Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

71-year old man killed riding bicycle in Ladera Heights; driver arrested for DUI, yet CHP blames the victim

Anyone riding a bicycle in their 70s should be applauded.

Not killed.

Yet that’s what happened in unincorporated Ladera Heights in Los Angeles County early Saturday morning, when a 71-year old man was run down by an alleged DUI driver.

So naturally, police blamed the victim.

According to a pair of nearly identical reports, the bike-riding man, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on Alvern Street around 4:40 am when he allegedly turned right onto Centinela Ave directly in front of an oncoming driver in the right westbound lane.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Then again, on a street with a 45 mph speed limit — and a driver likely to be going faster at that hour — he had little chance of surviving the impact.

CHP investigators arrested 27-year old Culver City resident Michael Tesfai for driving under the influence.

The question is whether there were any independent witnesses who saw the crash at that hour, or whether investigators are relying on the word of the driver, who has an inherent interest in seeing his actions in the best light. And may not be the most reliable witness given Tesfai’s allegedly intoxicated state.

This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Man riding road bike killed by wrong way driver in San Diego; 14th bicycling death in San Diego County this year

Let’s see someone blame the victim this time.

It was just over a week ago that an Ocean Beach writer penned a truly awful piece blaming the victims of this year’s 13 bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for contributing, if not causing, their own deaths.

Make that 14 now.

But this time, the victim appears to be as blameless as humanly possible.

According to multiple, nearly identical stories, a man was riding his bicycle in the westbound bike lane on Camino Del Rio South in East Mission Valley Tuesday night, when he was hit head-on by a wrong way driver traveling east in the westbound lane.

Authorities place the crash west of Texas street, around 8:50 pm Tuesday.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 42-year old man, died at the scene.

Raw video from the crash site shows a crumpled red road bike in the tall weeds on the shoulder of the roadway, next to debris from the driver’s car, separated by a chainlink fence from the busy 8 Freeway.

The rear flasher on his bike continued to strobe on the broken bicycle, long after the crash.

The 25-year old driver’s car was stopped nearby, the windshield shattered over the steering wheel. Which means she had to see him in the bike lane directly in front of her if she was paying any attention to the road in front of her.

Police do not suspect intoxication; however, there’s no mention of whether she may have been distracted. Remarkably, though, she doesn’t seem to have been arrested, or even ticketed, at the scene.

Given that she was on the wrong side of the roadway, and somehow unaware of a grown man on a bicycle right in front of her car, it’s hard to imagine that she wouldn’t be criminally liable.

If nothing else, the presence of the bike lane to her left should have been a clue that there might be someone on a bicycle there, let alone that she was driving the wrong way.

Although these days, I suppose we should give her credit just for sticking around.

But the simple fact is the man on the bike was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to do, and lost his life to the plague of traffic violence — and an apparently negligent, if not distracted, driver — anyway.

This is at least the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which is suffering through an exceptionally bloody year.

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

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Due to the time spent researching and writing this piece, and the late hour, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll be back as usual on Friday to catch up on what we missed. 

Former Corona Del Mar baseball coach John Emme died Monday, 10 days after suffering critical injuries riding bike

A popular Orange County coach has died, more than a week after he was critically injured while riding his bike.

Unfortunately, we know almost nothing about what happened.

According to the OC Sports Zone, longtime Corona del Mar baseball coach John Emme suffered life-threatening injuries on Saturday, September 4th, in what was described only as a “bike accident.”

He died on Monday, after ten days in intensive care.

Richard Dunn added a little more information on Twitter, revealing that Emme had succumbed to a head injury.

However, there’s no word on how he was injured or where, whether Emme was struck by a driver, suffered a solo crash, or was injured some other way.

As the news spread, John Emme was fondly remembered for his 21-year tenure as coach of the baseball team at Corona Del Mar High School, leading his team to two CIF state championships.

And more importantly, as a friend to his former players, competitors and fellow coaches.

He continued to teach psychology, sociology and credit recovery at the school after he retired as a coach in 2018.

Hopefully, we’ll get more information soon.

This is at least the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Emme and all his family and loved ones. 

Apple Valley bike rider killed in collision with van driver Tuesday afternoon; victim ID’d as 36-year old Apple Valley man

Another person has lost their life riding a bicycle in Southern California.

According to the Victor Valley News Group, the victim was riding his bike east on Pine Ridge Ave at Jicarilla Road when he was struck by a van driver around 12:32 Tuesday afternoon.

He was identified as 36-year old Apple Valley resident Dontril Biggs.

The driver had reportedly stopped at the stop sign, then continued forward to strike Biggs, who should have had clear right-of-way on the uncontrolled street.

He was transported to St. Mary Medical Center with major injuries, where he was pronounced dead 45 minutes after the crash.

The uninsured driver remained at the scene, but was apparently not ticketed or detained while the investigation continued.

Anyone with information is urged to contact San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy R. Grissom or J. Malocco at 760/240-7400, or call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760/956-5001.

This is at least the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Man riding bicycle killed in collision on Escondido freeway; 13th San Diego County bike death this year

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on a Southern California freeway.

And once again, with no explanation for why he was there.

