Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Update: Bike rider killed in apparent Sante Fe Springs train collision

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in Sante Fe Springs today.

The Whittier Police Department tweeted at 2:49 this afternoon that their officers were investigating the death of a bicyclist at the railroad intersection of Rosecrans and Marquardt.

No other details are available at this time.

The implication is that he or she was hit by a train, but that has not been confirmed yet.

Henry Fung writes that the train tracks run diagonal to the streets at that intersection, and the warning gates are placed prior to the intersection, rather than next to the tracks. So it could be possible for a rider to be inside the gates when they come down, and not see the warning before a train comes.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Whittier Daily News reports the victim, identified only as a man, was riding north along Rosecrans around 2:45 pm when he slipped between the crossing arms, and was struck by a freight train.

Let this serve as a reminder to never, ever go around, under or through railroad crossing arms. They’re down for a reason.

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

Update: Bicyclist found dead in Cathedral City hit-and-run Saturday night

The local TV station calls it an accident.

A better description would be the actions of a heartless coward with a callous indifference to human life.

Or maybe just murder.

According to the Desert Sun, the body of an unidentified bicyclist was found lying in the roadway on Dinah Shore Drive in Cathedral City around 9 pm Saturday. It was clear he had been hit by a car.

KESQ-TV reports that the victim, identified only as a man in his late 30s or early 40s, was found on the westbound side of Dinah Shore just west of Whispering Palms on the Dinah Shore Bridge. His bike was found 50 feet away in the median on the eastbound side of the road.

There were no apparent witnesses, and no description of the car or driver at this time.

A satellite view shows a four lane roadway with a center divider west of Whispering Palms. Based on the limited description, there’s no way to tell which direction the victim was riding, whether he was on Dinah Shore or attempting to cross it.

There’s no speed limit sign visible in the street view; however, the distance his body was apparently thrown would suggest he was hit at a high rate of speed.

There’s also no way of knowing whether he might have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help as the law, and basic human decency, requires.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Riverside County. That compares with 69 in Southern California this time last year, and six in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 37-year old Sergio Reynoso; a gofundme account has been established to help pay funeral expenses. The driver reportedly turned himself in on Tuesday, which would have given him or her plenty of time to sober up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sergio Reynoso and his loved ones.

Unidentified woman killed in Orange collision while riding in crosswalk

It’s been a bad two days for Southern California bike riders.

According to the Orange County Register, a woman was killed as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk in the city of Orange Sunday evening.

The unidentified victim was crossing the street at the intersection of West Chapman Avenue and North Flower Street shortly after 6 pm when she was struck by a man driving a full-size pickup. She was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she passed away nearly 45 minutes later.

The paper reports the driver cooperated with investigators, and was sober at the time of the collision.

There’s no word on who had the right-of-way or which street the victim was crossing, or what direction the truck was traveling. A satellite view shows a two-lane street with a left turn lane on Fowler and six lanes with a left turn lane on Chapman, with crosswalks in each direction.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 13th in Orange County. It’s also the third SoCal bicycling death in less than 22 hours.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her family. 

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in foggy, early morning Mira Mesa crash after allegedly running red light

Evidently, we’ll have to take the driver’s word for it.

According to multiple sources, a San Diego bike rider was killed in an early morning crash in the Mira Mesa district after allegedly running a red light.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports the 63-year old victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding west on Flanders Drive at Camino Ruiz around 5:30 this morning when he went through the light and was struck by a car headed south on Camino Ruiz.

He was taken to a hospital, where he passed away.

The driver reportedly didn’t have a cell phone, and left the scene to call 911 before apparently returning to cooperate with police.

Police don’t suspect drug or alcohol use contributed to the collision. However, it’s possible that heavy fog in the area may have been a factor, as the cyclist and driver may not have been able to see each other until it was too late.

No word on whether the victim had lights on his bike an hour before sunrise; video from the scene shows no sign of lights on the badly mangled bike, though it’s possible they could have been damaged in the collision.

Given the early morning hour, and the fact that the driver had to leave the scene to find a phone, it’s unlikely that there were any independent witnesses to the wreck, which suggests that police had to rely on the driver’s word that he had the green light.

The heavy fog and severe damage to the bike also suggest that the driver may have been in violation of California’s basic speed lawCVC 2250 says that no one may drive “at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent” with regard to a number of factors, including weather and visibility.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Diego County; it’s also the sixth in the city of San Diego.

Update: The victim has been identified as 63-year old San Diego resident Rodolfo Tejedor.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rodolfo Tejedor and his loved ones.

Sidewalk cyclist killed in Cathedral City

Some collisions just don’t make sense.

