Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Morning Links: No bike hit-and-run on LA River path, and famed racing engineer killed riding his bike in Mojave

Just a brief follow-up to the recent story about a woman who was seriously injured in a collision with a cyclist on the LA River Bike Path in Elysian Valley.

Still no details to explain what happened. However, the LACBC’s Colin Bogart forwards word that the rider did in fact stop after the wreck and cooperated with the police in their investigation.

So this was not a case of two-wheeled hit-and-run, as had been implied in earlier reports.


Sad news from Kern County, as longtime racing and sports car engineer Ron Mathis died Tuesday, a little over a month after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle home from work in Mojave.

His cars won multiple victories at the Daytona 24 Hours, as well as two podium finishes at Le Mans. I’m told he also partnered on a car that won a $10 million Progressive XPrize for building a lightweight 100 mph car.

A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $14,000 to help defray his medical expenses.

Thanks to Michael Hart of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.


A 19-year old woman is in critical condition after her bike was rear-ended by the driver of a pickup in Torrance Wednesday night; the driver was arrested on suspicion of driving while stoned.


Now these are some pretty good Barcelona bike stunts.


CyclingTips offers some great photos of America’s only remaining Tour de France winner from the new book Greg LeMond: Yellow Jersey Racer.

VeloNews gives retiring cycling great Evelyn Stevens her exit interview.



Yet another closure of the LA River Bike Path, as the section between Gilroy Street and Riverside Drive will be shut down until next March.

CiclaValley asks for your vote to support Measure M to help make this a more livable city for everyone, regardless of age.

It may finally be easier to get your bike onto the Expo Line, as trains will now run every six minutes.

The candidates for Santa Monica city council talk traffic, but only two of the ten even mention bicycles, while another touches on alternative transportation.

A Long Beach councilwoman has called a special meeting for next Tuesday to discuss a planned road diet on Ocean Blvd, in the face of unexpected opposition.

Long Beach announces events and activities planned for next month’s Beach Streets ciclovía.



A San Diego bicyclist was seriously injured when he was hit by an SUV in Mission Bay Park; the rider was making a left turn when he swerved in front of the oncoming vehicle, which police say had the right-of-way.

The Bay Area Bike Share system brings greater equity to bikeshare by reducing their first year annual membership to just five dollars for low income people, while allowing them to pay in cash instead of credit cards.



Interesting idea. A new taillight raising funds on Kickstarter includes a built-in radar to announce your presence to cars with collision avoidance systems.

Chinese electronics giant LeEco is bringing what they call the world’s first super bike to the US. The 30-speed bike with built-in lighting comes complete with an Android touchscreen and fingerprint scanner; no word on US prices yet. Thanks to Adam Ginsburgh for the tip.

Now that’s something to look forward to. A 100-year old Memphis bridge spanning the Mississippi River will be converted to a bike bridge, a key link in a planned bikeway running from Memphis to New Orleans. With any luck, I’ll be the first one in line with my bike when it opens; thanks to Bob Young for the link.

New York hit-and-run drivers are getting away with murder. Meanwhile, a cyclist in the city describes what it’s like to be the victim of one.

Sometimes, doing the right thing turns out wrong; a Philadelphia bike rider was shot when he tried to stop an armed robbery; he’s expected to survive despite being shot four or five times. Meanwhile, an 18-year old bike rider was fatally gunned down following an argument, and another man was seen walking off with his bicycle afterwards.

Caught on video: A Virginia driver decides to get around traffic by using a bike path.

You still can’t wear your clown mask in public in Virginia, but at least you can ride wearing a balaclava now.

Top Miami chefs come together to hold a benefit for a cyclist who’s fighting his way back after five-month coma following a traffic collision.



So much for thinking we know why bikes stay upright.

Belize cycling champ Marlon Castillo pled guilty to a reduced charge of causing death by careless conduct in the 2011 death of fellow cyclist Ariel Rosado in a traffic collision.

As Toronto builds more and safer bike lanes, support goes up among the general public; 70% of the Toronto residents now support bike lanes, with just 22% opposed.

A driver on Prince Edward Island insists that modern bike riders ride wherever the hell they want, jumping from one side of the road to another, then onto the sidewalk and through the crosswalk against the light.

High-end Italian bike maker Pinarello could be going the Rodeo Drive route.

A road raging Brit driver ran down a bike rider, knocking him into a tree and leaving him with serious injuries after he confronted her for using a cellphone behind the wheel.

A Chinese bikeshare system introduces a lighter, flat-proof, solar GPS-enabled bike that will rent for half the price of their earlier bikes.



Either there are a lot of cyclists out there, or we’re not the only ones who shave their legs. If you’re carrying a sawed-off rifle in your purse; don’t ride your bike in an illegal and unsafe manner.

