Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Bicyclist dies after apparent solo crash in Palm Desert

A man has died after crashing into a concrete pole in Palm Desert, the victim of an apparent solo crash.

According to KESQ News Channel 3, the victim was riding his bike east on Dinah Shore Drive near Monterey Ave around 8 am Wednesday when he veered off the road into a parking lot, where he struck the pole.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

There’s no explanation for why he left the road, and no apparent witnesses. The first word of the crash came with reports of a man down in the parking lot.

It’s possible he may have swerved to avoid a pothole or a close pass, suffered a mechanical problem, or simply lost control for some unknown reason.

Hopefully someone, somewhere, saw what happened and can shed light on the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Francis Avila of the Palm Desert Station’s Traffic Team at 760/836-1600.

This is at least the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth I’m aware of in Riverside County.

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

19-year old bike rider killed in 4th of July collision in Baldwin Park

While the rest of Los Angeles was celebrating Independence Day, a young man in Baldwin Park became just the latest bike rider to lose his life on our mean streets.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 19-year old Baldwin Park resident Anthony Alexander Morales Perez was riding west on Los Angeles Street around 9:56 pm yesterday when he started to make left turn onto Bresee Avenue.

He was struck by the driver of a car traveling on Los Angeles; it’s not clear whether Perez was struck from behind, or if the car was traveling in the other direction.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect drug or alcohol use played a factor.

There’s no word on whether Perez had lights or reflectors on his bike, which should have made him visible to others on the street.

A street view shows Los Angeles Street has two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction, controlled by a red light in each direction. Again, there’s no word on who might have had the right-of-way, or if the traffic signal may have been a factor in the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Baldwin Park Police Department at 626/960-1955.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Anthony Alexander Morales Perez and his loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: Challenger Sarah Kate Levy gets big endorsement in CD4, bike cops in the news, and a video Tuesday

LA’s city elections are still more than nine months away.

Yet the action is heating up in the city’s 4th Council District, where challenger Sarah Kate Levy has already won the endorsement of popular first-term Congresswoman Katie Hill.

It’s unusual for an elected official to endorse a challenger facing an incumbent councilmember from his or her own party.

Especially in Los Angeles.

And especially this early in the race.

Yet Hill announced yesterday she’s throwing in with the rookie city council candidate.

Sarah Kate Levy also received an early endorsement from Bike the Vote LA, who said she stood out far above the scrum of candidates, including Ryu.

Or maybe especially Ryu.

Levy summed up her position on Twitter in response to another user.

Which is something we should have heard from incumbent David Ryu years ago.

Photo from Sara Kate Levy’s website.

………

Today’s common theme is bike cops.

When a pair of Seattle bike cops tried to stop a man for carrying a knife, he fought with the officers — probably because of his two outstanding warrants and the coke in his backpack.

Boston bike cops got into a shootout with a fleeing man after responding to a report of shots fired; the officers were uninjured, while the suspect was killed.

Two Ottawa, Canada bike cops were exonerated of breaking a belligerent drunk’s wrist after the man confronted them and challenged one to a fight; investigators concluded he could have broken his wrist in a fight before the police arrested him, or while punching his cell wall afterwards.

And you could always make the tales of a teenaged Maine bike cop part of your summer reading.

………

Heartbreaking news from New York, where hundreds of fed-up bike riders rallied to protest the death of yet another person on a bicycle, coupled with the usual inaction by the NYPD.

The victim, a 20-year old bike racer, was hit by the driver of a semi-truck shortly after moving to the city from Virginia.

Needless to say, the driver kept going, returning to the scene claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, after witnesses chased him down.

The victim, Robyn Hightman, had recently been named one of 10 ambassadors for the Hagens Berman–Supermint Pro Cycling Team.

Here’s what she movingly wrote about the impact of bicycling in her life, in applying for the program.

As a homeless youth deeply entrenched in the trappings of poverty and parental abuse and neglect, my first bicycle offered a way to seek respite from the horrors of my surroundings and human experience, if only for a few glorious minutes. My bicycle established a sense of independence, strengthened my ability to be self sufficient, and provided me with the confidence necessary to advocate for myself, my rights, and my needs in public space. My bicycle enabled me to leave our encampment every day to access education, seek out food, and fulfill my basic needs. Eventually, my bicycle allowed me to provide for myself when I began working a full time job at the age of fourteen. My bicycle provided me with the socioeconomic mobility necessary to escape. My bicycle saved my life.