According to, a 57-year old bike rider was killed in a collision after turning into traffic in Cathedral City Sunday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on the north sidewalk at 69120 Ramon Road around 9:20 am. Police report he suddenly turned to his right and rode directly into the path of westbound traffic, where he was hit by a car.

He died after being taken to a regional medical center.

However, it’s hard to understand why the victim would have turned out into traffic when he should have been able to clearly see the cars coming.

The station implies that he may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s possible that he may have somehow thought he had more time to cross the street than he really did, particularly if the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County.

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

Oxnard woman killed in bicycling fall in Port Hueneme

This is why you always secure loose items on your bike.

According to the Ventura County Star, 53-year old Oxnard resident Maria Dupre was riding her bike on the 800 block of North Ventura Road in Port Hueneme around 6 pm Sunday, when something she was carrying on her bicycle became lodged in her front wheel. She lost control and fell from her bike.

She was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

The paper notes Dupre was not wearing a helmet; in this case, it might have made a difference, assuming she suffered a head injury. Solo falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County; the first occurred just eight days earlier in Moorpark.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Maria Dupre and all her loved ones.

Orange County bike rider killed in solo fall; 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year

Sad news from San Clement.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, 59-year old Henry Miller III collided with a pole at 243 Calle Empalme in San Clemente around 5:40 pm Wednesday. He died at the scene.

A satellite view show a quiet, winding residential street.

The Orange County Register adds a little more information. According to the paper, Miller was riding east on Calle Empalme when he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the curb, and was thrown headfirst into a lamppost.

Police were unable to find a reason why Miller lost control. There was no debris in the street and no other vehicle appeared to have been involved. The street does have a downhill slope, but levels out about 50 yards from the crash site.

It’s possible that he may have picked up too much speed going downhill, or that he lost control after a close pass by a car, without getting. Or he could have become distracted or disoriented in some way.

The paper also notes that Miller was not wearing a helmet.

There’s no way to say if wearing one would have made a difference. However, relatively slow speed falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714/647-7000.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County. That compares with 67 this time last year, and 14 in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Henry Miller III and all his family.


Man walking bike killed by train in Placentia Monday night

Somehow, this one went under the radar earlier this week.

According to the Orange County Register, 51-year old Rafael Romo was walking his bike north on Richfield Road when he ducked under the railroad crossing barrier on Orangethorpe Ave around 8:15 pm Monday.

He was standing on the south tracks waiting for an eastbound train to pass on the other tracks when he was hit by a train headed west at 48 mph. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper notes that it’s unsure if his death was an accident or may have been suicide. However, the latter seems unlikely if he brought the bike with him, rather than leaving it behind when he stepped under the barrier.

This serves as yet another warning to never go under or around railroad crossing guards, even if it seems safe at the time.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County. Romo is also the 19th SoCal bike rider to be killed by a train since 2011, which is the easiest type of collision to avoid.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Romo and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: How the economy and bike lanes affect bike wrecks, and fight the bikelash over Rowena road diet

Maybe the economy is the reason you might get hit by a car.

And more bike lanes could be the reason you don’t.

An interesting piece in Saturday’s LA Times suggests that traffic collisions surged in the first six months of this year, reversing a long-term drop, because an improved economy and lower gas prices — except in California, of course — has resulted in more people on the roads.

In fact, American’s drove a record 1.54 trillion miles in the first half of the year, beating the previous high water mark set eight years ago.

The story notes that the increase in miles driven doesn’t totally explain the jump in collisions here in California, suggesting that distracted driving also plays a significant role.

Interestingly, Dennis Hindman recently came to a similar conclusion, digging into SWITRS data submitted by the LAPD to conclude that pedestrian-involved collisions dropped when the economy tanked, while bike collisions jumped.

And that bike wrecks started to fall when more bike lanes were installed in Los Angeles.

The first chart below was created using California Highway Patrol SWITRS data of motor vehicle involved collisions reported by the LAPD within the city of Los Angeles.

Notice how the amount of pedestrian involved collisions with motor vehicles started to drop in 2009 when the economy went into a recession. Then the pedestrian involved motor vehicle collisions began to increase as the economy started to recover.

The motor vehicle involved collisions with bicycles rose in 2008 when a sharp increase in the price of gasoline very likely contributed to a large increase in the amount of bicycle commuters. The bicycle involved collisions kept increasing in the recession from 2009 through 2011, unlike the pedestrian involved collisions with motor vehicles.

The LADOT started to greatly increase the miles of bike lanes installed per calendar year beginning with 20.94 miles in 2011. Then 62.42 miles of bike lanes were installed in 2012, 96.6 miles in 2013 and 23.3 miles in 2014.

