Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

73-year old Laguna Beach homebuilder and nonprofit founder killed in apparent solo ebike crash

Sad news from Laguna Beach, where a prominent local resident was killed while riding his ebike.

According to the Laguna Beach Independent, 73-year old Norman Rest was found lying in the roadway bleeding profusely Monday evening, after apparently crashing his ebike into a dumpster.

The collision took place sometime before 5:44 pm near Canyon View Drive and Buena Vista Way. Rest reportedly went into full cardiac arrest as he was being treated by paramedics, and died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

The story notes that he was riding without a light, but it’s not clear at this time how long he may have been lying there after crashing his bike.

Canyon View appears to have a steep hill; if he was riding downhill, he could have picked up considerable speed before slamming into the dumpster.

It’s also possible that he could have been crowded off the roadway by a passing car, or that the dumpster could rolled into the street or been hidden behind a curve or some other obstacle.

Rest embarked on a career as a builder after building his own three-story home in Laguna Beach when he was just 21-years old. He went on to found a local sailing club with his father, and was co-owner of Lido Paddle Sports.

That led to co-founding a nonprofit organization with his wife last year dedicated to using paddle boarding to promote mental health for military vets and first responders.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

The last bicycling death in the county was also a solo crash, after a young mother of two crashed her ebike while riding with her family on the San Juan Creek Trail in San Juan Capistrano.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Norman Rest and all his family and loved ones. 

 

Bike-riding man killed in Harbor Gateway hit-and-run; 18th fatal bicycling hit-and-run in Southern California this year

Once again, a man on a bike has been killed by a Southern California driver, this time in LA’s Harbor Gateway neighborhood.

And once again, a heartless coward fled the scene, leaving his victim to die in the street.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, and a virtually identical report on My News LA, the victim was riding west on Alondra Blvd at Vermont Ave around 2:40 am Sunday when he was run down by a driver headed north on Vermont.

The 39-year old bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His killer apparently fled without stopping. There’s no description of the driver or the suspect vehicle; given the location and early morning hour, there may not have been any witnesses.

There’s also no word on who might have had the right-of-way at the signalized intersection.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500 or 323/421-2577. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

This is at least the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the 7th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Eighteen of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

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

 

 

Update: San Diego man murdered by hit-and-run driver in possible intentional crash while riding bicycle in Otay Mesa

Call it murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that a man was killed in a collisionwhile riding his bike in San Diego’s Otay Mesa West neighborhood late Thanksgiving morning.

And it didn’t take long for investigators to determine it could have been intentional.

The victim, identified only as a 40-year old man, was riding near Arey Drive and Picador Boulevard next to the Silverwing Recreation Center when he was run down by the driver of a light-colored SUV around 11:29 am Thursday.

He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The driver fled the scene without stopping. Police are looking for an older model Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe; there’s no description available on who was behind the wheel.

There’s also no word on how the crash occurred, or why police determined it was deliberate, although people at the recreation center may have seen the crash.

Every hit-and-run driver who kills someone should face a murder charge. This one actually might, if police can find them.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Diego’s Homicide Unit at 619/531-2293.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which is experiencing by far the bloodiest year in recent memory.

It’s also the second bike rider intentionally murdered by a driver in San Diego in just the last two months.

Update: The victim has been identified by relatives as 40-year old Octavio Mendoza, father of a ten-month old child, with another on the way.

Update 2: San Diego police have finally confirmed the victim’s identity as 40-year old San Diego resident Octavio Mendoza

A photo from the scene suggests why investigators initially suspected homicide, as muddy tire tracks suggest Mendoza’s killer jumped the curb and drove across the grass field to chase him down. 

Meanwhile, video from the scene shows his mangled bike lying in the gutter

A crowdfunding campaign to pay Mendoza’s funeral expenses has raised just over $6,400 of the modest $12,000 goal. 

Never mind that he leaves behind an eight-month old boy, with a second child on the way, who will never know their father. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Octavio Mendoza and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up on the updates. 

46-year old man riding bicycle dies one day after Hesperia collision

This is not the news we wanted just before Thanksgiving.

The Victorville Daily Press reports that a man has died, one day after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Hesperia.

According to sheriff’s investigators, the victim, identified only as a 46-year old Hesperia resident, was trying to cross Main Street at G Avenue when he was run down around 7:34 pm Sunday.

He died Monday, after being flown to a trauma center.

The victim was riding north on G when he allegedly rode out into the street in front of the driver of a Chevrolet Suburban traveling west on Main. There’s no word on who had the right-of-way.

However, given the size and high, flat grill of the massive SUV, a collision at any speed would be difficult to survive.

Any witnesses are urged to call Deputy D. Holland at the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station at 760/947-1500.

This is at least the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

53-year old man killed riding bike in alleged DUI crash in Baldwin Park

Too often, local news doesn’t show up in online searches.

That was the case last weekend, when a man was killed riding his bike in an alleged DUI crash in Baldwin Park Saturday morning.

Baldwin Park News reports the victim was riding on the 3400 block of Puente Avenue around 5 am when he was struck by 25-year old Riverside woman.

The victim was identified only as a 53-year old, Hispanic La Puente resident; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Amelia S. Salazar, remained at the scene, and was arrested for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and driving under the influence causing injury to another person.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or what Salazar is accused of using.

This is at least the 56th 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 the victim and his loved ones.

Thanks to C. Law for the heads-up.

