Tag Archive for Cathedral City

Street racing drivers walk in death of bike rider, video of fatal North Hills hit-and-run, and killer Lambo driver’s dad says sorry

Apparently, life is still cheap in the Inland Empire.

It was nearly eleven years ago that Jorge Alvarado was fatally run down in San Bernardino County by a teenager who was allegedly street racing.

Sadly, the life of a Mexican immigrant who came to this country to fulfill his dream of becoming a pro cyclist didn’t seem to matter compared to that of the politically connected high school student who ended his.

His killer got away with just 90 days behind bars, and went on to play college soccer, thanks to a judge and DA who didn’t seem to want to jeopardize a promising young life just because he carelessly snuffed out another.

Now another judge, in nearby Riverside County, said hold my beer, and let a second pair of killer road-racing drivers walk without a single day behind bars.

According to KESQ-3 — and an identical story on Patch — Luis Armando Castaneda and Alex Isidro Quiroz pled guilty to a single count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the death of popular Coachella Valley bicyclist William Campbell in 2018.

The drivers, both in their early 20s, were allegedly street racing when Quiroz swerved into the Cathedral City bike lane Campbell was riding in, sending him cartwheeling 150 feet through the air in what was initially reported as a case of road rage.

Never mind that neither driver seemed to think the crash was worth sticking around for afterwards.

For reasons known only to them, Riverside County prosecutors alleged it was a case of hit-and-run, but never bothered to file the appropriate charges for fleeing the scene.

Which allowed both men to walk with just two years probation and 180 days work release, courtesy of an overly lenient judge.

But at least they won’t be allowed to drive for those two years.

And in a case of poetic, if not actual, justice, they’ll have to complete 180 hours of community service building bike paths in the Coachella Valley.

None of which will bring Campbell back to his friends and loved ones.

And all of which should serve as a warning to bike riders not to expect anything resembling justice in the Inland Empire.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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The LAPD released security cam video of the hit-and-run crash that took the life of an unhoused LA resident riding his bike in North Hills early Saturday morning.

Israel Ovando Vera was riding in a crosswalk at Sepulveda and Roscoe Blvds when he was run down by the driver of a 2007-2011 Toyota Camry at 4:20 am.

The video shows him crossing with the light, with his killer appearing to turn left off Sepulveda directly into him, then continuing on without stopping.

Regardless of what investigators originally implied about Vera possibly riding the wrong way, he clearly rode off the sidewalk into the crosswalk.

And there’s no right or wrong way on either one.

The actual impact on this video is hidden by a car stopped waiting for the light. But as always, be sure you really want to see it before you click play.

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On Tuesday, we reposted a comment from a Reddit user accusing a wealthy father of using his money and influence to protect his Lamborghini-driving son, who was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed when he slammed into a woman’s car in LA’s Westwood neighborhood last month.

Today, we finally heard from the boy’s father.

Thirty-two-year old Monique Munoz died when her car was totaled by the 17-year old driver; her father questioned why anyone would trust someone so young with a sports car capable of doing 190 mph.

The teen was arrested on on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter six days after the collision, but he has yet to be charged in the case.

His father, James Khuri, released this statement on Instagram yesterday.

“I am aware that the time it has taken me to communicate this has caused further pain for everyone affected. Knowing that this will never do justice for the family of Monique Munoz, I want to apologize to the Munoz family for the tragic loss of their daughter. There are no words I can say to alleviate the pain that you are experiencing. And I realize none of my words or actions will be able to bring back your daughter.

Still, I want to offer my support in any way you will allow me to. My family and I pray for the Munoz family.”

He certainly said the right things. But what happens next will tell how sincere he really is.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

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This is who we share the road with.

Many Angelenos watched in horror on Tuesday — myself included — as a rampaging driver attempted to evade police while deliberately smashing into other freeway drivers in a vain attempt to escape capture.

Making matters worse, after an hours-long standoff in which sheriff’s deputies fired numerous pepper balls into the car, a door finally opened, only to see the woman’s nine-year old daughter ran to the safety of a deputy deployed nearby.

Which raises the question of what kind of mother would do any of that with her child in the car, let alone what kind of driver.

Thanks to Larry Kawalec for the link.

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Stop wasting parking lots on cars.

