Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Bike rider killed in Carson hit-and-run Saturday morning; third SoCal bike death in two days

A bad weekend for SoCal bike riders continued to get worse Saturday morning.

Just one day after people were killed riding their bikes in Lancaster and San Diego, a woman apparently lost her life while riding in Carson, thanks to a heartless hit-and-run driver.

According to My News LA, the victim was run down around 6:17 am somewhere in the vicinity of Chico and Dominguez streets, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was not publicly identified; the only description was an initial call of a female down.

There’s no word on how the crash happened, and no description of the suspect or the vehicle used to commit the crime.

As we’ve noted far too many times before, there is simply no excuse, ever, to flee the scene following a crash. The driver should face a murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim bleeding in the street if an autopsy shows she might have survived if she’d gotten help sooner.

But probably won’t.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

 

Man killed riding bike in early morning Lancaster collision Friday

Friday was not a good day for Southern California bike riders.

Just a few hours before a San Diego bike rider was killed in a solo crash, another man lost his life riding a bike in Lancaster.

According to the Antelope Valley Press, the victim, identified only as an adult man, was riding east on Ave I east of 55th Street West at 4:44 am when he was run down from behind by a man driving a Honda SUV.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane roadway with a narrow paved shoulder, and no street lighting.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike two hours before sunrise, or if there was some other reason why the driver failed to see a grown man on a bicycle directly in front of him.

Sheriff’s deputies say the driver did not appear to be under the influence, and speed did not appear to be a factor.

Which is only partially correct; speed is always a factor in a fatal crash, even if the driver was not exceeding the posted speed limit; slower speeds make collisions both more avoidable and more survivable.

Anyone with information is urged to call Lancaster Sheriff’s Station traffic investigators at 661/948-8466.

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

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

Bike rider fatally rear ends city utility truck blocking bike lane in San Diego’s Black Mountain Ranch

This is why parking should never be allowed in bike lanes.

A San Diego man is dead, apparently because the driver of a city utility truck blocked a bike lane on a steep descent.

According to San Diego’s FOX 5, the victim was riding west on the 14500 block of Carmel Valley Road east of Black Mountain Road in Black Mountain Ranch just before 10 am today, when he crashed into the rear of a city storm water truck parked in the bike lane along the north curb.

An email from the San Diego Council of Bicycle Clubs reports the victim was riding ahead of a companion when he crashed into the truck, which did not have any warning cones or flashers on.

The other rider attempted to perform CPR; however, the victim, publicly identified only as a 42-year old man, was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering severe head trauma.

A photo from the scene shows his mangled bike on the other side of the sidewalk next to the parked truck. There’s no word on whether the truck was occupied, or if there was a reason why it was parked just below a no parking sign.

Unfortunately, California law allows parking in bike lanes except where specifically prohibited by local ordinances. While the street is posted no parking, the signs appear to be spaced too far apart, and it is likely there is an exception for utility workers in the performance of their duties.

Whether that was the case here, or the driver just pulled over for some reason is still unclear.

A street view shows a long, sweeping descent that could have allowed the victim to gain significant speed — although likely not the 45 to 50 mph police originally reported, which exceeds the Strava KOM for that segment.

It seems likely that the victim was descending at speed, not expecting anything blocking the bike lane, and was unable to stop once the truck came into view around a sweeping curve.

It’s also worth noting that, while there is no word on whether the victim was wearing a helmet, bike helmets aren’t designed to protect against hard impacts at relatively fast speeds. Especially one resulting from a near instantaneous stop.

It’s also worth noting that the police found the victim’s cell phone on the side of the road, and were examining it to see if he was using it at the time of the crash.

Which is a pretty good indication that the investigators have never ridden a bike downhill, let alone at high speed.

This is at least the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Heartbreaking news, as 3-year old boy killed riding a bike in Orange on Sunday

Just heartbreaking.

The Orange Police Department is reporting that a three-year old boy was killed riding his bike in the Orange County city last night.

According to the department, the boy was stuck by a pickup driver at 1931 East Meats Ave in the Orange Mobile Home Park around 7:19 pm.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite the efforts of police officers to save him.

The 23-year old woman behind the wheel remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; police do not suspect drug or alcohol use.

Unfortunately, no description was given on just how the crash occurred. There’s no word on whether the boy was riding in the street, on the sidewalk, or some other area.

