Tag Archive for Hesperia

67-year old Eugene Arayata killed riding bike in rear-end Hesperia collision; 8th SoCal bike rider killed in 10 days

There seems to be no end to the recent carnage on the mean streets of Southern California.

For the eighth time in just ten days, someone was killed by a driver while riding a bike, this time in Hesperia Thursday evening.

According to the Victor Valley News Group, a man identified as 67-year old Hesperia resident Eugenio R. “Eugene” Arayata was riding his bike just three blocks from his home when he was run down from behind on Cedar Street at Long View Avenue.

The newspaper places the time of the crash at around 5:30 pm on Thursday, October 12th.

Arayata was riding next to the curb when the westbound driver apparently drifted over to the right to strike him, throwing Arayata several feet through the air.

He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where he died sometime later.

The driver, who was not publicly identified, remained at the scene, the windshield of his Lexus shattered.

An earlier story shows the remains of Arayata’s bicycle crumpled in the gutter, a green shopping bag dangling to the street, as a police investigator photographs it.

A nearby resident complained about speeding on Cedar, noting the lack of painted lane markers on the narrow residential street contribute to drivers traveling all over the roadway. However, there is nothing to indicate at this time that the driver was speeding at the time of the crash.

According to family members, Arayata had retired just three months earlier, but continued working to pay property taxes on his home of 20 years, and loved riding his bike around the town.

It’s unclear if he was riding home from work when he was killed.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Just ten days ago, that total stood at just 35 for the seven county region, exceptionally low for this late in the year.

But SoCal drivers seem to be making up for lost time.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eugenio R. “Eugene” Arayata and his loved ones.

59-year old man killed riding bike in Adelanto hit-and-run; driver remains missing after abandoning her SUV

Three crashes. Three deaths. Three counties. Two hit-and-runs.

All in less than 20 hours.

In a horrible weekend for the bicycling community, three innocent people were killed just because they were riding bicycles on Southern California streets.

The first came in Adelanto Saturday night, when a bike-riding man was killed in a hit-and run around 10:21 pm.

According to the Victorville News Group, 59-year old Adelanto resident Marty Sparling was crossing US Highway 395 at Cactus Road when he was struck by the driver of a 2008 Lincoln Navigator.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

Police identified the vehicle through a license plate found at the scene, naming 38-year old Erika Romero-Aguilar of Adelanto as the driver. Her Navigator was later found abandoned nine miles away at the Pilot Truck Stop on Highway 395 in Hesperia.

Romero-Aguilar’s whereabouts remain unknown at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy L. Torres at the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station, 760/552-6800.

This is at least the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Seventeen of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Marty Sparling and all his loved ones.

46-year old man riding bicycle dies one day after Hesperia collision

This is not the news we wanted just before Thanksgiving.

The Victorville Daily Press reports that a man has died, one day after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Hesperia.

According to sheriff’s investigators, the victim, identified only as a 46-year old Hesperia resident, was trying to cross Main Street at G Avenue when he was run down around 7:34 pm Sunday.

He died Monday, after being flown to a trauma center.

The victim was riding north on G when he allegedly rode out into the street in front of the driver of a Chevrolet Suburban traveling west on Main. There’s no word on who had the right-of-way.

However, given the size and high, flat grill of the massive SUV, a collision at any speed would be difficult to survive.

Any witnesses are urged to call Deputy D. Holland at the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station at 760/947-1500.

This is at least the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

67-year old woman killed in Hesperia collision after allegedly swerving her bike in front of delivery truck

Some crashes just don’t make any sense.

According to multiple sources, a woman was killed while riding her bike in Hesperia on Tuesday, allegedly after somehow swerving her bicycle directly in front of an oncoming truck.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 67-year old woman, was riding north Cottonwood Ave between Yucca and Main around 12:05 pm when she suddenly turned left, and was broadsided by the driver of a box truck following directly behind her.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 20-year old driver of the furniture delivery truck stayed at the scene, and was reportedly cooperating with police.

Video from the scene shows the victim’s bike lying midblock on the centerline of the two lane roadway.

As always, the question is whether any independent witnesses saw the crash, other than the driver and his passenger.

It simply doesn’t make sense that she would have been unaware of a large truck traveling directly behind her, or would have turned without looking over her shoulder first — especially on a street with a 45 mph speed limit.

But people’s actions don’t always make sense. And sadly, she’s not around to explain her side of the story.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies D. Holland or F. Zavala at 760/403-8026.

This is at least the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all her family and loved ones. 

Update: Bicyclist killed in Hesperia crash Tuesday evening; 8th SoCal bike death in ten days

Then there were eight.

Eight people killed riding their bicycles in Southern California in just ten days.

Eight families who won’t have a happy holiday, now and most likely for years to come.

According to the Victorville Daily News, the latest came in Hesperia Tuesday evening.