Woman from Iowa killed riding bike on Joshua Tree highway, elderly driver not charged

Once again, authorities have apparently kept an elderly driver on the road until it was too late.

And a woman visiting from out of state paid the price.

According to KESQ-3, the victim, identified only as a 38-year old woman from Iowa, was riding on the shoulder of State Route 62 when she was rear-ended by an 80-year old woman in Joshua Tree Wednesday afternoon.

The crash occurred around 2:20 pm on SR62, also known as Twentynine Palms Highway, west of Rice Ave, when the driver made what police described as an unsafe turn onto the shoulder, striking the victim’s bicycle from behind.

She was taken to the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, where she was pronounced dead.

The driver was taken to the same hospital with minor injuries. Police do not suspect she was under the influence.

They did not, however, address whether the driver’s age may have played a role.

It’s hard to know when someone is too old to drive safely; the age varies from one person to another based on their own abilities.

But far too often, we find out someone shouldn’t be driving only after they kill someone.

The driver was identified by the CHP, though I won’t be naming her here unless charges are filed.

This is at least the 55th 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 her loved ones.

 

Bike rider allegedly murdered by driver while trespassing on San Diego horse ranch; 16th bike death in SD County

Horrific news from San Diego, where a man on a bike died up to a week after he was intentionally run down with an SUV.

The victim was reportedly trespassing on a horse ranch near the Mexican border on Monday, September 27th, when the owner’s adult son used his car as a weapon to slam into him with enough force to shatter his bicycle.

Allegedly, of course.

According to OnScene TV, the victim was a former worker on the Tijuana Valley ranch, who had reportedly been barred from the property.

The son gave chase in a Kia SUV, crashing into him at a high rate of speed, before losing control and smashing into bollards on the side of the dirt road.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was rushed to Mercy Hospital with major injuries, where he died sometime on or before October 5th.

The driver also suffered serious injuries, and had to be extricated from his vehicle.

Video from the scene suggests the crash occurred on Rancho La Palma, at 2325 Hollister Street in San Diego.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Warning, this video shows the driver being removed from the SUV and placed on a backboard. So be sure you want to see that before clicking on it. 

 

62-year old man killed walking bicycle in Fallbrook; 15th bike death in San Diego County this year

It’s being reported as a pedestrian killed in a collision.

But he was one of us.

According to multiple sources, a 62-year old man was walking his bicycle when he was killed by a driver in Fallbrook Saturday night.

The San Diego Union-Tribune places the collision at 9:10 pm on Ammunition Road west of Alturas Street, near the entrance to Camp Pendleton.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by 25-year old man from Washington state who was driving west on Ammunition.

He died at the scene.

Police do not suspect drug or alcohol use played a roll in the crash.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, though it’s most likely the victim was walking along the right hand side of the roadway when he was run down.

There’s also no word on why he was apparently walking in the street, though it is possible he was on the sidewalk. However, the sidewalk appears to end a short distance west of Alturas, which could have forced him into the street.

No explanation has been given for why he was walking his bike. It’s possible he had just gotten off for some reason, or had a flat or some other mechanical issue. Or he may have just felt more comfortable walking after dark instead of riding.

But unless he just happened to find the bicycle on the side of the road, he died as one of us. And should have had the same right to remain safe walking a bicycle as riding one.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP at 760/643-3400.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

However, it will more likely be counted as a pedestrian death in official statistics.

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

Mountain biker dies of apparent medical emergency on Newbury Park trail

Cars and their drivers aren’t the only dangers bicyclists face.

Sometimes, our own bodies attack us.

That appears to be what happened in Ventura County Sunday morning, where a man died after suffering an apparent medical emergency while mountain biking in Newbury Park.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a mountain biker crashing on a trail near the 101 Freeway Scales and the park area by Hill Canyon.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 50s, was pronounced at the scene.

Investigators initially suspected he died as a result of a mountain biking crash, but later concluded his death was caused by some sort of undisclosed medical problem.

This is at least the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

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

Update: 16-year old Port Hueneme boy killed riding bike in Oxnard hit-and-run, 39-year old Oxnard man arrested

Yet another Southern California bike rider has lost his life to a heartless coward in a car.

Except this time, the victim was just a 16-year old boy.

According to the Ventura County Star, he was riding his bike on Hemlock Street in Oxnard, east of N Street, near the boundary with Port Hueneme around 8:35 Wednesday night, when he was apparently run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver.

The victim, identified only as a Port Hueneme resident, was rushed to Ventura County Medical Center, where he died.

Police investigators concluded that he was riding west on Hemlock, and had the right-of-way when he was struck.

The driver’s car was found abandoned less that a mile away near Hemlock and Patterson Road. The 39-year old owner was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

According to an Oxnard police spokesperson, the victim had a headlight and reflectors on his bike, although it was so badly mangled as a result of the crash that police couldn’t tell if he had a taillight.

However, he was not wearing a helmet, as required for anyone under 18 under California law. Although whether that matters would depend on whether he suffered a head injury, and whether his injuries might have been survivable with one.

And that could depend on how fast the driver was going, on a street where residents have long complained about speeding drivers, and have repeatedly requested speed bumps, with no response from Oxnard city officials.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

At least 18 of those deaths have involved hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified as 16-year old Andres Hernandez, who died of blunt force head trauma.

So his lack of a helmet may be relevant, depending on the speed of the impact. 

His alleged killer, 39-year old Julio Sanchez, was being held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

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

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