Archive for Bicycle Safety

61-year old bike rider killed in Chatsworth collision Tuesday night; 3rd killed in San Fernando Valley neighborhood this year

Yet another person has been killed riding a bicycle in LA’s Chatsworth neighborhood this year.

According to KFI-AM, 61-year old John Manahan was identified Saturday as the victim of Tuesday’s collision.

Manahan was riding near 10201 Mason Ave, south of Devonshire Street, when he was struck by a driver just before 8:30 pm.

He died at the scene.

Initial video from the scene indicated Manahan was riding a minibike. However, it looks like a throttle-controlled ebike, and was identified by the police as a bicycle.

Warning: The victim’s body is clearly visible covered with a tarp. So be sure you’re comfortable seeing that before you click play. 

The crash appears to have taken place in the southbound lanes of Mason in front of a large apartment complex, across from a shopping center.

You can still see the headlight from Manahan’s bike shining down on the street.

Unfortunately, no other information is available. Or likely to be at this point.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles. Remarkably, three of those deaths have occurred in Chatsworth, within just over a mile of one another.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Manahan and his loved ones.

74-year old Hemet man killed in San Jacinto collision, victim allegedly swerved into passing car

I don’t think so.

News broke last night that a man suffered major injuries when he somehow swerved into a car while riding in San Jacinto Saturday evening.

It seemed unlikely then.

It seems more unlikely now, after learning the victim has died.

According to My News LA, 74-year old Hemet resident Pedro Garcia was fatally injured he as he was riding in the right lane on southbound Lake Park Drive, below Soboba Road, in San Jacinto around 6:30 pm Saturday.

Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators allege Garcia somehow swerved left for no apparent reason and crashed into the side of a passing car, falling into the roadway.

He was taken to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he died at 11:13 pm.

The driver remained at the scene and called for help.

It’s possible that Garcia may have moved to his left without looking, or hearing the car coming up beside him.

However, it seems more likely that the driver may have been passing too close, or swerved to his right and sideswiped Garcia’s bike.

Particularly if there were no independent witnesses who observed the crash. Which seems likely, given the remote location on a weekend evening.

It’s also extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact position of a bicycling collision, due to the lack of skid marks or other forensic evidence.

Unfortunately, Garcia isn’t around to give his side of the story, which leaves the driver’s statement as the only evidence for deputies to base their investigation on. And drivers have a vested interest in seeing their own actions in the best possible light, regardless of the circumstances.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Deputy Ray Cortez of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at 951/654-2702, or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951/776-1099.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Pedro Garcia and his loved ones.

26-year old man on bicycle killed by ice cream truck driver in San Marcos crash; victim reportedly under the influence

At least the driver stuck around this time.

Several nearly identical sources are reporting a man riding a bike was killed by the driver of an ice cream truck in San Marcos Wednesday night.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Pico Ave and West Mission Road a little after 8 pm.

According to witnesses, the victim, identified only as a 26-year old man, was riding southwest across the intersection against a red light, when he was struck by the driver turning west onto Mission.

The only way that makes sense is if he was riding south on Pico, and was struck in a left cross when the driver turned with the left arrow, which would mean the driver had a red light.

He died at the scene.

San Diego sheriff’s deputies were quick to blame the victim, suggesting that he may have been under the influence, and said he wasn’t wearing a helmet.

There’s no word on why they suspect he was drunk, however. And as we’ve noted before, whether or not he had a helmet only matters if he died of a head injury, or if the collision might have been survivable with one.

That’s questionable, given that video from the scene shows it was a full-size food truck, rather than a smaller van, that hit him.

Use caution viewing the video, though, since it shows a blurred shot of the covered victim lying in the street next to his bike.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Bike-riding man killed in El Monte hit-and-run; fourth fatal SoCal bike hit-and-run in three weeks

Another day, another bike rider murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

According to My News LA, El Monte police are searching for a driver who didn’t have the basic human decency to stick around after running down a man riding a bicycle.

The victim, identified as 59-year old El Monte resident Ruben Vicario, was struck at Lower Azusa Road and El Monte Ave around 9 pm Tuesday.

He died at the scene.

The suspect vehicle was described as a red or burgundy 2019-2021 Toyota sedan; no description was given for the driver.

There’s no word on how the collision occurred.

Anyone with information is urged to call the El Monte Police Department at 626/580-2100.

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

Ten of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs, including the last four in a row.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ruben Vicario and his loved ones. 

Bike-riding man left to die by hit-and-run driver in Cypress Park; 9th fatal SoCal bicycling hit-and-run this year

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

The Eastsider is reporting that a man was killed riding his bike in LA’s Cypress Park neighborhood Saturday evening.

According to the LAPD, the victim was riding east on San Fernando Road near Pepper Street when he was rear-ended by an unknown driver around 7:15 pm.

The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was described only as a man in his 50s or older, which suggests that he has still not been identified three days after his death.

Police investigators have been unable to find any witnesses to the crash, but are attempting to identify the suspect vehicle from debris left at the scene.

The crash occurred somewhere near the park. It happened just minutes after sunset, so victim should have still been visible, with or without lights.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Detective Berdin at 213/833-3713 or email 31958@lapd.online.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fourth that has been publicly reported in the City of Los Angeles.

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

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

Thanks to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton for the heads-up. 

 

Driver leaves bike-riding woman to die alone in violent Riverside crash; 8th fatal SoCal bicycling hit-and-run this year

It never stops.

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

According to LA’s FOX-11, Riverside police found a woman lying dead on the side of the roadway early Wednesday morning, her bike and belongings strewn for a full block behind her.