A man was riding his bike at Seventh Avenue and Cactus Street when he was struck by a driver around 6:28 pm, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time. There’s no information yet about the victim, or how the crash might have occurred.

A street view shows a wide open two lane road with sand-covered shoulders on Seventh, intersected by a narrow paved street to the west and a dirt road to the right.

No speed limit sign as visible, but multiple signs call on drivers to give bicyclists a three-foot passing distance.

This is at least the 75th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: The Victor Valley News has identified the victim as 50-year old Hesperia resident Armando Salinas. 

The paper reports he was killed in a hit-and-run by the driver of a pickup traveling south on Seventh. Paramedics found his body lying in the southbound lane just below Cactus Street. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy D. Whitson or Deputy D. Caudle at the Hesperia Sheriff’s station at 760/947-1500.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Armando Salinas and all his loved ones. 

And let’s all pray this tragic streak stops now. 

Truck driver fatally strikes Hesperia bike rider from behind with wing mirror

This is why we have a three-foot passing law.

According to the Victor Valley News, a 47-year old man died after he was struck from behind while riding on Ranchero Road near Lassen Street in Hesperia Friday night.

Hesperia resident Ryan Dennis Angus was riding west on Ranchero around 8:27 pm when he was struck in the head with the wing mirror of a passing utility truck.

He was flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where the San Bernardino coroner’s office reports he was pronounced dead at 10 am Saturday morning.

A street view shows a wide-open two lane roadway with a minimal dirt shoulder.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. No word on whether he will be ticketed or charged as a result of the crash.

However, this crash could not have happened if the driver had given the victim the minimum three-foot passing distance required by state law.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Bernardino County. He is also the sixth bike rider to be killed in Hesperia since 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ryan Dennis Angus and his loved ones.





10-year old bike rider killed in Hesperia

Just heartbreaking.

According to the Hesperia Star, a young bike rider was killed yesterday when he rode out in front of a car at an intersection.

Ten-year old Hesperia resident Arnold Covarrubias was riding east on the north sidewalk along on Main Street at Third Avenue at 8:45 pm when he attempted to cross Main without warning, and was hit by a Kia SUV. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:35 pm.

Investigators say Covarrubias may have been distracted by a stray dog when he rode out into the intersection against the light and was hit by the SUV, which was headed west on Main with the green light.

A satellite view shows a major intersection with two to three lanes of traffic in every direction.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police; speed or alcohol use did not appear to be factors in the collision. As always, however, the key is whether there were other witnesses besides the driver, who has an inherent interest is seeing his actions in the best possible light.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Deputy Simon DeMuri from the Hesperia Station at 760/947-1500.

This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in San Bernardino County. Remarkably, that’s exactly the same rate as this time last year in both the county, and the greater SoCal region.

It’s also the fifth bicycling death in Hesperia, population 92,000, in the last three years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Arnold Covarrubias and his family. 

Too much bad news — 17-year old hero killed in Hesperia, 60-year old Gardena bike victim dies

Just too much bad news to keep up with today.

The latest in today’s string of tragedies is the heartbreaking story of a teenaged bike rider who positioned himself to protect his date. And paid the ultimate price, thanks to the hit-and-run driver who ran him down.

According to the High Dessert Daily Press, 17-year old Daniel Sanchez was run down from behind while riding with a companion at 1:33 am Tuesday near Main Street and Escondido Ave in Hesperia. He suffered severe head trauma, and passed away at 8:45 yesterday morning despite plans to keep him on life support.

It’s tragic enough that the recent high school graduate was planning to open his own air conditioning business to support his single parent mother and six siblings.

KNBC-4 reports that he was riding side-by-side with his 17-year old female friend on their way to get something to eat when they heard a truck coming up from behind.

Rodriguez said they were riding side by side on the edge of the paved road when they heard the truck coming down the lonely road. The girl was closest to the pavement, and as a precaution, Sanchez asked her to switch sides with her.

“He told me, ‘There’s a car coming, move more inside,’” she said. “As soon as his sentence finished, that’s when it happened.”

Sanchez was hit by the truck, whose driver failed to stop.

“He fell on top of me and I imagine he bounced back on the floor and that’s when he hit his head,” Rodriguez said.

In other words, he gave his life to save hers.

Police are looking for a white pickup truck; no other information is currently available on the suspect truck or the heartless bastard behind the wheel who left a young hero to die in the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Hesperia Police Department at (760) 947-1500.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Daniel Sanchez and all his family.


In a bizarre coincidence — at least, we can hope that’s all it is — authorities are looking for a truck that matches that same description for the hit-and-run that sent another local teenager to the hospital.

Sixteen year old Henry Chavez Jr. of Oak Hills was released from the hospital Monday night following a hit-and-run last Saturday night that resulted in the loss of part of his spleen and 22 stitches to the top of his head; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

The collision occurred around 9 pm as he borrowed his sister’s bike to get a bag of chips. He was riding east on Mesquite Road near Mesa Vista Road when he was rear ended by a hit-and-run driver in a white pickup, possibly a Toyota.

