Tag Archive for bicycling fatality

San Diego man killed in collision after falling off his bike

More bad news.

According to multiple sources, a man was killed in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood on Tuesday when he was hit by a driver after apparently falling off his bike.

The victim, identified only as a 66-year old man, was riding against traffic in the left lane of northbound Fairmont Ave, between Home Street and Federal Boulevard, when he somehow tumbled from his mountain bike around 6:45 pm.

A 61-year old woman ran over his sprawled body after thinking he was just a shadow in the street, and was unable to stop in time when she realized her error.

She stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators, despite initial reports that it was a hit-and-run.

It’s unknown whether the victim lost control because he was under the influence, suffered from some kind of health condition or fell for some other reason.

It’s also unclear why he was riding in the left lane, rather than in the bike lane.

Other sources identify the area of the crash as the Ridgeview/Webster or Chollas Creek neighborhoods of San Diego.

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

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

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

South LA man killed in possible street racing crash while riding his bike in Florence neighborhood

This morning we mentioned a breaking news report about a fatal crash between two drivers in South LA’s Florence neighborhood that may have involved two people on bicycles.

Sadly, our worst fears have bee confirmed, although several of the details were wrong.

According to multiple sources, 54-year old James Findley was killed when he was struck by a single driver around 10:35 pm at the intersection of 82nd Street and South Broadway in the Florence neighborhood of South LA.

The reports indicate Findley was riding on 82nd Street when he was run down by one of two drivers who were allegedly street racing north on Broadway.

That driver remained at the scene after crashing into several parked cars, while the other took off without stopping.

Findley was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other bike rider was involved in the crash, despite the presence of two badly mangled bicycles, as seen in this screen shot from the KNBC-4 broadcast, with one attached to a bike trailer.

Findley may have been ghost riding the other bicycle, which is where a person rides one bicycle while towing another riderless bike alongside.

It’s also possible that the second bike may only appear to be damaged, and could have been left by a bystander.

He was just a half block from the Florence home he shared with his sister, who heard the crash and immediately recognized his bike.

Findley is described as the second youngest out of nine brothers and sisters, and leaves behind an adult son.

According to KCBS-2, the driver who hit him admitted to street racing; however, that has not been confirmed by other sources. He was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence and vehicular manslaughter.

Police are searching for the missing motorist on a possible charge of hit-and-run. Drivers can be responsible for hit-and-run if they leave the scene after causing a crash, regardless of whether they were actually involved.

This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the city of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Findley and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Steve S and Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

Update: Man killed riding bike on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal in East Long Beach

Just hours after a bike rider was killed in Aliso Viejo, another man lost his life in a SoCal bike crash, this time in Long Beach.

And on a street that’s already seen far too many people killed.

According to the Long Beach Post, a bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a driver after reportedly swerving unsafely across traffic lanes at Los Coyotes Diagonal and Palo Verde Avenue just before 11 am today.

A Good Samaritan performed CPR on the 62-year old Long Beach man until paramedics arrived to take him to a local hospital, where he died.

The paper reports he was riding north in the bike lane on Los Coyotes when he cut across at least four lanes of the roadway at Palo Verde Ave, and was struck by the 88-year old driver of a southbound car.

For a change, the driver remained at the scene. Whether a younger motorist would have been able to stop in time is something we may never know.

Photos from the scene show a badly mangled road bike.

The Long Beach Post’s Brian Addison reports the city has seen six people killed in traffic collisions already this year, including 64-year old Long Beach bike rider Rhodora Roldan Bachillar.

And Los Coyotes has seen more than its share of fatal bike crashes, either on or just off the deadly corridor.

This is at least the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; both of those deaths have been in Long Beach.

Update: The victim has been identified as 62-year old Long Beach resident Ian Anthony Martin.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ian Anthony Martin and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Michael Muhammad for the heads-up.

Update: Driver arrested after bike rider killed in Aliso Viejo hit-and-run

Sometimes I don’t know whether to scream or cry.

A man died this morning after he was run down by a cowardly driver in Aliso Viejo.

And sadly, his wife learned about it when she drove up to the crash scene.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, publicly identified only as a man in his 50s, was run down by a driver around 6:40 this morning at Wood Canyon Drive and Westridge Drive in Aliso Viejo.

He died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

The driver fled the scene, but was arrested about a mile away in Aliso Viejo around 8:30 am, based on witness descriptions of the vehicle.

KCBS-2 places the time of the crash as 6:30 am, and reports the victim was crossing the street when he was struck, but does not say which street he or the driver was on.

A witness provided first aid until paramedics arrived.

