Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Update: La Quinta bike rider dies after crashing into truck parked in bike lane

A bike rider has died due to an ambiguous state law.

According to The Desert Sun, a bike rider was killed in a crash with a truck parked in a La Quinta bike lane this morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north in the bike lane on Avenida Bermudas around 8 am when he rear-ended the truck.

He was taken to a hospital in Indio, where he was pronounced dead.

The Desert Sun places the location as the 54-000 block of Avenida Bermudas, while other sources place it a half mile south near Calle Chillon. The latter location seems more likely, since the paper says a road diet narrowed the roadway to two lanes and a single northbound bike lane in the area of the crash last December; the northern location still shows two lanes in each direction, along with a parking lane in both directions.

According to the paper, the driver has not been ticketed or charged.

The gardening truck was parked in the bike lane, but no one was cited, according to the sheriff’s department. The crash is still under investigation.

California law states vehicles may park in a bike lane if there aren’t any “no parking” signs present and it isn’t impacting the normal movement of a bicyclist, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

It’s hard to argue that the truck wasn’t blocking the lane if the victim couldn’t safely get around it.

This is yet another well intentioned law that actually makes things worse for people on bicycles.

The apparent purpose behind CVC 21211(b) is to keep cities from having to choose between parking and bike lanes. Yet in effect, it confuses drivers who don’t know whether or not they can park there, since it’s hard to park any vehicle in a bike lane without blocking it.

And as this tragedy shows, the consequences can be deadly for people on bicycles.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 81-year old Indio resident Larry Lee Ortner. The Riverside County News Source places the scene of the crash at the southern location, around the bend of the road above Calle Chillon. Thanks to Victor B for the heads-up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Larry Lee Ortner and his loved ones.

 

Truck driver fatally strikes Hesperia bike rider from behind with wing mirror

This is why we have a three-foot passing law.

According to the Victor Valley News, a 47-year old man died after he was struck from behind while riding on Ranchero Road near Lassen Street in Hesperia Friday night.

Hesperia resident Ryan Dennis Angus was riding west on Ranchero around 8:27 pm when he was struck in the head with the wing mirror of a passing utility truck.

He was flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where the San Bernardino coroner’s office reports he was pronounced dead at 10 am Saturday morning.

A street view shows a wide-open two lane roadway with a minimal dirt shoulder.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. No word on whether he will be ticketed or charged as a result of the crash.

However, this crash could not have happened if the driver had given the victim the minimum three-foot passing distance required by state law.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Bernardino County. He is also the sixth bike rider to be killed in Hesperia since 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ryan Dennis Angus and his loved ones.

 

 

 

 

Update: Man killed in San Jacinto bicycling collision; no details available

A man has been killed riding his bike in San Jacinto, with few details available at this time.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the man was hit by a vehicle around 9:30 last night at the intersection of San Jacinto Avenue and Shaver Street.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:36 this morning, according to the Riverside County Coroner’s office.

He has not yet been identified as of this writing.

No other information is available. However, it appears the driver may have remained at the scene, since a sheriff’s official reports it’s unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved.

A street view shows a T-intersection with a four lane highway on San Jacinto Avenue, with a dirt shoulder on one side and a sidewalk on the other, and a two lane street on Shaver.

It’s yet another tragic reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

This is the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Riverside County.

Update: The Valley News reports the victim was hit when he was traveling west across San Jacinto, and was hit by the driver of a northbound Toyota Camry, then again by the driver of a pickup as he was laying on the ground. 

The paper notes the dark roadway has been the scene of several recent major and fatal collisions. Which could make the city responsible for failing to correct the situation.

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

 

Update: One bike rider killed, another injured in Winnetka hit-and-run; driver may have targeted the victims

Breaking: An arrest was made in this case on this on Friday; no details available.

………

This time, it might be murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that one man was killed and another injured in an early morning hit-and-run in Winnetka.

According to KTLA-5, the victims were riding north on the 6500 block of Winnetka Ave around 12:45 am after leaving their jobs at a nearby restaurant, when they were struck by the driver of a pickup.

A witness reported seeing the driver swerve into one victim, then swerve again to strike the other, in what may have been an intentional attack.

The driver reportedly stopped to look at the crash scene, then got back in his truck and calmly drove away.

Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital, where one of the men died. The other was reportedly conscious with serious injuries.

Neither man has been publicly identified at this time.

Driver may have targeted victims

LAPD investigators were attempting to determine if the attack was intentional or if the driver may have been under the influence.

It’s also possible that they may have been followed from the restaurant at Ventura Boulevard and Tampa Avenue.

Police report the victims were riding in the number three lane when they were struck, which would have placed them in the parking lane on the wide residential street.

