Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Man killed in Huntington Beach bike collision; fourth Huntington Beach bicycling death in last four months

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bike in Huntington Beach.

And unfortunately, there’s almost no information available.

According to the Orange County Register, the crash happened near Yorktown Avenue and Vasile Circle about 8 pm Wednesday.

Police responding to the call found the victim, identified only as a man, lying unresponsive in the street; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 46-year old driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation.

As usual, the driver was uninjured.

A street view shows Yorktown is a four lane street with a center turn lane and bike lanes on either side, with a 40 mph speed limit — low by Orange County standards.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Accident Investigators A. Turner, 714/536-5670 or D. Kim, 714/536-5666.

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

It’s also the third fatal collision involving a bike rider in Huntington Beach this year, and the fourth in less than four months.

Which means half of those deaths this year have been on the unforgiving streets of just one very deadly town.

And if that doesn’t scream there’s a major problem that needs to be addressed, I don’t know what the hell would.

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

61-year old man killed after allegedly turning his bike in front of San Bernardino police officer

Even cops will tell you they’re often among the worst drivers on the streets.

Yet somehow, they never seem to be at fault when something goes wrong.

That was the case in San Bernardino on Thursday, when a man was killed in a collision with a police officer.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, the victim, identified only as a 61-year old San Bernardino resident, was riding west on Baseline Street east of Valencia Avenue during a rain storm when he allegedly turned left across the five lane street in front of oncoming traffic, and was struck by the patrol car.

He died at the scene.

The Herald News places the time of the crash as 4:55 pm.

The San Bernardino Police Department insists the officer was driving at normal speed, even though he or she was responding to a call at the time of the crash; no mention of whether the emergency lights and siren were being used.

And despite what the Sun’s headline suggests, the victim did not crash into the officer’s car. It hit him.

It’s entirely possible that the crash occurred exactly as the police described it. The rain could have obscured the victim’s vision, and he might have turned in front of the car as a result.

Or it’s possible that the rain obscured the officer’s view, and he or she didn’t see the victim making his turn until it was too late.

It also seems unlikely that the cop was just puttering along at normal speed while responding to a call, though again, it’s possible.

Unless there were independent witnesses to the crash, we’ll only have the officer’s perspective to go on, because the victim can’t tell his side of the story.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Dan Acosta or Sgt. Jeff Harvey at 909/384-5792.

This is at least the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Newport Beach crash; police won’t release details

A person was killed riding a bicycle in Newport Beach late Saturday night.

And for some reason, the Newport Beach Police Department refuses to release any details.

OnScene.TV is reporting that police received a call about a traffic collision at San Joaquin Hills Road and Newport Ridge Drive West at the entrance to the gated Newport Ridge community around 11:21 pm Saturday.

Raw video from the scene shows a very badly mangled bicycle, several hundred feet from what appears to be a man’s shoe. Assuming that it belonged to the victim, which is not clear from the video, it implies he or she was struck at an extremely high rate of speed.

The video also shows two vehicles inside the police tape, an older Honda Insight with visible damage and a Toyota SUV. That could suggest that the person on the bicycle was collateral damage in a crash between the two drivers, or that one of the drivers hit the victim while street racing.

A street view shows a gently curving four lane road on San Joaquin Road with a bike lane in each direction, and a 55 mph speed limit — a deadly configuration far too common in Orange County.

But again, we have too little information right now to know what really happened.

Hopefully we’ll learn more in the morning.

This is at least the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County since the start of the year.

Update: Unfortunately, there’s still no official confirmation of the crash, or any information about the victim. 

However, the Orange County coroner posted this announcement, which lines up with the city and time of the crash. 

But again no guarantee she was the victim of this crash.

Update 2: A Newport Beach website has confirmed that Aubrye Foote was killed in the collision. Her Facebook page identifies her as a loving mother and the owner of a local business. 

However, unconfirmed reports suggest that Foote may have been driving a vehicle, and was killed when she got out of her car after a teenage boy was struck while riding his bike. 

I’m also told the unidentified victim on the bike was killed, as well. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Audrey Foote and the other victim, as well as their loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin for his work on this story.

