Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

44-year old bike rider killed near LAX

Bad news LA’s Westchester neighborhood.

Westside Today reports that a bike rider was struck and killed in the area Thursday night, though few details are available.

Forty-four year old cyclist Brian Tomazic was hit by a vehicle around 10:55 pm near the intersection of Airport Boulevard and West 83rd Street.

Tomazic was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver remained at the scene and did not appear to be at fault, according to a sergeant with the LAPD.

No word on how the collision occurred or why police appeared to blame the victim. Or at least, someone or something other than the driver.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Los Angeles County. And it’s the second in the city of LA this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Tomazic and his loved ones.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.  

Correction: San Diego cyclist dies in solo fall after suffering medical problem; bicycling deaths down over 60% from last year

Sad news from San Diego, as a bike rider has died in a solo fall.

According to the Union-Tribune, the 59-year old cyclist crashed his bike in the Lake Murray area after apparently suffering some sort of unidentified medical issue.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on Kiowa Drive near Lake Murray Blvd when he fell around 7:30 pm Thursday. He died after being taken to a local hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

Remarkably, this is just the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared with 31 in the seven-county SoCal region this time last year — a drop of nearly 61%.

However, it’s the fourth bicycling death in San Diego County, compared to two last year at this time.

Update: San Diego’s Fox 5 places the scene of the incident as on a bike trail near the baseball fields.

Correction: The original version of this story mistakenly said this was the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; it was actually the 12th. The story has been amended to reflect the accurate total. My apologies for the error.

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

Update: 41-year old bike rider killed in Anaheim collision with tanker truck

April is already off the a bad start, after a remarkably safe first three months of the year for Southern California bike riders.

According to the Orange County Register, a bike rider was killed Wednesday evening in a collision with a truck in Anaheim.

Very few details are available at this point.

The victim was hit by a truck around 7:15 pm at the intersection of Orangewood Ave and Harbor Blvd. Anaheim police arrived at the location to discover that the victim had been pronounced dead at the scene by members of the Garden Grove fire department.

No word on how the collision occurred, or the identity of the victim. Needless to say, the truck driver was uninjured.

A satellite view shows a bike lane on Orangewood east of Harbor, but none to the west of the busy intersection, and no bike lanes in either direction on Harbor.

This is the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County. That compares with 28 in SoCal, and five in Orange County this time last year.

Update: The Register reports the victim has been identified as 42-year old Timothy Binau; no city of residence was given.

An update to the original story says Binau was riding south on Harbor when he was hit by a southbound tanker truck. The paper reports investigators aren’t sure how the collision occurred.

Photos show he was riding a mountain bike, but don’t give any insight into the collision. 

However, raw video from the scene shows the covered body of the victim lying by the right curb several feet before the intersection, and police examining the middle of the rear tanker trailer of the truck. (Warning — the unedited video may be too graphic for some viewers.)

That suggests that the rider may have been sideswiped by the trailer or right hooked as the truck prepared to turn. However, there may be other possible explanations for how the wreck took place.

What is highly unlikely is the Register’s suggestion in the headline that the victim “crashed into” the truck.

Update 2: I’m told that Binau lived in the Anaheim area, and may not have had lights on his bike as the sun was setting at the time of the collision.

I’m also told the tuck driver was so disturbed by the collision that he was taken to a hospital for observation. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Timothy Binau and his or her loved ones.

 

Bike rider killed one week ago in Chino

Sometimes it takes time for news to filter out from remote locations. Though you wouldn’t think that would apply to someplace like Chino.

Yet that’s what happened here, as news finally broke that a bike rider was killed while riding in the city last Sunday.

The weekly Chino Champion reports that 28-year old Pomona resident David Alas was riding east on Philadelphia Street at 6:51 pm when he was hit by a car traveling north on Benson Ave. He died a short time later at Chino Valley Medical Center.

No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows a four-way intersection controlled by traffic signals in every direction, suggesting that either the victim or the driver may have run the red light. It’s also possible that the light may have changed while the victim was in the intersection, and unable to make it across in time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Chino PD Traffic Investigator Scott Trosper at 909/334-3153.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Alas and all his loved ones.

51-year old San Diego police detective died from solo fall earlier this month after being taken off life support

Too often, when bike riders are seriously injured, it never makes the news.

Especially if there’s not a car involved.