The LA Daily News offers a description of the driver and suspect vehicle.

The vehicle was described as a white Ford or Chevrolet “utility style” pickup truck with toolboxes on the sides and possible front-end damage. The motorist was described as a white man in his late 30s or early 40s, with “close cropped” hair on his head and facial hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call 877/527-3247.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Video from the scene makes it clear the victims had lights on their bicycles at the time of the crash.

Update 2: A ghost bike will be placed at the site at 9 pm tonight.

The Daily News offers an update on the story, focusing on the dangers of the street. Which is irrelevant if the driver really did attack the victims on purpose. Just like the LAPD’s tone deaf suggestion to use lights and helmets, which aren’t likely to fend off someone intent on murder.

Update 3: The LAPD has released news that the two victims were both Hispanic men; as the Daily News noted, they were leaving their work at the Cho Cho San sushi bar in Tarzana. 

The victim has still not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin; the delay suggests that they are outside of the country. Meanwhile, the surviving victim has been released from the hospital and is resting at home.

Here is video of the suspect truck police are looking for. 

If you have any knowledge of the crash or driver, you’re urged to contact Valley Homicide at the numbers below.

Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact Valley Bureau Homicide, Detective Doerbecker at 818-374-1943. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. And my prayers for the second victim for a full and fast recovery. 

Thanks to Steve Spence, Ed Ryder and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Update: Fallbrook bike rider killed by alleged drugged teenage driver

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been killed by an intoxicated driver.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a 59-year old Fallbrook man, whose name has been withheld, was riding on the shoulder of northbound Old Highway 395 south of Pala Mesa Drive when he was hit from behind around 3 pm Tuesday.

The driver, 19-year old Sulem Areli Garcia, also of Fallbrook, reportedly veered off the road to strike the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was booked on suspicion of manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs; however, there’s no word on what she’s suspected of being on. Presumably, police will also get a warrant to determine whether she was using her mobile phone at the time of the crash.

A street view shows an unobstructed two lane highway with a wide paved shoulder on each side.

This is the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Fallbrook resident Paul Burke; a GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit his family. 

Meanwhile, the woman accused of killing him pled not guilty at her arraignment.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Burke and his loved ones.

Barstow bike rider murdered in deliberate attack; driver still at large

A manhunt is on in San Bernardino County after a bicyclist was killed in what police describe as an intentional attack.

According to the Desert Dispatch, 40-year old Barstow resident Bennett Warner was riding his bike westbound on Main Street around 12:53 pm Monday when he was approached by a man identified as 22-year old Raymundo Alberto Rodriguez-Cordova of Barstow.

The two men got into an argument, after which Warner rode into a parking lot on the 1000 block of Main. Cordova followed Warner in his pickup and accelerated into Warner, slamming him into a parked car.

Cordova fled the scene following the crash, leaving Warner to die later of his injuries.

There’s no word on what the two argued about, whether it had to do with road rage or a personal dispute between the two men.

Police are looking for an older model pickup, possibly a 1993 Chevy S10, black with red or primer markings on the front, Kansas plate 180GRS.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Tom Lewis at 760/255-5187.

This is the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bennett Warner and all his loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in collision with Metro bus in LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood

For the second time in less than two weeks, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro bus.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by the bus around 3:15 pm Monday near Crenshaw Boulevard and Brynhurst Avenue. He or she became pinned underneath, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Crenshaw, with the street narrowed due to construction on the Crenshaw Line on the center median.

This comes just ten days after 13-year old Ciara Smith was killed when she was hit by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach.

This is the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: David Wolfberg provides more information about this tragedy, along with photos from the site. 

The ghost bike was placed last night.  We learned from after-the-crash witnesses that the bike and victim had been dragged for half a block on southbound Crenshaw before stopping just north of Brynhurst – literally between a billboard for a personal injury attorney service to the north on the east side of Crenshaw (“Don’t wait, Call 8!” you can see on the street view) and the Harrison-Ross Mortuary on the west/south.    Apparently there’s also a pedestrian & bike safety billboard on the other side of of the personal injury one – I’ll check that tonight.
The Google Map view (see street view link above) from January still holds except the cones are gone – so, two lanes of not so great pavement between curb and k-rails.  There’s even a worn out sharrow in front of Highly Favored Hair Studio.  Last night, instead of slowing down for a construction zone, cars were speeding and speeding up as they passed us, and we nearly witnessed another crash as a car stopped just north of the ghost bike to pick up a passenger from the sidewalk.  I worry not just for cyclists, but for everyone here including construction workers who park (in a heavily guarded lot) a block down on the NW corner of Crenshaw and 48th then must cross into the construction area.
We’re told the victim was male.   A reply on NextDoor indicates the victim was a minor.  We had guessed, given the timing, that it was a kid biking home from school.  I don’t want to speculate too much, but it did not look like an intersection crash where the bike flew in from out of nowhere.  I could picture a rider trying to hug the curb and coming across the rough patch adjacent to the sharrow (check street view at 4427 Crenshaw) and faltering in front of the bus.

