Tag Archive for Huntington Beach

Santa Barbara bicyclist seriously injured in PCH hit-and-run, and Huntington Beach pulls the plug on bike path project

The hit-and-run epidemic show no sign of stopping.

The same day a Santa Ana bike rider was murdered by a driver who fled the scene, leaving his or her innocent victim to die in the street, another bicyclist was lucky to survive being run down by a hit-and-run driver on the Ventura County section of Southern California’s killer highway.

Or maybe calling PCH a serial killer highway is more accurate.

Here’s a brief press release from the victim’s family.

Santa Barbara family seeks answers and witnesses in PCH hit-and-run

On Saturday, February 12 at 11:10 a.m., Santa Barbara resident Jeff Sczechowski (seh-CHOW-ski) was struck from behind and thrown into a parked vehicle while riding his black mountain bike on the shoulder of the northbound side of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). This was just north of the Sycamore Canyon State Park entrance across from the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground that is south of the large sand hill on the inland side of the PCH.  He was wearing a white helmet and grey and yellow cycling clothing.  The victim was transported by ambulance to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he is hospitalized and receiving care.  He has sustained significant injuries to his back, leg, and arms.  Jeff, a chemical engineering PhD, manages a research center in the UCSB Department of Physics.  He is also an avid cyclist and bonsai tree artist.  Jeff, his wife, and their children ask anyone who may have been involved in or witnessed the event to please contact Ventura California Highway Patrol Officer Bowen at 805-662-2640.

Shamefully, fully half of the 12 people killed riding bicycles in Southern California this year have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Yes, 50 percent.

There is simply no excuse.

Not for the heartless cowards who lack the basic human decency to stick around after a crash. Or for those in elected office who lack the courage to do anything about it.

I’ve offered my suggestions on how to stop it. And I’m sure there are other options out there to put a stop to .

But one way to another, this epidemic has got to stop. Now.

Photo of Jeff Sczechowski taken just hours before the crash. Thanks to Todd Mumford for the heads-up.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

After gathering feedback on its proposed Trails to the Sea project, Huntington Beach has pulled the plug on the entire thing.

The project would have added 4.75 miles of offroad trails along a pair of channels, where they would have had zero impact on traffic and the surrounding community. And provided much needed safe routes through the beachside city, which is already one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike in Orange County.

Instead, the responses from local residents were apparently so bad that local officials decided not to do the right thing, and killed the project instead.

Never mind the current dangers faced by bike riders and pedestrians in the city. Or the desperate need to get people out of their cars, at a time when Orange County is already a year-round fire zone.

And never mind that access to a safe bikeway increases local property values.

There’s simply no rational reason to oppose a project like this, let alone cancel it.

But they did anyway.

Thanks to Eric Eberwein for the tip.

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Say goodbye to the green bollards on Del Amo Blvd in Long Beach, and hello to a new curb-protected bike lane.

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The Davis Bike Counter wasn’t just removed. It was killed by an errant driver.

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Megan Lynch also forwards this news about a single bike rider blocking a protesting Canadian trucker from blocking the roadways.

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Real talent is riding a bicycle around a stage during a live performance without missing a note.

Thanks to GlennC1 for forwarding the tweet. 

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A South Carolina man was arrested for stabbing a bike rider who nearly hit him while riding on the sidewalk, despite the bike-riding man’s repeated apologies.

No bias here. After a 15-year old boy was killed by a suspected drunk driver, Florida sheriff’s deputies somehow insist on noting the victim didn’t have lights on his bicycle — over half an hour before sunset.

No bias here, either. An Indian protected bike lane was removed after drivers were “inconvenienced” by the lane reduction to make room for it, never mind that bike riders were inconvenienced by the drivers parking in it.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

An Albuquerque, New Mexico BMX rider is under arrest for a horrific stabbing spree that left eleven people injured at seven separate sites, riding his bike to attack people apparently at random.

Welsh police are looking for an ebike rider who is accused of “terrorizing” the residents of a small seaside town; officers seized his bike after he fell off while being chased, but the rider managed to get away on foot.

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Local

Nice to see East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III honored with a trip to the Super Bowl in recognition of his volunteer work.

 

State

Hundreds of bike riders turned out for a ride to honor 49-year old Fremont resident Ellen Le, a week after she was killed in a head-on collision with an SUV driver while riding with a Santa Clara County bike club.

Hundreds more turned out for a demonstration to keep JFK Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park carfree.

