Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Two bike riders killed in Malibu collisions on PCH; just two of five fatal crashes on LA’s killer highway in recent weeks

My biggest fear when I agreed to surgery on my arm and hand was that someone would lose their life riding a bike, and I wouldn’t be able to write about the victim.

Which is exactly what happened in Malibu.

And not once, but twice.

The first came when three men were crossing Pacific Coast Highway just west of Busch Drive around 10:35 pm on Easter Sunday, one of whom was apparently walking a bicycle.

According to the Malibu Times, the man with the bike was struck and killed by a driver headed west on PCH.

A few moments later, one of his companions was struck and killed by a second driver as he scrambled to collect the victim’s belongings from the roadway.

Both men apparently died at the scene, just minutes apart. According to the paper, there have now been three people killed at the same spot in recent years.

Six days later, another man was killed while riding his bike at PCH and Corral Canyon.

The crash occurred sometime after dark on Saturday, April 10th.

The victim was riding without lights or reflectors when he was run down by a driver headed east on PCH at 51 mph, as recorded on the vehicle’s black box. He was knocked onto the other side of the highway, where he may have been struck by another driver.

There’s no word on whether the victim was riding on PCH or trying to cross the street. There’s also no word on whether the second driver remained at the scene.

Unfortunately, no identification was given for any of the victims, other than the first two men were homeless, while the third may have been.

But they all deserved better.

These are at least the 18th and 19th bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, and the fourth and fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

They are also just two of at least five people killed on PCH in Malibu since early March, along with another pedestrian and the driver of an SUV who went off the road.

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

Thanks to Valley Duke for the heads-up.

 

 

 

 

80-year old man riding bike killed by alleged stop sign-running DUI driver in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon

Sometimes the needless death of an innocent person doesn’t merit even a few inches in the local paper.

Let alone a passing comment on the nightly news.

On Monday, I started hearing reports of someone killed in a collision while riding a bicycle in Costa Mesa, based on posts from the notoriously unreliable Nextdoor app.

By Tuesday morning, the location had shifted to nearby Newport Beach, along with comments suggesting the driver had been arrested. But still no confirmation from the coroner’s office or any of the local news outlets.

Sadly, that changed with this cryptic press release from the OC Coroner.

The coroner reported that 80-year old Ernest Adams died at a Santa Ana medical center early Monday morning, following a collision somewhere in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.

That was followed by a post on a Newport Beach news blog placing the 3:16 pm collision at 16th Street and Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.

According to the site, multiple witnesses reported seeing the suspect blow through a stop sign before slamming into Adam’s bike; a street view shows a residential street controlled by a four-way stop, with bike lanes in three directions, next to Newport Harbor High School.

Twenty-year old Norwalk resident Alexis Garcialopez was reportedly arrested for DUI causing serious injury after failing a roadside sobriety test.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to vehicular homicide in the wake of Adams’ death. Because after 80 years on this earth, he definitely deserved a better ending.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ernest Adams and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up.

Fugitive driver cops plea for 7 years in 2017 hit-and-run, and drugged driver busted in Moorpark hit-and-run

Seven years.

That’s the sentence Andrea Dorothy Chan got after finally pleading guilty to the 2017 hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez as he rode his bike in Whittier.

Chan had to be extradited from Australia to face charges after originally fleeing to Hong Kong, and having her badly damaged car repaired and stored in Idaho in an attempted coverup.

Rodriguez died at the scene after he was dragged 600 feet — the length of two city blocks — underneath Chan’s car.

Seven years isn’t anywhere near enough for a cruel and heartless crime like that. Especially since she’ll likely do less than half of that before being released.

But it’s the max she could get under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

So it will have to do.

………

A 38-year old Palm Springs man was busted for an allegedly drugged hit-and-run that left a Moorpark bike rider hospitalized with minor injuries.

Marco Martinez was being held in Ventura County jail on suspicion of felony hit and run, and DUI, as well as possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Although the unnamed victim may have been more seriously injured than the story suggests, since minor injuries would only merit a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

………

If you’ve never had the chance to meet, or at least listen to, CicLAvia’s Tafarai Bayne, you’re missing out on one of Southern California’s leading voices for bicycle and social equity.

So don’t miss this one.

………

A SoCal startup is promising a new 33 pound ped-assist ebike capable of doing 33 mph, with a 33-mile range. Although the price is a tad more than $33.

However, a bike that fast exceeds California standards, which max out at 28 mph for a ped-assist bike.

And even that requires a driver’s license, license plate and a motorcycle helmet, and can’t legally be ridden on bike paths or in bike lanes.