Judging by the video, it appears he may have been riding an ebike with multiple rear lights and reflectors, and was wearing hi-viz.

Sadly, his wife learned of her husband’s fatal injuries in the hardest way possible, by coming on the scene moments after the crash.

At least she may have been able to be with him in his final moments.

The cowardly driver who fled the seen is not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714/647-7000.

This is at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 51-year old Aliso Viejo resident Michael David Tomlinson.

Meanwhile, the driver has been identified as 38-year old Rogelio Martinez Cuin of Lake Forest; he’s being held on suspicion of felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.

Update 2: KNBC-4 reports the driver has been charged in the crash.

Rogelio Martinez-Cuin faces one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI, with a sentence-enhancing allegation of fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter, according to court records.

The complaint against Martinez-Cuin alleges he ran a red light, was inattentive and was driving at an unsafe speed.

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

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and Bill Sellin for the heads-up.

Update: San Bernardino man killed while riding bike in Highland hit-and-run

Now we have a little more information about yesterday’s fatal bike crash in Highland.

The Highland Community News is reporting that sheriff’s deputies received a call of a someone lying in the street around 8:30 pm Monday.

Deputies responded to the intersection of Sterling Avenue and Ninth Street, where they found the victim. They determined he’d been riding his bike when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver headed south on Sterling.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The San Bernardino Sun identifies the victim as 54-year old San Bernardino resident Dereck Alexander.

In a story that’s not online yet, KCBS-2 reports Alexander was a cancer survivor who’d fought for his life after having an ear and part of his skull removed.

A street view of the Highland itersection shows a four lane roadway with center turn lane on Sterling, with one general lane and a bike lane in each direction on Ninth; the intersection is controlled by a traffic signal in every direction.

Without witnesses, there’s no way to know who may have had the right-of-way at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies at 909/425-9793.

When the driver is caught, he or she should face a murder charge for making a conscious decision to let Alexander die in the street.

This is at least the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: That heartbreaking KCBS-2/KCAL-9 story is now online.

According to the report, Alexander was wearing a hi-viz vest while riding home on Sterling Ave. Yet the driver apparently didn’t see him, and never bothered to stop.

His niece called his killer “heartless,” as the family struggles to understand how anyone could just leave him like that — just like the loved ones of virtually any victim of hit-and-run.

And who can blame her? That’s about the mildest term I would use.

But perhaps most heartbreaking of all is the image of his dog by the gate, waiting for an owner who will never come home.

GoFundMe account to help pay his funeral expenses has raised $125 of the $8,000 goal in the first several hours.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dereck Alexander and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Update: Bicyclist killed on PCH in Seal Beach this morning

Still waiting for official confirmation, however, I’ve received two credible reports that a bike rider was killed at PCH and Seal Beach Blvd in Seal Beach around 8:12 this morning from people who passed by the crash site.

More information when it becomes available. However, it looks like SoCal’s killer highway has taken yet another life.

If confirmed, this will be at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: Still no official confirmation of the crash. However, I received the following update from Allyson Vought Friday evening.

My friend was at the accident scene just after it occurred. He said the rider was on a black Kestrel road bike and sadly was face down on the roadway — unmoving. The bike had been struck from behind at speed and a vehicle’s windshield was badly damaged.

This is a particularly bad intersection that Strava calls “time the light.”  It’s a downhill from a bridge into Seal  Beach on PCH that we riders always make speed — while watching for cars that can travel 50 mph plus through the intersection while traveling straight — or speed ahead of riders on a long right hand turn lane that takes you to the 405. Cars often interfere with the riders in making this turn and all of us have had to dodge, slow or slam on the brakes all too often here! Important to note that this is a marked bike lane as well. Solo riders are often not seen or just ignored by careless drivers in too bag a hurry. 

Update 2: We finally have official confirmation from the Seal Beach Police Department. However, his name has not been released, despite being well known in the community. Thanks to Nani Luculescu for the heads-up.

Update 3: The Orange County Register has identified the victim as 64-year old Long Beach resident Paul Smith.

I refrained from naming him over the weekend, even as his name became common knowledge, out of respect for his family until he was publicly identified.

The paper reports around 150 people attended a memorial service for Smith on Sunday afternoon, on an unpaved shoulder of the roadway where he was killed. They recalled him as a loving, generous and devout man who was a friend to everyone he met.

In 2016, Ed Ryder prepared a report on Southern California’s deadly coast highway through San Diego, Orange and LA Counties for this site, based on stats from the CHP’s SWITRS crash database.

It hasn’t gotten any safer in that time. 

