The last thing he remembers is a woman putting her hand on his thigh and pushing his bike over.
Somehow, I missed this story last month, when Jack Bornoff suffered serious injuries after he was pushed off his black and white Schwinn by a pedestrian, as he was passing her on a bike path in Balboa Park.
It happened on August 22nd, a Thursday, around 10 am.
I’ll let him tell the story.
I approached the intersection of Burbank and Balboa on my bike and I was riding in the bike path. I turned onto Balboa northbound and was confronted by a view of a high density of pedestrians in both the northbound and southbound bicycle lanes, including 2 females pedestrians blocking the northbound lane directly in front of me about 50 ft. ahead. Immediately, I slowed down. I noticed 2 pedestrians walking towards me in the southbound lane who were at least 50 feet ahead of the 2 pedestrians in my lane and determined it was perfectly safe to pass on the left with this substantial interval between these pedestrian couples. As I passed by, the female pedestrian closest to me placed her right hand on my thigh and pushed me.
It wasn’t just a fall. Bornoff landed with enough force to knock him cold, and suffered numerous fractures.
I have no clear memories beyond this for at least the next 10 to 15 minutes. This incident resulted in numerous fractures of the clavicle, scapula and ribs including damage to my lung.
A month later, he still doesn’t know who attacked him, or why. Or even who might have helped him as he lay injured on the bike path.
If you were there and offered to help, thank you and I regret I don’t remember it. However, if you were there and witnessed this happen, please come forward and notify LAPD Detective Thornton. 818-374-7792. Case #9C4-4. Thank you and be safe.
He plans to be back at that same bike path on Thursday, October 10th between 9:45 am and 10:15 am — exactly seven weeks after the attack — to look for witnesses. And would appreciate some help if anyone wants to join him in passing out flyers.
Or if you find yourself walking or riding in the area some other time, he’s prepared a small flyer you could distribute to people in the area (pdf).
Because it wasn’t just a push. It was a deliberate, dangerous assault that left a man seriously injured.
And it needs to be taken just as seriously.
Last night, it was just another tragic story of a bike rider killed in a left hook; a 22-year old driver turning his minivan across the cyclist’s path in San Mateo County.
Today, word broke that the victim has touched the life of virtually anyone who has ever used the internet or ordered something online.
Fifty-year old Joy Covey was one of the founders of Amazon. A woman whose 173 IQ took her from high school dropout to Harvard Business School, and on to become the CFO who helped the company grow from a book-selling website to the world’s dominant internet retail site. As well as leading it through a highly successful IPO in the late ‘90s.
She was working as treasurer of the National Resources Defense Council at the time of her death.
Initial reports indicated she was wearing a helmet. However, I’m told she may have been traveling up to 40 mph as she descended a steep downhill; in a broadside collision at that speed, no bike helmet is likely to offer much benefit.
As the links above show, there’s already been much written about her tragic death, and the immense and needless loss suffered by so many who knew and worked with her.
And it’s true.
Just as it is for the other more than 600 bike riders who will lose their lives on American streets this year, most of whom will never see their names in print.
In life. Or in death.
My deepest sympathy for Joy Covey and her family.
Thanks to Michael McVerry and Ralph Durham for the heads-up.
Finally, last month we reported that Danae Miller, convicted in the drunk and distracted driving death of world-class triathlete Amine Britel, appeared to have been released from prison after serving less than half of her original sentence.
Now the Orange County Register confirms that Miller was paroled on August 15th after serving just 18 months of her original four year sentence.
Unfortunately, most of the story is hidden behind their draconian paywall.
However, I’m told that the story goes on to quote a member of the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee, as well as the Newport Beach city council member who heads the committee, as expressing their disappointment at the early release.
Get used to it.
California’s prison overcrowding crisis means most people convicted of traffic crimes will serve only a fraction of their sentences. Which means we need to find alternative forms of punishment — let alone rehabilitation, which seldom if ever happens behind bars — if we want to stop the carnage on our streets. Let alone the hit-and-run epidemic.
I’m told that Miller’s family was very supportive of her during the trial. Not in the usual sense denying her obvious guilt, but actually being there and giving a damn while expressing deep and genuine sympathy for her victim’s family and fiancé.
No word on where she is right now. However, there is speculation that she received the relatively light four-year sentence — she could have gotten up to 10 years — in exchange for a commitment from her family to place her in rehab immediately upon her release.
Let’s hope that’s the case.
And let’s hope that Miller, who already had 11 traffic violations on her record when she took Britel’s life, is never allowed behind the wheel of a car again.
Thanks to the OC Register for crediting this site with breaking the story. That wasn’t necessary, but it’s sincerely appreciated.
Now about that paywall…