Meanwhile, ebike prices are going up as manufacturers are being squeezed by higher costs.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A pair of Scottish bike riders were assaulted by three men for no apparent reason, when they stopped to fix one of their bikes on a footbridge; one of the men was injured badly enough to require medical treatment.

Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

One of America’s most wanted men is one of us. US Marshals believe Lester Eubanks, aka Victor Young, may still be living in Los Angeles nearly 50 years after the convicted child killer escaped from an Ohio penitentiary; his ex-boss says he rode his bike to work every day when he worked at a Gardena waterbed factory.

………

Local

Pez Cycling News talks with LA’s Phil Gaimon, whose cycling career has flourished after he retired from the pro tour. Which is usually not the way it works.

 

State

Here’s your chance to run the California branch of the Sierra Club, as the not-always bike and urbanist-friendly organization looks for a new director.

Bakersfield is considering giving the green light to ebike riders on the city’s bike paths.

San Luis Obispo County unveils plans for an $18 million, 4.5-mile extension of the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Bike Trail.

A Palo Alto bike rider says yes, distracted drivers deserve to get tickets, like the one who ran him down by jumping on the green light before he could get across an intersection.

Nearly 50 Sonoma County residents are suing the SMART rail authority for allegedly building bike and walking trails through their properties without permission.

They get it. A new regional transportation plan for the Lake Tahoe area says the region can’t build its way out of mounting gridlock by building more roads, calling for improved public transportation and building more bike paths. Now they just need to find a spare $1 billion under the cushions.

 

National

Transportation advocates and organizations, including NACTO and the League of America of American Bicyclists, are calling for a rewrite of the auto-centric Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices; the head of the signals committee for the MUTCD’s parent organization bizarrely calls the campaign an example of “cancel culture.”

Heavy rates the 15 best balance bikes for the toddler in your life.

No bias here. If an Arizona bike rider can simply fall over and get run over by the rear wheels of a passing semi, the truck driver was too damn too close. Which is probably why the poor guy on the bike fell over in the first place.

Unbelievable. A Kansas woman with a long criminal record faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man who was riding a bike across an intersection — then reportedly getting out of her van to shoot him while he lay in the road.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders celebrate the city’s first bike lane, which opened just six months ago. Welcome to the 20th Century.

Life is really cheap in Milwaukee, where a killer driver walked with two years probation for taking the life of a man riding his bike — while driving with a suspended license, no less. What the hell is wrong with the judge and prosecutor when they can’t even manage a slap on the wrist for someone who wasn’t even supposed to be on the damn road in the first place?

More on the Montauk NY woman who faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading guilty to running down a man riding his bike home from work, while she was drunk and speeding at nearly twice the legal limit, with coke in her system.

A Florida TV station showed an incredible lack of basic human decency by posting security cam video of a bike rider getting run over a driver, which left the victim severely injured. I’m only linking to this to condemn the station for showing the full video without editing or blurring out the crash. I can’t recommend watching the video because you can’t unsee it; I wish I hadn’t. And I can only imagine the pain it will cause friends and family members of the victim.

 

International

A new book from record-setting endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont promises to teach you how to ride further than your current limits, whether that means a half century or riding around the world.

The Men in Kilts are one, uh, two of us, as they bike the Scottish Highlands in their latest episode. No word on whether they had to use a penny to keep their skirts down

Life is cheap in the UK, where a killer driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a 17-year old boy as he was riding his bike; the driver told police he hit a deer.

A 94-year old British man also walked without a day in jail for killing a bike rider, the only punishment was a four year driving ban, and having to retake the test to get his license back when he’s 98.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 100-year old English veteran of World War II has been raising funds for charity by riding his exercise bike 15 minutes every day. Even if he is doing his riding inside.

The capitol of India’s Jharkhand state is encouraging residents to go carfree every Saturday to reduce air pollution.

A new study shows a program in India’s Bengaluru state to give students new bicycles led to improvements in enrollment, retention of students and academic performance.

Cycling Weekly tells the tale of Josh Reid — son of British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid — who picked up his new bike off the Chinese production line and rode it 9,300 miles home to the UK, relying on strangers along the way.

A rear-view camera captures an Aussie bicyclist getting rear-ended by a distracted driver; you can actually see the cell phone she’s holding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France will kick off with two stages in Bilbao, Spain. Which is not the Spanish name for the main character in the Hobbit.

The entire board of cycling’s drug testing agency resigned en masse in anticipation of a transfer of responsibility to the independent International Testing Agency, which controls drug testing for over 40 other organizations worldwide.

Two-thirds of the Bora-Hansgrohe team was quarantined when British cyclist Matt Walls was diagnosed with Covid-19, meaning the team will miss out on both the Ghent-Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen one-day classics; needless to say, the team manager was not pleased.

Powerhouse British cycling team Ineos-Grenadiers swept the podium at the week-long Tour of Catalunya stage race, with Adam Yates finishing ahead of teammates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.

Cycling Tips remembers Belgian pro Antoine Demoitié five years after he was killed in a collision with a motorbike rider, just six months after he married a woman he’d known since they were both 14.

VeloNews talks with Belgian cycling legend Freddy Maertens, who they call the greatest classics rider who never won one of the Monuments.

A writer for Road.cc explains why he decided to pull out of Europe’s Transcontinental race. Although it sound like he’s still trying to convince himself.

Pugilistic French pro Nacer Bouhanni was DQ’d in Sunday’s one-day Cholet-Pays de la Loire classic after bodychecking another cyclist during the final sprint; Italian Elia Viviani won the race.

 

Finally…

This track cycling ebike prototype may be thrilling, but a commuter bike it ain’t.

And that feeling when you get knocked off your bike by a passing UFO.

Even if the bike in question was a motorbike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Update: Unidentified man killed riding bike in Indio collision Sunday morning; second fatal Indio bike crash in two months

Then there were three.

A bad weekend for Southern California bike riders got worse, when an unidentified man was killed riding a bike in Indio Sunday morning.

According to the Desert Sun, the victim was struck around 11:45 am on Avenue 48 east of Jefferson Street.

He apparently died at the scene.

The driver, identified only as man, remained after the crash and cooperated with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time; even the police spokesman had to speculate that the crash occurred in the middle of the road, because police shut down in both directions.

And yes, this serves as yet another reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride.

This is at least the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County; he’s also the second person killed riding a bike in Indio in just the last two months.

His death comes after two other people were killed riding bicycles in SoCal crashes this weekend, in Irwindale on Saturday and Escondido Friday night.

Update: The victim has been identified as 73-year old Indio resident William Mohan

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William Mohan and all his loved ones.

Update: Irwindale woman killed in drunken hit-and-run early Saturday; 8th fatal SoCal bicycling hit-and-run this year

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been killed by a cowardly drunken driver who lacked the basic human decency to stick around after the crash.

Allegedly.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports a woman was discovered lying in the roadway on Huntington Drive near Foothill Boulevard in Irwindale early Saturday morning.

Police found the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, on the 2900 block of Huntington Drive shortly after 1:21 am, surrounded by parts from her shattered bicycle.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash happened, or whether she had lights or reflectors on her bike in the late night darkness.

Twenty-one-year-old La Puente resident Adrian Ortega was arrested by West Covina cops shortly afterwards in the area of Francisquito and Sunset Avenues, after officers spotted evidence connecting him to the crime.

At last report, he was still being held on $100,000 bond, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, drunk driving and hit-and-run.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no bike lanes or shoulder, with the San Gabriel River Trail visible in the background.

At that hour, it’s unlikely there would have been anything to keep drivers from exceeding the posted speed limit.

This is at least the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Shamefully, over half of those deaths have been hit-and-runs — as have all three bicycling deaths in LA County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Antonia Ramirez; no city of residence was given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Antonia Ramirez and all her loved ones.

 

Update: 33-year old man killed riding bike in Escondido collision Friday night

It’s already been a bad weekend for SoCal bike riders.

Starting with a fatal collision in Escondido Friday night.

According to the Union-Tribune, a 33-year old man, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was struck by the driver of a Nissan Altima just after 7 pm at the intersection of West Ninth Avenue and South Spruce Street.

The paper reports that paramedics responding to the crash arrived to find the victim unconscious and bleeding from head injuries; he was taken to Palomar Medical Center, where he died.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on how the collision occurred. However, visibility may have been an issue since the crash occurred sometime around sundown.

A street view shows a bike lane with a brief separation on Ninth, beginning west of Spruce, on a three lane street with a 35 mph speed limit; the intersection is controlled only by a stop sign on Spruce. The street has two lanes in each direction with sharrows east of Spruce.

The driver, who also hasn’t been identified, was taken to a hospital with undisclosed medical issues after initially remaining at the scene.

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

Although someone should tell the U-T that the car did not hit the victim by itself; the story doesn’t even mention the driver until the final paragraph.

Update: The victim has been identified as 33-year old Escondido resident Diego Mateo.

Mateo was riding west on Ninth when he was rear-ended by a driver following in the same direction, after allegedly swerving in front of the car.

However, it’s important to remember that, unless there were independent witnesses, we only have the driver’s word on how the crash occurred, since the victim isn’t around to share their side of the story.