The Los Angeles Times describes the killer vehicle as a Dodge Ram, no model or year given.

However, even the smallest models have a high grill that could have prevented the driver from seeing a small child directly in front of the truck. If it was a larger model, or if it was raised at all, it could have been virtually impossible to see the victim under the best of conditions, let alone at dusk.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team at 714/744-7444.

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

It may also be the saddest one yet.

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

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

 

Bike rider killed in Compton collision Wednesday night; first SoCal bike death in five weeks

You knew it wouldn’t last.

After a rash of bicycling deaths in July and early August, we somehow managed to go over a month without a fatality in Southern California.

Or at least, none that managed to make the news.

That came to an end last night, when a man was killed as he rode his bike in Compton.

According to the City News Service, he was riding on a dark section of Rosecrans Ave, west of Aprilia Ave, around 11:15 pm when he was rear-ended by a driver changing lanes.

The victim, identified only as a 40-year old man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

No word on whether he had lights on his bike, or if there was some other reason why the driver failed to see him. And no word on how fast the driver was going.

But at least he stayed at the scene.

A street view shows six lanes with a center turn lane on Rosecrans, with a frontage road on the south side. That suggests the victim may have been riding west on Rosecrans, if he was on the main roadway at the time of the crash.

This is at least the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Thanks to Sindy for the heads-up.

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Ojai collision; tenth SoCal bike death in past 30 days

Bad news from Ojai, where a woman was killed riding her bike Friday night.

According to the Ojai Valley News, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding alone in the 1000 block of Cuyama Road, near Del Norte Road, when she was somehow struck by the driver of a vehicle.

She was pronounced dead at the scene, despite the efforts of firefighters to resuscitate her.

The paper places the time of the crash at around 6:57 pm. The driver reportedly remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a narrow, two lane country road with no shoulders.

This is at least the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

It’s also the tenth SoCal bicycling death in just the past 30 days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 78-year old Ojai resident Marion Weil, who deserved better. The driver is identified only as a 40-year old Ojai man. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sr. Traffic Investigator Shawn Holzberger at 805/388-5146.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Marion Weil and all her loved ones.

59-year old man killed riding bike in Fontana collision; Adolph “Ray” Trujillo was the 9th SoCal bike death this month

This has got to stop.

Southern California streets keep claiming more victims, as traffic rebounds to pre-lockdown levels with little or no accommodation for the jump in bike riding in recent months.

The latest victim was a popular Fontana barber who was killed by a driver late Sunday night.

According to a notice from the San Bernardino County Coroner, 59-year old Fontana resident Adolph “Ray” Trujillo was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike in 1600 block of Baseline Ave around 11:50 pm.

He died at the scene less than 15 minutes later.

The Fontana Herald News offers a little more detail, placing the crash near the intersection of Baseline and Juniper Avenues in Fontana.

According to the paper, Trujillo was riding east on Baseline when he was somehow run down by an 18-year old driver.

There’s no word on which direction the driver was going, or just how the crash may have occurred.

Baseline is a six-lane divided roadway with bike lanes in both directions, with wide, straight highway-like lanes where drivers could easily exceed the 45 mph speed limit, particularly at that late hour.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County. It’s also the ninth SoCal bicycling death this month alone, and the 13th in the last two months.

Something has to be done now to stop this rising tide of traffic violence.

Because Ray Trujillo deserved better.

And do we all.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adolph “Ray” Trujillo and all his loved ones.

Update: Man killed riding his bike in early morning Long Beach hit-and-run; 3rd LA County bike rider killed in hit-and-run in 4 days

It’s not an epidemic anymore.

It’s a SoCal pandemic.

According to multiple sources, yet another Southern California bike rider lost his life early Sunday morning.

And yet another heartless coward fled the scene, leaving an innocent victim to die in the street.

The Long Beach Police Department reports the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding south on Orange Ave, north of Del Amo Blvd, when he was run down from behind by a southbound driver around 3:20 am.

Despite the efforts of paramedics, he died at the scene, his body coming to rest in the bike lane he was most likely riding in.

There’s no information about the driver or the suspect vehicle at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Kelsey Myers or Detective Shawn Loughlin of the LBPD Collision Investigation Detail at 562/570-7355.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third fatal bicycling hit-and-run in the county in four days.

Exactly one third of those SoCal bike deaths have involved hit-and-run drivers, including five in less than the last two weeks, and eight in the past two months as more people have begun driving again.

