Tag Archive for Palm Springs

Bike rider killed in Palm Springs hit-and-run; victim identified as 30-year old Desert Hot Springs man

It took awhile, but we finally got confirmation that the victim in Monday’s Palm Springs hit-and-run was riding a bicycle at the time.

The victim, identified by his family as 30-year old Palm Desert resident Raymundo Jaime, was riding on South Palm Canyon Drive between Mesquite Avenue and Morongo Road around 9:30 pm Monday when he was struck by a driver, who continued without stopping.

He died at the scene.

Police are looking for a dark-colored compact with likely front-end damage; the driver fled south on Palm Canyon. There’s no description on the driver or make of car.

Jaime’s family called on the driver to turn themself in.

Someone’s sitting at home knowing that they hit someone, they hit a person, and they know that they killed him. They know that; there’s no way on God’s green earth can they not know,” said Jeanette Jaime, Raymundo’s aunt and godmother. “I can understand the fear in them, but it just sickens me that someone can just do this to another person, to a human being.

 

He leaves behind his wife and a four-year old daughter.

“She is going to grow up without a father,” Jaime said. “It means that she will cry herself to sleep. They had a very awesome relationship.”

A crowdfunding page set up to benefit them has raised just $225 of the $10,000 goal in two days.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Palm Springs Police Department at 760/323-8116.

This is at least the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 8th that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Raymundo Jaime and his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Mandatory bike helmet law is the wrong answer, Palm Springs death confirmed, and happy birthday Slickrock

Don’t get me wrong. I like David Whiting.

The longtime columnist for the Orange County Register is one of us.

His heart is in the right place, showing time and again he cares deeply about the safety of people on bicycles.

But sometimes, not often, he’s just wrong.

And this is one of those times.

I wish he’d reached out to me before writing his latest column, calling for a mandatory bike helmet law for adults, as well as children.

We could have discussed why that’s a bad idea.

As well as clarifying that while this site is about advocacy, I’ve been the only one behind it since the Corgi died.

We might have started out with this observation.

Two girls, one about eight, the other about six, rip along in the middle of streets on motorized scooters that — and I am not making this up — zoom along at a solid 10 miles an hour.

Now, 10 mph may not seem like a lot if you’re tucked safely in a car. But hitting the asphalt at 10 miles an hour can destroy flesh, bone and skull, especially if a child is struck by a vehicle.

Yet that’s not what terrifies me.

What terrifies me is that these kids don’t wear helmets, an occurrence I see more and more.

I would have pointed out that, yes, anyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet on a scooter, just like on a bicycle.

There’s good reasoning for that. Children’s skulls and brains are still developing, and they lack the judgement to make an informed decision on whether or not to use a helmet.

But you’re also required to be at least 16 year old and have a driver’s license to rent a scooter, let alone ride it. So someone needs to have a good talk with their parents.

Then the conversation might have moseyed along to this study.

Rosenthal and Kreeger is a California law firm that specializes in injuries, but also does actual research that tilts toward actually saving lives.

“Since helmet laws have been instituted in the majority of states, at least for children the death rate for that age group has decreased,” the firm points out. “But research shows that over half of adult bicyclists still do not use a helmet at all.

However, there have been studies that suggest the reason bicycling death rates have declined for children is simply that fewer children are riding bikes these days, as parents ferry them to and from school and soccer practice. And everywhere else.

Some people blame helmet laws for that decrease, saying it makes bicycling seem dangerous.

I’m not sure I buy that argument; I think the reason is the just the dangers on our streets, real and imagined.

But that would have led to discussion of the mandatory, and much hated, bike helmet laws in Australia and New Zealand.

While those laws are similarly credited with a decrease in fatalities, they’re also blamed for a corresponding decrease in bicycling rates.

Which some argue makes the streets even more dangerous by reducing the safety in numbers effect.

And bike helmet laws lead to punitive enforcement, which convinces even more people that riding a bike is just not worth it.

And don’t get me started on how Seattle’s bike helmet law is blamed for killing that city’s first bikeshare program. Something they wisely addressed before taking another stab at it by allowing dockless bikeshare, which has been more successful.

But that’s another problem with bike helmet laws.

Using bikeshare is often a spur of the moment thing, and no one wants to cart around an awkward helmet all day on the off chance they might rent a bike or scooter.

That would lead us to this discussion.

Between 2010 and 2017 (the latest year available), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports cycling fatalities increased by a whopping 35%.

In 2017, nearly 800 people were killed riding bicycles. Not surprisingly, there has been a corresponding increase in bicycle injuries — many of which are never reported.