The officers discovered the victim, who has not been publicly identified, while responding to a call at Orange and Center streets in Riverside a few minutes before 2 am.

There was no sign of the driver, and no description of the suspect vehicle. It’s not clear if she was riding or walking the bike at the time of the crash.

The lengthy debris field suggests she was either struck at high speed, or she and her bike were dragged under the vehicle for at least a block.

There’s no way of knowing at this time how long she had been there, or if she could have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help, as both the law and basic human decency requires.

When and if the driver is found, they’ll face a maximum of just four years for felony hit-and-run resulting in death under California’s overly lenient hit-and-run statute.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Riverside Police Department.

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

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

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

15-year old boy riding salmon killed in Riverside hit-and-run; 22nd SoCal bike death this year, 7th fatal hit-and-run

The carnage continues on Southern California streets, as yet another person riding a bicycle has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

This time, the victim was just 15-years old.

According to multiple sources, he was struck by a driver while riding in the 2200 block of Main Street in Riverside, near Poplar Avenue, around 9:30 pm Tuesday.

The victim, identified as Colton resident Javier Gonzales, died at the scene less than 25 minutes later, after suffering major injuries.

Security cam video acquired by KCBS2/KCAL9 shows Gonzales was riding against traffic with three other boys when he was struck by the driver of a speeding pickup, who kept going without slowing down.

His friends immediately dropped their bikes and chased after the driver, but weren’t able to catch him or get the license plate.

Police are looking for a black or dark-colored full size pickup. Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Police Department Traffic Detective Jeff Derouin at 951/826-8722, or email Jderouin@riversideca.gov.

They note that this is the fifth fatal crash in the city in just six days. But the other drivers at least had the basic human decency to remain at the scene.

Ironically, the driver would have been unlikely to face charges in this case if he or she had simply stopped after the crash. Now they face up to four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Seven of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: Police have arrested a 37-year old man as the hit-and-run driver who killed Javier Gonzales. As of March 24th, Rosendo Morales Caldera was being held without bail. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Javier Gonzales and all his family and loved ones.

24-year old road cyclist Christopher Sanchez killed in collision on Rim of the World Highway in San Bernardino

The bad news just keeps on coming.

Just two days after a former Upland councilmember died following a collision while riding his bike, another man has been killed while bicycling in San Bernardino County.

According to the Mountain News, 24-year old Christopher Sanchez was riding south on State Highway 18, also known at the Rim of the World Highway, at lower Old Waterman Canyon Road in San Bernardino when he run down by an SUV driver minutes after 5:45 pm Monday.

Sanchez died at the scene, shortly after being removed from the guardrail he was entangled with. The spandex-clad rider was still wearing his helmet, but was suffering from massive lower body injuries.

(Warning: The Mountain News story describes his injuries in needless detail, so be forewarned before you click on the link.)

The 50-something driver, who was not identified, apparently ran Sanchez down from behind, just yards after a sign warning drivers to watch for bicycles.

It’s not clear if the SUV driver was attempting a dangerous pass, or never saw Sanchez in the first place. Although to his credit, he remained at the scene, and was reportedly distraught after the crash.

Sanchez was a recent graduate of Cal State San Bernardino, and was going to start work at the Riverside County Public Health Department later this week. He had been riding in the area since he was 15-years old, and was very familiar with the roadway.

But as the Mountain News reports, someone on a bicycle can do everything right, and still pay the price.

Meanwhile, the first driver to stop at the scene has already returned to the crash site to place flowers and install a ghost bike for Sanchez.

Anyone who wants to help with Sanchez’s funeral expenses can contact his mother, Kristina Sanchez (RVS), c/o Victoria Elementary, 2910 Arlington Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506.

This is at least the 21st 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 Christopher Sanchez and all his family and loved ones. 

Longtime Upland councilmember and Tour de Foothills co-founder Tom Thomas dies 2 days after bicycling collision

Finally, confirmation.

Word began to spread Monday that a longtime Upland community leader was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Now, sadly, we know it’s true.

According to Southern California News Group writer Steve Scauzillo, Tom Thomas, a 20-year Upland city councilmember and one of the founders of the Tour de Foothills, was struck by a motorcyclist while riding in Montclair last Thursday.

He was waiting in the left turn bay on Monte Vista Avenue at Richton Street, when the motorcycle slammed into him from behind.

Thomas died on Saturday, after undergoing surgery to repair internal injuries, as well as suffering numerous broken bones.

He was a member of the Upland council from 1990 to 2010, and was known as a philanthropist in the local community, in addition to being an ongoing supporter of the Tour de Foothills and the Pacific Electric Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail.

He leaves behind his wife, Ann Shriner Thomas, and three daughters, as well as a grieving community. Ann Thomas requested that anyone wanting to honor her husband donate blood, and give to any of the many organizations he supported.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 1st that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Photo from Tom Thomas Facebook page

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tom Thomas and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Michael Wagner for the heads-up. 

Former motorcycle champ Jason Aguilar killed in Laguna Beach mountain biking crash; 5th OC bike death of 2022

Somehow, we missed this one earlier this month.

According to CycleNews, former motorcycle champ Jason Aguilar died following  a fall while mountain biking with friends in Laguna Beach on Saturday, February 5th.

He was just 25 years old.

Aguilar, the 2017 MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion, was rushed into surgery to relieve bleeding on the brain, but suffered catastrophic brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

He was kept on life support until February 8th so his organs could be harvested for transplantation to others.

Close to a hundred mountain bikers later turned out for a ride in Aguilar’s honor.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 5th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Aguilar and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up. 

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