Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Bike-riding Riverside man killed in July hit-and-run road rage attack, driver arrested for murder

Once again, a driver has used his vehicle as a weapon.

And once again, someone on a bicycle paid the price.

This time, it’s murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that 46-year old Benedicto Solanga was riding his bike on on Market Street near the 60 Freeway around 12:40 pm on July 29, when he had a “brief interaction” with a driver later identified as 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez of Riverside.

Which sound like a bad euphemism for a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez drove off, then made a sudden U-turn and allegedly aimed his massive pickup at Solanga’s bicycle before slamming into him.

Solanga was rushed to the hospital in grave condition, where he died a few days later.

Police found Gutierrez’s Ford F-250 later that night on the 3200 block of Iowa Ave in Riverside, leading to his arrest on Tuesday, nearly three weeks after the crash. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he gets used to it.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benedicto Solanga and all his loved ones.

Update: Woman riding bicycle killed Friday in early morning Venice hit-and-run

Yet another person riding a bicycle has been murdered by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

This time in Venice early Friday morning.

Multiple source are reporting that a woman, who has not been publicly identified, was riding circles around the intersection of Pacific and Rose Avenues when she was run down by a driver around 3:05 am.

The driver fled north on Pacific. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead, despite the efforts of paramedics.

Police are looking for a large black SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban; there’s no description of the driver.

According to the LAPD, it’s not known if drugs or alcohol may have been involved. Which goes without saying since they don’t even know who did it.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 213/473-0236 or 213/473-0234, or toll-free at 877-LAPD-247.

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 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also at least the sixth bike death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

At last count, 16 of those people were killed by hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified by family members as 22-year old Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle, who followed her faith by coming to Los Angeles to feed the hungry, only to have her life taken by a heartless hit-and-run coward.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle and all her family and loved ones.

Man killed riding motorized bicycle in Jurupa Valley collision Sunday morning

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that a man was killed in a collision with a driver while riding some sort of motorized bicycle in Jurupa Valley Sunday morning.

Police investigators believe 34-year old Perris resident Christopher Cortes Duarte was traveling west on Limonite Ave at Etiwanda Ave when he allegedly made an abrupt U-turn around 10:21 am, and was struck by pickup driver traveling in the same direction.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. .

The driver remained and cooperated with investigators. There’s no word yet on whether drugs or alcohol may have played a role.

There was also no word on what the report means by motorized bicycle, which could refer to anything from an ebike to an illegal gas-powered bicycle.

As always, much depends on whether there were any independent witnesses who saw the victim turn in front of the truck, or if they are relying on the driver’s side of the story, since the victim can’t give his side.

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy Petersen at the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station at 951/955-2600 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Cortes Duarte and all his loved ones.

72-year old man killed riding bicycle in El Monte collision; 12th LA County bike death this year

Yet another innocent life has been sacrificed to traffic violence on the mean streets of Los Angeles County.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribunea man was riding his bike in the 4400 block of Peck Road in El Monte when he was run down by a southbound driver around 6:45 this morning.

The victim, identified only as a 72-year old El Monte resident, was apparently pronounced dead at the scene.

The 20-year old driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect intoxication at that early hour. There’s no word on how or why he struck the victim, or which direction the victim was riding.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have right now.

This is at least the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

 

 

Update: 74-year old man killed, 82-year old wife injured when SUV driver hit their tandem in Huntington Beach Sunday morning

Heartbreaking news from Huntington Beach, where a man was killed and his elderly wife seriously injured when a driver slammed into their tandem bike Sunday morning.

According to My News LAthe victims, who have not been publicly identified, were riding near near Magnolia Street and Hamilton Avenue when they were run down around 8:50 am.

The Orange County Tribune reports both people were taken to a local hospital, where the 74-year old man died from his injuries; his 82-year old wife was hospitalized, but is expected to survive.

According to investigators, they were apparently riding north on Magnolia when they were struck by a 30-year old woman driving her SUV west on Hamilton.

She remained at the scene, and police did not suspect drug or alcohol use.

A street view shows a five lane intersection controlled by a traffic signal, with a 45 mph speed limit, and bike lanes in both directions on Magnolia.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Traffic Investigators D. Demetre at 714/536-5670, or V. Rattanchandani at 714/536-5231.

This is at least the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the second bicycling death Huntington Beach in less than three months.

Update: The fatal victim has been identified as 74-year old Huntington Beach resident Clinton Silverman

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Clinton Silverman, his wife and all their loved ones.

Man killed riding bicycle in Ontario hit-and-run Monday night; no details on victim or driver

Yet another SoCal bike rider has been murdered by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

According to the Daily Bulletin, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a driver around 11 pm Monday near Mission Boulevard and Cucamonga Avenue in Ontario.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:14 pm.

There’s no further information about the victim, how the collision occurred, or the person who killed him. The only description of the suspect vehicle is that it should have front-end damage.

There’s also no word on whether someone saw or heard the victim get hit, or if the he was found in the roadway following the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Ontario Police Department at 909/986-6711, or call Officer Eliseo Guerrero directly at 909/408-1739.

This is at least the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

At least 15 of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

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

 

67-year old woman killed in Hesperia collision after allegedly swerving her bike in front of delivery truck

Some crashes just don’t make any sense.

