Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Bicyclist dies after apparent solo crash in Palm Desert

A man has died after crashing into a concrete pole in Palm Desert, the victim of an apparent solo crash.

According to KESQ News Channel 3, the victim was riding his bike east on Dinah Shore Drive near Monterey Ave around 8 am Wednesday when he veered off the road into a parking lot, where he struck the pole.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

There’s no explanation for why he left the road, and no apparent witnesses. The first word of the crash came with reports of a man down in the parking lot.

It’s possible he may have swerved to avoid a pothole or a close pass, suffered a mechanical problem, or simply lost control for some unknown reason.

Hopefully someone, somewhere, saw what happened and can shed light on the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Francis Avila of the Palm Desert Station’s Traffic Team at 760/836-1600.

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

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

19-year old bike rider killed in 4th of July collision in Baldwin Park

While the rest of Los Angeles was celebrating Independence Day, a young man in Baldwin Park became just the latest bike rider to lose his life on our mean streets.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 19-year old Baldwin Park resident Anthony Alexander Morales Perez was riding west on Los Angeles Street around 9:56 pm yesterday when he started to make left turn onto Bresee Avenue.

He was struck by the driver of a car traveling on Los Angeles; it’s not clear whether Perez was struck from behind, or if the car was traveling in the other direction.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect drug or alcohol use played a factor.

There’s no word on whether Perez had lights or reflectors on his bike, which should have made him visible to others on the street.

A street view shows Los Angeles Street has two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction, controlled by a red light in each direction. Again, there’s no word on who might have had the right-of-way, or if the traffic signal may have been a factor in the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Baldwin Park Police Department at 626/960-1955.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Anthony Alexander Morales Perez and his loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up. 

Rally tomorrow demanding justice for Scott Clark; OC triathlete was collateral damage in alleged 2017 road rage case

No Morning Links today, due to the demands of this piece, as well as a few too many emergency potty runs caring for a sick Corgi.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Weekend Links if her belly allows; if not, we’ll be back on Monday with anything we’ve missed.

………

When does justice delayed become justice denied?

Apparently, when Orange County investigators drop the ball.

And the DA drops the case.

Bike lawyer Ed Rubinstein forwards a flyer demanding justice for a Laguna Hills father, teacher and triathlete who was killed over two years ago, the result of a road rage incident between two motorists.

Scott Clark, a fifth-grade teacher at Laguna Niguel Elementary School and four-time Ironman triathlete, was training for a race in January, 2017, when he ran into a crosswalk just as two women were arguing as they sped down the road in Laguna Nigel.

One of the women, later identified as Jamie Mulford, allegedly turned right from the left lane in front of the other car, cutting off the driver and forcing her  car into Clark as he crossed the street.

He suffered severe head injuries, and died two weeks later.

Mulford was arrested at the scene for suspicion DUI, but the charge was dropped because investigators failed to test her blood alcohol level for nearly six hours after the crash, by which time she was under the legal limit.

The DA eventually charged Mulford with vehicular homicide in the death of Scott Clark. Yet after numerous delays, the case was dismissed ths year when the DA said they could no longer prove Mulford’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Adding insult to overwhelming injury, Mulford sued Scott Clark’s wife for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress — choosing the two year anniversary of his death to file suit.

It took less than a month to have the case thrown out of court for lack of merit.

Which bring us to tomorrow’s rally calling for justice for Scott Clark.

Supporters of Clark — or anyone who believes in the safety of our streets — is urged to meet at Laguna Nigel City Hall at 10 am Saturday to walk to the crash site at Niguel Road and Alicia Parkway.

I don’t know if Jamie Mulford is guilty.

But I do know Scott Clark’s survivors deserve to have the case put in front of a jury.

And newly elected DA Todd Spitzer owes them that.

Thanks to Ed Rubenstein for the heads-up.

Update: Woman killed in Oxnard crash after allegedly swerving in front of SUV

In any bicycling crash, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver.

Because too often, the victim is in no shape to tell his or her side of the story.

That’s what happened in Oxnard this morning, where a bike rider was killed after allegedly swerving in front on an oncoming SUV.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim, identified only as a 44-year old woman from Port Hueneme, was riding west on Hemlock Drive near Seaside Drive around 5:30 am, when she allegedly swerved into the path of the 26-year old driver.

He was unable to stop in time, and slammed into her bike.

She was taken from Oxnard to the Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, where she died.

The driver remained at the scene, and cooperated with investigators. Police don’t suspect he was under the influence.

Unfortunately, Oxnard police didn’t indicate whether there were any other witnesses, or if they were relying on strictly on the driver’s description of what happened.

Bike riders often call crashes like this an SWSS, or single witness suicide swerve, because in the absence of any other witnesses, it’s just as likely that the driver drifted to the right to hit the victim as she rode in the bike lane.

Especially at that hour, when the driver is likely to be sleepy and inattentive.

It’s also possible that she was in the traffic lane, and the driver failed to see her until the last moment, and mistakenly assumed she swerved in front of him.

And it’s possible, if not likely, that the driver was exceeding the 40 mph speed limit, which would have reduced his reaction time, and given the false impression that she had sufficient time to safely move to the left.

Chances are, we’ll never know.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 2nd that I’m aware of in Ventura County; the previous death was in Oxnard, as well.

Update: The victim has been identified as Port Hueneme resident Dana Kuehl; she was actually 39, not 44.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dana Kuehl and her loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in South Gate hit-and-run late Saturday night

Once again, a heartless coward has taken the life of an innocent person.

This time, it happened in South Gate, where a bike rider killed last night.

According to KTLA-5, a man was riding east in the crosswalk on Imperial Highway at the South Gate onramp to the northbound 710 Freeway when the driver of a large black Ford SUV or pickup truck slammed into him around 11:30 pm.