And if you’re going to ride drunk, try not to fall over after nearly crashing into a state trooper’s patrol car.


Update: Woman killed riding her bicycle in Stanton collision; driver arrested

The Orange County Register is reporting that a 44-year old Stanton woman was killed in a collision Friday night.

According to the paper, Deborah Gresham was riding her bike on Cerritos Ave east of Knott Ave at 7:35 pm when she was stuck by a vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The male driver, who has not been identified, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time. No word on how the crash occurred, or why OC sheriff’s deputies appear to have taken the unusual step of arresting the driver at the scene.

A street view shows a five lane roadway with two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane, with a wide right lane where parking is prohibited.

Given the location east of the intersection, it’s possible that she was rear-ended, or could have been struck by someone entering or leaving a driveway..

This is the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 10th in Orange County; it’s also the third in Stanton in the past four years. That compares with 62 in SoCal this time last year, and 16 in Orange County.

Update: City News Service identifies the driver as Ricardo Hernandez Sandoval, who is being held on $100,000 bond on suspicion of felony hit and run, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

A source in Orange County reports he was followed to his home by horrified witnesses, where he was arrested less than an hour after the crash. 

Gresham was in the westbound lanes when she was struck, literally within sight of her home. 

Meanwhile, the Orange County Register identifies her as the founder of a Walking Dead fan site on Facebook with 20,000 followers worldwide. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Deborah Gresham and all her loved ones. 


Update: Bike rider dies of heart attack during Long Beach Marathon; was board member of Lightening Velo

The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that a man apparently died as a result of what was described as a major medical emergency during the bicycle segment of today’s Long Beach Marathon.

According to the paper, the man, who has not been publicly identified, suffered a cardiac arrest while riding near the intersection of Ocean Blvd and Prospect Ave in Belmont Shore at 6:30 am Sunday.

Despite the effort of paramedics, he was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

Update: News like this is always tragic; it somehow seems even worse when it’s someone who’s well known in the cycling community.

While the victim still has not been publicly identified, I received the following email from Richard Rosenthal Monday evening.

I was on the ride with my girlfriend, and we both witnessed the paramedics giving CPR to a cyclist on ground. It really shook my up, as he was a older man in full kit, much as I am. It was on my mind the remainder of the ride, and when I found out Monday morning that the cyclist had died I was even more shaken.
The news just got worse for me personally. I found out that the deceased was my friend Steve Hernandez. We both served together on the Board of Directors of Lightning Velo in Long Beach. Steve was one of the kindest people I have ever met….an imposing bear of a man with long hair and beard, but his personality couldn’t have been more opposite. Always quick with a smile and a laugh, he was one of the most beloved members of our club, and he will be missed sorely.

Update: The LA County coroner’s office confirms his identity as 59-year old Steven Hernandez.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Hernandez and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa and Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Ten years for drunken Santa Clarita hit-and-run, and LA County approves Vision Zero Initiative

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Ten years.

That’s how long a sentence Lucas James Guidroz is expected to receive after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita earlier this year.

The popular math teacher, musician and band director was riding on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25th when Guidroz plowed his Lexus into Bennett’s bicycle from behind, then fled the scene as Bennett lay dying where he fell.

He turned himself in shortly after police found his car two days later.

The 28-year old Guidroz is expected to be sentenced on November 7th on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Although the Santa Clarita Signal still can’t be bothered to get the name of the victim right.


LA County votes to implement a Vision Zero Initiative, without apparently understanding what that means.

Despite the press release from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Vision Zero is about improving safety with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities — not encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, as admirable as that may be.

And as always, the unanswered question is whether county leaders have to courage to make the tough choices required to save lives.


Maybe it takes awhile for news to make it past the Orange Curtain.

A full week after the Orange County Register reported on the drunken hit-and-run that may have left a bike rider with a broken leg, and a young woman facing charges just hours after posing with her new car, the broadcast media has finally caught up with the story.

LA’s KABC-7 offered a brief report on the arrest of 22-year old Laguna Beach resident Aya Ibish, while Sacramento’s Fox-40 went into more detail.

Maybe they picked up the story from the OC Weekly, which posted it on Monday.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to read the Register, they could have learned about it right here days earlier.

Or they could have found out about it on YouTube, after the story got the Taiwanese TomoNews animation treatment, which is always good for a laugh or two.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.


UCLA students discuss whether Westwood Blvd is safe for cyclists, in the wake of the much-needed Westwood bike lanes being removed from the LA Mobility Plan without a valid reason, other than some local homeowners and business owners apparently just didn’t want them.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.



