Tag Archive for Orange County

68-year old man riding bike killed by alleged DUI driver in Huntington Beach, yet police blame victim

A man riding his bike was killed on Southern California’s killer highway in Huntington Beach Thursday afternoon.

Yet even though police investigators allege the driver was under the influence, they still blamed the victim for the crash.

According to My News LA, the 68-year old man was struck while crossing Pacific Coast Highway at First Street around 1:30 pm Thursday.

The Orange County Register identifies him as Huntington Beach resident John Crouch, while placing the time at 1:38.

Investigators allege Crouch was attempting to cross the six lane highway against the red light when he was run down by a 23-year old Bloomington man, who has not been publicly identified.

Crouch was unresponsive before being taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver stayed at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence; no word was given on whether he was suspected of being drunk or stoned

There’s also no word on whether there were any independent witnesses who saw Crouch run the light; however, the intersection was likely to be busy at that hour, which raises the possibility that it was seen by multiple people.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; however, it’s just the third that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Crouch and his loved ones.

 

Man killed in collision attempting to ride bike across Anaheim freeway onramp, CHP blames victim’s clothing

Freeway ramps are among the deadliest places to ride a bike.

That was driven home once again early Friday morning, when a man was killed trying to ride across an Anaheim onramp.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on Lakeview Ave at the onramp to the westbound 91 Freeway around 4:50 am Friday.

Before he could reach the pedestrian crossing, he was struck by a car attempting to enter the freeway, driven by a 67-year old Anaheim woman.

No word on whether he died at the scene, or passed away after being taken for treatment.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A CHP spokesman was quick to absolve the driver of responsibility, instead blaming the victim’s dark clothing, and poor visibility due to rainy conditions and the early morning darkness.

However, no mention is made of whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike, or whether the onramp itself was lighted.

There’s also no mention of how the design of the onramp may have contributed to the crash. Dual slip lanes that begin at the intersection with East Riverdale Ave could enable drivers to accelerate to highway speeds before ever entering the freeway, especially at that hour.

But it’s much easier to blame the victim’s clothing than to confront road conditions that not only made a collision more likely, but less survivable.

It’s also yet another tragic reminder to avoid freeway ramps whenever possible, which are seldom designed for the safety of anyone not encased in a couple tons of glass and steel.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

‘Tis the season to give bikes to kids, LA delivery drivers turn bike lanes into parking, and dangerous PCH rumble strips

It’s the last four days of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Joel F, Kim D, Carol K, Danielle C, Brian N, Gregory C and John M for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Your support helps keep this site free for everyone, with no access or subscription fees. And no paywalls, popups or premium content. 

Period. 

So don’t wait. Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive now!

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‘Tis the season.

Something to smile about in this plague-infected year is the outpouring of bike love we’re seeing, with groups all over the country giving their time, skills and money to make sure countless kids will have a bike under the tree this year.

A group of Ojai organizations donated 42 new and refurbished bicycles, along with helmets and bike locks, to local kids.

A kindhearted Sacramento CHP officer bought a new bike for a young boy after a driver ran over his bike and his family couldn’t afford to buy him a new one; fortunately, the boy wasn’t injured in the crash.

In addition to donating 420 bicycles to local kids, a Boise, Idaho nonprofit is delivering 100 bicycles to a pair of Indian reservations.

A Bozeman, Montana bike shop that refurbishes and resells bicycles most of the year allows kids to come in and pick a free bike every December, giving away 75 to 100 bicycles every year.

A Syracuse NY program gave away a remarkable 2,300 bicycles to kids in need despite the pandemic, while teaching kids to give as well as receive.

Thanks to a donation from a secret Santa, a Pennsylvania nonprofit was able to give 100 bicycles and helmets to kids in need.

Thanks to two Florida men, 25 local kids received newly refurbished bicycles reclaimed from the scrap heap.

A Florida sheriff teamed with a local group to give away 13 refurbished bicycles.

For the fifth year in a row, a retired NFL player is giving over 80 bicycles to kids in need at the Florida high school he attended.

On the other hand, Fayetteville, Arkansas’ annual Bicycle Man giveaway, which normally hands out up to 1,200 bikes each year, was cancelled due to the pandemic.

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What do you call a Los Angeles-area bike lane filled with delivery vehicles?