Thanks to Richard, John McBrearty and Jeff for the above link.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Smith and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Derek Willburn and Cleave Law for the heads-up.

Update: 64-year old woman killed in bicycling crash in the Wrigley neighborhood of Long Beach

That didn’t take long, either.

Just one day after the first Southern California bicycling death of the new year, a second rider was killed in a collision in Long Beach’s Wrigley neighborhood.

The victim, identified only as a 64-year old woman, died four hours after she was struck by a driver Thursday evening.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the woman was riding north on Golden Avenue in Long Beach around 6 pm Thursday. She crossed the intersection at Willow Street on the green light, however, the light changed before she cleared the street.

The driver of an SUV accelerated through the intersection as the light turned green on Willow, striking the victim.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she died four hours later.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

The question is why he failed to notice the victim riding her bike in the roadway directly in front of him, regardless of whether he had the green light.

This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the fourth bicycling death in Long Beach in the past year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 64-year old Long Beach resident Rhodora Roldan Bachillar.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rhodora Roldan Bachillar and her loved ones.

Florida man killed, woman loses part of leg in Imperial County bicycle collision; first SoCal bike death of 2019

That didn’t take long.

The Imperial Valley Press is reporting that a bike rider was killed in an Imperial County crash, just two days into the new year.

According to the paper, a 25-year old Florida man, who has not been publicly identified, died after he was struck by a driver while riding in Imperial County’s Slab City Wednesday night.

A 23-year old woman who was being towed in a cart behind his bike was seriously injured, suffering a partial amputation of her leg, as well as a broken arm and facial cuts.

Her dog, who was apparently in the cart with her, was also killed.

The crash occurred around 7:52 pm Wednesday on Beal Road, near The Range dance club in Slab City.

The victim was apparently riding on the wrong side of the road when his bike was struck head on by a car traveling at 50 mph; there’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike in the desert darkness.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

This is the first bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in Imperial County in the nearly two years.

Update: I’m told they did have lights on the bike, and were struck when they were cut off by a driver, forcing them onto the wrong side of the road. The victim is reportedly recovering from multiple injuries.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

Santa Margarita BMX rider dies two weeks after he was struck by a car

It may be a new year, but last year’s bad news isn’t done with us yet.

According to the Orange County Register, 25-year old Chandler Espinoza died on New Year’s Day, 17 days after he was hit by a driver while riding his bike.

The Trabuco Canyon man had spent the last two weeks in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo before succumbing to his injuries.

There’s no word on exactly where the crash occurred, or why the driver wasn’t able to see Espinoza or stop for his bike while he rode in the crosswalk.

He was riding his BMX bike to work in Rancho Santa Margarita on December 15th when he was struck by the driver’s car shortly after entering a crosswalk just before 3:45 pm.

However, a Caring Bridge post apparently written by Espinoza’s mother says “There appears to have been no reckless behavior on behalf of the driver, who stayed at the scene.” She goes on to describe it as “just a tragic accident.”

His mother describes him as an adventurous risk taker since early childhood.

Photo from Chandler Espinoza Caring Bridge Page

Chandler engages life with his body, mind, and spirit. He is loyal, funny, a great dancer, athletic, a deep thinker, adventurous, protective, generous, and never meets a stranger. 

I knew he had a lot of friends, but I never understood the impact Chandler had on those friends and what he meant to them until this week. Chandler makes everyone feel special. I have a whole new perspective on my son now. 

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chandler Espinoza and all his loved ones and friends.

Bicyclist killed in Wilmington big rig hit-and-run Friday morning

Finally, and sadly, we have confirmation. 

Friday morning, I received an email from Richard Rosenthal saying that he had seen what appeared to be the aftermath of a bicycling collision on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

He was on his way to work when he saw the street blocked in both directions, a police tent pitched on the median, and a bicycle lying next to it. 

Despite reaching out to a number of sources, I was only able to confirm that someone had died there, but not what happened or whether the victim was riding a bike at the time.

Now we know. 

According to KTLA-5, a man was crossing Anaheim near Sampson Ave when his bike somehow struck the right rear side of a semi-truck headed west on Anaheim. 

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver reportedly continued without stopping. However, if the crash happened the way the station describes, it’s possible he or she may not have been aware of it. 

Although it’s hard to understand why a bicyclist would have ridden into the side of large truck like that, or how he ended up on the center median if he hit the right side of a westbound truck.

It seems more likely that he may have been riding across the street when the driver cut him off, knowingly or otherwise.

Police are looking for a truck with a light-colored cab and dark brown trailer. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles. 

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Thanks to Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.

    

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