Tag Archive for Fallbrook

62-year old man killed walking bicycle in Fallbrook; 15th bike death in San Diego County this year

It’s being reported as a pedestrian killed in a collision.

But he was one of us.

According to multiple sources, a 62-year old man was walking his bicycle when he was killed by a driver in Fallbrook Saturday night.

The San Diego Union-Tribune places the collision at 9:10 pm on Ammunition Road west of Alturas Street, near the entrance to Camp Pendleton.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by 25-year old man from Washington state who was driving west on Ammunition.

He died at the scene.

Police do not suspect drug or alcohol use played a roll in the crash.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, though it’s most likely the victim was walking along the right hand side of the roadway when he was run down.

There’s also no word on why he was apparently walking in the street, though it is possible he was on the sidewalk. However, the sidewalk appears to end a short distance west of Alturas, which could have forced him into the street.

No explanation has been given for why he was walking his bike. It’s possible he had just gotten off for some reason, or had a flat or some other mechanical issue. Or he may have just felt more comfortable walking after dark instead of riding.

But unless he just happened to find the bicycle on the side of the road, he died as one of us. And should have had the same right to remain safe walking a bicycle as riding one.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP at 760/643-3400.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

However, it will more likely be counted as a pedestrian death in official statistics.

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

Update: Fallbrook bike rider killed by alleged drugged teenage driver

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been killed by an intoxicated driver.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a 59-year old Fallbrook man, whose name has been withheld, was riding on the shoulder of northbound Old Highway 395 south of Pala Mesa Drive when he was hit from behind around 3 pm Tuesday.

The driver, 19-year old Sulem Areli Garcia, also of Fallbrook, reportedly veered off the road to strike the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was booked on suspicion of manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs; however, there’s no word on what she’s suspected of being on. Presumably, police will also get a warrant to determine whether she was using her mobile phone at the time of the crash.

A street view shows an unobstructed two lane highway with a wide paved shoulder on each side.

This is the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Fallbrook resident Paul Burke; a GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit his family. 

Meanwhile, the woman accused of killing him pled not guilty at her arraignment.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Burke and his loved ones.

Make that 7 deaths in just the last week, as Temecula cyclist killed in solo riding wreck

The number of Southern California cyclists killed in the last week has now reached seven.

The horrifying bloodbath that began with the hit-and-run death of Angel Bojorquez in Rancho Sante Fe — or maybe the death of San Diego bike rider Theodore Jones, who succumbed on Saturday to injuries he suffered July 3rd — claimed yet another victim when a Temucula teacher was killed in a solo riding collision.

According to Temecula Patch, 41-year old Temecula resident Randy Pruett was riding with a regular weekly group ride sponsored by Jax Bicycle Center in Murrieta last Saturday. As he descended on Rice Canyon Road near Rainbow County Road east of Fallbrook, he blew a tire, sending off the road and colliding hard with a tree.

Pruett suffered severe internal abdominal injuries, resulting in massive blood loss; he died on Monday at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

A memorial service is planned for next Monday at Sunridge Community Church, and Jax is sponsoring a memorial ride and blood drive on the 28th; details available on the Patch story.

Patch also reports that a memorial fund has been set up for his wife and daughter. Checks or cash can be brought or mailed to Jax at 26612 Margarita Rd., Murrieta, CA 92562.

I wish there was some common thread running through these seven deaths in this past week, by far the worst period for Southern California cyclists in my memory. Something we could point at as the problem, and do something about to halt this tragic carnage and prevent future deaths.

But if there is, I can’t find it.

Three of the cyclists were killed in hit-and-runs, one was hit by a speeding motorcyclist — though police seem poised to blame the victim. One rider apparently hit a car, while another was hit by one.

And one, Pruett, died in a solo collision, apparently the result of equipment failure.

All I know is that one death is too many; seven in seven days is a heartbreaking, infuriating obscenity.

This is the 36th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 9th in San Diego County. It’s also the seventh solo riding death since the first of the year.

My deepest condolences and prayers for Pruett and his family and friends.

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