Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

Man riding bicycle killed in double Menifee crash, as 2nd driver leaves scene; 3rd fatal Riverside County bike crash this year

For the third time in just three days, a bike rider was killed in Southern California.

And for the third time, a driver left the scene — although police were quick to excuse it.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 43-year old Lake Elsinore resident Alex Herrera was crossing Highway 74 just west of Briggs Road in Menifee around 10:45 Saturday night, when he was struck by a westbound driver, flung onto the other side of the roadway, and run over by another driver headed east.

Herrera died at the scene before police could arrive.

The first driver stopped and waited for police, though he was unsure who or what he struck on the dark roadway.

The second driver kept going without stopping, but lost his license plate in the crash. Police were able to track him down and were quick to absolve him of responsibility, suggesting he may not have known he hit anyone.

Because evidently, it’s perfectly normal to keep driving after feeling a large, unexpected bump without stopping to see what the hell it was.

Like maybe another person, for instance.

Police said there was no sign drug or alcohol intoxication played a role in the crash, and neither driver was ticketed or arrested at the scene.

There’s no word on why Herrera was crossing the highway west of the intersection with Briggs, with no street lights or businesses to light the roadway.

There’s also no indication if he had lights on his bike that would have made him visible in the darkness.

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

Drivers have left the scene in all but two of those deaths, including all three in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alex Herrera and his loved ones.

Update: Man riding bike killed by carjacker in horrific DTLA hit-and-run crash; victim was on his way to join a group ride

This time, it really is murder.

A 46-year old bike rider is dead, the innocent victim of a speeding carjacker trying to make his escape through Downtown Los Angeles Saturday morning.

Now police are looking for the car thief and killer, who simply walked away after a second crash.

According to KABC-7, the series of events started when a passing pedestrian asked a newspaper delivery driver for a ride on the 900 block of Wilshire Blvd. When the driver refused, the man jumped into the running pickup while the man was stocking a newsstand.

A flier from the LAPD places the time of the theft as 7:50 am.

Unable to get back into the truck, the delivery driver jumped into the back as the man sped off towards DTLA, then wisely jumped out a few blocks later, tumbling to the ground.

Witnesses saw the carjacker careening through the streets, weaving from side to side at a high rate of speed while driving on the wrong side of the roadway.

After turning onto eastbound 7th Street, he slammed into a man who was riding east just before 7th and Olive Street.

However, according to the police flier, the victim riding against traffic in the westbound bike lane — which means the driver rear-ended him while all the way on wrong side of the street.

The victim landed on the hood of the truck, and was carried nearly 100 feet before being thrown off, then tumbled another 150 feet before coming to a rest at Hill Street, a full block from where he was hit.

KTLA-5 reports friends of the victim identified him as Branden Finley, a member of the Ride for Black Lives group; he was reportedly on his way to join a group ride when he was killed.

Paramedics attempted without luck to revive him, before declaring Finley dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, the driver continued east on 7th until he crashed into a pair of vehicles and took off on foot, melting away on the Downtown streets.

Bizarrely, he was walking barefoot and carrying a steering wheel, presumably from the truck he stole.

He was described as a Black man around 5 foot 6 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds, and may have suffered a head injury from hitting his head on the windshield.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white hoodie and black pants, after removing the blue hoodie he was originally wearing.

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

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713, or e-mail hm at 31480@lapd.online. During weekends and off-hours, call 1-877/527-3247.

This is at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County and the City of LA.

Three of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

Update: The LA County coroner has confirmed the victim’s identity as Branden Finley, a 46-year old father of two.

“I still don’t even think it’s real. I feel like it’s a dream. Right now, it’s a nightmare, and I feel tomorrow I’m going to wake up and this day will never exist,” his daughter, Koi Finley, told ABC7.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Branden Finley and his loved ones. 

Bicyclist killed in Perris hit-and-run Thursday night; driver arrested hours later

Just over two weeks into the new year, a second bike rider has been killed in Riverside County, both the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

But at least this time, the killer was caught a few hours later.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding through the intersection of Goetz Road and Mapes Road in Perris around 8:30 pm Thursday when he was struck by a car driven by 28-year old Perris resident Nathan Craig Rogers.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, died at the scene.

Rogers fled the scene, but Patch reports he was taken into custody around 11 pm Thursday.

At last report, he was being held on $75,000 bond on suspicion of felony fatal hit-and-run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.

Sadly, California’s lenient hit-and-run laws mean Rogers is looking at just four years behind bars, with another year in county jail for the misdemeanor manslaughter charge.

And that’s only if the judge rules the sentences should run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Kiebach at 951/776-1099, or the Perris Station at 951-210-1000.

This is at least the 4th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 2nd that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Half of those SoCal bicycling deaths have ben the result of hit-and-run drivers, both in Riverside County.

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

Update: Motorcyclist and bicycle rider collide near Jamul in East San Diego County, both victims killed

One crash. Two bikes. Two dead.

In a rare double tragedy, a man on a bicycle was struck by another man on a motorcycle near Jamul in East San Diego County.

Both died within minutes.

According to multiple sources, the victim on the bicycle was riding at the end of a group of road cyclists as they rode east on Otay Lakes Road near the Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground.

The motorcyclist was riding east with three other motorcycle riders when he somehow slammed into the other man on the narrow two-lane road around 9:30 am today.

They both received CPR at the scene, but were pronounced dead after ten minutes.

They were described only as men in their mid to late 30s.

There’s no word on what may have caused the crash.

This is at least the 3rd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Chula Vista resident Julius Cunanan; he leaves behind his wife and two young sons, one just a month old. 

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $25,000 in two days, surpassing the $15,000 goal. 

Update 2: The motorcyclist has been identified as 43-year-old Jonathan Michael Charbonnet, also from Chula Vista. 

Still no word on why Charbonnet collided with Cunanan’s bicycle.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julius Cunanan and Jonathan Michael Charbonnet, and all their loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Update: 75-year old man killed by semi driver in while riding bike in Oxnard collision

A 75-year old man was killed in an Oxnard collision Saturday morning.

According to KEYT-TV, the victim was struck by a semi-truck driver while riding his bicycle around 3:43 pm Saturday, at South Oxnard Boulevard and West Wooley Road.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck as the driver was headed north on Oxnard after turning off of Wooley.

He died at the scene.

A police spokesman, speaking on a video from the scene, said the victim appeared to already be in the busy five-way intersection when he was run down.

The video, which is disturbing to watch, shows a mangled mountain bike under the truck, along with the victim’s body covered in a shroud. So be warned before you click the link, because you may not want to see it.

This is at least the 2nd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 75-year old Oxnard resident Adolfo Ambriz Heredia.

Still no word on why the truck driver hit Heredia’s bike, or whether he will be ticketed or charged for the apparent right hook crash.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adolfo Ambriz Heredia and his loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in Riverside hit-and-run Thursday morning; first SoCal bike death of 2021

Sadly, it should surprise anyone that the first Southern California bike rider to lose his life this year was the victim of a hit-and-run driver.

According to MyNewsLA, the victim was riding south on Jackson Street at Colorado Ave in Riverside, in a dedicated bike lane, when he was struck by a driver around 6:30 am this morning.

The driver slowed down briefly, then took off without stopping.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to Parkview Community Hospital, where he died a short time later.

KTLA-5 reports the initial investigation indicates he left the bike lane and entered the regular traffic lane just before he was run down.

However, a street view shows a broken line on the bike lane prior to the intersection, which could have given the impression he left the bike lane.

Unfortunately, there’s no description of the hit-and-run suspect or the vehicle at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Police Detective Anderson at 951/826-8723.

This is the first bicycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County

That compares 65 bicycling deaths in Southern California last year, and ten in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 66-year old Riverside resident Lin Tae Kim

The suspect vehicle is described as a 2002 – 2008 Mini Cooper, with the driver’s side window and mirror missing, as well as several pieces of side trim.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Lin Tae Kim and his loved ones. 

 

Writer and adventurer Roy Wallack killed in mountain bike crash in Santa Monica Mountains Saturday morning

Roy Wallack wrote that bicycling would help you live to be 100.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Irvine resident, author of Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100, was just 64 year old when he died following a crash on the Guadalasca Trail in Pt. Magu State Park Saturday morning.

According to the Ventura County Star, Wallack was riding with friends on the difficult trail when he fell around 9:20 am, although he had not been publicly identified yet in the original story.

The crash took place on the Guadalasca Trail, he said, which cuts through steep, technical terrain near the Backbone Trail. The cyclist, a man in his 60s, had reportedly been riding with friends when he crashed his bike and lost consciousness, Worthy said. The cyclist’s city of residence was not immediately known Saturday.

The man’s friends called for emergency medical assistance and performed CPR until the sheriff’s helicopter arrived with paramedics and a flight nurse. The crew continued life-saving measures but the cyclist did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene, Worthy said.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

A former columnist for the LA Times, Wallack was a prolific writer, according to the Star.

Wallack was a health and fitness journalist who had penned stories and columns for publications including The Los Angeles Times, magazines including Outside, Bicycling and Men’s Journal, and had authored a book, “Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100…and Beyond,” according to his online profile on Twitter and on his Muck Rack page. His most recent tweet from Nov. 17 links to an LA Times story offering tips on buying and selling fitness gear during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Google search shows he’s the author of at least eight other fitness books.

The Times describes Wallack as a avid hiker, runner and bicyclist who took part in the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, as well as the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris bike tour.