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Why settle for a Slow Street when it can be an art exhibit, too?

https://twitter.com/sfchronicle/status/1368108868967006208

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Nope. No one’s whispered a word of this in the followup to Megan and Harry’s little confab with Oprah.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A British man complains about “brainless” bicyclists riding through the supposedly bike-free town center after experiencing a couple of near misses.

A woman from the UK complains about antisocial and unempathetic behavior from bicyclists after she was thrown from her horse when it was struck by a group of trail riders, causing the animal to leap over a hedge and a barbed wire fence.

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Local

The Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council will discuss a proposal for a pedestrian plaza on 6th Street between Normandie and Vermont at tonight’s virtual meeting.

Santa Monica is fighting the trend of bike-banning Orange County beach cities by approving the use of ebikes on the beach bike path; the city is also requesting bids for a second shared mobility provider.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is kicking off their annual bike scavenger hunt this Saturday.

A San Diego columnist says biking to school is the traffic solution we can no longer ignore.

A Ceres columnist tells a roundabout tale of how riding his bike to rummage through people’s discarded trash led to a career in journalism.

 

National

Popular Science chips in with their recommendations on the best ways to store your bikes.

Evidently, cheap is a relative thing. Bicycling says a new aluminum frame bike from a French sporting goods store’s house brand is a “cheap, no-frills roadie.” Which is probably true, if your idea of cheap is $1,500, although some would seem to disagree. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Las Vegas man faces charges for the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of a 60-year old bike rider after a witness followed him to get the car’s license number.

Great idea. A Wichita Falls, Texas bike advocacy group is hosting a seed bomb ride, where participants will ride to selected locations and toss a bundle of wild flower seeds.

A Massachusetts man can thank a dog for saving his life, after he fell through the ice while trying to ride his bike across a frozen pond.

New York bike riders take matters into their own hands after getting fed up with the state of the city’s bike lanes, and organize their own clean up of one in Williamsburg.

A year after New York Mayor De Blasio told Gotham residents to walk or bike to work, the answer to what did he do to make that safer and more convenient is, not much.

More proof that Vision Zero works if you actually implement it, as the mayor of Hoboken NJ says the streets are safer for bike riders, pedestrians and motorists as a result.

Florida considers a bill that would legalize riding a bike without a seat, but only if was originally built that way.

 

International

No, don’t use standard WD40 on your bike chain.

How to keep your road kit from turning into a bio hazard.

Vancouver makes a half-hearted commitment to return the park bike lane they ripped out a year ago, but only on a temporary, popup basis.

Motor vehicle traffic and collisions plummeted in Vancouver during the early days of the pandemic, while bicycling rates soared to as many as 10,000 riders a day on popup bike lanes. Which is exactly what Los Angeles has missed out on by failing to install any.

A Dutch website explains the sometimes confusing logic behind the country’s bike friendly street designs.

The bike boom has even hit the already booming Netherlands, where bicycle sales have soared during the pandemic.

Chinese dockless bikeshare giant Hello is preparing for an American IPO, reportedly in an effort to raise a whopping $1 billion.

An aspiring ballet and opera conductor is working as a Singapore bicycle delivery rider after the pandemic forced him to temporarily set aside his musical dreams.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips says keep an eye on 21-year old Belgian cyclist Mauri Vansevenan this season.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you buy a bike online, and the dealer says you can’t take it because you’re too fat. If you’re thinking of getting a bicycle tattoo on your chest using nipples for wheels, just…don’t.

And if a worker from a sporting goods store takes back the $4,000 bike you just stole, go back the next night and steal a $5,500 one.

And a grab a pair of helmets while you’re at it.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Morning Links: Big Easy drunk driver gets 91 years, Cathedral City bike rider critically injured, and safety in numbers real

Come back after 10 am today for a guest post from our anonymous courtroom correspondent, as she updates a number of recent stories — including the case of hit-and-run driver Pratiti Renee Mehta, who walked despite showing no remorse for her crime, or any sympathy for her victim. 

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Now that’s taking traffic violence seriously.

A New Orleans judge sentenced the drunk driver who killed two bike riders and injured seven others when he plowed through them at 80 mph during a Mardi Gras parade to 30 years for each death, plus 30 years and six months for the injured riders — and added another six months for also crashing into parked cars.

Then ordered the sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 91 years behind bars.

As others have noted, that’s a life sentence for the 32-year old man.

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More bad news from the Coachella Valley, where a 50-something bike rider was critically injured in a Cathedral City crash; he was hit by an SUV driver while in a crosswalk.

