Sometimes the news reports are as infuriating as the news itself.
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a bike rider was struck and killed at the intersection of Meadowbrook Lane and Jurupa Avenue last night.
The police say the victim, who has been identified only as a man, was headed north on Meadowbrook when he “steered” into the intersection around 7:40 pm, and was struck by the eastbound pickup, whose driver was reportedly unable to stop in time.
The question is what does that mean? The implication is the victim was turning onto Jurupa; however, he also may have been attempting to cross and swerved to avoid the truck at the last minute.
The other question is why wasn’t the driver able to stop in time?
The police press release implies that the cyclist may have run the stop sign on Meadowbrook and ridden out into the path of the truck on the uncontrolled street, where the driver would have the right-of-way. However, that would depend on whether there were independent witnesses other than the driver who saw the victim ride out in front of the truck.
It’s also possible that he may have come to a stop, and simply misjudged the speed of the truck before riding onto the five lane, 45 mph street, or that the driver was speeding, giving the illusion that he had time to turn or cross the street. Or maybe the driver just wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t see the cyclist until it was too late.
Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Detective Ken Madsen at 951/826-8723.
Hopefully their investigation will go a lot deeper than what’s contained in their press release.
This is the 7th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year,* and the first in Riverside County. It’s also the eight bicycling fatality in Riverside in just the last two years.
Update: Raw video from the scene shows the truck stopped in the center turn lane just beyond the intersection, with the bike stuck underneath, suggesting that the victim was crossing the street when he was struck. It also shows an open bottle of vodka standing upright next to his covered body, implying that he may have been drinking. But be forewarned, the video is very difficult to watch.
*I’ve added the death of a teenager who was killed while walking his bike on the train tracks near Oxnard.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.