The motor vehicle involved collisions with bicycles had a much lower amount of increase in 2013 of about 1% compared to a 7% increase in 2012 and then declined by about 6% in 2014. This occurred even though there was likely a large increase in the amount of people bicycling due to the miles of bicycle lanes installed.

The percentage of the total motor vehicle collisions that involved bicycles has gone from 3% in 2007 to 6% in 2014.

Chart one

The second chart below, created from SWITRS data, shows a decline in the motor vehicle involved collisions involving other motor vehicles reported by the LAPD during the recession. Unlike the pedestrian involved collisions, these motor vehicle collisions have not increased to the pre-recession level in 2008 as the economy recovered. A contributing factor in this could be the increased level of safety for occupants of cars that car manufacturers are required to install. This may not have lowered the amount of collisions involving motor vehicles, but it could have reduced the number of LAPD collision reports due to a lower incidence of injuries to motor vehicle occupants.

Chart 2

Comparison of motor vehicle involved fatalities from collisions with other motor vehicles or pedestrians.

Chart 3

Of course, before someone else points it out, we should note that correlation is not causation. But the data does suggest it’s worth considering.

Thanks to Dennis Hindman for his analysis. Not many people have the skill, or the patience, to wade through complex data like that, and actually make sense of it.


Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg offers a warning about the bikelash rearing its ugly head at tonight’s town hall meeting to discuss the successful Rowena road diet, which has cut injury collisions by half.

Ivanhoe Elementary School Auditorium
2828 Herkimer St, Los Angeles, CA 90039
6:30 – 8:30pm


Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson gets a big markdown on a citation for blowing a stop on a group ride, but wonders if the ticket will count against his license.

Which serves as a reminder to always make sure any traffic ticket you get while riding clearly indicates you were on a bike. Bicycling infractions should never count as points against your driver’s license, since no license is required to ride a bike.

But if it’s not marked, the DMV may assume you were in a car, and wrongly assign points against your license for the infraction.


People say cyclists dress funny. I’ll take sausage-casing spandex festooned with logos over fashionista haute couture any day.


The Vuelta was won — and lost — on Saturday’s final mountain stage as race leader Tom Dumoulin cracked, losing nearly four minutes to fall out of contention for the podium, and allowing Fabio Aru to secure the overall victory.

Dumoulin’s performance over the first 19 stages has the Dutch dreaming of Tour de France glory. And a Madrid thief earned himself a striped jersey when police spotted a $13,600 bike stolen from the Orica Greenedge team for sale in a second hand store for one-tenth its value.

Meanwhile, American Shelley Olds sprinted to victory in the first Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, a token 54-mile circuit race on the final day of the men’s tour.

Germany’s Andre Greipel took the seventh stage of the Tour of Britain in a photo finish, then was stripped of his victory the next day.

Forty-two-year old American Molly Shaffer Van Houweling set a new women’s hour record in Mexico City, breaking the old mark that had stood for a dozen years.

And Bicycling magazine finally catches up with the No Podium Girls movement, and agrees that offering up hot women as the spoils of victory send the wrong message to women, as well as men.



LADOT released their annual report for the last fiscal year, saying safety is their priority. Which is a welcome change from the old LADOT that focused strictly on moving as many cars as quickly as they could, safety be damned.

A Santa Monica High School student is working to promote bike helmet use with a new website, along with a 20% discount on helmets at Helen’s Cycles if you mention the site.

Bad news from Pasadena, as bike rider described only as an Asian man in his 20s is in critical condition after somehow colliding with a parked car with enough force to shatter the rear windshield; he suffered severe head and neck injuries despite wearing a helmet.

Next month’s Richard Selje Ride4Recovery in Pasadena will raise funds to make treatment more affordable for men who want to get clean, with rides of 25, 62 and 100 miles.

The Daily Breeze looks at the Redondo Beach man building custom bikes with steering wheels instead of handlebars; so far he’s only raised just $10 of a requested $10,000 with a month to go. Call me crazy, but I’d think a steering wheel would make the handling awfully twitchy.

CLR Effect’s Michael Wagner goes for a dirty ride, and looks forward to the coming SoCal Cross season.



A new poll says most Californians think local politics are pointless. And that’s how we get stuck with people like Gil Cedillo, when only a handful of people turn out to vote.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition reports the Santa Ana River Trail is open again, after riders were detoured for construction work.

A writer for the San Diego Free Press says the city’s North Park neighborhood should be bike friendly, but isn’t.

San Diego’s Bike SD will benefit from this weekend’s 35-mile Bike to the Border.