San Francisco ripped out a protected bike lane due to a construction zone, temporarily replacing it with a painted bike lane, despite being on a street where three people have been killed in three years. Never mind that removing the protected lane will make the city liable for any injuries that happen as a result.

A Vallejo driver faces a murder charge for the hit-and-run death of a 52-year old bike rider, due to a previous DUI arrest; naturally, the defense attorney wants to blame the victim, instead.

 

National

The New York Times says billions of dollars in last year’s federal infrastructure bill dedicated to highway expansion could worsen climate change.

A Washington mountain biker couldn’t find bikewear to fit her plus-size body, so she started her own company to make it.

Utah’s law cutting the blood alcohol level required for DUI to .05, from the .08 allowed the other 49 states, is showing demonstrable benefits, with drunk driving deaths and crashes dropping 20% in the state since the law went into effect.

A man is restarting his cross-country bike ride in the middle of the North Dakota winter, five months after he was nearly killed by a pickup driver, which ultimately cost him a tooth and his spleen.

Nice move from a Tulsa OK bike club, whose members raised $5,000 to buy a racing bike for a promising young rider who has never owned a bike of his own.

No coverup here. After a New York cop hit a kid while driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Halloween, the NYPD bizarrely tried to claim the boy somehow ran across the hood of a stationary patrol car, then they tried to just pretend the while thing never happened.

New York Streetsblog says it’s not the speed cams that are racist, it’s the road designs in low-income communities of color.

A 62-year old Pennsylvania man is alive today because his friends rushed to call  911 and perform CPR when he suffered a sudden heart attack on a long group ride.

A cautionary story from Charleston, South Carolina, where police are reopening a crash investigation after a man died two months after he was hit by a driver, despite being released from the hospital the same day with an apparent misdiagnosis of just minor injuries.

Always get the keys back after you fire someone. A Florida man faces charges for helping a former bike shop worker come back and steal $15,000 worth of bicycles after she was let go.

 

International

They get it. An op-ed in London’s Independent questions how the country can get to zero carbon emissions when the UK suffers from cyclophobia, and riders aren’t safe on the roads.

No shit. BBC presenter and bike rider Jeremy Vine says that the safety of people on bicycles is more important than drivers getting to their destinations on time.

A new British report shows bikeshare is a gateway drug to get people back on their bicycles, with bikeshare use reducing car use 53%, with an average of 3.7 miles per user.

The game ball for a rugby match between Wales and Scotland traveled 500 miles by bike to get to there, as part of a charity ride to raise fund to fight motor neuron disease.

Porsche is moving further into ebikes by purchasing a 20% stake in Munich ebike maker Fazua, to gain access to their removable engine and battery tech.

Cycling Tips is accusing UCI of silence in the face of allegations of death threats, abduction and torture involving the Afghan Cycling Federation during and after efforts to evacuate cyclists from the country.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 93-year old South African man’s bicycle when he stopped at an ATM; he got the bike from his parents in 1950 and rode it for the past 72 years.

In an obvious effort to thin the herd, Melbourne, Australia has painted sharrows between the rails of a tram line, encouraging people to ride their bikes directly in front of an oncoming train.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome called for banning time trial bicycles, saying it would be safer and fairer to train and race on road bikes; his comments have drawn support from his fellow riders.

Retired Irish pro Nicholas Roche has been warned not to ride in the mountains south of Dublin, while he’s filming the British version of Dancing With the Stars in the city, because thieves are known to knock riders off their bikes, then toss them in their van and drive off while the rider is still sprawled in the roadway.

The Italian movie The Pantini Affair should be coming to the US, after Capital Motion Picture Group picked up the North American rights to the 2020 film about the last five years in the life of legendary cyclist Marco Pantani.

A Steamboat Springs, Colorado newspaper offers photos of downhill dual slalom racing on a snow-packed mountain, while UCI considers plans for a Snow Bike World Cup.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be carved from wood. That feeling when the peloton has to jump the median to avoid a police roadblock.

And we may have to deal with the horns of angry drivers. But at least that beats the horns of an angry bull.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

52-year old man killed riding bike on PCH in Huntington Beach; 2nd Orange County bicycling fatality in past 6 days

SoCal’s killer highway has claimed yet another life.

And once again, in Huntington Beach.

According to the Daily Pilot, 52-year-old Kelly Carrington was riding on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Seapoint Drive, when he was stuck by a 79-year old driver headed north on PCH around 11:20 last night.

He was dead before police arrived.

