Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

This is the cost of traffic violence — Six innocent victims killed in fiery, high-speed Windsor Hills crash

Sometimes the news is so bad, I don’t even want to write about it.

Or anything else, for that matter.

That’s the case today, after six innocent people were killed, and eight injured, by a speeding driver who ran a red light in LA’s Windsor Hills neighborhood yesterday afternoon.

The driver, reported to be a traveling nurse in her 40s, was traveling at an excessive rate of speed when she blew through the stop light at La Brea and Slauson directly into heavy cross traffic.

One of the cars immediately exploded into a fireball, as witnesses described bodies and debris raining into a gas station on the opposite corner.

At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, with one victim found inside a burned-out car hours later.

The victims included a pregnant woman; both she and her baby were killed, along with another infant.

The injured included several other children, ranging in age from 13 months to 15-years old.

The driver was hospitalized with serious injuries, and being held in custody as she receives treatment. At least one report indicated she wasn’t tested for drugs or alcohol, because they wouldn’t have shown up after the emergency medications she received at the scene and in the ER.

As others have noted, the design of the wide, multilane intersection and straight roadways engineered for high-speed traffic have to be seen as major contributory factors, along with cars capable of exceeding the speed limit to such a degree.

The technology exists to reign in speeding drivers; we just refuse to use it. And fail to demand it.

On a personal note, I have only watched the video above a single time. But that’s all it took to burn it into my consciousness; I’ve been unable to stop seeing that image as it plays over and over in my head.

And with it comes a renewed sense of failure and despair. I’ve been working for safer streets for a decade and a half now, while others have struggled for much longer. We’ve all seen decades of promises from city officials to do something.

But it’s always too little, too late. If they do anything at all.

LA’s Vision Zero program will be seven years old later this month, just three years from that magic date when we were promised traffic deaths would be eliminated, once and for all. Instead, they have steadily increased, with bike riders and pedestrians paying a disproportionate cost.

La Brea was one of the the first streets identified as part of the city’s High Injury Network, and should have seen significant efforts to tame traffic violence.

Yet it has been allowed to languish as an over-designed, high-speed car sewer. And now six people have paid the price for that inaction in a single fiery incident.

Six innocent people.

We’re bound to hear more about it in the days to come, as city officials mourn the victims and make more promises that they will inevitably fail to fulfill.

I’m disgusted and angry with it all.

I hope you are, too.

We’ll be back on Monday with our usual Morning Links. But right now, I don’t even want to think about it.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

Breaking news: 78-year old man killed riding bike in Mission Viejo crash, no details available

News broke late this afternoon that an elderly man was killed riding his bike in Mission Viejo Tuesday morning.

According to Mission Viejo Patch, the victim, identified only as a 78-year old man, was killed in some sort of crash around 8 am Tuesday, near Los Alisos Boulevard and Entidad.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or even if there was another vehicle, let alone a driver, involved.

Hopefully, we’ll get more information soon.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

74-year old Upland man dies in apparent solo fall on San Gabriel Canyon Road in Azusa; 50th SoCal bike death this year

Now we finally know what happened.

In Friday’s update, we mentioned multiple reports that someone was killed in a collision involving a bicyclist in Azusa Thursday morning.

Now we know that the previous reports were right.

And wrong.

According to My News LA, 74-year old Upland resident Stephen Naftilan was riding at mile marker 24.10 on San Gabriel Canyon Road around 10:15 Thursday morning, when he fell to the right and collapsed in the roadway.

Another bicyclist and a passerby witnessed his fall, and found he was unresponsive when they stopped to help.

He died at the scene.

Apparently, there was no one else involved.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Baldwin Park Area office at 626/338-1164.

This is at least the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Stephen Naftilan and all his loved ones.

Update: 48-year old Riverside man riding bike killed in alleged drunken hit-and run; driver followed and arrested

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been murdered by a drunken hit-and-run driver.

Allegedly.

According to My News LA, the driver fled the scene after running down the victim in Riverside Saturday night.

But for a change, the driver was captured a short time later.

The victim, identified only as a 48-year old Riverside man, was crossing Indiana Ave on La Sierra Ave on his bike when he was run down by a speeding driver traveling east on Indiana; there’s no word on what time the crash happened

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Witnesses followed the driver, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was identified as a 40-year old man from Corona, but no name was given.

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

Sixteen of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: KCBS-2 puts the time of the crash as around 10:10 pm.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Riverside resident Jerry Hodges. The driver has still not been identified. 

Update 3: The Riverside Police Department has identified the alleged driver as 40-year old Corona resident Jose Luis Cacho Jr. He was released on $75,000 bond after being booked on vehicular homicide, hit-and-run and DUI charges.

Cacho was also charged with violating probation on a previous DUI conviction. That raises the question of why he hasn’t been charged with murder, since he would have received a Watson notice informing him that would be possible if he killed someone while driving drunk anytime in the future. 

Maybe that’s a question we should ask Riverside County DA Michael Hestrin

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jerry Hodges and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Accident News Now and Eric Lewis for the heads-up. 

73-year old man killed in Fountain Valley left cross collision; Southern California on pace for nearly 100 bike deaths this year

Once again, a driver has proven that paint is no protection.

Whether it’s a bike lane. Or in this case, a crosswalk.

According to the Daily Pilot, a man died after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Fountain Valley.

The victim, identified as 73-year old Fountain Valley resident Dac Them Kieu, was riding his bike in the crosswalk on Garfield Ave at Brookhurst Street, on the border with Huntington Beach, when he was hit by the driver of a massive Ford pickup around 6:57 am.