Scofflaw Santa Cruz cyclists attend bike traffic school, just like their counterparts on four wheels. A bill to allow similar bicycle traffic diversion schools statewide passed the legislature last month and awaits the governor’s signature.

Caught on video: A plant-killing San Francisco bike messenger was apparently doing other cyclists and the native environment a favor by stomping out fennel.



Two Special Forces vets are riding cross-country to raise money to help the families of special ops soldiers, while 10 cyclists are setting out from San Diego today on a ride across the US to raise awareness of mental illness.

Portland opens a new bridge for trains, buses, bikes and pedestrians, but motor vehicles need not apply; the lights on the bridge change according to the river flow and temperature.

A dozen blind Iowans team with sighted cyclists for a tandem bike ride.

Just days after complaining to the local press about the danger of motorists driving in a dedicated bus and bike only lane, an Ohio cyclist was injured in a fall when a driver blared on his horn while hugging his back wheel. Although the driver, who claims he didn’t know about the lane restriction, says he just “beeped at the gentleman and he fell off his bike.” Right.

Nearly 500 cyclists ride from Ground Zero to Boston to remember victims of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, raising half a million dollars for the families of police officers.

A Boston area livable streets group wants to connect the area’s existing pathways to create a 200 mile bike and pedestrian network.



British police are looking for a driver who got out of his car and punched a bike rider in the face, breaking his cheekbone in an unprovoked attack.

A Brit bike rider uses his to deliver blood, breast milk and meningitis fluid to hospitals.

The new leader of the UK’s Labour Party isn’t just unabashedly liberal, he’s also car-free and rides a bike; in fact, he owns two.

One-hundred-fifty Indian med students ride their bikes to promote bicycling and other forms exercise to prevent heart attacks.

Bicycles are helping young Bangladeshi women eradicate gender disparity by providing the opportunity to get an education.

A New Zealand study said MAMILs — Middle Aged Men In Lycra, for the uninitiated — were keeping people from riding bikes, as just the thought of wearing skintight togs was enough to scare some people off. Spandex serves a purpose, especially if you plan on long, fast rides. But bicycling isn’t a fashion show; wear whatever the hell you feel comfortable riding in.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei takes his impressive bicycle art sculpture to Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria. I can’t help thinking that those 1,500 bikes would be even more impressive on the streets with people riding them, though. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.



If you’re going to ride your bike to rob a bank, at least do it right; a New York man tried to rob six New York banks in just two days, but only managed to ride off with a lousy thousand bucks. Evidently, pointlessly sexist ads for children’s bike are out of fashion these days.

And no. Just… no.


Update: Two dead in Moorpark collision as driver rear-ends Emmy-winning cyclist, then swerves into motorcyclist

Tragic news from Moorpark, as two people are dead in a chain-reaction collision that took the life of a bicyclist and a motorcycle rider.

News initially broke last with a CHP report of a cyclist killed in a collision at the intersection of Moorpark and Tierra Rejada Roads around 5:21 pm.

However, the initial news report from the Ventura County Star, which is no longer available online, suggested that there were two dead at the scene in a collision between car and a motorcycle.

The confusion was cleared up this morning with news reports from the VC Star and Ventura radio station KTVA.*

A Saturn Ion driven by woman, who has not been publicly identified, was traveling south on Moorpark south of Tierra Rejada at 55 mph when she slammed into a cyclist riding on the shoulder, then overcorrected to hit the motorcyclist head-on on the opposite side of the road.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

The road narrows to a single lane south of Tierra Rejada, but has a wide, well-marked shoulder where the first victim was riding.

He was identified this morning as 53-year old Emmy Award-winning sound editor Maciek Malish. KTVA reports he won two Emmys for his work on the X-Files, as well as receiving numerous Emmy nominations. IMDb lists a number of credits dating back to 1987; he was currently working as dialogue editor on the new Westworld TV series.

The other victim was identified 42-year old Fillmore resident Jesse Cushman.

No reason is given for why the driver drifted onto the shoulder at such a high speed, although the description of the wreck suggests some form of distraction, However, it’s still under investigation by the CHP.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

Update: The Star confirms that investigators suspect that distraction appears to have played a role in the crash.

A CHP spokesman said the driver was apparently looking for something in the car when she swerved off the roadway, but it’s too early in the investigation to determine if the 26-year old woman will be charged.

The paper also notes that both victims were wearing helmets. However, a collision at 55 mph was unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman, and all their loved ones.

Thanks to Lester Walters for the heads-up.

*Because of the Star’s paywall, and KTLA not allowing linkage to a single news story, these stories may be unavailable later.


%d bloggers like this: