Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Bike to Work Day turns fatal for woman in Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach

Bike to Work Day is supposed to be a celebration of bicycling. Not a reason for yet another ghost bike.

We mentioned yesterday that a woman was critically injured while riding her bike in the Belmont Shores neighborhood of Long Beach early yesterday morning.

Today we learned that she didn’t make it.

According to Long Beach Local News, the victim, who has been publicly identified only as an adult woman, was struck by a driver after allegedly riding through a red light at Second Street and Bayshore Avenue.

The crash occurred around 5:25 am as she was riding north on Bayshore and was struck by a vehicle headed west on Second.

Long Beach firefighters sped her to a local hospital with injuries to her upper torso; however, she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators.

Photos from the scene show a hot pink road bike lying in the north crosswalk at Second Street and The Toledo. Which means she had crossed the entire street before she was struck, and knocked 15 to 20 yards by the force of the impact.

A street view shows a four lane street with a left turn bay and bike lanes on Second, with a 25 mph speed limit, and a single lane in each direction on Bayshore.

As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who actually saw who had the green light, or if Long Beach police relied strictly on the driver’s account, since the victim would have been unable to share her side of the story.

It’s entirely possible she entered the intersection with the green or yellow, and it changed while she was crossing.

It’s also questionable whether the driver was observing the speed limit, given the extent of her injuries; most drivers in Southern California routinely exceed the speed limit by five to ten mph or more, especially given the early morning hour.

Either way, this is yet another tragic reminder to always observe traffic signals and especially the right-of-way.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in Long Beach.

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

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Update: Man riding a bicycle killed by speeding driver in possible DTLA street racing crash

A man riding a bicycle is dead because a driver couldn’t keep his foot off the gas pedal.

And he may not have been the only one speeding.

According to KTLA-5, the crash occurred around 8:55 Thursday night on the 2100 block of South Alameda Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

Although earlier reports put the time of the crash closer to 8:30 pm.

The northbound driver lost control when he hit the railroad tracks and smashed into the victim at high speed, then slammed him into a utility pole.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was deemed beyond medical help when firefighters arrived, and died at the scene.

For once the driver stuck around. Probably because he was trapped inside his overturned car with minor injuries, and he had to be removed by the firefighters.

Witnesses reported that he was driving at least 50 mph before the crash, and appeared to be racing another driver.

Police took him into custody on suspicion of negligent manslaughter. Which sounds like the bare minimum he should be charged with.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 877/527-3247.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez, who was reportedly homeless. Which does not make this any less tragic, or minimize the severity of the crime in any way.  

The driver, who still has not been publicly identified, was driving on a suspended license. 

One more reminder that taking someone’s license away doesn’t always stop them from driving. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez and all his loved ones.

 

Bike rider dies after he’s disconnected from life support; victim fell on club ride at Santa Fe Dam last weekend

Even when the news is expected, it’s no less tragic.

Or heartbreaking.

On Wednesday, we reported that a man had suffered life-threatening injuries after hitting a curb while riding at Santa Fe Dam last weekend.

Sadly, I was told today that he passed away after he was disconnected from a ventilator Thursday morning.

Don Hernandez was on a club ride from the Rose Bowl to Duarte on Saturday morning when the group passed through a parking lot at Santa Fe Dam. Hernandez somehow hit a parking curb and went over his handlebars, landing on his face.

Even though he was riding at slow speed, he suffered a number of severe injuries, including a fractured skull and breaks to his neck and spine.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet, but it offered little protection the way he landed.

He was placed in a medically induced coma; however, a neurologist found no brain activity just days after his fall, making this ending virtually inevitable.

The only good to come out of this is that Hernandez was an organ donor, so his death will bring life to others.

Another reminder to sign your donor card.

There will be a memorial service on Monday, May 6th at 4:00 pm at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, located at 626 Foothill Blvd in La Cañada Flintridge.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Correction: I originally placed the site of Hernandez’ cash in the parking lot at Hanson Dam; as the story now reads, it was actually at Santa Fe Dam. I apologize for any confusion.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Don Hernandez and all his family and loved ones.