That appears to be the case here, as a San Diego police detective died after being taken off life support earlier this month, following a solo fall.

According to a press release from the San Diego Police Department, Det. Tim Williams was seriously injured when he somehow fell off his bike on February 27th near the end of a 30-mile ride.

The 51 year old cyclist, a near 30-year veteran of the department, was revived at Palomar Hospital and placed on life support; he died minutes after being taken off on March 4th, surrounded by friends and family.

San Diego’s CBS8 places the location of the fall as near Carmel Ridge Road and Ted Williams Parkway, but doesn’t give a time of day or specify what road he was riding on. There’s also no word on what caused him to fall.

According to the department, it had been his wish to donate his organs in the event of his death; three people gained a new chance at life thanks to his kindness.

He leaves behind a wife and four children; a memorial service was held earlier today.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County. He is also the first cyclist to die in a solo fall this year.

My prayers and deepest sympathy for Tim Williams and all his family, as well as his comrades with the SDPD.

13-year old boy killed while walking his bike in Boyle Heights

Somehow, I missed this one.

La Opinion reports that a 13-year old boy was killed when he was hit by a car in Boyle Heights on Monday.

According to the Spanish language newspaper, the collision occurred near the intersection of Sheridan and Cummings Streets while he was walking his bike. KCBS-2 places the time of the collision around 7:50 pm; both sources say he died about four hours later.

The driver remained at the scene. No other details about the collision are available at this time, though KCBS says the car “slammed” into the boy, suggesting a relatively high-speed impact.

The victim was identified by La Opinion as Chris Rodriguez, described as a cheerful boy who frequently rode his bike around the neighborhood.

An altar with flowers and a helium balloon had appeared at the site by morning; the paper reports family members gathered around it, weeping inconsolably.

Adding to the tragedy, Rodriguez’ father had asked him not to go out that night, but the boy went out for what would be his last ride anyway.

Speeding cars make the intersection dangerous for children riding their bikes and skateboards, according to people in the neighborhood, who say a simple speed limit sign might have made a difference.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in the County of Los Angeles; it’s also the first in the City of LA. That compares to 25 in the seven-county Southern California region this time last year, and 13 in the county.

As those numbers suggest, this has been one of the safest years in memory for SoCal cyclists so far.

But as this tragedy reminds us, even one death is one too many.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chris Rodriguez and all his family. 

Thanks to LA Streetsblog‘s Joe Linton and Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up.

Update: 89-year old bike rider killed in San Diego; police blame the victim

Sadly, it couldn’t last.

After suffering just three bicycling fatalities in the first six weeks of the year, four Southern California bike riders have lost their lives in just the last week.

The latest, an 89-year old man who reportedly rode out into traffic on a busy San Diego street.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was leaving a parking lot on Imperial Avenue near Marketplace Avenue around 10 am Tuesday. The paper reports he rode straight out into the roadway, heading north, despite a right turn only sign.

He made it nearly all the way across the four lane avenue before he was struck by a pickup traveling west in the right lane.

No word on how fast the driver was going, or why he wasn’t able to stop in time. Despite the apparent victim blaming in the U-T report, and another from KUSI-TV suggesting he rode “directly” in front of the oncoming truck, he should have been visible to the driver after crossing three lanes of traffic.

The victim was taken to a hospital with a broken pelvis and major head injuries; he died there later the same day.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

Note:I am not attempting to blame the driver in this collision. As billsd and Jennifer point out in the comments below, the victim appears to have broken the law in some way and may well bear at least some responsibility.

What I am questioning is how the collision could have occurred as it has been reported. A cyclist who manages to make it almost all the way across a four lane roadway cannot be described as riding out into traffic, let alone directly; it had to be clear at least part of the way for him to make it that far. So the question becomes why the driver was unable to see and avoid someone who presumably was riding slowly across the street, and why the victim thought he could make it across. 

Maybe the driver’s view was obstructed by another vehicle; maybe the victim couldn’t see the car coming or misjudged its speed. We simply don’t know based on the limited information available. 

Another possibility is that the police gave the wrong direction for which way the victim was traveling. If he was headed south out of the cemetery on the north side of the road, rather than north out of the shopping center parking lot to the south — where there is no exit, as billsd points out — then he might have ridden out in front of an oncoming car, and the driver may have been unable to stop in time.

