight vigil to remember him.

Now another crowdfunding campaign has raised over $7,000 in just the first eight hours to help pay his funeral expenses.

A ride will be held in his honor this Sunday. Let’s hope it gets a big turnout, with lots of flags flying high over the bikes, and friendly waves for everyone around.

Because Whittier is going to be a much poorer place going forward.

This is at least the 73rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 32nd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the sixth SoCal bike death in less than ten days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Danny Martin and all his family and friends. 

Thanks to Sgt. Helper, Lois R, Eric Griswold and John Damman for the heads-up.

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