A foster corgi’s 15 minutes of fame, anti-bike lane bias in San Diego, who we share the road with, and sax on two wheels

Before we get started, the LA Times City Beat column about the corgi we’ve been fostering, and the homeless man who wanted him to have a better life while he got back on his feet, is online now.

It’s the story of a traumatized dog who slowly got his smile back, and made friends out of three people who probably would have never met under other circumstances.

And helped all of us get to a better place, while we thought we were helping him.

There’s also an unmentioned bike angle to the story. The corgi’s owner is one of us, and commuted by bike by choice for years before it turned into his only form of transportation. 

Take a few minutes to read it, because it’s probably the most moving thing you’ll see today. Or this week, even. 

After you read the story, if you want to help, you can donate to the foster corgi and his owner here.  

And thanks to Nita Lelyveld for telling it so well. 

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No bias here.

A San Diego writer complains about an uphill bike lane that apparently doesn’t inconvenience anyone, because he can’t imagine anyone but a “colony of fit Europeans preparing for the Alps leg of the Tour de France” ever using it.

As if it’s possible to go very far in San Diego without going uphill.

And he considers it a poor substitute for the jet packs his generation was promised.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Washington state driver reportedly drifted onto the shoulder of a roadway when she took her eyes off the road to light a cigarette. And when she looked up, saw she was about to hit a man riding a bicycle.

So rather than do the sensible thing and jerk her car back to the left to avoid him, she jerked the wheel directly towards him, apparently preferring to slam into the squishy person on a bike over maybe hitting something hard, like another car.

Then kept going until she crashed into a sign and a barrier, without ever touching her brakes.

Let’s say that again. In this entire process, she never put her foot on the brake pedal to maybe avoid hitting another human being.

The 56-year old man on the bike suffered a broken leg and hand, a concussion and facial cuts. But can probably count himself lucky that he’s still be here with us.

Meanwhile, the 19-year old unlicensed driver faces a well-deserved charge of vehicular assault, for showing a disregard for the safety of others.

………

This is who we share the road with, too.

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Great piece from the UK, where a Welsh writer offers ten things drivers will never understand about people on bicycles.

Flip the road references from left to right, and it applies just as well right here in the states.

I particularly like this simple, but effective, explanation for why we sometimes wear spandex. Or Lycra, as the rest of the English-speaking world calls it.

7. I’m not trying to be all ‘Tour de France’

Please don’t make fun of my lycra – I know you don’t have to wear lycra to ride a bike. But when I’m doing 50-100 miles, lycra and padded shorts really are essential.

Cycling jerseys, cycling shorts and cycling shoes are actually functional – they’re not about looking like you think you’re in the “Tour de France” (because, firstly, there isn’t a women’s one) – they just make the rider more comfortable, and thus more capable, and safer.quick-build project

The rest is just as good, and worth a few minutes from your day.

………

A reminder to get yourself a good lock — and always use it.

And register your bike, already.

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So you think you’re talented on a bike?

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Why indeed?

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for forwarding what he calls a “cheeky” Cape Town, South African wayfinding sign.

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Local

Not only is Christian Bale one of us, he can ride the mean streets of Brentwood with one hand, while balancing a tray of hot coffee in the other.

Santa Monica stats show that the number of bike and pedestrian crashes are going down in the coastal city, even though deaths are up slightly.

 

State

A change to the state’s Active Transportation Program may shift funds to more quick-build projects that can transform streets simply and inexpensively.

UC San Diego finally completes a long promised bike and pedestrian bridge connecting grad students with the rest of the university. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. Also for the correction, after I misplaced the bridge as being at San Diego State. But at least I got the city right, right?

The CEO of Morgan Hill-based bike brand Specialized discusses his promotion of ecstasy, psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs to treat depression, trauma and addiction, as well as using bicycles to relieve ADHD. Or you could just combine them to celebrate next month’s Bicycle Day

Sad news from Palo Alto, where a middle school student was killed in a collision while riding his bike on Friday.