I’ll add that California has one of the highest death rates in the nation, and Los Angeles and San Francisco made the top 10 list for the most deadly cities.

Yet there is no helmet law for adult cyclists.

Yes, the increase in bicycling fatalities is frightening, and has to be addressed.

But banning SUVs, with their deadly flat grills, and preventing cellphones from working in moving vehicles for anything other than directions and calling 911, would probably be more effective at reducing deaths than putting a bike helmet on every head on two wheels.

The problem with citing figures like that is that we have no way of knowing how many of the people who died were wearing helmets, or how many suffered head injuries.

We can project that from various studies, but at best we can only achieve a very rough estimation.

We also have no way of knowing if those people died as a result of head injuries, or if those injuries would have been survivable if they’d been wearing a bike helmet. Or if they suffered other injuries that would have cost them their lives anyway.

And that’s the last point I would have made.

Because bike helmets aren’t designed to protect against crashes with a car going 70 mph. Or 30, for that matter. And they don’t protect against injuries to any other part of the body.

Even the most expensive helmets are only required to withstand relatively minor impacts.

In other words, a fall off your bike, not a collision with a bus.

They also do nothing to protect against a traumatic brain injury, as I learned the hard way, unless you spring for the more expensive MIPS or WaveCel models.

And the jury is still out on those.

So yes, a bike helmet may help reduce the force of impact in a collision, as well as the severity of any head injury.

Or they may not, depending on the speed of the vehicle and angle of impact.

That’s if the straps don’t break and the helmet stays on. And if it’s still effective, and not degraded due to age or previous impacts.

A bike helmet is a single use device. Hit the pavement or bounce off a bumper just once, and it needs to be replaced.

That’s when I’d tell Whiting that I never ride without mine.

But I also recognize its limitations, and don’t count on a bike helmet to save my life. A helmet should always be seen as the last line of defense, after everything else — from street design to defensive riding skills — have failed.

There are also arguments that they actually increase the danger to riders, whether as the result of closer passes from drivers and riskier behavior by riders, or the dangers of rotational injuries.

Regardless of my own choices, however, I respect people who have made the decision not to wear a helmet, and I respect their right to choose.

Which is what adult bike helmet use should be.

A choice. Not a law.

So I would have ended by saying I respect you, David. I think you’ve done a lot of good for the bicycling community.

But next time, call me first.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

Sadly, Victor Bale forwards confirmation that a bike rider was killed in a Palm Springs hit-and-run Monday night. I’ll post a story later today.

Meanwhile, Consumer Reports responds to the increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths by saying pedestrian detection systems should be standard on all cars. Even though they don’t really work all that well.

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Say happy 50th birthday to Moab, Utah’s famed Slickrock Trail.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

The recent assaults on Brit bike riders added yet another victim when a man suffered a broken collarbone after a passenger in a passing car pushed him off his bike.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Evidently, scooters pay. San Diego has received $1.5 million in licensing fees from micromobility companies in just the last six months.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed when he was run down by a stoned driver. Yet the CHP couldn’t resist blaming the victim for wearing dark colored clothing.

Danville cops reel in another thief with their locked bait bike. And they’re smart enough to use a bike worth more than $1,000 so it qualifies for felony theft.

A San Francisco letter writer says forget cars rolling stop signs, the real problem is people on bicycles. And apparently has a speed gun built into his glasses. Seriously, if you’re not going to stop, always obey the right-of-way, especially around pedestrians. And ride carefully around people on foot, who can be unpredictable, and are the only ones more vulnerable than we are.

San Francisco is slowly adding more red light cams to improve safety. Meanwhile, Los Angeles doesn’t have any, after removing them all to appease angry drivers.

 

National

The Bike League has a new boss.

A new bipartisan bill would take Vision Zero nationwide, providing cities with federal funds to design and implement Vision Zero programs, with a time limit of 20 years to eliminate traffic deaths.

Cycling Tips recommends ten bike books for the holidays. Whether you want to give one as a gift, or need something to get you through a visit with your relatives.

Believe it or not, you can actually get a “decent” ebike foldie on Amazon for less than $700.

A driving website recommends their picks for the best bike lights.

A veteran of the Afghan and Iraq wars is taking the long way across the US, riding 6,000 miles from DC to San Diego to call attention to PTSD.

Portland residents respond to a weekly’s recent call to stop driving and switch to ebikes. Some of which actually make sense, while others are exactly what you’d expect.

Police are dealing with an increase in thefts from Portland apartment and condo building bike rooms. You’re much better off keeping your bike in your unit, if possible; thieves love bike rooms because a) they’re usually empty of people at night, and b) full of bikes.