Wallack’s work for The Times spanned barre classes, triathlons, kayaking, the L.A. Marathon and more. He penned a gear column for many years, keeping fitness fans in the loop about the hottest must-haves.

He began a 2016 piece: “Hiking the Grand Canyon was not on my bucket list. A marathon, yes. Bike 200 miles in a day, yes. Ironman triathlon, absolutely. But for some reason, a mere day hike, even in one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, was never on my radar.”

Wallack ended up being won over by the 15-mile trek, describing it as “an otherworldly journey into a land before time” and “a true bucket-list adventure.”

The paper also describes his efforts to keep his 84-year old father active, despite being housebound by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper reports that he recently finished one last book, about Richard Long, the founder of GT Bicycles, who was killed in a collision with a truck while riding his motorcycle to a bike race in Big Bear in 1994.

Tributes were beginning to pour in as word of his death began to spread Sunday evening.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

My deepest condolences and prayers for Roy Wallack and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Mike Burk for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in collision with semi driver near Bonsall, second fatal San Diego County bike crash in two days

For the second time in two days, a bike rider has been killed in San Diego County.

Multiple sources are reporting someone on a bicycle was killed while riding on eastbound State Route 76, near North River Road outside of Bonsall this morning, less than a day after a man was killed in a Santee collision.

The Village News offers more details, placing the crash just west of North River Road around 10:24 am.

According to the paper, the victim was riding east on SR 76 when he was struck by the driver of a semi-truck traveling in the same direction.

No identification or description was given for either the victim or the driver.

The driver returned to the scene, which suggests he or she initially kept kept going. It’s possible they may not have known they hit someone at first if they sideswiped the victim.

Otherwise, the driver should have been aware of the impact.

A street view shows SR 73 is a divided highway with two lanes in each direction and a paved, painted shoulder, along with a right turn slip lane the victim would have had to navigate in order to stay on the highway.

This is at least the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The driver, who has not been identified, was allegedly stoned on some unspecified drug at the time of the crash.

He reported drifted off the roadway onto what the CHP identifies as a bike lane, where the victim was riding, then returned to the scene after finding a safe place to turn around. 

Which does not explain why he didn’t simply stop after hitting the victim. 

The 57-year old Santa Fe Springs resident was arrested on suspicion of DUI. 

Meanwhile, the victim has been identified only as a 58-year old Oceanside resident riding a KHS road bike. 

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

 

Man killed riding bike in Santee collision; few details available

A man was killed in a collision while riding a bike in Santee Monday afternoon.

Which is almost all we know about it right now.

According to multiple nearly identical sources, the victim was struck by the driver of some sort of vehicle around 3:45 pm Monday at Mission Gorge Road and Fanita Drive.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports he was taken to a hospital with a grave head injury, where he died.

The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Which should be a given, but sadly isn’t.

Sheriff’s deputies don’t think alcohol played a role in the crash.

Westbound Mission Gorge was closed for hours after the crash, suggesting that’s where the crash occurred; a street view shows a busy six lane divided highway with a double left turn lane and no shoulder.

Anyone with information is urged to call sheriff’s investigators at 858/565-5200.

This is at least the 64th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Update: 12-year boy killed riding with dad in Costa Mesa crash; driver arrested for murder and DUI, as well as parole violation

Some things are just too sad for words.

Like the death of a 12-year old boy who was just out for a bike ride with his dad.

And murdered by an intoxicated driver who was somehow entrusted to operate a deadly machine.

Okay, allegedly intoxicated.

According to the Daily Pilot, Noel Bascon was riding in a crosswalk with his father near the Costa Mesa skate park around 5:55 Sunday night, when he was run down by the driver of a rented pickup truck.

A witness began CPR before police officers responding to the crash took over until paramedics arrived. But despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

A news release from the Costa Mesa Police Department places the crash near Junipero and Arlington Drives.

Fifty-nine-year old Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was driving east on Arlington when he reportedly ran a stop sign, throwing Baskin several feet through the air.

Despite being under the influence — again, allegedly — and on parole, Lavalle remained at the scene.

He was booked on charges of murder and DUI, as well as a parole violation.

The murder charge suggests that Lavalle has a previous conviction for driving under the influence, and signed a Watson Advisement warning that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving drunk or stoned in the future.

His passenger, 56-year old Artesia resident Lee Anna Diaz Murphy, was booked on possession of controlled substances and possession of unlawful paraphernalia.

Anyone with information is urged to call Costa Mesa Traffic Investigator Kha Bao at 714/754-5264.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: Lavalle is being held without bail after he was charged with second-degree murder, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

My News LA confirms he was driving while stoned, and did receive a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County; otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge. 

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could mean a possible life sentence. 

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Noel Bascom and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up. 

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