This has got to stop.

Now.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old Long Beach resident Dannon Santiago.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dannon Santiago and his loved ones.

37-year old father killed riding bike in South Los Angeles hit-and-run; once again, public not informed for weeks

Once again, a man has died following a violent hit-and-run while riding his bike in South Los Angeles.

And once again, the LAPD doesn’t seem to think the public needed to know about it.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, 37-year old South LA resident Jorge Guerra was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from the park with his two young children on July 8th.

Fortunately, his two-year old son Nathan and four-year old daughter Madelyn weren’t seriously injured; their father wasn’t so lucky.

Guerra was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, but lapsed into a coma after arriving; he died of organ failure on July 16th.

The LAPD places the crash on northbound Wadsworth Ave north of 88th Street at 8:40 pm, when a speeding driver slammed into the bike they were riding after turning onto the narrow residential street.

The driver continued north on Wadsworth, crashing into several parked cars before stopping just south of Manchester Blvd. He ran off, leaving the damaged car behind.

Police are still looking for the suspect, who hasn’t been identified; unsurprisingly, the car he was driving was stolen. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

Now Guerra’s wife is faced with raising her kids as a grieving single mother while in the middle of a pandemic.

A crowdfunding campaign to help defray Guerra’s funeral expenses has raised just under $6,000, far short of the $25,000 goal.

Unfortunately, like the death of Melvin “Peanut” Frye last month, the LAPD apparently failed to inform the public at the time of the crash — or alert them to a dangerous car thief hiding in their midst. Even though both Los Angeles and California have Yellow Alert systems to get the word out as quickly as possible.

There’s no explanation for why the LAPD continually refuses to use them; evidently, they’d rather wait until the trail goes cold and people have forgotten key details before asking for their help. Which could be one reason why hit-and-run drivers continue to get away with it here.

Even though similar systems have been used successfully in other cities to bring hit-and-run drivers to justice.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. Over half of those deaths in the county have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Guerra and all his family and loved ones.

Man killed riding bike in South LA hit-and-run last month; no alert or information from police for nearly 4 weeks

Note: Because of the time spent writing this piece, there will be no Morning Links today; we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

A hit-and-run alert system doesn’t do a damn bit of good if the police won’t use it.

That was the case last month, when a man was killed while riding his bike in a South LA hit-and-run.

Yet no information about the crash was released until a press conference was finally held yesterday morning.

The LAPD reports 57-year old Melvin “Peanut” Frye was killed when he was struck by a driver around 9:05 pm on June 27th, nearly one month ago.

Frye was run down by an unknown motorist as he was crossing Main Street at 103rd Street in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood; he was riding west across Main while the driver was headed south.

He died at he scene.

The driver kept going, without stopping or identifying themself as required by law. Authorities are looking for a black or dark-colored Dodge Durango; no description was given for the driver.

No announcement appears to have been made at the time.

Then again, Frye’s family wasn’t even notified until more than a week later, after frantically calling hospitals and checking jail bookings before they were finally contacted by the coroner’s office.

The press conference was held to request the public’s help in solving the crime. The city offers a standing $50,000 award for information leading to an arrest and conviction for any fatal hit-and-run, regardless of whether the reward has been announced by the police.

According to KTLA-5, the victim’s sister is urging witnesses to come forward.

Mishy Frye said people have called her to relay information about the type of car involved, “and then nobody can give the detectives no information.”

“I’m just shocked, because you guys know him,” she said. “Everybody know him in this area. Everyone. It’s not right…”

“I want justice for him, not through you calling me, but call the detectives,” she said. “Holding onto a secret makes you no better than the person that hit him.”

In addition to LA’s citywide hit-and-run alert system, California has approved a statewide Yellow Alert system to notify the public in the event of a hit-and-run. Both are intended to alert the public as quickly as possible to watch for the suspect vehicle in the event of a hit-and-run, and encourage witnesses to come forward while the event is still fresh in their minds.

Not a month later.

Had the police released information about the crash at the time, along with announcing the standing reward, someone might have come forward by now.

And maybe Frye’s family could have been spared the pain of not knowing what had happened to him for ten long days after the crash. Let alone knowing that the heartless coward who killed him is still out there.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Keith Gonzales at 323/421-2500, or 323/421-2577 after normal business hours.

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

Half of those deaths in LA County have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Melvin “Peanut” Frye and all his loved ones.

 

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