Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

Update: Motorbike rider fled after killing woman riding bike on San Gabriel River Bike Trail

Apparently, no one is safe from idiots with engines.

According to a tweet from the Norwalk Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a woman was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist while riding on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail a little over two weeks ago.

Yes, on an offroad bike path.

And yes, her killer fled the scene.

The victim was identified as 31-year old Carla Becerra, who was killed in the crash on Saturday, February 1st.

Twentynine-year old Brandon Lindsley was arrested for the crime eleven days later, and charged with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run last Friday. Since Becerra died, both should be felony counts. 

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

No word on exactly where or how the crash happened. And no explanation for what the hell someone on a motorbike was doing on a bike path.

Hopefully we’ll learn more on Wednesday, when the department is expected to issue a press release.

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

Update: KTLA-5 reports the crash occurred on a bike path near Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk, which doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, or any other riverfront bike path.

Becerra was found lying unconscious on the path, with her bicycle several feet away. She was taken to Coast Plaza Medical Center, where she died. 

Investigators identified Lindsley as a person of interest based on a distinctive tattoo seen by people who did not witness the crash itself. He was arrested after reportedly making incriminating statements to investigators. 

Lindsley is being held on $105,000 bail in this case, as well as a no-bail hold on an outstanding warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.

Comments from Mike Wilkinson and Michael of CLR Effect say motorcycles aren’t unusual on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, despite a prohibition on anything with an engine. 

Maybe this will be a much-needed wakeup call to actually do something about it.

Update 2: Chris Klibowitz reports that the sheriff’s department gave the location as between Imperial and Firestone, rather than near the intersection, as KTLA reported, which makes a lot more sense.

Update 3: I received a message from Carla Becerra’s brother Quin, who offered a few details missing from previous reports.

According to Quin, the first call to 911 came around 6:45 pm on February 1st, as Carla Becerra was riding her bicycle south on the bike path, and Brandon Lindsley was traveling north on his motorcycle; he places the crash site roughly a quarter mile south of Imperial Highway.

Lindsley apparently fled because he had an outstanding warrant for a robbery assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, he might have run anyway.

And still no explanation for why he was riding illegally on the bike path.

Adding insult to injury — literally — someone stole Becerra’s phone, earphones and ear rings while she was lying unconscious and dying on the bike path, sometime before the first responders could get there.

As a result, emergency personnel were unable to identify her for several hours, and her family had no idea where she was or what happened to her until they received the tragic news at 3 am the next day.

This is how Quin described his sister Carla.

My sister was a full time RN at UCI medical and at MLK hospital. She had worked her entire life, to buy my parents their dream home in Lakewood, even put her social and love life on hold to do so. She always put others before herself, just so her life can be taken away from someone so selfish. The messed up part about all of this is that if he (Brandon) was the one left unconscious then she would have stayed and made sure he made it. She had a huge passion for cycling and running. The only comfort my family and I take from this is that she left us while doing something she loved. It just wasn’t her time yet.

He concluded by noting that Brandon Lindsley will be arraigned on Tuesday, February 25th — the same day his victim will be laid to rest. 

There are no words.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carla Becerra and all her loved ones.

Photo by Jim F

65-year old man killed by apparent self-driving truck while riding bike in Azusa collision; few other details available

Once again, a bike rider has been killed on the streets of Southern California.

And once again, there is almost no information available on the Azusa collision.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, a man was struck by the driver of a box truck while riding his bicycle on the 600 block of North Azusa Ave near Sixth Street around 1:30 pm yesterday.

Actually, they seem to blame the truck itself, since there’s no mention anywhere in the story that it had a driver. Or whether the seemingly self-driving truck remained at the scene.

The victim, identified only as a 65-year old man, was taken to an unidentified hospital, where he died of his injuries.

No word on how the crash may have occurred.

A street view shows North Azusa is a narrow one-way street in a commercial district, with on-street parking and two lanes going north. There are stop signs on Sixth, but no traffic controls on Azusa at the intersection; Sixth is a narrow un-laned street with parking on either side.

Azusa is paired with the much larger and wider Foothill Blvd, a one-way southbound street two blocks away.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Azusa Police Department Traffic Division at 626/812-3200.

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

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

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2018

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Bike rider killed on Whittier Blvd in unincorporated LA County; second Whittier Blvd bicycling death in one week

Nothing like marking the holidays with yet another fatal hit-and-run.

Even if officials are unlikely to call it that.

According to the Whittier Daily News, 64-year old Whittier resident Alfred Tiscareno Jr. was riding west on Whittier Blvd when he was struck by a driver near the onramp to the 605 Freeway in unincorporated LA County near Whittier, around 6:50 Monday evening.

