Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

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. 

Update: Report on Long Beach bicycling crash has been taken down; victim remains in critical condition

Earlier today, we reported that the victim in yesterday’s Long Beach crash had died, based on a report on Long Beach Local News.

However, that page has since been taken down with no explanation.

As a result, I have removed my article until we have a further update on the condition of the victim. So let’s all hope they were wrong, and offer her our prayers.

And let’s hope LBLN learns how to run a retraction.

Update: I’ve receive confirmation from someone with the Long Beach Post that the victim of this crash is still alive, and remains in critical condition. 

So let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

Thanks to John McBrearty and April Morris for their help with this story.

Bike to Work Day turns fatal for woman in Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach

Bike to Work Day is supposed to be a celebration of bicycling. Not a reason for yet another ghost bike.

We mentioned yesterday that a woman was critically injured while riding her bike in the Belmont Shores neighborhood of Long Beach early yesterday morning.

Today we learned that she didn’t make it.

According to Long Beach Local News, the victim, who has been publicly identified only as an adult woman, was struck by a driver after allegedly riding through a red light at Second Street and Bayshore Avenue.

The crash occurred around 5:25 am as she was riding north on Bayshore and was struck by a vehicle headed west on Second.

Long Beach firefighters sped her to a local hospital with injuries to her upper torso; however, she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators.

Photos from the scene show a hot pink road bike lying in the north crosswalk at Second Street and The Toledo. Which means she had crossed the entire street before she was struck, and knocked 15 to 20 yards by the force of the impact.

A street view shows a four lane street with a left turn bay and bike lanes on Second, with a 25 mph speed limit, and a single lane in each direction on Bayshore.

As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who actually saw who had the green light, or if Long Beach police relied strictly on the driver’s account, since the victim would have been unable to share her side of the story.

It’s entirely possible she entered the intersection with the green or yellow, and it changed while she was crossing.

It’s also questionable whether the driver was observing the speed limit, given the extent of her injuries; most drivers in Southern California routinely exceed the speed limit by five to ten mph or more, especially given the early morning hour.

Either way, this is yet another tragic reminder to always observe traffic signals and especially the right-of-way.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in Long Beach.

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

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Man lying in street next to bike killed in Redlands crash

Just in time for this year’s Ride of Silence, yet another person has died while riding or walking a bicycle, this time in Redlands.

According to the Redlands Daily Facts, a man was killed when he was struck by a driver while lying in the roadway next to a bicycle.

The 21-year old driver was returning home from work around 2:30 am Tuesday when she spotted the victim lying in the southbound lane of Orange Street north of Pioneer Avenue in Redlands, but was unable to swerve in time to avoid him.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 31-year old transient, was declared dead at the site.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

There’s no word on why the victim was in the street, or if he had been riding or walking his bike.

It’s possible that he may have fallen off his bicycle for some reason, or he could have been the victim of a prior hit-and-run.

The speed limit on that section of Orange was either 40 mph or 45 mph, depending on which side of Pioneer the crash was on despite being in a residential neighborhood.

Either way, an impact at those speeds is unlikely to be survivable.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

………

Because of tonight’s breaking news stories, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we’ve missed.

If you’d like to remember the victims of this week’s crashes, or any of the other bike riders so needlessly lost to traffic violence over the past year, there will be Rides of Silence in Redding, Fullerton and Orange, as well as in Los Angeles and at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and throughout Southern California.

 

 

Eight-year old boy killed in collision while riding his bike in Ladera Ranch

Every traffic death is tragic.

But some are just too hard to take.

According to Mission Viejo Patch, an eight-year old boy was killed when he was struck by a car in Ladera Ranch Monday evening.

Second grader Jaxon Ortiz was riding his BMX bike near his Ladera Ranch home around 6:30 pm when he reportedly entered Orange Blossom Circle from a walkway without stopping for traffic.

He was hit by the car, even though the driver was only traveling at 15 mph, according to the initial investigation.

Ortiz was taken to Mission Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Unfortunately, no cross street was given, making it impossible to pinpoint just where the crash occurred.

No other details are available at this time. And no explanation why Ortiz’ death hasn’t been reported by the mainstream media.

A crowdfunding page to pay funeral expenses and benefit his family has already exceeded the $50,000 goal, raising nearly $70,000 in just 15 hours.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jaxon Ortiz and all his family and loved ones.

 

Update: Man riding a bicycle killed by speeding driver in possible DTLA street racing crash

A man riding a bicycle is dead because a driver couldn’t keep his foot off the gas pedal.

And he may not have been the only one speeding.

According to KTLA-5, the crash occurred around 8:55 Thursday night on the 2100 block of South Alameda Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

Although earlier reports put the time of the crash closer to 8:30 pm.