According to multiple sources, a woman was killed while riding her bike in Hesperia on Tuesday, allegedly after somehow swerving her bicycle directly in front of an oncoming truck.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 67-year old woman, was riding north Cottonwood Ave between Yucca and Main around 12:05 pm when she suddenly turned left, and was broadsided by the driver of a box truck following directly behind her.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 20-year old driver of the furniture delivery truck stayed at the scene, and was reportedly cooperating with police.

Video from the scene shows the victim’s bike lying midblock on the centerline of the two lane roadway.

As always, the question is whether any independent witnesses saw the crash, other than the driver and his passenger.

It simply doesn’t make sense that she would have been unaware of a large truck traveling directly behind her, or would have turned without looking over her shoulder first — especially on a street with a 45 mph speed limit.

But people’s actions don’t always make sense. And sadly, she’s not around to explain her side of the story.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies D. Holland or F. Zavala at 760/403-8026.

This is at least the 38th 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 all her family and loved ones. 

More blood on the streets of San Diego; unidentified man killed riding motorized bicycle in North Clairemont

The carnage continues on the streets of San Diego.

Just three days after 57-year old Laura Shinn was killed while riding her bike in Balboa Park, by a driver alleged to be high on meth, another bike rider has lost his life riding in the Clairemont neighborhood.

According to multiple sources, the victim, described only as a man in his 60s, was struck while riding his bike at the intersection of Genesee Ave, Chickasaw Court and Saulk Ave around 5:31 Friday evening.

He died after being transported to a local hospital.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim, who was riding some sort of motorized bicycle, had just turned right from Sauk Ave onto northbound Genesee, most likely into the bike lane on Genesee. He then allegedly swerved left in front of the driver of a high-powered Mercedes SUV.

However, that seems unlikely if he saw the car bearing down on him as he turned, unless the driver may have been exceeding the 40 mph speed limit and closed the distance faster than expected.

It’s also questionable why he would have swerved into the left lane as the paper describes, when there is nowhere to turn left on the the divided roadway.

Which is not to say it didn’t happen that way, but it does raise a number of questions.

The 30-year old driver stayed at the scene, and was reportedly cooperating with police.

The paper also reports the victim wasn’t carrying ID with him, hampering efforts to identify him.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County.

That’s one more than Los Angeles County, which has roughly three times the population.

If you’re not mad down there yet, maybe you should be.

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

 

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in Balboa Park collision Tuesday morning; murder charge for alleged DUI driver

The death toll continues to mount in San Diego County.

Just five days after the county saw its tenth bicycling death of the year, another rider lost their life riding in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

The victim, who has yet to be publicly identified in any way, was riding on Pershing Drive, south of the Morley Field Disc Golf Course on the northwest side of the massive park, when he or she was struck by a driver around 7:30 this morning.

The rider was found lying unresponsive in the roadway when first responders arrived, and died after being transported to a similarly unidentified hospital.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators; no word on whether police suspect distraction or intoxication played a role in the crash.

Video from the scene shows a mangled road bike off to the side of the road.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no visible bicycle infrastructure. No other information is available at this time.

This death comes three months to the day after another person was killed riding across Highway 163 through the park.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County, which seems to be rushing to keep up with Los Angeles County, with roughly three times the population.

Update: Sasha Jovanovic reminds us that the stretch of Pershing where the crash occurred was supposed to have a separated bikeway by now

Update 2: The San Diego Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 57-year old San Diego resident Laura Shinn

According to the paper, Shinn was a prominent architect and planner who regularly commuted to her work at San Diego State University, where she oversaw the planning and design of several campus facilities.

Laura Shinn worked as SDSU’s director of facilities planning and was serving as the 2021 president of the board of directors of the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego chapter. She also was a founding member of the Women in Architecture group in San Diego.

In a statement, SDSU described Shinn as “an incredibly talented architect who helped oversee much of our university’s development and growth.”

Shinn was run down from behind as she rode north on Pershing, which the paper says does have a bike lane.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam Milavetz was arrested on suspicion of DUI after allegedly drifting into the bike lane to strike Shinn. 

The paper reports he was jailed on “suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.” The murder count suggests this was not his first DUI, and he had likely signed a Watson advisement as a condition of a previous conviction. 

He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday. 

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laura Shinn and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for heads-up.

Update: Man found dead in bicycle crash on Angeles Crest Highway Saturday, after apparent medical emergency

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

According to Zackary Rynew, a group of motorists came upon a bike rider lying unconscious in the roadway on Angeles Crest Highway around 8 am this morning.

Rynew later placed the crash just before the fire station on Highway 2; unfortunately, I can’t locate it on a map.

The victim was described only as a man with a mustache, who appeared to be in his 60s, and wearing an orange bicycle helmet.

Several people attempted CPR, but he was unconscious with no signs of life when paramedics arrived.

It’s not clear at this time whether he was a victim of hit-and-run, or if he died in a solo fall.

A brief report from My News LA confirms the death, placing the crash at 8:19 am at Mile Marker 27.5, though they don’t identify the victim as someone on a bicycle.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hopefully we’ll get more details soon.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in Los Angeles County.

Update: My News LA has identified the victim as 62-year old Glendale resident Steve Gerdes.

He apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency while riding his Cervelo east on Angeles Crest, and collapsed on the spot. 

Update 2: A comment from Mary Smith clarifies that all the people who discovered and attempted to revive Gerdes were motorists, and the only people who rode by on bicycles continued without stopping or offering to help. 

Something to remember when the next time someone tries to assign motorists and bicyclists into irreconcilably conflicting camps. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers Steve Gerdes and his loved ones.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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