An illegal parking lot. And dangerous as hell.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1340506670519078913

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An effective new video calls for the removal of dangerous rumble strips along an already dangerous stretch of PCH in Orange County.

A Facebook post from the Riverside Bicycle Club explains the problem in more detail, as well as proposing specific actions to fix it.

Seriously, when will Caltrans finally learn that rumble strips should never be used on any roadway used by bicyclists.

Which is pretty much all of them.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Maybe there’s hope yet.

https://twitter.com/rufusgifford/status/1340346200671850496

Meanwhile, Bicycling considers what his nomination will mean for people who ride bikes. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if you get blocked out of the Bicycling site.

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This is why you should never rely on a cable lock to secure your bike.

Because chances are, there was a bike connected to this that someone is missing now.

It’s also a reminder to register your bike before this happens to you.

Because even the best bike lock can be defeated by a determined thief with the right tools.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes keeps going on. 

A London man with a potentially life-threatening condition is suing to remove a bike lane in front of a hospital, claiming that potential congestion could delay his arrival at the hospital, and the removal of parking spaces means that his friend couldn’t park to bring him in. Never mind that his friend could always drop him off, and the bike lane could help countless others improve their health. For that matter, I have a potentially life-threatening condition too, as do countless other people who ride bicycles. 

A British truck driver will spend nearly four years behind bars for killing a bike rider, despite losing his license three months earlier due to diabetes and poor eyesore.

But sometimes it’s the people on to wheels behaving badly.

A 32-year old man was stabbed by someone on a bicycle in an apparent random attack while he was standing with friends on a bridge in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

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Local

This is who we share the bike path with. The LA Times remembers one of the many men and women who live along the banks of the LA River in the shadow of the bike path, who, unlike most, was neither unknown or alone.

 

State

About damn time. A new bill under consideration at the state legislature could provide financial incentives to purchase ebikes, most likely in the form of rebates.

San Dieguito River Park near Del Mar received a $1.39 million grant to fill a gap in the planned 71-mile-long Coast to Crest Trail.

Construction workers lifted an arched bike and pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks in Emeryville.

 

National

Outside considers how much you should spend on a gravel bike, noting that higher cost doesn’t always translate to higher value.

Wired says learn to fix and upgrade your bike instead of buying a new one.

Cycling News looks at their favorite new bike tech of the year.

The Verge considers how to keep the pandemic-inspire bike boom from fizzling out. Which it will, unless our leaders take steps to encourage riding and improve safety.

Consumer Reports explores whether an ebike is right for you, while a writer for Forbes says that’s all she wants for Christmas.

More than a thousand people took part in a virtual bike ride to honor the victims of the Las Vegas bicycle massacre that killed five experienced riders; the Zwift ride raised $15,000 for the victims.

Boston removed the concrete barriers protecting a bike lane, blaming them for causing drivers to crash. Evidently, the barriers must have jumped out in front of people in cars without warning; otherwise, the blame should go to all those people who couldn’t manage to drive safely next to them.

New York’s least bike-friendly newspaper shows a little sympathy for winter bike riders blocked from bike lanes that weren’t plowed after a heavy snowstorm, unlike the streets next to them.

Six people are suing New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare, alleging they were injured when the brakes locked on the ped-assist bikes they were renting, throwing them off their bikes.

 

International

Two English men will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for beating a recent college graduate to death after he pushed a boy off his bike for riding directly at him on a sidewalk.

An English driver continued to claim a bicyclist somehow rode into his truck, despite video showing he plowed right into the young woman who was wrapped in hi-viz bikewear, while making no effort to go around her.

The Scottish bicyclist who nearly got killed on a Texas highway just miles from the end of his round-the-world bike ride has bounced back to have a record-setting year, and announced he’ll return to Texas for a group ride to raise funds for the two hospitals that saved his life. And this time, he’ll have a police escort to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Kenya’s second lady rode 90 miles to mark 100 days since she established the Mama Cycling club to encourage people to become more physically active and call attention to the need to prioritize road safety to protect people on bicycles.

A Manilla op-ed warns about the risk of wearing a face shield when you ride a bike, despite a new nationwide mandate; a Philippine advocacy group doesn’t like the mandate, either.

A Kiwi city became the canvas for a New Zealand man’s bicycle Strava reindeer art.

An Australian judge rejected a truck driver’s claim that he didn’t know he hit and killed a man riding a bicycle because his music was cranked up too loud.