All I know is that this story does not make sense as it has been reported.

And as Jennifer points out, I may have been overly critical of the press, as they appear to have relied on the information provided by the police.As a result, I have changed the headline which initially criticized the news sources for blaming the victim.

Update: A comment from Bill Jordan may clear up the confusion. He suggests the collision could have occurred further west at the parking lot drive identified as Edgefield Way, which does have a no right turn sign, and roughly correspond’s with the KUSI report, which placed the collision on the 4300 block of Imperial Ave.

He also says the site is just west of a hill, as well as trees in the median, both of which could have hidden the victim and the driver from one another until it was too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family. 

 

47-year old bike rider killed in Escondido collision

More bad news, this time from North San Diego County.

According to the Union-Tribune, a bike rider in his 40’s has died following a wreck in unincorporated Escondido. The Times of San Diego lists his age as 47.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on Mesa Rock Road north Windsong Lane just before 7 pm yesterday when he was struck by a Jeep Cherokee traveling in the same direction.

He was taken to Palomar Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The 26-year old driver remained at the scene. The U-T reports it’s not yet known if drugs or alcohol were factors, or how fast the SUV was traveling.

A satellite view shows a two-lane road with no visible turning points, increasing the likelihood that it was a rear-end collision.

This is the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County. That compares with 17 in SoCal this time last year.

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

Update: 17-year old bike rider killed by DWP truck in Granada Hills

Philo-Ragni-Ghost-Bike-1

Ghost Bike for Philo Ragni; all photos by Danny Gamboa

There’s something seriously wrong when a kid can’t even ride his bike home from school.

According to KTLA-5, a 17-year old boy was struck and killed by a DWP truck Wednesday afternoon, just a block away from John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, where he was a student. Other sources give his age as 16.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding south on Woodley Ave at San Fernando Mission Blvd when he was hit the northbound truck, driven by an electrical worker for the department. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on how the collision occurred; however, since it happened at an intersection while they were traveling in opposite directions, it suggests that one or the other may have been turning onto San Fernando Mission.

The station reports there were several bikes lying on a corner of the intersection following the wreck, one with a mangled front wheel.

And yes, the DWP did offer a brief statement of sympathy.

This is the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County. It’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports the victim was a senior at the school, and had been riding with a group of fellow students. However, the story is not online yet.

Update 2: KACB-7 has identified the victim as 17-year old Philo Ragni.

According to the station, the LAPD said the DWP truck was headed north on Woodley when a group of kids crossed the street going west on San Fernando Mission; no word on who had the right of way.

However, police report that a Metro bus was driving by at the time of the collision, and may have captured the collision on video.

Update 3: KCBS-2 contradicts the KABC report, suggesting that Ragni and his friends were riding south on Woodley when he suddenly turned across the path of the truck. The station says Ragni, whose given name was Philomene, was a popular student who friends say was always happy, though troubled by the recent death of his mother.

The station also reports he was not wearing a helmet; whether or not that is relevant depends on just what injuries he suffered, and whether or not the collision would have been survivable with one.

And I neglected to include earlier that the driver remained on the scene and was cooperating with investigators; he passed a sobriety test at the scene. He is said to be devastated by what happened.

Adding to the tragedy, KTLA-5 says Ragni died on his little brother’s birthday.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Philo Ragni and his loved ones.  

Philo-Ragni-Ghost-Bike-2

Philo-Ragni-Ghost-Bike-3

 

 

Bike rider dies after January hit-and-run in West Covina; third bike rider killed in SoCal this year

And then there were three.

The San Gabriel Tribune reports that Emilio Simon, a 50-year old resident of West Covina, died Thursday after fighting for his life for nearly two weeks following a hit-and-run last month.

Simon was walking his bike in the middle of the block across Francisquito Ave just west of California Ave in West Covina around 8:10 pm on January 23rd when he was hit by a westbound SUV.

The driver fled south on Sunset Ave, apparently without stopping, leaving Simon suffering from severe injuries in the street.

The car was described as an older silver Jeep Grand Cherokee, 1997 to 2001; police said it may have damage to the front driver’s side.

Anyone with information is urged to call West Covina police at 626/939-8500, or 24-hour tip line at 626/939-8688.

Let’s catch this jerk.

This is the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in LA County; that compares to six in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Emilio Simon and his family. 

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