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

There’s no explanation for how the crash occurred; hopefully, more details will be available after the holiday.

The driver, identified as 69-year old Rameshbhai L. Bhakta of Montebello, fled scene, but later called CHP investigators to report his involvement. He was reportedly cooperating with authorities, and has not been arrested.

And even though he he failed to stop and render aid, as required by law — or presumably, even call 911 to report the crash — he probably never will be.

Especially since Bhakta is not believed to have been under the influence, which too often seems to be the only thing that matters.

The crash is still under investigation; anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer G. De Luna at 562/868-0503.

Tiscareno’s death comes just one week after Whittier’s beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin was killed, also on Whittier Blvd, less than seven miles away. Over 250 bike riders turned out to honor him on Sunday.

Now the Whittier bike community has one more victim to remember. And one family’s Christmas season will never be the same.

This is at least the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 34th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Tiscareno is also the eighth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, in what is turning out to be a very bloody December.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfred Tiscareno Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

Coroner confirms death of a homeless man struck by driver in West LA last week; Craig Feldman was 68

Sadly, we now have confirmation of the bicycling fatality in West LA last week.

As we reported last week, Howard Valai forwarded Nextdoor post reporting that a bicyclist was hit by a driver on Barrington Ave somewhere between Olympic and Pico Boulevards around 10 pm on Monday, December 9th.

He also found a report on the Citizen app showed police investigating a fatal collision at Barrington and Exposition around the same time.

Various reports suggested the victim may have been homeless, but there was no official confirmation of the death or any description of a possible victim.

However, another post by the woman who first reported the crash post again to say she’d spoken with residents of a nearby homeless camp, who confirmed that a homeless man named Craig was killed in the collision.

That provided Valai with enough information to check the county medical examiner’s website, where he found the following record.

Separately none of these were enough to confirm the death. But together, they confirm that a 68-year old homeless man named Craig Feldman died when he was struck by a driver’s vehicle that Monday night.

What’s missing is any word on how the crash occurred, or why. Or whether any action was taken against the driver.

Sadly, there was no mention of this crash in the local media.

Then again, the death of a homeless person seldom makes the news. Yet no life should be less important than any other; no death shouldn’t matter.

Hopefully we can find out more soon.

And hopefully, Craig Feldman will be remembered as more than just a name on the medical examiner’s website.

This is at least the 74th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 33rd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; Feldman’s death is also the 17th in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

And the seventh SoCal bike death in less than ten days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Craig Feldman and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Howard Valai for his help in tracking down the information for this post.

 

Beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin killed in Whittier collision Monday morning

What happens when you kill a beloved community icon with your car?

Probably nothing.

The Whittier Daily News reports that 61-year old Whittier resident Danny Martin, well known for waving at strangers from the seat of his three-wheeled bike, was killed in a collision early Monday morning.

According to the paper, Martin was riding to a Bible study class when he was struck by a driver while crossing the 16500 block of Whittier Boulevard.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said he was not at an intersection or in a crosswalk when he was struck. The driver stayed at the scene, and authorities said that speed was not a factor.

Although Martin’s mangled bike would seem to belie that. It’s hard to imagine how that kind of damage could occur without excessive speed.

He also left his usual bike helmet at home, wearing a Christmas hat in its place.

A former motocross racer, Danny Martin was severely injured testing a new motorbike at Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert in 1981, spending a full year in a coma. When he finally awoke, he was paralyzed and told he would never walk again.

Yet after a year of physical therapy, he regained the ability to get around on his own, and learned how to ride an adult tricycle.

He never quit, spending the better part of the past four decades riding around Whittier with an American Flag flying high above his trike, and signs praising God attached to it after becoming deeply religious during his recovery.

Martin became a local icon beloved throughout the city, often by people whose only contact with him was a friendly wave as they passed by in their cars.

That love was shown by the Whittier community in 2016, when he was struck by a driver who destroyed Martin’s bike and briefly put him in the hospital.

A crowdfunding campaign to replace his bike trike raised over 14 times the original $1,000 goal; the Daily News reports the extra money paid Martin’s rent for a full year.

And it was shown again last night, when hundreds of people turned out for a candlelight vigil to remember him.

Now another crowdfunding campaign has raised over $7,000 in just the first eight hours to help pay his funeral expenses.

A ride will be held in his honor this Sunday. Let’s hope it gets a big turnout, with lots of flags flying high over the bikes, and friendly waves for everyone around.

Because Whittier is going to be a much poorer place going forward.

https://twitter.com/1Cycle20/status/1206755205762600960

This is at least the 73rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 32nd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the sixth SoCal bike death in less than ten days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Danny Martin and all his family and friends. 

Thanks to Sgt. Helper, Lois R, Eric Griswold and John Damman for the heads-up.