Meanwhile, a ghost bike will be installed a week from today for Raymundo Jaime, killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in Palm Springs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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Seriously. Turn yourself in, already.

Because there’s a $25,000 reward if you don’t.

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A new Rutgers University study confirms the safety in numbers effect, even while injuries are rising, especially among riders 55 to 64.

Although the latter stat is probably explained by the jump in ridership among older people.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A witness got involved when a road raging DC driver got out of his car and pushed him off his bike, for the crime of taking up too much of the roadway while trying to make a left turn.

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Local

Today’s must read is great look at the failure of LA’s Vision Zero program due to the refusal of city leaders to implement it. Or as the author calls it, Vision Non-Zero.

More homeless people are dying on the streets of Los Angeles than ever before, with over 1,000 deaths last year alone; 9% of those deaths were due to bicycle and pedestrian crashes.

You may not see Uber’s Jump Bikes on the streets of Los Angeles soon, as the company files suit against LA after refusing to share bikeshare data with the city.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized after getting hit by a motorist backing out of a driveway; no word on his or her condition.

A Long Beach-area paper profiles a Signal Hill bike shop dedicated to helping bike riders navigate their choices. Sort of like any good LBS.

 

State

Your next ebike could be a California bikemaker’s 36 mph bicycle made to look look like a vintage motorcycle, and designed by the grandson of the legendary Carrol Shelby. Although the 36 mph top end means it will require a helmet and a motorcycle license. And can’t be ridden in bike lanes or pathways.

 

National

The new HBO documentary Any One of Us focuses on the severe spinal cord injury suffered by professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia at the 2015 Red Bull Rampage and his fight to recover from the injury.

A bipartisan bill in the US Senate would require automakers to build alcohol breath or touch sensors into all light vehicles by 2024, to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Although I’d like to see some sort of cognitive test to detect any form of impairment. And include trucks and commercial vehicles, too.

Zwift wants you to help raise $25,000 for Movember to help fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health struggles and suicide prevention by riding your bike indoors.

Once again, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss nails it, saying smart helmets won’t save bicyclists when the real problem is drivers who won’t put down their phones.

Cosmo says yes, the bizarre crash in this week’s episode of 9-1-1, where a driver hit a bike rider, the drove home and parked overnight with the victim embedded in her windshield, really happened; it was based on this equally strange 2014 crash. And yes, both the real and fictional victims survived.

Kindhearted Utah cops and school officials give a new bike and helmet to a teenaged girl after she was hit by a driver on her bike while leaving school.

Once again, authorities keep a dangerous motorist on the road until it’s too late, as an Ohio motorcycle rider faces vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a 15-year old boy riding his bike; he was riding on a on a suspended license and had several outstanding warrants for traffic violations.

We’ve seen a few bicyclists ride every street in their city or county lately. But how many do it pedaling an ice cream bike?

The New York Times explains why the city has committed to spending $1.7 billion — yes, with a B — to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes over the next ten years.

The New York Daily News says blame policymakers for the nationwide jump in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

 

International

Bike Mag reviews the updated Camelbak Podium bottle, and flips over now being able to disassemble the lid to clean it. However, the insulated Podium Ice water bottle remains the best bike bottle ever in my book.

Here’s a few more trips for your bike bucket list, as Travel & Leisure recommends 12 unforgettable vacations that are best done by bike, even for beginners.

No surprise here, as the family of the British man killed by an American diplomat’s wife while riding his motorcycle, who fled the country after claiming diplomatic immunity, is suing the Trump administration for its handling of the case.

A South African man made seven calls to his wife after he was knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver, saying the same thing each time, because a brain injury meant he couldn’t remember he’d already called her.

 

Competitive Cycling

So much for that. AEG has pulled the plug on next year’s Amgen Tour of California, saying they need to take a year off to figure out a business model that works better. Which is another way of saying we probably won’t see it again.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a fat tire Surly for surly weather. Lots of classical buildings have statues atop the dome; not many have bikeshare bikes there.

And seriously, don’t punch your foreign bus passengers when they have trouble with their bikes.

 

Update: Bicyclist killed in Cathedral City hit-and-run Saturday morning

Yet another Southern California bike rider has died at the hands of a cowardly hit-and-run driver.

According to the Desert Sun, a man was hit by a car while riding his bicycle around 10 am Saturday morning on Ramon Road between Crossley Road and Landau Boulevard in Cathedral City.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died of his injuries at a local hospital.