Sunnyvale wants your input on the city’s draft active transportation plan. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Apparently having never heard of induced demand, a Marin paper calls for allowing drivers to use the new protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge during peak traffic hours, saying an average of 116 bikes per weekday doesn’t compare to 80,000 motorists. Even if those 116 people are riding in the middle of winter, on a bridge with no connecting bikeways yet.

A Sacramento woman has filed suit claiming a bike cop broke her leg by inexplicably ramming his bicycle into her during a protest over a police shooting.

 

National

Bicycling says NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson could become bicycling’s biggest advocate as he nears retirement, after becoming a two-wheel evangelist among his fellow drivers and mechanics.

Pickups and SUVs are getting so big, they’re outgrowing the spaces to park them in. As every bike ride who’s had to go around one, or felt the implied threat of a massive truck revving behind them, can attest.

A 13-year old Oregon boy and his friends have refurbished and donated more than 600 bicycles in the past five years, starting when he was just eight years old.

No bias here, either. An Arizona letter writer says he hates California expats because he can’t stand their politics, and blames them for a curb-protected bike lane he doesn’t like, either.

The death of professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag last Wednesday sent shockwaves through the southern Colorado bicycling community, causing other riders to recall their own close calls.

Now here’s the kind of hard-hitting investigative reporting we all can benefit from, as a Dallas writer explores the city’s best breweries for bike riders.

A Minnesota hospital gave children with disabilities a chance to sample adaptive bikes, and experience what it’s like to ride a bicycle.

A University of Michigan lecturer says America’s aging population needs walkable, bikeable cities. And not just the people running for president.

Good Samaritans in Brooklyn chased down and tackled a van driver who fled the scene on foot after running down a woman on her bike.

A New York woman is suing a New Jersey heliport operator, alleging a rising helicopter blew her off her bike and into a wall.

Awful news from Maryland, where a driver plowed into a group of seven bicyclists, including the president of a local bike advocacy group, injuring two riders and killing one.

A pair of kindhearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a young boy after his bike was stolen, along with his mom’s bike.

He gets it. A Florida columnist says don’t accept and shrug off bicycle and pedestrian deaths, because the status quo is unacceptable. Or obscene.

A Florida man became a suspect in the burglary of a 97-year old woman’s home when his fitness app showed he was frequently in the area. Because he, you know, lived there.

 

International

A writer for Pinkbike marks International Women’s Day by considering how to get more women to work in the bicycle industry.

An urban governmental website wonders if Great Britain needs stronger regulations for ebikes, while e-scooters are still prohibited.

Convictions for dangerous driving are soaring in the UK, thanks to videos submitted to police by bike riders and others. That’s currently illegal in California, where police officers are required to witness a violation themselves before they can ticket a driver or file a misdemeanor charge. Just one more law we need to change.

Apparently, British social media runs slow, as a driver just now posts video of a young woman on a bike drifting across a busy highway back in September.

A Nigerian man is biking across the width of Africa to perform the lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia, after repeatedly dreaming of routes across the continent.

The streets were dotted with naked Kiwis on wheels as the 2020 World Naked Bike Ride kicked off in New Zealand. Cape Town, South Africa joined in on taking it off, as well.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite rising fears over coronavirus, the eight-stage Paris-Nice race kicked off from the outskirts of Paris on Sunday. If you had Maximilian Schachmann in a sprint for the first stage, you win. And so did he.

Meanwhile, French cyclist Warren Barguil got the boot from the race for drafting on his team car following a spill. Proving that doping isn’t the only way to cheat.

 

Finally

What 007 would ride if he rode an ebike. Clearly, bike theft is nothing new.

And seriously, if you’re carrying weed and ecstasy on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign.

 

62-year old man killed riding a bike on PCH in Huntington Beach Friday night

As if the news hasn’t been bad enough this weekend, yet another person was killed riding a bicycle, this time in Huntington Beach Friday night.

According to the Daily Pilot, the victim, identified only as a 62-year old homeless man, was struck by a 72-year old driver on deadly PCH near Seapoint Street around 10:20 pm.

The Orange County Register reports he was riding south on PCH when he swerved across the five lane highway, and was hit by the northbound driver.

He died at the scene as a result of serious head injuries.

And no, he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Although we have no way of knowing if his injuries would have been survivable with one.