A motorist can easily drift right, then assume the bike rider who suddenly appeared in front of them somehow darted into their path. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Diego Mateo and his loved ones. 

 

Update: Los Angeles bike rider killed in North Hills hit-and-run; 2nd LA bike death — and 2nd LA hit-and-run — this year

It’s happened again.

Another person has been killed riding a bicycle. And yet another driver has fled the scene.

According to multiple sources, the 38-year old man, who has not been publicly identified, was fatally run down in LA’s North Hills neighborhood around 4:20 Saturday morning.

The victim was riding south in the crosswalk on Sepulveda Blvd at Roscoe Blvd when he was struck by a driver headed east on Roscoe.

He died at the scene before paramedics could arrive.

The driver continued without stopping, leaving his victim to die in the street.

There’s no word on who had the right-of-way on the signalized intersection or how fast the driver was going. Or whether the victim had the required lights and reflectors on his bike in the early morning darkness.

Police are looking for a dark-colored 2007-2011 Toyota Camry; there’s no description given for the heartless coward behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call 818/644-8022. 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 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County, as well as the second in the City of LA.

Shamefully, seven of those 13 deaths have been hit-and-runs — as have both of the bicycling deaths in Los Angeles.

And if that makes you mad, it should.

Update: The victim has been identified as Israel Ovando Vera, a homeless resident of Los Angeles.

Although someone should tell the LAPD investigators that there is not right or wrong way in a crosswalk. Or on the sidewalk.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Israel Ovando Vera and his loved ones.

Victorville bike rider killed in midnight hit-and-run; no description of driver or car

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

According to the Victorville Daily Press, the victim was riding west on Mojave Drive, east of Amethyst Road in Victorville, when he was rear-ended by a driver early Wednesday.

San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies responded to find the victim, whose identity is being withheld, lying unresponsive in the roadway at 12:29 am.

He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died just 35 minutes later.

No word on whether the crash was reported right away, or how long he may have been lying there before he was discovered. Or if any delay in receiving treatment may have contributed to his death.

However, it’s unlikely that a crash on a roadway with a 60 mph speed limit would have been survivable, in any case.

There’s also no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike that would have made him more visible in the late night darkness.

No description has been given for the driver or the suspect vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputies C. Bennington or T. Wetzel at 760-241-2911.

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

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

Update: 39-year old man killed riding bike in Oxnard collision; 3rd fatal Oxnard bike crash this year

Then there were three.

According to KEYT-TV, a 39-year old Oxnard man was killed when a van driver slammed into his bike early Thursday morning.

Which makes him the third bicyclist killed in the city already this year.

He was reportedly riding on Channel Islands Boulevard west of J Street when he was run down by a 51-year-old Oxnard man driving west on Channel Islands at 4:25 am.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene.

There’s no word on which direction he was riding, or if he had lights on this bike in the early morning darkness.

The Ventura County Star reports the driver was behind the wheel of a 2018 Ford Transit Van, which has a van’s high, flat grill that dramatically increases the risk to anyone not inside a vehicle.

Like someone on a bicycle, for instance.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; police don’t believe intoxication played a role in the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Officer Joseph Clarke at 805/385-7750, or email joseph.clarke@oxnardpd.org.

This is at least the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Ventura County, which usually averages that many bicycle deaths in an entire year.

Update: The victim was identified as 39-year old Oxnard resident Rojelio Minjarez

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rojelio Minjarez and his loved ones.

Man killed in collision attempting to ride bike across Anaheim freeway onramp, CHP blames victim’s clothing

Freeway ramps are among the deadliest places to ride a bike.

That was driven home once again early Friday morning, when a man was killed trying to ride across an Anaheim onramp.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on Lakeview Ave at the onramp to the westbound 91 Freeway around 4:50 am Friday.

Before he could reach the pedestrian crossing, he was struck by a car attempting to enter the freeway, driven by a 67-year old Anaheim woman.

No word on whether he died at the scene, or passed away after being taken for treatment.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A CHP spokesman was quick to absolve the driver of responsibility, instead blaming the victim’s dark clothing, and poor visibility due to rainy conditions and the early morning darkness.

However, no mention is made of whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike, or whether the onramp itself was lighted.

There’s also no mention of how the design of the onramp may have contributed to the crash. Dual slip lanes that begin at the intersection with East Riverdale Ave could enable drivers to accelerate to highway speeds before ever entering the freeway, especially at that hour.

But it’s much easier to blame the victim’s clothing than to confront road conditions that not only made a collision more likely, but less survivable.

It’s also yet another tragic reminder to avoid freeway ramps whenever possible, which are seldom designed for the safety of anyone not encased in a couple tons of glass and steel.

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

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

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