Apparently, no one is safe from idiots with engines.
According to a tweet from the Norwalk Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a woman was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist while riding on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail a little over two weeks ago.
Yes, on an offroad bike path.
And yes, her killer fled the scene.
The victim was identified as 31-year old Carla Becerra, who was killed in the crash on Saturday, February 1st.
Twentynine-year old Brandon Lindsley was arrested for the crime eleven days later, and charged with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run last Friday. Since Becerra died, both should be felony counts.
Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.
No word on exactly where or how the crash happened. And no explanation for what the hell someone on a motorbike was doing on a bike path.
Hopefully we’ll learn more on Wednesday, when the department is expected to issue a press release.
This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.
Update: KTLA-5 reports the crash occurred on a bike path near Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk, which doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, or any other riverfront bike path.
Becerra was found lying unconscious on the path, with her bicycle several feet away. She was taken to Coast Plaza Medical Center, where she died.
Investigators identified Lindsley as a person of interest based on a distinctive tattoo seen by people who did not witness the crash itself. He was arrested after reportedly making incriminating statements to investigators.
Lindsley is being held on $105,000 bail in this case, as well as a no-bail hold on an outstanding warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.
Comments from Mike Wilkinson and Michael of CLR Effect say motorcycles aren’t unusual on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, despite a prohibition on anything with an engine.
Maybe this will be a much-needed wakeup call to actually do something about it.
Update 2: Chris Klibowitz reports that the sheriff’s department gave the location as between Imperial and Firestone, rather than near the intersection, as KTLA reported, which makes a lot more sense.
Update 3: I received a message from Carla Becerra’s brother Quin, who offered a few details missing from previous reports.
According to Quin, the first call to 911 came around 6:45 pm on February 1st, as Carla Becerra was riding her bicycle south on the bike path, and Brandon Lindsley was traveling north on his motorcycle; he places the crash site roughly a quarter mile south of Imperial Highway.
Lindsley apparently fled because he had an outstanding warrant for a robbery assault with a deadly weapon.
Then again, he might have run anyway.
And still no explanation for why he was riding illegally on the bike path.
Adding insult to injury — literally — someone stole Becerra’s phone, earphones and ear rings while she was lying unconscious and dying on the bike path, sometime before the first responders could get there.
As a result, emergency personnel were unable to identify her for several hours, and her family had no idea where she was or what happened to her until they received the tragic news at 3 am the next day.
This is how Quin described his sister Carla.
My sister was a full time RN at UCI medical and at MLK hospital. She had worked her entire life, to buy my parents their dream home in Lakewood, even put her social and love life on hold to do so. She always put others before herself, just so her life can be taken away from someone so selfish. The messed up part about all of this is that if he (Brandon) was the one left unconscious then she would have stayed and made sure he made it. She had a huge passion for cycling and running. The only comfort my family and I take from this is that she left us while doing something she loved. It just wasn’t her time yet.
He concluded by noting that Brandon Lindsley will be arraigned on Tuesday, February 25th — the same day his victim will be laid to rest.
There are no words.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carla Becerra and all her loved ones.
Photo by Jim F