Sadly, she lost it while riding her bike, as well.

Maybe if LA bike riders would respond like that to the continued carnage on our streets, our elected leaders might finally start taking us — and our lives — seriously.

Sadly, though, when someone is killed riding a bike in Los Angeles, in most cases, the late, great Phil Ochs nailed it.

Because in most cases, “It really doesn’t matter to anybody, outside of a small circle of friends.”

………

Why waste your bike pump skills putting air in your tires, when you could be making music?

Although this one seems to work a little better.

And more timely, too.

………

Okay, so it’s not the kind of bike you pedal.

But a young Pennsylvania man learned the hard way not to taunt a cop while riding a stolen dirt bike if you can’t control the damn thing.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes.

Even when they’re kids riding for a good cause, if not in the right way.

English drivers were angered when a hundred teenagers took to the streets to call for an end to knife crime. But one man did more than complain, getting out of his car and pushing a boy off his bike; police called that “not an acceptable response.”

………

Local

Sad news from Koreatown, where a man was shot and killed while riding his bicycle by another man on a bike; police are investigating it as a possible gang shooting.

A New Urbanist living carfree in Los Angeles says she’d like to ride a bike, but has doubts about safety.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

NPR talks with the author of The World’s Fastest Man about the legendary Major Taylor, who battled Jim Crow racism to become an international bike racing sensation in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, yet died pennyless. Thanks to Brooks McKinney for the heads-up.

Wired lists their picks for the year’s top three bike helmets, ranging from Trek’s new $300 WaveCel tech to Bluetooth and crash detection models. Or maybe you’d rather have a full-face mountain bike helmet that snaps off to convert to a regular helmet.

Bicycling says if you get a concussion while shredding trails on your mountain bike, stop riding, already. The same goes for roadies, too.

Forget bikes, Strava wants to be your new social network.

A Portland woman walks with just community service after injuring a woman by booby trapping a bike path after a night of heavy drinking — but she does have to write a letter saying she’s really, really sorry. She can thank the very forgiving victim who asked for no jail time.

Speaking of Portland, a man riding a bike is dead because a speeding, aggressive driver had the munchies after drinking tequila and Sprite all day.

E-mails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Chicago officials were afraid of a revolt by bike riders if they banned bicycles from the popular Riverfront shared-use path. Even though one alderman is still trying to do just that.

A Minnesota paper almost gets it, saying sharrows are nothing more than a reminder to share the road, although thy don’t seem grasp their benefit as wayfinding symbols, or that they tell both bicyclists and drivers where bikes should be positioned in the lane. As far as safety is concerned, however, all they do is help drivers improve their aim. Which is not a good thing.

A kindhearted Kentucky kid gave away the bike he was given after a thief made off with his bike, after cops recovered the one he got for having perfect attendance.

A Boston mom says the thief that stole her six-year old son’s bicycle didn’t just  take his bike, he stole his innocence.

No bias here. A community in New York’s Hudson Valley has decided to break the law by requiring bicyclists to ride single file, even though state law allows people to ride side-by-side; a local radio station manages to see the story from just one side of the windshield.

There’s something seriously wrong with a protected bike lane when the NYPD has to stand guard to keep drivers out of it.

Tragic news from New Jersey, where family members found a 61-year old man dead on the side of the road next to his bike after he didn’t come home from his job on the graveyard shift; investigators believe he rode off the road on a descent. Although it’s always possible he was the victim of a too-close pass that forced him off the road.

WTF? No, a bicyclist didn’t break into a home and murder an 82-year old Pennsylvania man in his sleep. A man who happened to be riding a bicycle did, before he dismounted, busted in and killed a random stranger. The fact he was riding a bike had absolutely nothing to do with it.

A DC website wonders why there’s so much knee-jerk opposition to road diets in the area, when they would make streets safer and barely affect traffic. Good question. Another good question is why do so many newspapers and websites insist on putting quotation marks around “road diet”? That’s what they’re called. It makes no more sense than to put quotes around road diet than it does “streets”.

 

International

Brazil is the latest country to succumb to the e-scooter invasion.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bikini-clad bike ride in some undisclosed tropical location.

The Guardian picks up the disgusting tale of the truly despicable London woman who pretended to be the aunt of a fallen bicyclist she had no relationship to, in order to claim the victim would have opposed a protected bike lane that might have saved her life.

