Another day, another innocent person killed riding a bike.
That’s the sad reality on Southern California streets, where a woman was killed riding a bicycle in San Jacinto, just a day after a 15-year old boy was killed in a drunken Victorville hit-and-run.
According to MyNewsLA, 31-year old San Jacinto resident Katlyn Braley was riding her bike north on State Street, just north of Record Road, when she was run down from behind by a driver just after midnight Wednesday.
A CHP spokesperson placed blame for the 12:05 am crash on a lack of lights on the dark roadway. He added that the 58-year old driver continued north, claiming he didn’t know he’d struck anyone, before turning around and calling 911 after seeing Braley’s body sprawled in the roadway.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver, who has not been publicly identified, is not suspected of being under the influence.
However, it appears investigators are already attempting to blame the victim.
“The fault here is still under investigation,” he told CNS. “It could have had something to do with what the rider was wearing, whether she was in the roadway or off to the side. It may take a little time to make a determination.”
So let’s be clear.
The victim’s clothing was not the cause of the collision. She also had every right to ride in the roadway — and to use the full lane on what appears to be a substandard lane.
And she was in no way obligated to use the broken, intermittent and largely unrideable shoulder. Nor should there be any expectation that she would.
The driver should have had his lights on — and most likely, his bright lights — which, if they were functioning properly, should have clearly illuminated Braley on her bicycle in plenty of time to avoid her.
It’s also highly questionable how anyone could hit someone with enough force to kill her, without being away they’d hit someone.
There’s no word on whether Braley had lights and reflectors on her bike, as required by California law after dark. However, given the apparent bias in the CHP spokesperson’s statement, it seems likely they would have mentioned it if she didn’t.
This is at least the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Katlyn Braley and all her family and loved ones.