Tag Archive for Corona

Update: 21-year old Corona resident killed by hit-and-run driver late Thursday night

Once again, someone on a bicycle has been left to die in the street by a heartless coward.

This time in Corona.

According to a press release from the Corona Police Department, 21-year old Corona resident Benjamin Montalvo was riding south on the 1600 block of Rimpau Avenue with two friends when he was run down from behind by an unidentified driver just before midnight Thursday.

Montalvo died at the scene, while his killer fled without stopping; the suspect vehicle was described only as a dark-colored sedan.

Authorities place the time of the crash around 11:54 pm.

Unfortunately, there’s no other information available at this time.

A street view shows a four lane road with a center turn lane in a business district, transitioning to a residential area a few blocks later. It would likely have been quiet and dark at that hour.

Anyone with information is urged to call Corona Police Officer David Dopson at 951/817-5845, or email David.Dopson@CoronaCA.gov.

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

Update: A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run after turning herself in Friday night; other charges may be considered. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benjamin Montalvo and all his family and friends. 

Update: Victim was actually on a motorcycle — 30-year old Brady Alexandru killed in solo Corona bike crash

Update: According to the Corona Police Department, the initial report was incorrect, and the victim was riding a motorcycle, not a bicycle. 

Which does not make it any less of a tragedy. 

This returns the number of SoCal bicycling fatalities to 15, and just one in Riverside County.


It doesn’t always take a car to take a life.

Sometimes a simple curb is enough.

That appears to be the case in Corona, where police report a man was killed falling off his bike Sunday evening.

According to My News LA, the victim, identified as 30-year old Corona resident Brady Alexandru, somehow struck a curb near the intersection of Via Pacifica and Willowspring Lane.

He fell off his bike, striking his head, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, no explanation was given for what street Alexandru on or which direction he was riding, or why he may have hit the curb.

A street view shows a three-way intersection, with two through lanes and a bike lane in each direction on Via Pacifica, and an un-laned residential street on Willowspring, controlled with a stop sign.

There appears to be a hill on Via Pacifica, which could have contributed to the crash if Alexandru gained speed on the downhill before coming in contact with the curb. And there’s a speed bump on Willowspring that could have caused him to lose control if he was traveling in that direction.

It’s also possible that a driver may have played an unknown role in the crash, if Alexandru hit the curb after he was forced to avoid a vehicle.

Unfortunately, we will probably never know.

There’s also no word on whether he was wearing a helmet, which might have made a difference in this case.

Solo falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for, though it’s possible the force of the impact could have still exceeded a bike helmet’s relatively low design limits, depending on how fast Alexandru was going.

Police haven’t ruled anything out, including the possibility that drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the crash in some way — which is a very odd thing to say in a solo crash like this, unless they have some reason to suspect it.

Anyone with information is urged to call Corona Police Department Officer Jason Gardner at 951/817-5784.

This is at least the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brady Alexandru and all his loved ones.

Note: Because of the late-breaking story, there will be no Morning Links today; as usual, we’ll be back with anything we missed on Wednesday. 

Update: Corona mountain biker found dead after being lost overnight

This is why you don’t ride off road in threatening weather.

Word broke last night that a bike rider was lost in the Cleveland National Forest above Corona; today rescuers found 34-year old Corona resident Andres Marin’s body North Main Divide Road in Orange County.

Weather Saturday’s severe storms played a role in his death was unclear, however, they delayed rescue attempts by 12 hours until conditions improved.

According to the Press-Enterprise, Marin had gone out for an 18-mile ride on the Skyline Trail above Corona, intending to return home Saturday afternoon — tragically, to celebrate his birthday.

Unfortunately, he failed to return.

The paper reports that his wife posted on Facebook that he called around 5:15 pm, saying he was injured and didn’t know where he was. She said his words sounded slurred and he seemed disoriented.

The Temecula Grapevine website says he was going to try to make it out of the mountains before dark. When he did not return, a search was initiated at 5:45 pm.

Using trail maps and cellular towers, rescuers were able to identify his probable location as the southwest side of the Skyline Trail, according to the Riverside County Sheriffs Department. Unfortunately, that could not be confirmed, and attempts to contact Marin were unsuccessful.