Or whether it could have made any difference on a road where the 55 mph speed limit is little more than a suggestion, and virtually any crash is a death sentence to anyone not surrounded by a couple tons of glass and steel.

We also don’t know if the victim was without a helmet by choice, or because he didn’t have access to one.

The driver remained at the scene, and police don’t suspect intoxication played a factor.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Department traffic investigator Adam Turner at 714/536-5670.

Sadly, too many people will write the victim off as just another homeless person, as if that makes his death any less tragic. Or any less of a loss to his family and friends.

People forced to live on the streets have little enough value in our society when they’re alive. They shouldn’t be forgotten in death, as well.

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

It’s also the fourth bicycling death we’ve learned about in the last two days.

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

Huntington Beach BMXer Tyler Kanarr died after hitting ceiling beam at Vans Skatepark in Orange

Word is just breaking that a Huntington Beach man died last week following a freak accident at an Orange County skatepark.

According to KCBS-2, 25-year old Tyler Kanarr was riding at the popular Vans Skatepark in Orange on February 25th when he somehow hit a ceiling beam, and suffered a gash in his neck from a florescent light.

When firefighters arrived, they found t-shirts wrapped around his neck in an effort to stop the bleeding.

Despite reportedly doing everything they could to save him, Kanarr lost too much blood before they could get him to the hospital directly across the street.

Sadly, he died just one day after his birthday.

A celebration of life will be held on March 21st to remember him, while a crowdfunding page started by friends of his parents has raised nearly $4,400 in four days, exceeding the $4,000 goal.

The skatepark remains closed. And yes, his family has retained a lawyer.

While BMX is a dangerous sport, something like this should never happen in an indoor skatepark.

Especially not one owned by a major corporation like Vans.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tyler Kanarr and all his loved ones.

Update: 21-year old Escondido bike rider killed in crash after allegedly running a stop sign

An Escondido man has paid the ultimate price for allegedly failing to observe a stop sign.

According to a notice from the Escondido police department, the crash occurred at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Cedar Street around 8:04 Friday morning.

The victim, identified only as a 21-year old Escondido resident, was riding north on Cedar Street when he reportedly rode through the stop sign, and into the path of a minivan driver headed east on Grand.

He died there in the roadway, despite efforts to revive him.

The driver remained at the scene, and did not appear to be under the influence.

As always, though, the question is whether any independent witnesses actually saw him blow the stop, and whether it might have been possible for the driver to avoid him.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Mike Nelson of the Escondido Police Department’s Traffic Division at 760/839-4407.

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

That compares with just five deaths in the county for the entire year in 2019.

Update: The victim has been identified as 21-year old Escondido resident Joseph Palacios.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joseph Palacios and all his loved ones.

Man killed riding bike on deadly Alicia Parkway in Laguna Niguel

Sometimes, bad news never makes the news.

Like the death of a bike rider in Laguna Niguel on Thursday.

Thursday evening, OC bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein forwarded a post from Nextdoor, which said Alicia Parkway was closed after a bike rider had been struck by a driver.

That was followed by an unconfirmed response stating the victim didn’t make it.

Sadly, that was followed by the tweet below, confirming a man in his late 60s was killed.

The tweet places the site of the crash at Alicia Parkway and Awma Road, at the entrance to Alisa Woods Canyon Park.

A response from Jim Martin suggests the crash may have been in the northbound lane.

Looks like Northbound, Lane 3/Left turn pocket. Lots of bikes cross there. No light, though a ped crossing light ~100 yards South that cars often blow at 60+ mph.

Unfortunately, no time is given. However, the email from Rubinstein came around 8 pm Thursday night, while the first Nextdoor post came nine hours earlier, placing the crash sometime before 11 am Thursday.

There’s no description of how the collision occurred.

A street view shows a six lane speedway, with just a stop sign on Awma. According to Rubinstein, the painted bike lane on Alicia was removed in a recent repaving and hasn’t been restriped yet, leaving riders at the mercy of drivers who frequently exceed the 50 mph speed limit.

The placement of the victim’s bike next to the center divider suggests he may have been trying cross the roadway and didn’t make it. But it’s also possible it was knocked there by the force of the impact.

