Tag Archive for Laguna Woods

74-year old Laguna Woods bike rider dies following collision two weeks ago; OC bike deaths 50% above last year

More bad news on a weekend dedicated to giving thanks.

Sadly, a 74-year old bike rider has died from injuries he received in a Laguna Woods collision just over two weeks ago.

According to NBC-4, the victim was riding on southbound Moulton Parkway near Santa Maria around 5:57 am on Saturday, November 15th, when he was hit by a 2006 Honda Civic. He was transported to a nearby hospital in grave condition.

Now the Orange County Register reports that Cesar Labastida succumbed to his injuries earlier today.

Both sources report that the driver, who has not been publicly identified, stopped to call 911 and render aid, and that police don’t suspect drugs or alcohol played a role.

No information is available on how the collision occurred or who may have been at fault.

The crash is still under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call traffic investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000 or 949-425-1860.

This is the 81st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th in Orange County; that compares to 12 for all of last year in the county.

My sympathy and prayers for Cesar Labastida and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Frank Peters for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in Santa Ana; 73-year old cyclist gravely injured in Laguna Woods

This was a bad day for bike riders in Orange County.

According to the Orange County Register, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a vehicle in Santa Ana somewhere near the intersection of West 5th Street and North Harbor Blvd.

The New Santa Ana website places the time of the collision around 5:30 pm Saturday, and identifies the victim as an adult male. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both sites report the driver stayed at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

This is the 78th bicyclist killed in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Orange County; that compares with 12 in the county last year. And he’s the third bike rider killed in Santa Ana since the first of the year.

Update: Bill Sellin forwards an email from the Santa Ana police reporting the collision occurred at 300 N. Harbor Blvd. The victim was riding against traffic and attempting to cross the street when he was hit by a car traveling north on Harbor. 

Sadly, police are still attempting to identify the victim. A reminder to always carry some form of identification when you ride. 

Update 2: The Orange County coroner has identified the victim as 69-year old Hassan Davoodiaria. Thanks to Bill Sellin for the information

My deepest sympathy and prayers Hassan Davoodiaria and his loved ones.

Thanks to Natalie and Bill Sellin for the heads-up. 


Meanwhile, KNBC-4 reports a 73-year old bike rider is in grave condition after he was hit by a Honda Civic on southbound Moulton Parkway near Santa Maria in Laguna Woods just before 6 am Saturday morning.

Sound like prayers or good thoughts are in order.

Update: OC cyclist and former LACC engineering professor August Bissiri killed in Sonoma County

Bad news from the wine country, as a Laguna Woods cyclist was killed in a Thursday afternoon collision on the coast highway.

According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 85-year old August Bissiri was rounding a corner on Highway 1 outside of Bodega Bay around 1:30 pm when he apparently drifted onto the wrong side of the road, and was hit nearly head-on by a Ford Focus traveling at about 50 mph.

Driver David Chaote Tryon of Berkeley swerved to the right, hitting Bissiri’s bike with the right front of the car before striking an embankment on the right side of the road and rolling over. The CHP reports that skid marks indicate Tryon was in the center of the northbound lane when he collided with Bissiri, who was riding south.

Bissiri, who had taken up cycling 13 years ago following his retirement from L.A. City College, was riding ahead of a group of riders from the Bicycle Club of Irvine, who came upon the collision shortly afterwards. The club members had driven up to Sonoma County last weekend for a week of riding the wine country, and were due to return home this Sunday.

The paper reports that a passerby attempted to perform CPR, but Bissiri died at the scene from multiple traumatic injuries; it does not note if the person who tried to help him was a member of the bike club or a passing motorist or pedestrian.

Bissiri is described as a cautious rider; the local fire chief suggests that 30 to 40 mph winds at the time may have been a contributing factor. Winds that strong can easily blow a rider across the roadway.

He leaves behind a wife of 15 years, as well as three children from a previous marriage, and two step children.

My prayers and condolences for August Bissiri and all his family and loved ones. Let’s hope this is the only cycling fatality we have to report this Memorial Day weekend.

Thanks to Jorga Houy for the heads-up. And to the Press Democrat for a well-researched article that not only explains what happened, but who the victim was; every traffic victim deserves as much.

Update: Fellow BCI member Bill Sellin, who was on the tour with August Bissiri, emailed to say that it is his understanding that Bissiri was actually riding north to the hotel the group was staying at, but may have overshot the hotel.

He likely made a fatal U-Turn or crossed the road at a curve from the south bound side turn out when he was hit. He was rear ended or hit from his right side… not head on. It was not a right turn or hairpin, just a curve with limited line of sight. 2 lanes, narrow shoulders. Head wind from NW & downhill toward Bodega Bay; August did not hear well & if the car was coming from his blind spot on his right, he may have never seen it in his mirror.

Other riders may have come upon him, but not BCI or the other riders in the group he was touring with, as we had all stopped at the hotel in Bodega Bay.  Several BCI members were on the fund raising tour, but it was not a BCI event & other riders were from Montana, New Jersey, Utah, Minnesotta, Oregon as well as Northern & Southern California. 

Update 2: Bill Sellin also forwards information on a memorial for August Bissiri this Wednesday in Laguna Woods.

The Celebration of August’s life will be Wednesday, May 30th, at 1:00 p.m. in Club House 7, Laguna Woods, located at 24111 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods, CA 92637.  Phone 949.268.2417. The family has requested that you do not bring flowers or gifts, just your love and support.

We hope to see you there and please pass this on to all of August’s friends. 

The note also asks that any questions be directed to Bissiri’s step-daughter Kirsten, rather than his widow.