The northbound driver lost control when he hit the railroad tracks and smashed into the victim at high speed, then slammed him into a utility pole.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was deemed beyond medical help when firefighters arrived, and died at the scene.

For once the driver stuck around. Probably because he was trapped inside his overturned car with minor injuries, and he had to be removed by the firefighters.

Witnesses reported that he was driving at least 50 mph before the crash, and appeared to be racing another driver.

Police took him into custody on suspicion of negligent manslaughter. Which sounds like the bare minimum he should be charged with.

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

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez, who was reportedly homeless. Which does not make this any less tragic, or minimize the severity of the crime in any way.  

The driver, who still has not been publicly identified, was driving on a suspended license. 

One more reminder that taking someone’s license away doesn’t always stop them from driving. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez and all his loved ones.

 

Man in his 60s killed in Santa Ana when he fell off his bike into the street

Sometimes, sidewalks only offer the illusion of safety.

Especially when it’s a narrow sidewalk along a busy, fast-moving street.

According to the Orange County Register, a man was killed when he fell off a Santa Ana sidewalk, and was struck by a passing car.

The victim, identified only as a Hispanic man in his 60s, was walking or riding his bike headed east, on the north sidewalk, under the railroad overpass on First Street near Standard Ave around 8:30 pm when he somehow fell in front of the driver’s car.

A Santa Ana police advisory reports that the driver immediately stopped, and several bystanders gathered around the victim in the street to protect him from traffic. He was taken to OC Global Trauma Center, where he passed away.

The sidewalk appears to narrow significantly under the overpass, which could have caused the man to fall.

The police statement said the driver was only traveling 25 mph at the time of the crash, which seems unlikely; the speed limit is 40 mph on that section of First, and most Southern California drivers routinely exceed posted speeds by 5 mph to 10 mph, or more.

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

This is at least the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

 

Bike rider dies after he’s disconnected from life support; victim fell on club ride at Santa Fe Dam last weekend

Even when the news is expected, it’s no less tragic.

Or heartbreaking.

On Wednesday, we reported that a man had suffered life-threatening injuries after hitting a curb while riding at Santa Fe Dam last weekend.

Sadly, I was told today that he passed away after he was disconnected from a ventilator Thursday morning.

Don Hernandez was on a club ride from the Rose Bowl to Duarte on Saturday morning when the group passed through a parking lot at Santa Fe Dam. Hernandez somehow hit a parking curb and went over his handlebars, landing on his face.

Even though he was riding at slow speed, he suffered a number of severe injuries, including a fractured skull and breaks to his neck and spine.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet, but it offered little protection the way he landed.

He was placed in a medically induced coma; however, a neurologist found no brain activity just days after his fall, making this ending virtually inevitable.

The only good to come out of this is that Hernandez was an organ donor, so his death will bring life to others.

Another reminder to sign your donor card.

There will be a memorial service on Monday, May 6th at 4:00 pm at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, located at 626 Foothill Blvd in La Cañada Flintridge.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Correction: I originally placed the site of Hernandez’ cash in the parking lot at Hanson Dam; as the story now reads, it was actually at Santa Fe Dam. I apologize for any confusion.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Don Hernandez and all his family and loved ones.

Coachella bike rider killed in drunken early morning collision

It’s been a bad few weeks for Southern California bike riders.

And it doesn’t show any sign of ending anytime soon.

The latest proof comes from Coachella, where man on a bike was killed in a drunken hit-and-run early Sunday morning.

Or to put it another way, just after the bars closed Saturday night.

According to the Desert Sun, 34-year old Coachella resident Raul Gulliver was riding his bike north on Grapefruit Boulevard near Mitchell Drive around 2:15 this morning when he was hit head-on by a pickup driven by 32-year old Hector Polanco, also of Coachella.

Gulliver died at the scene.

A street view shows Grapefruit is a four lane divided roadway, which means either he was riding salmon, or Polanco was driving on the wrong side of the center divider.

Polanco was arrested on suspicion of DUI, and being held on $50,000 bond.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 760/863-8990.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raul Gulliver and his loved ones.

Lynwood man killed riding his bike in Firestone Park collision

More bad news. As if we haven’t had enough already.

The Press-Telegram is reporting that a man was killed riding his bike in the unincorporated community of Firestone Park, just outside of South Gate in South Los Angeles County.

The victim, identified as 57-year old Lynwood resident Vicente Lopez, was struck by a driver around 10:10 Friday night as he was leaving a 7-11 parking lot at Alameda Street and Firestone Boulevard.

Lopez allegedly rode out into the path of a large pickup headed south on Alameda.

He was taken to Lynwood’s St. Francis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead an hour and a half later.

As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses to the crash, and why he wouldn’t have seen a big truck before he rode into the street.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Vicente Lopez and all his loved ones.

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