Either two drivers in similar trucks have fled the scene leaving their victims behind, or someone is targeting teenage cyclists in the high desert.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Victorville CHP office at 760-241-1186.


Meanwhile, a third teenage cyclist suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a car in Hesperia Tuesday. But at least this time, the driver had the decency to stick around.


Finally, news broke today that 60-year old Gardena resident Jesse Dotson died last Friday of the injuries he suffered in yet another hit-and-run on Wednesday, the 26th.

Dotson was riding to work around 9:50 pm on the 1000 block of El Segundo Blvd when he was hit and left bleeding in the street with severe head injuries as the driver fled the scene.

Despite initial reports that they were looking for a Hispanic man in his 40s or 50s, Gardena police have arrested 22-year old Vanessa Marie Yanez for Dotson’s death. She faces charges of suspicion of manslaughter, perjury, filing a false police report and felony hit-and-run.

In other words, they threw the book at her, instead of the relative slap on the wrist most killer drivers face.

She must have done something to really piss someone off.

My sincere prayers and sympathy for Jesse Dotson and all his loved ones.

Update: Now it makes sense, as Yanez is accused of covering up her involvement in the hit-and-run — and her LAPD Sargent father is under investigation for possible involvement in the cover-up, as well as angrily confronting a news team reporting the story.

Read my update here.


These are the 43rd and 44th bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, which compares to 30 this time last year. It’s also the fifth bike-related death in Riverside County in 2013, and the 20th in Los Angeles County, which compares to five and nine, respectively, last year.

In other words, L.A. County in now over 200% above this time last year, and just three below the total for all of 2012. And we’re barely past the first half the year.

And it’s the eight and ninth fatal hit-and-runs in Southern California since the first of the year.

Yet another SoCal cyclist killed, this time in Hesperia

The recent rash of cycling fatalities claimed another victim on Sunday, as a Hesperia bike rider was run down by a motorist.

Although just how the collision occurred seems to be up for debate.

According to the San Bernardino County Coroner, and repeated by area newspapers, 62-year old Harold Blahut was riding south on Hickory Avenue around 8:35 pm when he was rear-ended by a southbound Volkswagen Passat traveling between 30 mph and 40 mph.

However, the Victorville Daily Press and Hesperia Star report that Blahut was riding west on Sultana Street across the intersection with Hickory Avenue when he was hit by a car driven by 34-year old Carlena Sanchez, who was traveling south on Hickory.

The Daily Press and Star also suggest that alcohol may have been a factor, but fail to note whether it was the driver or cyclist who was suspected of drinking.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and the 5th in San Bernardino County; it’s also the second fatality in less than three months in the small town of Hersperia, with a population just over 90,000.

And it’s the 10th SoCal cycling fatality in just the last 30 days — that’s nearly one-third of all bicycling deaths since the first of the year.

Update: Cyclist killed in Hersperia as a deadly month continues

A surprisingly safe March has given way to a bloody April.

After suffering just one cycling fatality last month, we’ve already seen six cyclists die on Southern California streets and trails this month, with five fatalities in just the last 10 days.

The latest is 34-year old Ryan D. Foster of Hesperia, who was killed last night while trying to cross Escondido Ave just north of Hollister Street. According to multiple reports, he was hit by a southbound 2002 Honda Accord around 10:19 pm.

That’s it.

None of the articles I’ve found — all of which appear to be based on a press release from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s department, which does not seem to be available on the department’s virtually useless websitecontain any more information, except that sheriff’s deputies are investigating the crash.

In fact, they seemed to be competing to see who could tell the story in the least amount of words, ranging from a measly 52 to a whopping 79.

Looking at a satellite photo, the bike lane on Escondido ends at Hollister Street. Foster could have been riding north and trying to cross over to the wide sidewalk on the west side. Or, based on the limited description, he could just have easily been riding south on the sidewalk and trying to make a left onto Hollister.

Or just plain crossing the street.

We may never know.

We also may never know if the driver was speeding, drunk and/or distracted, or a cautious, law-abiding motorist who did everything in his or her power to avoid the collision.

Hopefully, the papers will follow up with information about who the victim was, beyond a mere name and age, as well as how the collision occurred.

Because Ryan Foster and his family deserve more than 79 words.

This is the 17th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County.

My prayers and sympathy for Ryan Foster and his family and friends.

Update: This is starting to look like a case where the victim may have been at fault. The High Desert Daily Press reports that Foster was riding without lights or “adequate” reflectors at that late hour, and that witnesses saw him ride directly into the path of the Honda. 

The site also suggests that police officials suspect drugs or alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the crash; since the driver was not arrested at the scene, that implies that Foster may have been under the influence. 

However, given that the crash seems to have been a full-impact collision at speed, the fact that Foster wasn’t wearing a helmet was probably not a factor in his death.