Writing for City Watch, Tim Deegan says it’s time to embrace New Urbanism, and suggests the New Urbanism Film Festival, which runs tomorrow through Sunday, as the perfect place to start.

The aptly-named Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg says the Expo Line bike path could have been a contender, but was done in by inadequate street crossings.

Thankfully, the victim of Monday’s Long Beach hit-and-run escaped with just a broken leg; the driver admitted to police he was fleeing a previous crash when he ran into the rider.



The Desert Sun urges Indian Wells voters to turn down a resolution that could halt construction of the planned CV Link bikeway through the city.

The Berkeley alumni association talks with law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a five-time amateur world champ in time trials and road racing who set the women’s hour record last year at age 43.



Streetsblog writes about the four biggest sins reporters commit when covering pedestrian deaths, all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

It’s time to apply for the fourth annual QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship Program, to prepare for a career as a wrench.

A Tucson AZ veteran made enough money selling bicycle chain art to pay for surgery for his therapy dog.

Good news, as Robert Choi, the founder of Utah-based Volagi Cycles, is showing some improvement after suffering a head injury when he was rear-ended by a driver last week; he was found unconscious in his office after initially refusing medical treatment. Always get checked out by a doctor anytime your head hits the pavement, regardless of whether you’re wearing a helmet; even a small brain injury can have serious consequences.

A volunteer bike repair center is fixing up bikes to give to the homeless in my hometown.

Once again, a visitor to this country is unable to survive America’s mean streets, as an Australian man was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding in Kansas.

Chicago readers offer their advice on how to make bicycling safer, from licensing and ticketing cyclists to making bicyclists ride salmon.

A New York court rules the city’s bike lanes can stay, after rejecting a lawsuit claiming they caused environmental harm by creating traffic congestion.

Common sense finally comes into play in Maryland, where a 15-year old girl who was slammed into a wall and pepper sprayed for refusing medical treatment following a bicycling collision won’t face charges after apologizing to the police.



A Canadian writer, who says he’s a bike rider himself, calls plans for a national bicycling strategy an ill-conceived boondoggle. Meanwhile, a Newfoundland counselor calls for turning his city’s bike lanes into parking spots.

London’s mayor calls for completion of a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the Thames by 2020.

Selfies kill. A British woman died after hitting her head in a solo fall, just moments after taking a selfie as she rode from her mother’s birthday dinner; her husband called for a mandatory helmet law as a result, saying she’d still be alive if she’d worn one.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten about the Olympic crash that horrified the world; she argues that Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead shouldn’t have been allowed to compete after missing three drug tests.



Evidently, blocking bikeways is nothing new. Bikes are great for transporting anything, including the loot you just stole from a home.

And you can see a lot of things when you ride hopefully a wild panther won’t be one of them.

19-year old bike rider killed in Yorba Linda collision

A 19-year old man was killed while riding his bike in Yorba Linda last night.

My News LA reports that Jonathan Petsas of Placentia was struck by a car around 10:10 last night on Imperial Highway west of Esperanza Road.

According to the report, he was riding west on Imperial when he rode across the westbound traffic lanes into the path of car driven by an 86-year old man.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, just five days before his 20th birthday.

The driver remained at the scene, and there was no appearance of drug or alcohol use.

There’s no report on whether Petsas’ bike had lights or reflectors, or if the driver could have stopped in time to avoid the crash.

At that point, Imperial Highway appears to have a rideable shoulder, with three lanes of traffic in each direction and a double left turn lane, which may have been what he was trying to reach. It also appears to have a 60 mph speed limit, which means that traffic could have been traveling much faster at that hour.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the CHP’s Santa Ana office at 714/567-6000.

This is the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County; that compares with 15 in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jonathan Petsas and all his loved ones.

Palm Springs bicyclist killed in collision with semi truck

Another Riverside County bike rider has been killed, the third in the past month.

The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports a 49-year old man was struck by a big rig truck at 4:48 am yesterday on East Ramon Road west of Paseo Dorotea.

He was pronounced dead at the scene four minutes later.

The Riverside County Coroner’s office identifies him as Eddie Galindo of Palm Springs, while placing the site of the collision as approximately 208 feet west of Paseo Dorotea.

It’s unclear just how the collision may have occurred.

The Desert Sun reports that police concluded Galindo was riding north when he was struck by the eastbound truck. However, a satellite view shows a six lane divided highway with no obvious crossing points west of Paseo Dorotea.

Meanwhile, KESQ-2/3 says he was riding east on Ramon, which would suggest he was rear-ended by the driver of the truck.

It’s possible he may have been attempting to cross the eastbound lanes to make a left turn, which is the only explanation that would appear to fit both descriptions.

Police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved. And no word on whether the victim had lights and reflectors in the early morning darkness.