 

Competitive Cycling

The L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team — pronounced Legion — unveiled their roster for the upcoming racing season.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to shoplift a shitload of toys, try not to ride over a police bike making your getaway. Try not to break anyone’s leg when you’re biking under the influence.

And this is just what I feel like on a trainer.

https://twitter.com/deceuninck_qst/status/1339988426830049282

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Update: 12-year boy killed riding with dad in Costa Mesa crash; driver arrested for murder and DUI, as well as parole violation

Some things are just too sad for words.

Like the death of a 12-year old boy who was just out for a bike ride with his dad.

And murdered by an intoxicated driver who was somehow entrusted to operate a deadly machine.

Okay, allegedly intoxicated.

According to the Daily Pilot, Noel Bascon was riding in a crosswalk with his father near the Costa Mesa skate park around 5:55 Sunday night, when he was run down by the driver of a rented pickup truck.

A witness began CPR before police officers responding to the crash took over until paramedics arrived. But despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

A news release from the Costa Mesa Police Department places the crash near Junipero and Arlington Drives.

Fifty-nine-year old Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was driving east on Arlington when he reportedly ran a stop sign, throwing Baskin several feet through the air.

Despite being under the influence — again, allegedly — and on parole, Lavalle remained at the scene.

He was booked on charges of murder and DUI, as well as a parole violation.

The murder charge suggests that Lavalle has a previous conviction for driving under the influence, and signed a Watson Advisement warning that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving drunk or stoned in the future.

His passenger, 56-year old Artesia resident Lee Anna Diaz Murphy, was booked on possession of controlled substances and possession of unlawful paraphernalia.

Anyone with information is urged to call Costa Mesa Traffic Investigator Kha Bao at 714/754-5264.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: Lavalle is being held without bail after he was charged with second-degree murder, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

My News LA confirms he was driving while stoned, and did receive a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County; otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge. 

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could mean a possible life sentence. 

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Noel Bascom and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up. 

Update: Man killed riding bike in Fullerton crash Monday evening; 16th Orange County bike death this year

A bad year for Orange County bike riders just continues to get worse.

According to multiple sources, a 33-year old man was killed riding his bike in Fullerton Monday evening.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding in the area of Bastanchury Road and Lancer Way when he was struck by a Mercedes-Benz driver headed south on Bastanchury around 5:43 pm.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital.

The driver remained at the scene, and Fullerton police do not believe drug or alcohol use played a role in the crash.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have at this time. No word on how the crash happened, or whether the victim had lights on his bike after dark.

However, an email from Lois adds a few more thoughts.

This is a super dangerous crossing where a downhill proceeds to a right turn on a busy road with no clearance. Mountain bikers with no road riding experience frequently cross to the far side and ride salmon style to make the next left back to the Fullerton Loop. There’s a much safer but slightly longer and less exciting route to get to the same place. It has a light at the crossing. Maybe the city should have a sign to direct the Loop riders in that direction but many still won’t take it.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Accident Investigator H. Barclay of the Fullerton Police Department at 714/738-6815.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Orange County, which has seen an already too-high average of 12 bicycling deaths in recent years.

That puts it neck-and-neck with Los Angeles County, which has also seen 16 bike deaths this year, with over three times the population.

Update: The victim has been identified as 33-year old Joshua Pumphrey, who was killed just two weeks after he’d gotten married.

The Fullerton Observer explains how the crash happened.

Pumphrey was in a group of 11 riders on the “Fullerton Loop,” a popular series of interconnected local bike trails that sometimes cross major streets. According to witnesses, as the group of riders headed westbound on Valley View to Bastanchury, they turned right and hugged the right curb as cars were coming their same direction, northbound. The cars passed and the group merged across northbound traffic to the left turn lane which would put them westbound on Lancer Way. It was then that Pumphrey was struck by the car.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $43,000 in just one week to pay Pumphrey’s funeral expenses, more than double the $21,000 goal.

My deepest sympathy and prayers forJoshua Pumphrey and his loved ones.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Update: 42-year old woman killed in Lake Forest bicycling crash; 15th Orange County bike rider killed this year, equalling LA County

A 42-year old woman was killed riding a bike in Lake Forest Sunday afternoon, just hours after another Orange County bike rider lost his life.

According to the Orange County Register, Orange resident Hanna Tran was somehow struck by a motorist around 4 pm at Santiago Canyon Road and Modjeska Grade Road.