The driver continued without stopping; police believe the suspect is driving a green Jeep Cherokee with possible damage to the passenger side.

A street view shows a four lane highway with a center turn lane, and a 45 mph speed limit; however, the design of the road would appear to encourage higher speeds.

Anyone with information is urged to call Cathedral City Police at 760/770-0303.

This is the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Riverside County. It’s also the third fatal bike crash in Cathedral City in the last nine months.

Update: Cathedral City police detained, but have not yet arrested, a suspect in the crash, acting on a tip from a local resident. 

The victim, who has still not been publicly identified, was riding west on Ramon when he was run down just west of Landou

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 60-year old Cathedral City resident Clay Charles Triolo. Prosecutors are still reviewing the case to determine if charges will be filed.

Although considering the driver fled the scene before eventually turning himself in, felony hit-and-run should be a given.

My deepest sympathy for Clay Charles Triolo and his loved ones.

Update: Bicyclist found dead in Cathedral City hit-and-run Saturday night

The local TV station calls it an accident.

A better description would be the actions of a heartless coward with a callous indifference to human life.

Or maybe just murder.

According to the Desert Sun, the body of an unidentified bicyclist was found lying in the roadway on Dinah Shore Drive in Cathedral City around 9 pm Saturday. It was clear he had been hit by a car.

KESQ-TV reports that the victim, identified only as a man in his late 30s or early 40s, was found on the westbound side of Dinah Shore just west of Whispering Palms on the Dinah Shore Bridge. His bike was found 50 feet away in the median on the eastbound side of the road.

There were no apparent witnesses, and no description of the car or driver at this time.

A satellite view shows a four lane roadway with a center divider west of Whispering Palms. Based on the limited description, there’s no way to tell which direction the victim was riding, whether he was on Dinah Shore or attempting to cross it.

There’s no speed limit sign visible in the street view; however, the distance his body was apparently thrown would suggest he was hit at a high rate of speed.

There’s also no way of knowing whether he might have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help as the law, and basic human decency, requires.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Riverside County. That compares with 69 in Southern California this time last year, and six in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 37-year old Sergio Reynoso; a gofundme account has been established to help pay funeral expenses. The driver reportedly turned himself in on Tuesday, which would have given him or her plenty of time to sober up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sergio Reynoso and his loved ones.

Sidewalk cyclist killed in Cathedral City

Some collisions just don’t make sense.

According to KESQ.com, a 57-year old bike rider was killed in a collision after turning into traffic in Cathedral City Sunday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on the north sidewalk at 69120 Ramon Road around 9:20 am. Police report he suddenly turned to his right and rode directly into the path of westbound traffic, where he was hit by a car.

He died after being taken to a regional medical center.

However, it’s hard to understand why the victim would have turned out into traffic when he should have been able to clearly see the cars coming.

The station implies that he may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s possible that he may have somehow thought he had more time to cross the street than he really did, particularly if the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County.

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

70-year old bike rider killed in Cathedral City hit-and-run; DUI driver turns himself in later

It’s happened again.

According to the My Desert website, a Cathedral City cyclist was killed leaving a shopping center last night. And once again, the driver fled the scene.

But for a change, he turned himself in later.

The site reports that 70-year old Edward James Shaieb had just left the Canon Plaza shopping center on his bike just before 8 pm, apparently after collecting plastic bottles for recycling. An SUV driven by 27-year old Brandon Melton of Palm Springs was traveling west on East Palm Canyon Drive east of Golf Club Drive when he hit Shaieb; no word on which direction the victim was riding or where he was positioned on the street.

A number of motorists stopped to help Shaeib, including a doctor and nurse, but they were unable to resuscitate him; he died at the scene, with the bag of plastic bottles he’d been carrying scattered across the roadway.

Melton called police about 20 minutes later after he’d arrived back at his home. KESQ-3 reports he was arrested on manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and DUI charges.

Based on a number similar cases, however, the hit-and-run charge is unlikely to stick, since he called police himself.

There was also a female passenger in the SUV, which may be why he turned himself in.

My Desert notes that Shaeib was not wearing a helmet; whether it would have done any good depends a lot on the speed of the vehicle that hit him.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County. Shaeib is also the second victim — or maybe third — victim of a fatal hit-and-run since the first of the year.

My sympathy and prayers for Edward Shaieb and all his loved ones.

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