Tag Archive for Hyde Park

Update: 50-year old man riding bicycle killed by hit-and-run driver in South LA; media silence is deafening

Evidently, leaving someone to die alone in the streets of Los Angeles just isn’t news anymore.

At least, that was the case Wednesday night, when a 50-year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver in South LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Only two sites — Los Angeles Patch and Two Urban Girls — even bothered to post the story online, copied word-for-word from City News Service.

Meanwhile, the silence from the mainstream media was deafening.

According to the story from CNS, the victim was riding east on Vernon Ave at 6th Ave when he was read-ended by the driver, who continued on without stopping.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

At this time, there is no description of the suspect or the vehicle used to kill the victim, and no other information available.

A street view shows one lane in each direction on Vernon, with a parking lane on each side and a left turn bay, along with a complete lack of bicycle infrastructure.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, the eighth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County, and the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.

That’s just more than half the SoCal total for this time last year, and compares to 21 bicycling deaths in the county at the start of last October.

Either we’re having an exceptionally good year, or there are a lot more crashes that we’re just not hearing about.

I’d put my money on the latter.

This is also at least the 13th fatal hit-and-run involving someone on a bicycle since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 51-year old Jacinto Ayala Gurrola. There’s still no word on where he lived, or any description of the suspect vehicle or driver.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Jacinto Ayala Gurrola and his loved ones. 

Man killed lying in street next to bicycle in South LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood

KTLA-5 is reporting that a man with a bicycle was killed when he was struck by a driver in South LA Sunday night.

According to LAPD investigators, the victim was lying in the street next to a bicycle on Arlington Ave, near the intersection with West 48th Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood, when a driver swerved around him just before midnight.

Unfortunately, another driver following in the same direction was unable to stop or go around him in time.

He apparently died at the scene.

There’s no explanation given for why the victim, publicly identified only as a 58-year old man, was down in the street. It’s possible that he may have fallen or been knocked off his bike, suffered a medical emergency, or simply passed out under the influence.

The coroner’s office shows one possible victim on that date, a 58-year old black man identified as Larry Mitchell; unfortunately, there’s no location given so it’s hard to say for sure if that’s who it was.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 11th bicyclist killed in the City of Los Angeles this year.

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


Update: Bike rider killed in collision with Metro bus in LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood

For the second time in less than two weeks, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro bus.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by the bus around 3:15 pm Monday near Crenshaw Boulevard and Brynhurst Avenue. He or she became pinned underneath, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Crenshaw, with the street narrowed due to construction on the Crenshaw Line on the center median.

This comes just ten days after 13-year old Ciara Smith was killed when she was hit by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach.

This is the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: David Wolfberg provides more information about this tragedy, along with photos from the site. 

The ghost bike was placed last night.  We learned from after-the-crash witnesses that the bike and victim had been dragged for half a block on southbound Crenshaw before stopping just north of Brynhurst – literally between a billboard for a personal injury attorney service to the north on the east side of Crenshaw (“Don’t wait, Call 8!” you can see on the street view) and the Harrison-Ross Mortuary on the west/south.    Apparently there’s also a pedestrian & bike safety billboard on the other side of of the personal injury one – I’ll check that tonight.
The Google Map view (see street view link above) from January still holds except the cones are gone – so, two lanes of not so great pavement between curb and k-rails.  There’s even a worn out sharrow in front of Highly Favored Hair Studio.  Last night, instead of slowing down for a construction zone, cars were speeding and speeding up as they passed us, and we nearly witnessed another crash as a car stopped just north of the ghost bike to pick up a passenger from the sidewalk.  I worry not just for cyclists, but for everyone here including construction workers who park (in a heavily guarded lot) a block down on the NW corner of Crenshaw and 48th then must cross into the construction area.
We’re told the victim was male.   A reply on NextDoor indicates the victim was a minor.  We had guessed, given the timing, that it was a kid biking home from school.  I don’t want to speculate too much, but it did not look like an intersection crash where the bike flew in from out of nowhere.  I could picture a rider trying to hug the curb and coming across the rough patch adjacent to the sharrow (check street view at 4427 Crenshaw) and faltering in front of the bus.

Update: According to a comment by the victim’s sister, his name is Luis Alvarez, a 21-year old resident of Cicero, Illinois. The family has started a GoFundMe account to bring him back home and pay funeral expenses. 

According to the LAPD’s South Traffic bike liaison, Alvarez apparently passed the bus on the right, then was hit by the bus when he attempted to move back to the right to make a right turn onto Brynhurst. There’s no word yet on whether the bus was stopped or moving prior to the crash; however, a street view does not show a bus stop on that corner. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Alvarez and all his loved ones.


Update: Hit-and-run driver critically injures Hyde Park bike rider; LAPD fails to send hit-and-run alert or mention reward

Once again, a heartless coward has left a South LA bike rider bleeding in the street.

According to press release from the LAPD, a 35-year old man was riding some sort of motorized bicycle on 48th Street at Ninth Ave in the Hype Park neighborhood around 3:40 Monday afternoon when he was struck by a car driven by an unidentified driver.

The driver had been parked at the eastbound curb when he suddenly pulled out, turning left across the traffic lanes and into the path of the westbound bike rider, in a crash captured by a security cam.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

There are bike lanes in both direction on 48th, though it appears he was traveling in the through lane at or near the speed of traffic.

Police are looking for a burgundy or red late 1990s Oldsmobile Cutlass four door sedan. The department reports the two people in the car had just left Kenny’s Liquor, where they were captured on security footage.

The driver is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, between 180 and 200 pounds with dark hair. He was seen wearing a gray baseball cap, a gray jacket, white t-shirt, and blue jeans.

The passenger is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, with black hair and a mustache. He was seen wearing a red long sleeve shirt, black pants, and brown shoes.

Anyone with information urged to call LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500.

Oddly, the press release does not mention the city’s standing reward program providing up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers; in this case, it provides an automatic $25,000 reward for a collision resulting in a severe injury.

It’s also strange that the LAPD did not use LA’s hit-and-run alert system that was approved by the city council early last year alerting the public to be on the lookout for suspect vehicles. For some reason, the department seems reluctant to use the program, even though it was created for cases exactly like this.

There is also a statewide program that was signed into law last year allowing hit-and-run alerts on state highway signs.

Maybe someday the LAPD will actually use some of the tools available to them to enlist the public’s help to catch people like this.

We can dream, right?

Update: Police have made an arrest in the case.

Update 2: In an LAPD press conference, South LA detectives identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Gabrail Hasan, the father of nine kids under 15. 

The tattoo artist and vice president of the LA DTM (Doing the Most) Motorized Bike Club remains in critical condition in the ICU following emergency surgery for a crushed aorta.