She was taken to Mission Hospital, where she was pronounced dead an hour later.

Once again, there is no word on how the crash happened. And the only mention of the driver is that he or she remained at the scene.

Orange County sheriff’s investigators report that there’s no evidence either the victim or the driver was under the influence; however, the investigation is ongoing.

The crash occurred just two and a half hours, and 32 miles away, from where Ho Cheong was killed riding his bike in La Palma.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

That equals the total in LA County, with over three times the population.

Update: The Orange County Bicycle Coalition reports that Tran may have been killed as a result of road work on Santiago Canyon, which had greatly reduced lanes on the popular riding route, without any provision to keep bicyclists safe during the construction. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Hanna Tran and his loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Victor Bale for the update.

24-year old Cypress man killed in La Palma crash; first of two OC bike riders killed hours apart

Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for the victims of traffic violence turned out to be a very bad day for Orange County bike riders.

In the first of two fatal bicycling crashes just hours apart, a 24-year old Cypress man was killed in a collision at Crescent Ave and Walker Street in La Palma.

According to the Orange County Register, Ho Cheong was somehow struck by a truck around 1:25 pm; he was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he died nearly half an hour later.

There’s no word on how the crash may have happened.

Then again, the Register doesn’t even bother to mention if the truck had a driver, let alone if he or she may have been responsible in any way.

And there’s not a word about the victim beyond his name and age.

This is at least the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ho Cheong and his loved ones.

Placentia woman dies days after falling off her bicycle in Huntington Beach; 13th Orange County bicycling death this year

Somehow, we missed this one.

According to My News LA, a 50-year old Placentia woman died two days after falling of her bicycle in Huntington Beach.

Police investigators say Wendy Cendejas apparently fell making a left turn into traffic while riding east on Warner Ave, west of Sceptre Lane, around 6:30 pm on Saturday, October 17th.

She was found by police lying in the roadway, with her bicycle nearby.

Cendejas was taken to UCI Medical Center, where she died the following Monday.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Warner, with a center left turn lane onto Scepter from eastbound Warner; there’s also a painted shoulder on each side that she could have been riding in.

It’s unclear from the description if anyone actually saw her fall. And there’s no information on what may have caused the fall, which could have been anything from simply losing her balance to striking some sort of obstacle in the roadway.

Or her fall could have been caused by a driver in some way.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator D. Demetre of the Huntington Beach Police Department at 714/536-5670.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Wendy Cendejas and her loved ones. 

Breaking news: 68-year old Costa Mesa bike rider killed in collision with tow truck driver Friday night

It’s been a week for SoCal bike riders.

According to a release from the Costa Mesa Police Department, a Costa Mesa man was killed in a collision while riding his bike Friday night.

The victim, who was publicly identified only as a 68-year old man, was riding on the 2900 block of Harbor Blvd when he was struck by a tow truck driver around 11:30 pm.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver stayed after the crash, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a six lane divided roadway with a wide sidewalk, lined with a number of car dealerships; it’s possible the driver was entering or leaving a car lot at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to contact to contact Costa Mesa PD Traffic Investigator Darren Wood at 714/754-5264.

The victim’s death comes two days after another Orange County man died in an apparent solo fall 15 miles away while riding in the bike lane on PCH in Seal Beach.

The same day, a 16-year old boy died a week after he was struck by a driver in Santa Paula.

This is at least the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Orange County, continuing a very bad year for bike riders in the county.

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

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Breaking news: Man killed in apparent solo bike crash on PCH in Seal Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

The Seal Beach Police Department is reporting that a man was found lying in the bike lane on Pacific Coast Highway near Seal Beach Boulevard around 9:17 Wednesday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

According to the police, he was apparently riding in the bike lane when he hit some unidentified object, and was thrown from his bike.

The article stresses that no other vehicle was involved.

However, without identifying the object he allegedly struck, it’s also possible that the victim could have been sideswiped by a passing driver, or fallen in an attempt to avoid one.

There’s also no word on whether the victim was wearing a helmet, which might have helped in this situation, depending on the speed he was riding. Or it might have been of no use, since they don’t specify what injuries he suffered.

Hopefully we’ll learn more later.

Anyone with information is urged contact Traffic Investigator Keith Phan at 562/799-4100 ext. 1625, or email kphan@sealbeachca.gov.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of in Orange County, which is having a very bad year.

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

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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