Meanwhile, the SUV next to the bike doesn’t show any visible signs of an impact, high speed or otherwise.

Hopefully, we’ll get more information soon.

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

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

Thanks to Edward Rubinstein, David Becker and Jim Martin for the heads-up.

 

Update: Motorbike rider fled after killing woman riding bike on San Gabriel River Bike Trail

Apparently, no one is safe from idiots with engines.

According to a tweet from the Norwalk Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a woman was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist while riding on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail a little over two weeks ago.

Yes, on an offroad bike path.

And yes, her killer fled the scene.

The victim was identified as 31-year old Carla Becerra, who was killed in the crash on Saturday, February 1st.

Twentynine-year old Brandon Lindsley was arrested for the crime eleven days later, and charged with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run last Friday. Since Becerra died, both should be felony counts. 

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

No word on exactly where or how the crash happened. And no explanation for what the hell someone on a motorbike was doing on a bike path.

Hopefully we’ll learn more on Wednesday, when the department is expected to issue a press release.

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

Update: KTLA-5 reports the crash occurred on a bike path near Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk, which doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, or any other riverfront bike path.

Becerra was found lying unconscious on the path, with her bicycle several feet away. She was taken to Coast Plaza Medical Center, where she died. 

Investigators identified Lindsley as a person of interest based on a distinctive tattoo seen by people who did not witness the crash itself. He was arrested after reportedly making incriminating statements to investigators. 

Lindsley is being held on $105,000 bail in this case, as well as a no-bail hold on an outstanding warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.

Comments from Mike Wilkinson and Michael of CLR Effect say motorcycles aren’t unusual on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, despite a prohibition on anything with an engine. 

Maybe this will be a much-needed wakeup call to actually do something about it.

Update 2: Chris Klibowitz reports that the sheriff’s department gave the location as between Imperial and Firestone, rather than near the intersection, as KTLA reported, which makes a lot more sense.

Update 3: I received a message from Carla Becerra’s brother Quin, who offered a few details missing from previous reports.

According to Quin, the first call to 911 came around 6:45 pm on February 1st, as Carla Becerra was riding her bicycle south on the bike path, and Brandon Lindsley was traveling north on his motorcycle; he places the crash site roughly a quarter mile south of Imperial Highway.

Lindsley apparently fled because he had an outstanding warrant for a robbery assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, he might have run anyway.

And still no explanation for why he was riding illegally on the bike path.

Adding insult to injury — literally — someone stole Becerra’s phone, earphones and ear rings while she was lying unconscious and dying on the bike path, sometime before the first responders could get there.

As a result, emergency personnel were unable to identify her for several hours, and her family had no idea where she was or what happened to her until they received the tragic news at 3 am the next day.

This is how Quin described his sister Carla.

My sister was a full time RN at UCI medical and at MLK hospital. She had worked her entire life, to buy my parents their dream home in Lakewood, even put her social and love life on hold to do so. She always put others before herself, just so her life can be taken away from someone so selfish. The messed up part about all of this is that if he (Brandon) was the one left unconscious then she would have stayed and made sure he made it. She had a huge passion for cycling and running. The only comfort my family and I take from this is that she left us while doing something she loved. It just wasn’t her time yet.

He concluded by noting that Brandon Lindsley will be arraigned on Tuesday, February 25th — the same day his victim will be laid to rest. 

There are no words.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carla Becerra and all her loved ones.

Photo by Jim F

37-year old man killed riding bike in Chino collision

More bad news, in what has been a rough start to the new year.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike in Chino.

The victim, identified only as a 37-year old Pomona resident, was struck by a driver while riding in the 5100 block of Philadelphia Street near Bridger Ave around 7:24 pm Saturday.

He was transported to Chino Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver remained at the scene following the crash.

The crash remains under investigation, and there’s no word on how the crash may have occurred.

A street view shows a two lane road on the 5100 block of Philadelphia, with a center turn lane and bike lanes on either side, expanding to four lanes on the next block east.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 37-year old Pomona resident Arthur Joe Gutierrez III.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Arthur Joe Gutierrez III and all his loved ones.

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