Lynwood man killed riding his bike in Firestone Park collision

More bad news. As if we haven’t had enough already.

The Press-Telegram is reporting that a man was killed riding his bike in the unincorporated community of Firestone Park, just outside of South Gate in South Los Angeles County.

The victim, identified as 57-year old Lynwood resident Vicente Lopez, was struck by a driver around 10:10 Friday night as he was leaving a 7-11 parking lot at Alameda Street and Firestone Boulevard.

Lopez allegedly rode out into the path of a large pickup headed south on Alameda.

He was taken to Lynwood’s St. Francis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead an hour and a half later.

As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses to the crash, and why he wouldn’t have seen a big truck before he rode into the street.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Vicente Lopez and all his loved ones.

Update: Man dies in solo sidewalk crash on Foothill Blvd in Tujunga

Sad news from Tujunga.

And for a change, there wasn’t a driver involved.

According to a press release from the LAPD, a man was killed while riding along westbound Foothill Blvd east of Commerce Ave in Tujunga at 10:50 Thursday morning.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly named, was riding downhill on the sidewalk when he collided a sign and a tree.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, and identified only as white man in his 30s.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.

And it’s another reminder that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous than it seems.

Update: There will be a ghost bike placed for the victim this Sunday at 7:30 pm.

Update 2: Family members have identified the victim as Steve Jensen.

I’m told Jensen was actually riding downhill in the street, and swerved to avoid a car stopped in the lane. He crashed into a sign for a smog test center that was in the street illegally, and hit a tree on the sidewalk. 

The badly dented sign is still there, visible inside the fence for the smog test center. 

The question is whether they’ve learned anything, or if the sign will go back out in the street in the morning. 

Update 3: Apparently bad bike infrastructure played a significant roll in this crash, as well. LA’s typical disappearing bike lane design at intersections may have helped cost Jensen his life, forcing him into the traffic lane after gaining speed on his descent. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Jensen and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up. 

 

62-year old woman killed riding a bike on Railroad Ave in Newhall

A woman was killed in a Newhall crash this morning, apparently for no other reason than she was riding a bicycle.

According to The Signal, the victim was struck by a driver around 7:05 this morning at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and 15th Street. She was transported to a local hospital, where she died.

She was publicly identified only as a 62-year old woman pending notification of relatives.

The victim was riding on Railroad at the time of the crash; there’s no word on where the person who struck her was driving, or how the crash occurred.

Initial reports had said the victim was a pedestrian, or a man in his 50s.

Photos from the scene appear to show a teal and yellow cruiser bike; debris was left strewn across the roadway.

A street view shows a four-lane road with a single left turn lane and wide parking lanes on Railroad; 15th ends at Railroad with a signalized intersection.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County 

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

Thanks to Sindy Saito for the heads-up. 

Man killed riding a bike on Manchester Blvd in South LA hit-and-run

Once again, another innocent person has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver, once again on Manchester Blvd in South Los Angeles.

And once again, don’t count on our elected leaders actually doing anything about it.

According to KTLA-5, the victim, identified only as a man in his late 20s, was riding eastbound on Manchester Blvd at South Gramercy Place when he was run down from by an unknown driver around 9 pm last night.

The victim, who appeared to be on a knobby-tired bicycle, died at the scene. The impact was hard enough that a witness described finding his shoes on opposite sides of the wide, four lane street.

Unfortunately, there is no description of the suspect or his or her vehicle.

An infuriating report by KCAL-9 says the victim was riding in the street despite the presence of a wide sidewalk, implying that’s where he should have been.

This is the second fatal hit-and-run involving a bicycle rider on Manchester Blvd in less than a year, following the death of Frederick “Woon” Frazer at less that a mile away at Manchester and Normandie last April.

That driver still hasn’t been charged, despite admitting to being behind the wheel, and allegedly repainting and hiding her SUV in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Which makes you wonder just what it takes to get the DA to file charges.

In addition, no action has been taken to improve the deadly street that has now taken the lives of two bike riders in recent months, despite the presence of both Manchester and Normandie on the city’s High Injury Network.