The driver fled onto the freeway, leaving the victim, who has not been publicly identified, to die at the scene.

The crash occurred just steps from the entrance to the LA River bike path.

Given the hour and location, there’s a good chance the victim was homeless. Which doesn’t reduce the tragedy, or the severity of the crime, in any way.

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer J. Vargas at 323/980-4600.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 67-year old Manuel Coronel, described as a homeless man. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Coronel and his loved ones.

 

 

Riverside bike rider killed by speeding drunk — or maybe stoned — driver in Rialto

Let’s call it what it is.

Murder.

Maybe that’s not what the law says. Or what the DA will charge.

But when death is the entirely foreseeable consequence of getting loaded and speeding down a busy roadway, that what it is.

It’s no different than if the driver had fired a gun down the street, then was surprised to learn he actually hit someone.

In effect, that’s what happened in Rialto Tuesday evening, when an intoxicated high-speed driver ran down a man on a bike.

According to KTLA-5, a 34-year old Riverside man was was riding his bike west on Rialto’s Industrial Drive at North Riverside Ave around 6:52 pm when a driver headed north on Riverside slammed into his bike.

The victim, who was not publicly named, was lying dead in the roadway when police and paramedics arrived at the scene.

Both the driver and his passenger were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. Thirty-two-year old Hesperia resident John Godinez was booked on a DUI charge upon his release.

Hopefully additional — and more serious — charges will be added later.

Anyone with information is urged to call Rialto police at 909/820-2550.

This is at least the 34th 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 his loved ones.

Update: Man killed in collision while walking or riding bike on Santa Ana sidewalk

More evidence bike riders aren’t safe anywhere from reckless drivers.

Not even on a sidewalk.

And whether or not they’re actually riding their bikes.

According to the Orange County Register, a man was killed around 10:15 pm Tuesday when he was struck by a driver near the intersection of Fairview and Harvard Streets in Santa Ana.

The victim was walking or riding his bike on the west sidewalk along Fairview when man driving south on Fairview somehow jumped the curb and slammed into him.

The driver pulled into a nearby parking lot before calling 911 and running back to the scene.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was taken to a Santa Ana hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There’s no word on why the driver jumped the curb. It’s possible he may have been distracted or under the influence; it’s also possible there may have been another vehicle involved.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8200.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Perris resident Marcos Monzon

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Marcos Monzon and all his loved ones.

Maywood bike rider killed in Boyle Heights hit-and-run; police alibi driver in advance

Once again, a bike rider has lost his life at the hands of a hit-and-run driver.

But this time, the police have given him — or her — a ready-made excuse for the crime.

According to a statement by the LAPD, 24-year old Maywood resident Jaime Ramirez was killed by the driver of a semi-truck at Lynwood Ave and 8th Street in Boyle Heights around 9:30 pm Friday night.

Ramirez was riding south on Lynwood, splitting lanes between a car and the semi, when he either lost control of his bike or was hit by one of the drivers as he neared 8th, and somehow fell under the rear wheels of the truck.

The driver kept going without stopping, failing to notice — or ignoring — a witness chasing behind in his car, honking and flashing his lights.

Despite frantic efforts to save his life, Ramirez died at the scene.

Unfortunately the driver received an alibi in advance, courtesy of the LAPD, who said he or she may not be aware they’d hit anyone.

So now all the driver has to do to get away with it is claim just that, regardless of whether it has any basis in fact.

The truck was described as an all-white semi with sleeper cab and a box trailer, and no visible logos or other markings, California license 4MY4587. Police believe the driver may be on the way to Fresno.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for any fatal hit-and-run.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh in the City of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jaime Ramirez and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch and John Dammon for the heads-up.

 

 

22-year old Castaic woman killed by street sweeper while riding her bike in Valencia

Sadly, the recent rash of bicycling deaths continued over the weekend, with yet another victim lost to our streets.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, 22-year old Castaic resident Kori Sue Peters was riding on Rye Canyon Road at Beale Court in Valencia just after midnight Sunday when the driver of street sweeper hit her from behind.

She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The driver cooperated with investigators, and did not appear to be under the influence drugs or alcohol.

According to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, Rye Canyon is one of just two viable bike routes between Castaic and Valencia.

Sheriff’s investigators determined that she didn’t have lights on her bike, and also blamed her dark clothing for apparently making herself invisible to the driver of the street sweeper.

While bike riders are required to use lights after dark and have reflectors on their bikes, there is no requirement to wear light colored clothing, even though it’s probably a good idea after dark, though not always practical.

And drivers are expected, if not required, to notice whatever or whoever is in the road directly in front of them.

I’m told that Peters leaves behind two children, and may have recently returned home to work on a substance abuse problem without her kids.

In other words, she was trying to turn her life around.

And now she’ll never get the chance.

This is at least the 31st 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 Kori Sue Peters and all her family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Nina Moskol for the heads-up.

Santa Clarita mountain biker dies on Simi Valley trail Saturday morning

Cars and drivers aren’t the only dangers we face.

Sometimes it’s your own body that lets you down.

That’s what happened yesterday morning on trail above Simi Valley, where a man apparently died of natural causes while riding with a group of friends.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding on the Undertow Trail, which they describe as a popular mountain bike trail south of Hummingbird Ranch outside Simi Valley, when he began to feel ill around 10:40 am.

His riding companions told him to turn back, and called 911.

The Ventura County Fire Department and a county helicopter crew responded; sadly, the 52-year old Santa Clarita resident died before rescue personnel could arrive.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

It’s also a reminder to see your doctor on a regular basis — especially if you’re having unexplained chest pains or difficulty breathing, no matter how fit you may feel.

It may not have made a difference in this case.

But it might in yours.

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

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