Guardian readers consider how to make bicycling safer and more appealing, with one letter writer saying London doesn’t suck compared to Sydney, Australia, and another suggesting at least two US cities don’t suck, either. One of which is my humble hometown.

A British man uses recycled ocean plastic to create a foldable, and kind of cool looking, bikeshare helmet.

Experts attending the international Velo-City conference say Dublin, Ireland needs to cut private cars to make room for bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly considers five lessons from the recently concluded Tour de Suisse, as well as which Brits to watch for in advance of next month’s Tour de France.

Pro cyclist Lindsey Goldman says there has to be a better financial model for women’s cycling, as her Hagens Berman—Supermint team prepares to lose its chief sponsor. If they find one, tell the men, too.

 

Finally…

When you’re making a jail break, always grab the nearest bicycle you can find to ensure a clean getaway. A man may have a clear conscious after mailing back the $6,000 bike he stole, but he ended up behind bars anyway.

And bike rustlers don’t have to ghost ride their stolen bikes anymore.

 

Update: Woman killed in Oxnard crash after allegedly swerving in front of SUV

In any bicycling crash, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver.

Because too often, the victim is in no shape to tell his or her side of the story.

That’s what happened in Oxnard this morning, where a bike rider was killed after allegedly swerving in front on an oncoming SUV.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim, identified only as a 44-year old woman from Port Hueneme, was riding west on Hemlock Drive near Seaside Drive around 5:30 am, when she allegedly swerved into the path of the 26-year old driver.

He was unable to stop in time, and slammed into her bike.

She was taken from Oxnard to the Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, where she died.

The driver remained at the scene, and cooperated with investigators. Police don’t suspect he was under the influence.

Unfortunately, Oxnard police didn’t indicate whether there were any other witnesses, or if they were relying on strictly on the driver’s description of what happened.

Bike riders often call crashes like this an SWSS, or single witness suicide swerve, because in the absence of any other witnesses, it’s just as likely that the driver drifted to the right to hit the victim as she rode in the bike lane.

Especially at that hour, when the driver is likely to be sleepy and inattentive.

It’s also possible that she was in the traffic lane, and the driver failed to see her until the last moment, and mistakenly assumed she swerved in front of him.

And it’s possible, if not likely, that the driver was exceeding the 40 mph speed limit, which would have reduced his reaction time, and given the false impression that she had sufficient time to safely move to the left.

Chances are, we’ll never know.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 2nd that I’m aware of in Ventura County; the previous death was in Oxnard, as well.

Update: The victim has been identified as Port Hueneme resident Dana Kuehl; she was actually 39, not 44.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dana Kuehl and her loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in South Gate hit-and-run late Saturday night

Once again, a heartless coward has taken the life of an innocent person.

This time, it happened in South Gate, where a bike rider killed last night.

According to KTLA-5, a man was riding east in the crosswalk on Imperial Highway at the South Gate onramp to the northbound 710 Freeway when the driver of a large black Ford SUV or pickup truck slammed into him around 11:30 pm.

The driver fled onto the freeway, leaving the victim, who has not been publicly identified, to die at the scene.

The crash occurred just steps from the entrance to the LA River bike path.

Given the hour and location, there’s a good chance the victim was homeless. Which doesn’t reduce the tragedy, or the severity of the crime, in any way.

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer J. Vargas at 323/980-4600.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 67-year old Manuel Coronel, described as a homeless man. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Coronel and his loved ones.

 

 

Riverside bike rider killed by speeding drunk — or maybe stoned — driver in Rialto

Let’s call it what it is.

Murder.

Maybe that’s not what the law says. Or what the DA will charge.

But when death is the entirely foreseeable consequence of getting loaded and speeding down a busy roadway, that what it is.

It’s no different than if the driver had fired a gun down the street, then was surprised to learn he actually hit someone.

In effect, that’s what happened in Rialto Tuesday evening, when an intoxicated high-speed driver ran down a man on a bike.

According to KTLA-5, a 34-year old Riverside man was was riding his bike west on Rialto’s Industrial Drive at North Riverside Ave around 6:52 pm when a driver headed north on Riverside slammed into his bike.

The victim, who was not publicly named, was lying dead in the roadway when police and paramedics arrived at the scene.

Both the driver and his passenger were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. Thirty-two-year old Hesperia resident John Godinez was booked on a DUI charge upon his release.