The driver, who has not been identified, remained at the scene. Both he and his wife suffered minor injuries, and were taken to a local hospital.

Police don’t believe he was under the influence.

Investigators say only that Carrington was in the roadway when he was killed, making it unclear whether he was riding in the traffic lane or crossing the roadway.

It’s also possible that he was riding on the shoulder, and only briefly entered the lane to avoid some obstacle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach traffic investigator Doug Demetre at 714/536-5670 or investigator Vishal Rattanchandani at 714/ 536-5231.

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

His death comes just six days after a 71-year old man was killed in a Fountain Valley hit-and-run while riding his bike.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kelly Carrington and his loved ones. 

Man riding bike victim of apparent random shooting on Sunset Beach in Huntington Beach; gunman shot by police

A gunman took aim at a couple riding their bikes at Sunset Beach in Huntington Beach in an apparent random shooting, hitting the man in the back.

According to multiple reports, the gunman was shot by police shortly after police responded to reports of a shooting early Monday afternoon.

However, KNBC-4 reports he first drew attention when he attempted to carjack someone in the area of Pacific Avenue and 7th Street around 12:20 pm, without showing his gun.

He then stepped onto the bike path, facing south, where a witness says he pulled his gun, and stumbling backwards, took aim at the man and women as they rode past, firing at least three times and hitting the man in the back.

The victim immediately fell onto the grass, yelling for someone to call 911.

The gunman, identified only as a man from Norwalk, continued walking to South Pacific and 3rd Street, where he was confronted by police, and shot when he failed to respond to commands.

He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

Meanwhile, his victim was hospitalized in stable condition with a single wound that was not expected to be life-threatening.

Update: 74-year old man killed, 82-year old wife injured when SUV driver hit their tandem in Huntington Beach Sunday morning

Heartbreaking news from Huntington Beach, where a man was killed and his elderly wife seriously injured when a driver slammed into their tandem bike Sunday morning.

According to My News LAthe victims, who have not been publicly identified, were riding near near Magnolia Street and Hamilton Avenue when they were run down around 8:50 am.

The Orange County Tribune reports both people were taken to a local hospital, where the 74-year old man died from his injuries; his 82-year old wife was hospitalized, but is expected to survive.

According to investigators, they were apparently riding north on Magnolia when they were struck by a 30-year old woman driving her SUV west on Hamilton.

She remained at the scene, and police did not suspect drug or alcohol use.

A street view shows a five lane intersection controlled by a traffic signal, with a 45 mph speed limit, and bike lanes in both directions on Magnolia.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Traffic Investigators D. Demetre at 714/536-5670, or V. Rattanchandani at 714/536-5231.

This is at least the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the second bicycling death Huntington Beach in less than three months.

Update: The fatal victim has been identified as 74-year old Huntington Beach resident Clinton Silverman

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Clinton Silverman, his wife and all their loved ones.

68-year old man riding bike killed by alleged DUI driver in Huntington Beach, yet police blame victim

A man riding his bike was killed on Southern California’s killer highway in Huntington Beach Thursday afternoon.

Yet even though police investigators allege the driver was under the influence, they still blamed the victim for the crash.

According to My News LA, the 68-year old man was struck while crossing Pacific Coast Highway at First Street around 1:30 pm Thursday.

The Orange County Register identifies him as Huntington Beach resident John Crouch, while placing the time at 1:38.

Investigators allege Crouch was attempting to cross the six lane highway against the red light when he was run down by a 23-year old Bloomington man, who has not been publicly identified.

Crouch was unresponsive before being taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver stayed at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence; no word was given on whether he was suspected of being drunk or stoned

There’s also no word on whether there were any independent witnesses who saw Crouch run the light; however, the intersection was likely to be busy at that hour, which raises the possibility that it was seen by multiple people.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; however, it’s just the third that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Crouch and his loved ones.

 

Placentia woman dies days after falling off her bicycle in Huntington Beach; 13th Orange County bicycling death this year

Somehow, we missed this one.

According to My News LA, a 50-year old Placentia woman died two days after falling of her bicycle in Huntington Beach.

Police investigators say Wendy Cendejas apparently fell making a left turn into traffic while riding east on Warner Ave, west of Sceptre Lane, around 6:30 pm on Saturday, October 17th.

She was found by police lying in the roadway, with her bicycle nearby.

Cendejas was taken to UCI Medical Center, where she died the following Monday.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Warner, with a center left turn lane onto Scepter from eastbound Warner; there’s also a painted shoulder on each side that she could have been riding in.

