The bad news just keeps coming.
For the fourth time in less than 48 hours, a Southern California bike rider has lost his life on the bumper of a motor vehicle.
According to Murrieta Patch, a 13-year old boy was riding his bike south across Los Brisas Road on Bolina Drive yesterday when he was hit by a car traveling west on Los Brisas at 4:05 pm. The victim, who has not yet been publicly identified, was taken to Rancho Springs Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The woman driving the car said the rider appeared suddenly, and she was unable to stop in time to avoid him. According to police, the vehicle appear to be driving at the 35 mph speed limit; there was no stop sign for the car at the intersection, nor was there any crosswalk.
There appears to be bike lane on Los Brisas, though not on Bolina. But the question is why there wouldn’t be a stop sign or a crosswalk just one block from an elementary school.
The Press-Enterprise reports the victim was riding a fixed-gear bike with no brakes; depending on the skill of the rider, it’s possible that he may not have been able to stop in time to avoid darting out in front of the car. It’s also possible that the driver may have been distracted in some way, and didn’t see something she should have been able to stop for.
According to Patch, no one observed the actual collision.
“We had a number of witnesses,” the sergeant told Patch. “They reported to us hearing a noise, looking that direction, and seeing the boy go down on the roadway, but nobody actually saw the accident occur.”
This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and frighteningly, the fifth in Riverside County in the last two months. He was also the second vulnerable road user killed in Murrieta yesterday alone.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family.
Thanks to Zak for the heads-up.
Update: Commenters on the Patch story have given the first name of the victim as Brennan, and report seeing a helmet in some of the news stories.
Update 2: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as 13-year old Brennen Faith of Murrieta. And yes, he was riding brakeless, and with a helmet.