Hopefully additional — and more serious — charges will be added later.

Anyone with information is urged to call Rialto police at 909/820-2550.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

Update: Man killed in collision while walking or riding bike on Santa Ana sidewalk

More evidence bike riders aren’t safe anywhere from reckless drivers.

Not even on a sidewalk.

And whether or not they’re actually riding their bikes.

According to the Orange County Register, a man was killed around 10:15 pm Tuesday when he was struck by a driver near the intersection of Fairview and Harvard Streets in Santa Ana.

The victim was walking or riding his bike on the west sidewalk along Fairview when man driving south on Fairview somehow jumped the curb and slammed into him.

The driver pulled into a nearby parking lot before calling 911 and running back to the scene.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was taken to a Santa Ana hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There’s no word on why the driver jumped the curb. It’s possible he may have been distracted or under the influence; it’s also possible there may have been another vehicle involved.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8200.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Perris resident Marcos Monzon

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Marcos Monzon and all his loved ones.

Maywood bike rider killed in Boyle Heights hit-and-run; police alibi driver in advance

Once again, a bike rider has lost his life at the hands of a hit-and-run driver.

But this time, the police have given him — or her — a ready-made excuse for the crime.

According to a statement by the LAPD, 24-year old Maywood resident Jaime Ramirez was killed by the driver of a semi-truck at Lynwood Ave and 8th Street in Boyle Heights around 9:30 pm Friday night.

Ramirez was riding south on Lynwood, splitting lanes between a car and the semi, when he either lost control of his bike or was hit by one of the drivers as he neared 8th, and somehow fell under the rear wheels of the truck.

The driver kept going without stopping, failing to notice — or ignoring — a witness chasing behind in his car, honking and flashing his lights.

Despite frantic efforts to save his life, Ramirez died at the scene.

Unfortunately the driver received an alibi in advance, courtesy of the LAPD, who said he or she may not be aware they’d hit anyone.

So now all the driver has to do to get away with it is claim just that, regardless of whether it has any basis in fact.

The truck was described as an all-white semi with sleeper cab and a box trailer, and no visible logos or other markings, California license 4MY4587. Police believe the driver may be on the way to Fresno.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for any fatal hit-and-run.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh in the City of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jaime Ramirez and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch and John Dammon for the heads-up.

 

 

22-year old Castaic woman killed by street sweeper while riding her bike in Valencia

Sadly, the recent rash of bicycling deaths continued over the weekend, with yet another victim lost to our streets.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, 22-year old Castaic resident Kori Sue Peters was riding on Rye Canyon Road at Beale Court in Valencia just after midnight Sunday when the driver of street sweeper hit her from behind.

She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The driver cooperated with investigators, and did not appear to be under the influence drugs or alcohol.

According to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, Rye Canyon is one of just two viable bike routes between Castaic and Valencia.

Sheriff’s investigators determined that she didn’t have lights on her bike, and also blamed her dark clothing for apparently making herself invisible to the driver of the street sweeper.

While bike riders are required to use lights after dark and have reflectors on their bikes, there is no requirement to wear light colored clothing, even though it’s probably a good idea after dark, though not always practical.

And drivers are expected, if not required, to notice whatever or whoever is in the road directly in front of them.

I’m told that Peters leaves behind two children, and may have recently returned home to work on a substance abuse problem without her kids.

In other words, she was trying to turn her life around.

And now she’ll never get the chance.

This is at least the 31st 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 Kori Sue Peters and all her family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Nina Moskol for the heads-up.

Santa Clarita mountain biker dies on Simi Valley trail Saturday morning

Cars and drivers aren’t the only dangers we face.

Sometimes it’s your own body that lets you down.

That’s what happened yesterday morning on trail above Simi Valley, where a man apparently died of natural causes while riding with a group of friends.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding on the Undertow Trail, which they describe as a popular mountain bike trail south of Hummingbird Ranch outside Simi Valley, when he began to feel ill around 10:40 am.

His riding companions told him to turn back, and called 911.

The Ventura County Fire Department and a county helicopter crew responded; sadly, the 52-year old Santa Clarita resident died before rescue personnel could arrive.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

It’s also a reminder to see your doctor on a regular basis — especially if you’re having unexplained chest pains or difficulty breathing, no matter how fit you may feel.

It may not have made a difference in this case.

But it might in yours.

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

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