It’s unclear from the description if anyone actually saw her fall. And there’s no information on what may have caused the fall, which could have been anything from simply losing her balance to striking some sort of obstacle in the roadway.

Or her fall could have been caused by a driver in some way.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator D. Demetre of the Huntington Beach Police Department at 714/536-5670.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Wendy Cendejas and her loved ones. 

Hit-and-run driver arrested after man killed in Huntington Beach; second OC bike death in three days

Not again.

Another bike rider has died on the streets of Orange County. And another driver has fled the scene.

But at least this time, the driver was arrested.

According to the Daily Pilot, a man was riding his bike near the corner of Beach Blvd and Sunrise Drive when he was stuck by a driver around 12:25 am last night.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver was later found by police and booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. No identification was provided on the suspect, either.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time, including how or where the crash occurred.

Anyone with information is asked to contact traffic investigator Doug Demetre at (714) 536-5670.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the second bicycling death in the county in just the past three days, and the fifth SoCal bike rider killed in the last week.

My deepest sympathy and prayer for the victim and all his loved ones.

Man killed in Huntington Beach bike collision; fourth Huntington Beach bicycling death in last four months

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bike in Huntington Beach.

And unfortunately, there’s almost no information available.

According to the Orange County Register, the crash happened near Yorktown Avenue and Vasile Circle about 8 pm Wednesday.

Police responding to the call found the victim, identified only as a man, lying unresponsive in the street; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 46-year old driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation.

As usual, the driver was uninjured.

A street view shows Yorktown is a four lane street with a center turn lane and bike lanes on either side, with a 40 mph speed limit — low by Orange County standards.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Accident Investigators A. Turner, 714/536-5670 or D. Kim, 714/536-5666.

This is at least the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the third fatal collision involving a bike rider in Huntington Beach this year, and the fourth in less than four months.

Which means half of those deaths this year have been on the unforgiving streets of just one very deadly town.

And if that doesn’t scream there’s a major problem that needs to be addressed, I don’t know what the hell would.

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

62-year old man killed riding a bike on PCH in Huntington Beach Friday night

As if the news hasn’t been bad enough this weekend, yet another person was killed riding a bicycle, this time in Huntington Beach Friday night.

According to the Daily Pilot, the victim, identified only as a 62-year old homeless man, was struck by a 72-year old driver on deadly PCH near Seapoint Street around 10:20 pm.

The Orange County Register reports he was riding south on PCH when he swerved across the five lane highway, and was hit by the northbound driver.

He died at the scene as a result of serious head injuries.

And no, he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Although we have no way of knowing if his injuries would have been survivable with one.

Or whether it could have made any difference on a road where the 55 mph speed limit is little more than a suggestion, and virtually any crash is a death sentence to anyone not surrounded by a couple tons of glass and steel.

We also don’t know if the victim was without a helmet by choice, or because he didn’t have access to one.

The driver remained at the scene, and police don’t suspect intoxication played a factor.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Department traffic investigator Adam Turner at 714/536-5670.

Sadly, too many people will write the victim off as just another homeless person, as if that makes his death any less tragic. Or any less of a loss to his family and friends.

People forced to live on the streets have little enough value in our society when they’re alive. They shouldn’t be forgotten in death, as well.

This is at least the eleventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the fourth bicycling death we’ve learned about in the last two days.

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

30-year old Minnesota man dies days after Huntington Beach bike crash; first OC bicycling death of 2020

Once again, a bike rider has been killed on deadly Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim was riding a bike on Beach Boulevard, near Indianapolis Ave in Huntington Beach, when he was struck by a driver just before midnight on Sunday, January 19th.

The man, identified as 30-year old Adam Nickelson from St. Paul, Minnesota, was taken to UCI Medical Center with extreme injuries, where he died four days later, on Thursday the 23rd.

No word on how the crash occurred, or whether Nickelson was living in Huntington Beach or just visiting the city.

The driver, a 64-year old Huntington Beach resident, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A street view shows a six lane boulevard with the sort of wide, straight lanes that encourage drivers to exceed the speed limit; another bike rider was killed half a mile away at Beach Blvd and Adams just one year earlier.

Nickelson’s obituary describes him as an old soul, known for “his kindness, funny quick wit, free spirit, his mischievous smile and compassion for humankind.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident investigator D. Kim of the Huntington Beach Police Department at 714/536-5666.

This is at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adam Nickelson and all his loved ones.

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