As with any fatal hit-and-run in LA, there is a standing $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

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

Man killed in collision after apparently falling off his bicycle in Koreatown

A man was killed in a Koreatown crash early Wednesday morning in what police initially thought was a hit-and-run.

Investigators at first thought the victim had been hit by a driver who fled the scene before being run over by a second vehicle.

But concluded the second driver had been the only one involved after reviewing video from a nearby security camera.

Early reports indicate the collision occurred at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd and Catalina Street in Koreatown at 3:30 am Wednesday, near the site of the former Ambassador Hotel, now the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.

According to KTLA-5, the victim, identified only as a Hispanic man in his 30s, was reportedly riding back and forth across Wilshire Blvd when he somehow came off his bike.

He was lying in the street when he was run over and dragged 30 feet by an oncoming car; he was apparently pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver stopped and cooperated with investigators.

The station places the crash scene a block west at Wilshire Boulevard just west of South Berendo Street; no explanation was given for the discrepancy.

The station also reports that coroners smelled alcohol at the scene, suggesting the victim may have been intoxicated, which could explain why he was was lying in the street. Although it does not explain why the driver failed to seem him or the bicycle next to him.

This is at least the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles.

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

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson, Sindy Saito, David Drexler and John McBrearty for the heads-up. And my apologies for the delay in posting this.

South LA man killed in possible street racing crash while riding his bike in Florence neighborhood

This morning we mentioned a breaking news report about a fatal crash between two drivers in South LA’s Florence neighborhood that may have involved two people on bicycles.

Sadly, our worst fears have bee confirmed, although several of the details were wrong.

According to multiple sources, 54-year old James Findley was killed when he was struck by a single driver around 10:35 pm at the intersection of 82nd Street and South Broadway in the Florence neighborhood of South LA.

The reports indicate Findley was riding on 82nd Street when he was run down by one of two drivers who were allegedly street racing north on Broadway.

That driver remained at the scene after crashing into several parked cars, while the other took off without stopping.

Findley was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other bike rider was involved in the crash, despite the presence of two badly mangled bicycles, as seen in this screen shot from the KNBC-4 broadcast, with one attached to a bike trailer.

Findley may have been ghost riding the other bicycle, which is where a person rides one bicycle while towing another riderless bike alongside.

It’s also possible that the second bike may only appear to be damaged, and could have been left by a bystander.

He was just a half block from the Florence home he shared with his sister, who heard the crash and immediately recognized his bike.

Findley is described as the second youngest out of nine brothers and sisters, and leaves behind an adult son.

According to KCBS-2, the driver who hit him admitted to street racing; however, that has not been confirmed by other sources. He was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence and vehicular manslaughter.

Police are searching for the missing motorist on a possible charge of hit-and-run. Drivers can be responsible for hit-and-run if they leave the scene after causing a crash, regardless of whether they were actually involved.

This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the city of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Findley and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Steve S and Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

Update: Man killed riding bike on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal in East Long Beach

Just hours after a bike rider was killed in Aliso Viejo, another man lost his life in a SoCal bike crash, this time in Long Beach.

And on a street that’s already seen far too many people killed.

According to the Long Beach Post, a bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a driver after reportedly swerving unsafely across traffic lanes at Los Coyotes Diagonal and Palo Verde Avenue just before 11 am today.

A Good Samaritan performed CPR on the 62-year old Long Beach man until paramedics arrived to take him to a local hospital, where he died.

The paper reports he was riding north in the bike lane on Los Coyotes when he cut across at least four lanes of the roadway at Palo Verde Ave, and was struck by the 88-year old driver of a southbound car.

For a change, the driver remained at the scene. Whether a younger motorist would have been able to stop in time is something we may never know.

Photos from the scene show a badly mangled road bike.

The Long Beach Post’s Brian Addison reports the city has seen six people killed in traffic collisions already this year, including 64-year old Long Beach bike rider Rhodora Roldan Bachillar.

And Los Coyotes has seen more than its share of fatal bike crashes, either on or just off the deadly corridor.

This is at least the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; both of those deaths have been in Long Beach.

Update: The victim has been identified as 62-year old Long Beach resident Ian Anthony Martin.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ian Anthony Martin and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Michael Muhammad for the heads-up.

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