Man killed riding bike on Van Nuys High Injury Street, one day before West Valley CicLAvia

Just hours before Los Angeles gathered to celebrate what our streets could be, we received another tragic reminder of what they still are today.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that a man was killed in Van Nuys Saturday evening, one night before Sunday’s CicLAvia a few short miles away.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s, was riding his bike east on Victory Blvd around 6 pm Saturday, when he reportedly ran the red light at Kester Ave just as a driver was entering the intersection on Kester.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

However, the crash could not have happened the way the paper describes; according to the Daily News, the driver was headed west on Kester, which is a north-south street.

Most likely, the driver was traveling north or south on Kester, but could have been on Victory.

He or she stayed at the scene, and reportedly rendered assistance, as required by law.

As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who saw the crash. Although at that hour, there should have been witnesses on such a busy street.

Click to enlarge

Victory is one of LA’s most dangerous streets; a one mile section just a short distance east of the crash scene is one of the city’s top Vision Zero High Priority corridors.

Yet like most streets on the list, little or nothing has been done to protect innocent lives.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the 16th in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Fabian Abarca of North Hills. Oddly, the reports continue to say the driver was headed west on Kester, which is impossible on a north-west street.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Fabian Abarca and his loved ones. 

 

60-year old man killed riding bike in early morning West Adams crash; driver booked on DUI

Once again, someone got behind the wheel after having too much to drink.

And once again, an innocent person paid the price.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, the victim was riding his bike west on West Adams Blvd near South Redondo Blvd in LA’s West Adams neighborhood around 3 am this morning when he was run down from behind.

KTLA-5 places the location of the crash one block west on West Adams near South Cloverdale Ave.

After hitting him, the 20-something driver continued on to smash into a parked car.

The victim, described only as a 60-year old man, died at the scene. Police note that he was not homeless, despite the early morning hour.

They also say the area is well-lighted and not considered dangerous for people on bicycles, and that the victim had lights on his bike; video from the scene clearly shows front and rear blinking lights.

Which means there was no excuse for taking the life of an innocent human being.

As if there ever is.

This is at least the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; half of those deaths have occurred in the City of Los Angeles.

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

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

Man killed riding bike on Manchester Blvd in Inglewood in possible right hook crash

For the third time in less than two years, someone on a bike has been killed on deadly Manchester Blvd.

This time in Inglewood.

According to KFI Radio, the victim was somehow struck by the driver of a stakebed truck turning right onto eastbound Manchester Blvd from northbound Hindry Ave near LAX around 7:30 yesterday morning.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s unclear which street the victim, described only as a Hispanic male, was riding on.

Based on the limited description, this could have been a right hook collision if the victim was riding on Hindry, or he may have been hit as he was riding in front of the truck on Manchester or just after the driver’s turn.

It’s also possible the driver ignored the No Right On Red sign on Hindry.

The driver remained at the scene. Police have not yet determined if he or she was under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call Inglewood Traffic Investigator Ryan Green at 310/412-5134.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

His death follows the deaths of an unidentified man on Manchester at South Gramercy Place in February, and Frederick “Woon” Frazier at Manchester and Normandie in April of last year.

Which suggests a serious problem on the entire corridor, whether in Inglewood or Los Angeles, where Manchester is on the city’s High Injury Network.

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

 

Update: Woman riding bike killed in Hollywood hit-and-run; third fatal LA bicycling hit-and-run in past week

Unbelievable.

For the fourth time in just the past week, a Southern California bike rider has been run down and left to die by a hit-and-run driver.

Three of those in Los Angeles.

Early this morning, a 49-year old woman riding her bike in Hollywood became just the latest victim of those heartless cowards behind the wheels.

According to KTLA-5, the victim was riding north on Orange Drive above Hollywood Blvd around 2:25 am Friday when she run down by a northbound driver, who continued without stopping.

She died at the scene.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.

But this time, it happened in my own neighborhood.

Orange Drive is just around the corner from Madame Tussauds and the Chinese Theater. The street has a dog-leg to the left at Hollywood Blvd, and connects with westbound Hollywood at a narrow 90° angle, both of which serve to slow traffic.

However, drivers can be heard racing through the streets of Hollywood all night, and frequently make the left turn off eastbound Hollywood Blvd without slowing.

Anyone with information was urged to call the LAPD at 213/527-3247. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of LA.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also 14th bicyclist killed in the City of Los Angeles this year.

Update: The Beverly Press has identified the victim as a homeless woman, whose name is being withheld until they can notify her family. 

Police say she was run down from behind, and was doing nothing wrong before  she was cruelly left to die in the street. 

Police are looking for a four-door, silver sedan with likely front end damage, of undetermined make and model. 

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

 

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