Update: According to a comment by the victim’s sister, his name is Luis Alvarez, a 21-year old resident of Cicero, Illinois. The family has started a GoFundMe account to bring him back home and pay funeral expenses. 

According to the LAPD’s South Traffic bike liaison, Alvarez apparently passed the bus on the right, then was hit by the bus when he attempted to move back to the right to make a right turn onto Brynhurst. There’s no word yet on whether the bus was stopped or moving prior to the crash; however, a street view does not show a bus stop on that corner. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Alvarez and all his loved ones.

 

Update: San Bernardino bike rider killed in early Sunday morning collision; few details currently available

A man was killed riding his bicycle early Sunday morning in San Bernardino.

In a news story that amounted to little more than a retyping of the Coroner’s press release, the San Bernardino Sun reports that 52-year old San Bernardino resident Dennis Joseph Urquijo was hit by a vehicle of some sort around 2:48 am on the 1100 block of 39th Street.

He was pronounced dead just 11 minutes later.

The paper offers no other details, and reports that it’s unclear whether the driver remained at the scene. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, whether the victim had lights on his bike, or whether either party had been drinking at that hour.

A street view shows what appears to be a quiet residential street coming off a T-intersection with Harrison Street.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County. He is also the seventh bike rider killed in the City of San Bernardino in the past five years.

Update: The Sun reports Urquijo was struck from behind while riding west along the curb line on 39th; the driver fled the scene, leaving his victim to die in the street.  

Anyone with information is urged to call the San Bernardino police at 909/384-5791.

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

 

Bike rider killed in Oxnard DUI collision; driver reportedly high on prescription drugs

More bad news.

The Ventura County Star is reporting that a 46-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a van in Oxnard.

Forty-six-year old Oxnard resident Amado Ray Johnson was riding on the dirt shoulder of southbound Victoria Avenue north of Gum Tree Street around 3 pm Tuesday when the driver drifted off the road and struck him from behind.

He died at the scene.

The driver, identified as Ventura County resident Sean Patrick Donovan, was arrested on site for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three southbound lanes and a left turn lane, with what appears to be a macadam shoulder.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amado Ray Johnson and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Anthony Navarro for the heads-up. 

Update: Altadena bike rider dies weeks after an apparent solo fall, possibly caused by old-style speed bumps

Correction: New information changes the location of this crash, meaning the old-style speed bumps were not the cause of this crash. See the update at the end of this story for the latest details. 

An experienced bike rider has died two weeks after he fell on an Altadena street.

The victim was reportedly riding on Holliston Ave when he fell due to rubber speed bumps a little over two weeks ago.

The man, identified on Facebook as Dick Wood, was reportedly conscious immediately following the fall, and identified the older-style speed bumps as the cause of his crash.

The exact date and location of the fall are unclear at this time. However, someone who lives on North Holliston confirms that there are rubber speed bumps on the lower section of the roadway.

Wood was described by numerous sources as a very experienced and well-liked rider in his 70s who had ridden across the US and participated with the weekly ROC ride at Stan’s Bike Shops when it was located in Monrovia; it has since moved to Azusa.

It’s speculated that he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the speed bumps before going over his handlebars, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

This is the 18th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. Five of those have been the result of solo falls; that compares with two for all of last year.

Update: I have been informed that Wood is believed to have fallen on Holliston below New York Ave. A street view shows an odd speed bump made of what appears to be rubber tiles on the street south of New York; while there appear to be channels in the speed bump, it looks like a high bump that could easily upset a bike if the rider missed the channels for whatever reason. 

Photo courtesy of Ellen Steel

He reportedly was alone at the time of the crash, and died of head trauma this past Saturday. He’s described as a very experienced rider who had ridden across the US more than once.

Update: A comment from a local resident places the site of the crash as Holliston Avenue between Altadena Drive & Mendocino Avenue; a ghost bike has been placed at 2401 N. Holliston, one block above Mendocino. 

As he notes, these appear to be modern speed cushions, which are lower and longer than the old speed bumps, with grooves that should have allowed safe passage of a bicycle.

It’s hard to understand how these would have caused the crash, as Wood reportedly said. 

Meanwhile, another source says that he passed away on Saturday, May 6th.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dick Wood and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Wesley Reutimann, Tim Rutt and Ellen Steel for helping with this story.

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