Galindo’s death follows the hit-and-run death of Forrest Holmes in Jurupa Valley, and that of a Hemet man who has still not been publicly identified, both earlier last month.

This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Riverside County. That compares with 56 in SoCal this time last year, and five in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eddie Galindo and all his loved ones.

Bicyclist killed in Palmdale after running red light, struck by two cars

A bad month has gotten worse, as a bike rider was killed in Palmdale Monday morning.

According to the Antelope Valley Times, 39-year old Lancaster resident Amin Hopkins was riding south on Country Club Drive at 6:50 am yesterday when he allegedly rode his bike through the red light at Rancho Vista Blvd.

He made it across the westbound lanes, but was struck by a car in the left lane of the eastbound side and was knocked into the right lane, where he was struck by a second car as he was sprawled in the street.

Both drivers stopped after colliding with Hopkins. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane divided residential street on Country Club, with three lanes in each direction on Rancho Vista.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Palmdale Sheriff Station’s Traffic Department at 661/272-2400

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth fatal SoCal bike crash in the last 13 days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amin Hopkins and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Michele Chavez for the heads-up.

Lightless bike rider killed in pre-dawn Hemet crash

Yet another bike rider has been killed in what has been a bad week for SoCal cyclists.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the 34-year old Hemet resident, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was struck by a Jeep Cherokee near the intersection of Florida Ave and Western Ave in Hemet around 6 am today.

The Riverside County News Source places the time at 6:02 am, while suggesting that the victim may have been when he was hit by the westbound SUV as he was crossing Florida.

However, the Press-Enterprise reports that investigators have not determined which direction the victim was traveling.

Police investigators say the victim was wearing dark clothes with no lights or reflectors on his bike when he allegedly moved in front of the SUV, nearly half an hour before sunrise.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite the efforts of paramedics.

Photos on the RCNS site show a badly mangled mountain bike lying in the center of the roadway. The driver, who remained at the scene, did not appear to have been speeding or under the influence, according to police.

A street view shows a wide four lane street with center turn lane on Florida, with a narrow residential street on Western, connecting at an intersection controlled with a two-way stop sign.

Several people called 911 to report the crash. Anyone with information is urged to contact Hemet Police officials at 951/765-2400.

This is the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Riverside County. It’s also the fourth SoCal bicycling death in the last seven days; at least three other riders have been seriously injured in that time.

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


Update: 22-year old Jurupa Valley bike rider killed in early morning hit-and-run

A Riverside County became the latest bicyclist to be murdered by a hit-and-run driver, in what is becoming an epidemic in Southern California.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 22-year old Jurupa Valley resident Forrest Holmes was killed in a collision at the intersection of Limonite Ave and Lucretia Ave in Jurupa Valley around 2 am today.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No information is available on how the wreck occurred, and there’s no description of the driver or the suspect vehicle.

A street view shows a wide, four lane roadway on Limonite, with a an un-striped residential street on Lucretia; they meet at a T-intersection controlled by a traffic light. None of which means anything without knowing what happened.

This is 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Riverside County.

It’s also the third fatal hit-and-run involving a SoCal bike rider in the past week, and the fifth in just the last five weeks.

Update: KABC-7 reports Holmes was an aspiring minister, and had gotten up early to minister to day laborers at a local Home Depot. 

The station places the site of the collision on Limonite, less than a half mile west of Lucretia, rather than at the intersection itself. After he was struck from behind, other drivers comforted him as he lay dying after the driver fled the scene. 

A gofundme page has been established to help pay for his funeral expenses; as of this time, it has raised a little over $1,100 of the $5,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Forrest Holmes and his family and friends.

Update: 20-year old bike rider killed in Inglewood hit-and-run

Not again.

Just hours after news broke of a fatal hit-and-run on PCH Monday night, word comes that another bicyclist was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver in Inglewood just hours later.

According to the Daily Breeze, 20-year old William McGee was hit by a vehicle around 2:25 this morning at Crenshaw Boulevard and 109th Street. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died soon after.

No other information is available at this time, and no details were provided on the driver or the vehicle involved.

A street view shows a divided four lane street on Crenshaw, while 109th is a narrow residential street that enters on a T-intersection controlled by a red light.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Inglewood Police Department at 310/412-5211.

There’s no excuse, ever, for leaving another human being to die in the street. If the driver is found, he or she should face a 2nd degree murder charge, along with a permanent loss of driving privileges.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 23rd in Los Angeles County this year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports a burning van was found nearby with damage consistent with hitting a bicyclist, suggesting the driver had set it on fire to coverup the crime.

The youngest of three sons, McGee had just celebrated his 20th birthday six days before he was killed.


My deepest sympathy and prayers for William McGee and all his loved ones.

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