Tag Archive for Cruz Tzoc

Weekend Links: Killer drunk driver cops a plea, PVE gets a little bike-friendlier, and your road share is pocket change

That was fast.

Just eleven weeks after Tomas Brewer was killed by a drunk driver, the man who killed him has pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

Twenty-three-year old Cruz Tzoc was driving at an estimated 60 mph on Burlington Ave in LA’s Rampart District on April 23rd when he struck a parked car and spun around, sliding into Brewer as he rode on Temple Street, before slamming into a tree.

Tzoc was arrested at the scene with an alcohol level over two times the legal limit. A police sergeant had spotted Tzoc’s speeding car prior to the crash, but was unable to stop him before it was too late.

He had faced up to ten years in state prison, but was sentenced to just six years after pleading to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

He’s likely to get out in half that time.

But his decision to get behind the wheel after drinking ended the life of a budding screenwriter, and sentenced Brewer’s loved ones to a lifetime without him.

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Formerly bike-unfriendly Palos Verdes Estates continues its surprising turnaround, as the city’s Traffic Safety Committee voted to replace the hated signs reading “Bike Laws Strictly Enforced” with “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” and signs promoting the three-foot passing law.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson describes the meeting in his own inimitable style.

Meanwhile, a Tustin councilmember explains four reasons why bicycles may use the full lane. But forgets the primary reason — bike riders are allowed to take the lane anytime the lane itself is too narrow to be safely shared with a motor vehicle.

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Today’s common theme is bikeshare, in LA and elsewhere.

Downtown News explains everything you need to know about LA’s new bikeshare program, while CiclaValley crashes the launch party. And the LACBC, which was instrumental in bringing bikeshare to LA, celebrates with photos.

San Diego’s bikeshare system is struggling, as the city’s transit officials refuse to cooperate.

Palo Alto plans to replace its failing bikeshare system with a new smart bike program. But it will still likely fail if they don’t install more than five docking stations.

And Portland informs bike owners that those handy little docks at convenient locations around town are not bike racks.

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Drivers often argue that cyclists don’t pay for the roads, but if road users were charged for the damage they actually cause, we could pay our share with pocket change.

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London Bridge is falling down, and so is the inflatable arch cyclists are supposed to ride under, not into, at the Tour de France.

Belgian race leader Greg Van Avermaet holds a nearly six minute lead in the race, but will probably fall back in the standings when they reach the mountain stages. British riders dominated the first week of the Tour, while Mark Cavendish says Africa will produce a TdF contender in ten years.

Specialized says you don’t know Jacques about the Tour de France. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Bicycling takes a look at how the race takes a toll on even the fittest riders.

And the peloton came up clean in the Tour’s first unannounced thermal imaging scan for hidden motors; former Lance whistleblower Frankie Andreu says cycling has come a long way, but the sport may never be fully clean.

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Local

Marina del Rey’s stinky Oxford Basin gets a much needed makeover, including a new bikeway connecting to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

CiclaValley looks at the movement to fix LA’s crumbling Forest Lawn Drive, which we mentioned here — and misspelled as Forrest Lawn — the other day.

A moving company wants tips on how to avoid LA traffic. Everyone who says “use a bicycle” please raise your hand.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are asking for the public’s help to identify a bike and barbeque thief.

As expected, the parents of a 12-year old Oceanside boy killed while riding his bicycle to school last October have filed suit against the driver, as well as two businesses alleged to have contributed to the crash; a lawsuit is expected against the city, as well.

Sixty-six cyclists from the University of Texas rode across the Golden Gate Bridge on their way to Anchorage AK to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

San Francisco’s new bicycling state Assembly member keeps a bike at home by the Bay, and another in Sacramento.

 

National

Not surprisingly, the US is falling behind other countries when it comes to traffic safety.

Bicycling says you’ve been pumping your tires all wrong. Wait. You mean I have to take that little cap off first?

Vogue lists five surprising ways bicycling is good for your mind and body.

A Portland bike rider is suing after being clotheslined by a Comcast cable that was strung over a roadway.

Hats off to my alma mater, which became the nation’s first high school to be honored as a Bike-Friendly Business.

That former Illinois congressman who tweeted what sounded like a threat to the president and the Black Lives Matter movement after the Dallas shootings is one of us; he successfully campaigned for his only term in office by riding his bicycle.

In a widely watched case, a Michigan driver faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to fleeing the scene after plowing into a cyclist on an organized group ride.

A bike-riding writer for the Columbus Dispatch offers a well-reasoned analysis of the SUV driver in last week’s Doo Dah Parade who, in effect, threatened to kill cyclists unless they obey the law; he says what concerns him most is the public’s lack of concern.

A Massachusetts boy was impaled with a branch after veering off a trail and slamming into a tree; fortunately, he appeared to be in stable condition at a local hospital.

Bicycling under the influence is legal in Massachusetts, though not always the best idea. I know some may argue, but I’d still much rather see a drunk on a bike than behind the wheel. Although the best choice is neither.

New York police find the murder weapon used to intentionally run down a bike rider.

 

International

A Toronto paper offers advice on how to get over your fears and bike to work.

A Canadian Steely Dan fan nearly missed their Detroit show after paying the toll, then illegally riding through a tunnel across the border; US custom agents were amused, but searched and detained him for two hours anyway.

A mentally ill driver who fatally stabbed a popular British bike advocate following a minor traffic collision has been sentenced to ten years to life in a medium security mental hospital.

Friends and family remember a 75-year old London time-trialing legend who passed away following a May bicycling collision.

Caught on video: A jerk cyclist clips a London bike rider with a far too-close pass, nearly sending him under the wheels of a large truck. Pass another rider at the same distance you’d expect from a motor vehicle, or at arms-length at the very least; if that’s not possible, slow down and announce your presence before passing. Or you could just wait until it is safe.

An Irish business executive pleaded guilty to knocking a cyclist off his bike, then beating and strangling him, for the heinous crime of riding on the sidewalk.

Hiding under your jacket after stealing a pair of bikes will not make you invisible to Chinese police.

 

Finally…

Suddenly, your bike shorts are fashionable — assuming you’re a woman; guys, not so much. Why walk on water when you can pedal?

And you can thank a mountain pine beetle for your next wall-mounted bike rack.

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As an added bonus to get your weekend started off right, David Wolfberg forwards the latest video from Colombian superstars Shakira and Carlos Vives, for their new song La Bicicleta (Or The Bicycle, for the Spanish-challenged, like me).

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

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