According to multiple sources, a man was apparently attempting to cross eastbound State Route 78 near Centre City Parkway in Escondido when he was struck by a driver Saturday night.

Authorities place the time of the crash just after 9 pm.

A witness reports the victim was riding from the center divider to the right shoulder when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

He has not been publicly identified yet. However, a crowdfunding page identifies him as Escondido resident Jerry Torres.

His brother-in-law describes Torres this way —

Jerry was a good man, he and Sue had started a new life together, he had his struggles but was working on overcoming them – he had a good heart, and was a friend to all who met him, he had a great smile that warmed a room.

So far, it’s raised just $100 of the $5,000 goal for funeral expenses.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which is already two to three times a normal year.

It’s also the third SoCal bike death that’s become public in the last three days.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune confirms the identity of the victim as 53-year old Escondido resident Jerry Torres.

The driver was reportedly doing 55 mph at the time of the collision.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jerry Torres and all his loved ones.

Bike-riding Riverside man killed in July hit-and-run road rage attack, driver arrested for murder

Once again, a driver has used his vehicle as a weapon.

And once again, someone on a bicycle paid the price.

This time, it’s murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that 46-year old Benedicto Solanga was riding his bike on on Market Street near the 60 Freeway around 12:40 pm on July 29, when he had a “brief interaction” with a driver later identified as 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez of Riverside.

Which sound like a bad euphemism for a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez drove off, then made a sudden U-turn and allegedly aimed his massive pickup at Solanga’s bicycle before slamming into him.

Solanga was rushed to the hospital in grave condition, where he died a few days later.

Police found Gutierrez’s Ford F-250 later that night on the 3200 block of Iowa Ave in Riverside, leading to his arrest on Tuesday, nearly three weeks after the crash. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he gets used to it.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benedicto Solanga and all his loved ones.

Woman riding bicycle killed Friday in early morning Venice hit-and-run

Yet another person riding a bicycle has been murdered by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

This time in Venice early Friday morning.

Multiple source are reporting that a woman, who has not been publicly identified, was riding circles around the intersection of Pacific and Rose Avenues when she was run down by a driver around 3:05 am.

The driver fled north on Pacific. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead, despite the efforts of paramedics.

Police are looking for a large black SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban; there’s no description of the driver.

According to the LAPD, it’s not known if drugs or alcohol may have been involved. Which goes without saying since they don’t even know who did it.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 213/473-0236 or 213/473-0234, or toll-free at 877-LAPD-247.

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 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also at least the sixth bike death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

At last count, 16 of those people were killed by hit-and-run drivers.

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

Man killed riding motorized bicycle in Jurupa Valley collision Sunday morning

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that a man was killed in a collision with a driver while riding some sort of motorized bicycle in Jurupa Valley Sunday morning.

Police investigators believe 34-year old Perris resident Christopher Cortes Duarte was traveling west on Limonite Ave at Etiwanda Ave when he allegedly made an abrupt U-turn around 10:21 am, and was struck by pickup driver traveling in the same direction.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. .

The driver remained and cooperated with investigators. There’s no word yet on whether drugs or alcohol may have played a role.

There was also no word on what the report means by motorized bicycle, which could refer to anything from an ebike to an illegal gas-powered bicycle.

As always, much depends on whether there were any independent witnesses who saw the victim turn in front of the truck, or if they are relying on the driver’s side of the story, since the victim can’t give his side.

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy Petersen at the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station at 951/955-2600 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Cortes Duarte and all his loved ones.

72-year old man killed riding bicycle in El Monte collision; 12th LA County bike death this year

Yet another innocent life has been sacrificed to traffic violence on the mean streets of Los Angeles County.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribunea man was riding his bike in the 4400 block of Peck Road in El Monte when he was run down by a southbound driver around 6:45 this morning.

The victim, identified only as a 72-year old El Monte resident, was apparently pronounced dead at the scene.

The 20-year old driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect intoxication at that early hour. There’s no word on how or why he struck the victim, or which direction the victim was riding.

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

This is at least the 41st 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 the victim and all his loved ones.

 

 

Update: 74-year old man killed, 82-year old wife injured when SUV driver hit their tandem in Huntington Beach Sunday morning

Heartbreaking news from Huntington Beach, where a man was killed and his elderly wife seriously injured when a driver slammed into their tandem bike Sunday morning.

According to My News LAthe victims, who have not been publicly identified, were riding near near Magnolia Street and Hamilton Avenue when they were run down around 8:50 am.

The Orange County Tribune reports both people were taken to a local hospital, where the 74-year old man died from his injuries; his 82-year old wife was hospitalized, but is expected to survive.

According to investigators, they were apparently riding north on Magnolia when they were struck by a 30-year old woman driving her SUV west on Hamilton.

She remained at the scene, and police did not suspect drug or alcohol use.

A street view shows a five lane intersection controlled by a traffic signal, with a 45 mph speed limit, and bike lanes in both directions on Magnolia.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Traffic Investigators D. Demetre at 714/536-5670, or V. Rattanchandani at 714/536-5231.

This is at least the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the second bicycling death Huntington Beach in less than three months.

Update: The fatal victim has been identified as 74-year old Huntington Beach resident Clinton Silverman

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Clinton Silverman, his wife and all their loved ones.

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