Dac was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The Orange County Register reports the 65-year old driver was turning left off eastbound Garfield when he crashed into Dac, who was riding east in the crosswalk, which would put him on the westbound side of the street.

The fact that Dac was in the crosswalk suggests he had been riding on the sidewalk. That means he wouldn’t have been riding against traffic, since both the sidewalk and crosswalk are bidirectional.

Although drivers don’t always look for anyone coming from the opposite direction, even though they should.

The driver remained at the scene. Police do not believe intoxication played a role in the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call the traffic bureau of the Fountain Valley Police Department at 714/593-4481, reference incident #22-22611.

This is at least the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

That puts us on track for nearly 100 SoCal bicycling deaths this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dac Them Kieu and all his loved ones.

Woman riding on bike trail killed by alleged DUI driver in Rancho Cucamonga collision

Yet another bike rider has needlessly lost their life to an alleged drunk driver.

The Daily Bulletin is reporting that someone on a bicycle was struck by a driver while riding on the Pacific Electric Trail in Rancho Cucamonga Saturday evening.

According to the paper, 19-year old San Bernardino resident Jessica Carrillo allegedly ran a red light on Archibald Ave while the victim was crossing on the trail around 6:50 pm.

The Rancho Cucamonga Police Department reports the victim was riding west on the Pacific Electric Trail when she was run down as Carillo drove south on Archibald.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Facebook post identifies her as Debbie Morgan-Alam, a longtime member of the Ride Yourself Fit group.

Carillo remained at the scene, and was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI causing injury and DUI causing injury with a blood alcohol content over .08 percent.

And proving once again that people on bicycles are at risk anywhere cars are present, even when riding on a fully separated pathway.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputies E. Rebollar or V. Peterson at 909/477-2800.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Debbie Morgan-Alam and her loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Michael Wagner for the heads-up.

US Army vet from Belize killed in March bike crash in Carson, only makes the news now

Too often, someone can be killed in a bicycling crash, and it never makes the news.

Or if it does, it may show up somewhere far away.

That was the case this March, when a 20-year veteran of the US Army was killed, without making a blip in the local media until the story popped up in his home country of Belize yesterday.

According to the Breaking Belize News website, 49-year old Sergeant Brian George Martinez was killed in an early morning collision while training for the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Class, a one day amateur bike race held annually in the country since 1928.

The news surfaced in a story about his mother donating his bicycling gear to the Cycling Federation of Belize following his death.

An April Facebook post from the organization said Martinez was killed in Los Angeles on March 17th, just one week after he sent in his registration for the race.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office confirms his death.

Meanwhile, a website for a Los Angeles law firm places the collision at the intersection of East Victoria Street and South Avalon Boulevard in Carson.

He died at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or if the driver was ticketed or charged. Or even stopped following the crash, for that matter.

In addition to his military career, Martinez worked as a Licensed Clinical Health and Mental Health Therapist in Los Angeles.

This is at least the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian George Martinez and all his loved ones. 

 

Update: Ebike rider killed in collision in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, police quick to blame the victim

The bad news just keeps on coming.

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that a 63-year old man riding a “battery-assisted bicycle” has been killed in a collision in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood.

Evidently, they’ve never heard of an ebike.

According to police, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding west on Harbor Drive near Beardsley Street around 9:30 this morning when he swerved to go around a box truck.

He reportedly struck the right front fender of a Dodge Charger traveling in the left lane, and was thrown across the car’s hood.

He died at the scene.

Police say there’s no evidence of intoxication, even though there’s not a single mention of a driver, as if the Charger was driving itself.

There’s also no word on how fast the driver was going; it seems unlikely that simply crashing into the side of the car would throw the victim over the hood.

There’s also no word on whether the truck was parked in the bike lane on Harbor or traveling in the right lane. And no explanation where the victim was riding prior to the crash.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

He is also the seventh bike rider to die on SoCal streets just this month.

Update: Raw video from the scene shows the car, with a shattered windshield, but no visible damage on the right front side where police say the victim’s bike struck the car. 

I’m not embedding the video because it shows the victim’s body in the roadway covered by a tarp, as well as his broken bicycle. So be sure you really want to see that before you click the link. 

Thanks to T for the link. 

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

Update: 67-year old man killed riding bike in Santa Ana collision Sunday morning; 4th SoCal bike death in last 8 days

More bad news on Southern California streets.

Multiple sources are reporting that a man was killed riding a bicycle in Santa Ana Sunday morning.

The victim, identified only as a 67-year old man, was apparently riding south on Bristol Street when he was struck by a driver traveling east on Edinger Ave around 8:30 this morning.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.

The driver remained at the scene, and police don’t suspect they were speeding or under the influence.

The intersection is controlled with a traffic signal in each direction, with bike lanes on Bristol above Edinger. There’s no word on who may have had the green light in the moments before the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Ana PD Cpl. W. Hadley at 714/245-8216.

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

The victim was also the fourth bike rider to die on SoCal streets in just the last eight days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 67-year old John Story

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

 

Bike rider killed in midnight Victorville collision; 43rd SoCal bike death this year

The carnage continues on Southern California streets.

According to the Victorville Daily Press, someone on a bicycle was killed in a collision shortly after midnight Wednesday.

The victim, who hasn’t been positively identified, was riding west on Silica Drive near Hesperia Road when they were rear-ended by the driver of a Ford Explorer around 12:48 am.

The victim died at the scene.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether the victim had lights on their bike, or if the driver of the SUV was distracted. Or if there was some other reason why the driver were apparently unable to see someone on a bicycle directly in front of them.

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy M. Lee or Deputy R. Castillo at the Victorville Police Station at 760/241-2911.

This is at least the 43rd 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 their loved ones.

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