Bad weather kept rescuers from accessing the trail and prevented the use of helicopters. However, by 6 am Sunday, weather conditions had improved enough to allow a search to begin.

Unfortunately, Marin’s body was found around 10 am on an Orange County Section of North Main Divide Road; no cause of death was reported pending further investigation.

According to his Facebook page, Marin died just 17 days before his 14th anniversary; he leaves behind four children.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 4th in Orange County already this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Andres Marin and all his family. 

Update: As Anthony Ryan pointed out, it is also unwise to hike or bike in the backcountry alone. A riding partner can often help you get out safely or go for help if something goes wrong.

Update 2: The Press-Enterprise has updated their story to say Marin had left at 7 am Saturday on an 88-mile ride, which his wife said he had done before, rather than the 18-miler initially reported. 

In addition, she reports authorities were initially confident Marin would survive the night, despite his thin riding clothes and lack of food. Hypothermia is the suspected cause of death, likely due to being caught in the heavy rain overnight.

Update 3: The Press-Enterprise quotes Marin’s wife, Christyna Arista, as saying she was angry about the delay in rescuers going out to look for Marin. 

According to the paper, Arista and a group of volunteers set out at 3:45 am to look for him, against the advice of sheriff’s deputies. Another volunteer found Marin’s purple-hued body, still seated on his bike leaning against a hillside, with his feet on the pedals.

Sheriff’s officials explained their decision to wait based on adverse conditions.

Sheriff’s Lt. Zach Hall said ideally, the department would have sent a helicopter to follow the approximately 53-mile route that Marin, 34, had planned to follow along Skyline Trail, Main Divide Road and Indian Truck Trail.

But the steady rain that night prevented the helicopter from flying, Hall said. Rescuers also ruled out using motorized vehicles that normally would be able to navigate the dirt road because Friday’s heavy rain left the clay soil too slick. The conditions also made hiking to wherever Marin might have been dangerous.

“We could have set up ourselves for a self-rescue. I would not have sent people up there to get hurt,” Hall said.

His wife also confirms that Marin told her he had fallen; while he was found with just minor cuts and scratches, her description that he was lost and slurring his words during the call suggests a significant head injury.

The paper reports Marin had just bought the bike he died on two weeks earlier, and there was no discussion of postponing the trip — even though an employee at a local bike shop said the route, with a 4,000 foot elevation gain, would have been unridable after Friday’s storm.

Update 4: Marin’s wife, Christyna Arista, invites everyone to view her Facebook page to keep up with the latest information. And a fund has been established to contribute to the family in their hour of need.

News just coming in: Bike rider killed in Corona crosswalk on Sunday

The Press-Enterprise is reporting that an unidentified cyclist was killed in Corona on Sunday.

The man was riding south in a crosswalk on the west side of Garretson Avenue at East Grand Avenue when he was hit by an Acura Integra driven by Simitrio Martinez of Corona. According to the paper, he died at the scene.

The Riverside County Coroner places the time of the collision as 8:48 pm, and lists the same time of death, suggesting he was killed instantly.

Neither the coroner or the Press-Enterprise offer any information on how the collision occurred.

The fact that the rider died on impact would suggest a high rate of speed. A street view shows Grand is uncontrolled at the intersection, while Garretson has a stop sign in both directions, making it most likely that the driver was traveling on Grand when he hit the cyclist.

However, that is merely a guess based on extremely minimal evidence.

There is a street light right next to the crosswalk, but there’s no way of knowing if it was working at the time of the collision, or if the rider was using lights.

This should serve as a reminder to everyone to always carry ID every time you ride. I keep my driver’s license in my seat pack, as well as emergency contact information in a small ziplock in my jersey or pants pocket.

And despite their annoying commercials, Road ID or other similar products are always a good idea.

This is the 61st cycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and the 11th bike-related death in Riverside County; nine of those were a result of traffic collisions, while the other two were a result of health issues that may have been caused by riding.

My prayers for the victim and his family and friends.

Update: The victim has been identified as 55-year old Ignacio Prado Cuevas of Corona.

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