Note: Due to tonight’s breaking news, and the discovery of another fatal bike crash in Perris last week, there won’t be any Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on everything tomorrow.
An El Cajon bike rider died after being stuck by the driver of a pickup Monday night.
Yet somehow, the San Diego paper managed to wait until the second sentence before blaming the victim.
Parroting the coroner’s press release, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 40-year old Jason Wilcox was struck around 10:30 p.m Monday when “he rode into the intersection of Second Street and Pepper Drive” in El Cajon without a helmet.
According to the paper, the driver “traveled into the intersection at the same time” at a high rate of speed, and was unable to stop in time.
Wilcox, who is described as a transient, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died of multiple blunt force injuries 50 minutes later.
There’s no word on which direction either Wilcox or the unidentified driver were traveling.
However, a street view shows a four lane roadway on Second with a 45 mph speed limit and a bike lane on either side, with the intersection controlled by a traffic signal in each direction.
That means either the victim or the driver went through the red light; the way the Union-Tribune’s story is written, it implies that Wilcox was at fault. However, there is nothing in the coroner’s press release to suggest that.
The statement that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed also suggests he was exceeding the 45 mph speed limit.
It should be noted that few homeless people have, let alone use, bike helmets. And even the best bike helmet won’t prevent injuries to other parts of the body; a high-speed collision with a truck is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.
This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County. It’s also the second in El Cajon in the last three months.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Wilcox and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.
Screen shot of the coroner’s press release