Kindhearted cops in a Washington town team with bighearted deputies to buy a little boy a new BMX bike after his was stolen.

Life is cheap on an Albuquerque Air Force base, where a truck driver got two and a half years for a) running a stop sign, while b) talking on his cellphone, and c) killing a man riding his bike.

A new documentary examines Minnesota moms who are ditching their cars for cargo bikes.

Bicycling catches up on the story of the Minnesota man who spent the last six years riding every street in his county. Meanwhile, another man did the same thing in central London.

The next time someone tries to tell you bike riders aren’t tough, tell them about the Detroit man who rode his bike to a gas station — after taking a shotgun blast to the face. He’s hospitalized in critical condition.

A Kentucky radio segment tells the story of a century bike race, from a previous century.

New York is responding to recent traffic deaths by retiming traffic lights to create a Green Wave, allowing riders to get a series of green lights to avoid having to stop; naturally, drivers are concerned that it might inconvenience them.

NYC installs its 100th mile of protected bike lanes under ex-presidential candidate and current Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Gothamist wants to know what’s holding up the long-promised bike lane on Queen’s Boulevard of Death. We could ask the same question about the entire LA bike plan.

Apparently having solved all the other crimes, Hoboken NJ hires a pair of officers to fight the scourge of scofflaw micromobility users.

Automotive sacrilege from a Streetsblog op-ed, which calls for New York to build protected bike lanes alongside bus-only lanes — even if it means a loss of parking.

 

International

More proof bike thieves just don’t care. It takes a real schmuck to steal the homemade ebike a Winnipeg high school student spent four years and thousands of dollars building from scratch.

A UK community is warned it won’t meet 2030 climate goals unless it cuts car ownership in half within the next ten years.

A writer for Cycling Tips takes his Tern to go carfree at Eurobike, the world’s biggest bike show.

When a Dutch rider can’t afford a mountain bike, he decides to shred an Austrian mountain on a BMX with no suspension and one “dodgy” brake.

A design website falls in love with the “timeless design” of a Swedish bike bikemaker, who believes the bicycle was perfected 100 years ago.

Heartbreaking story from Aukland, New Zealand, where an 18-year old champion track cyclist will never be the same after a driver ran a stop sign and slammed into his bike, leaving him with a major head brain injury and nearly costing his life.

 

Competitive Cycling

Merced makes its bid to host a stage of next year’s Amgen Tour of California, with a route that would pass Yosemite National Park and the birthplace of Ghirardelli Chocolates

Outside says this is the golden age of American cycling, as long as you look past the men’s WorldTour.

A US Army sergeant picks herself up off the pavement after leading most of the day, and rallies for an 8th place finish in women’s road race of the Military World Games in China.

 

Finally…

Using your noodle to call for safer streets. Trump’s China tariffs mean more cars parked in the protected bike lane.

And as if LA drivers aren’t bad enough, now we have to deal with distracted rats behind the wheel.

 

Morning Links: LA Vision Zero fail, bike & pedestrian deaths up in US — and LA, and possible bike death in Palm Springs

Good story from LAist about two pedestrian deaths that occurred within two hours last week.

And by extension, the city’s meager efforts at implementing Vision Zero.

Both victims, including a four-year old girl killed just 50 feet from her preschool, died on streets that are part of the city’s High Injury Network.

While overall traffic deaths are down in three of the four LAPD traffic divisions, pedestrian and bicycling deaths continue to make up 60% of all road deaths in the City of Los Angeles.

And in that fourth division, in West LA, traffic deaths are up a whopping 75%.

Not that the city isn’t doing anything about it.

According to L.A. Department of Transportation spokesman Colin Sweeney, the city has been picking up the pace on safety improvements.

“In 2019 alone, we introduced over 700 improvements to increase visibility of crosswalks — more than 2017 and 2018 combined,” Sweeney told LAist, adding that 77 speed feedback signs and “dozens of traffic signal and street design improvements” have also been installed.

But despite those efforts, preliminary traffic collision data from the Los Angeles Police Department shows that, with roughly 10 weeks left in 2019, the number of people seriously injured and killed by vehicles while walking L.A. streets this year is keeping pace with 2018’s figures.

If you want to observe a wasted effort in action, just stand next to one of those traffic feedback signs, and count how many people observe the speed limit. And how many drivers actually slow down.

Chances are, you’ll have more than enough fingers left over to let the city know what you really think about it.

Not surprisingly, LADOT was quick to demonstrate how little the city seems to understand what the hell Vision Zero even is.

When we asked LADOT about the increase, spokesman Colin Sweeney cited the improvement work the department had completed this year and added that while the city can re-engineer roadways, the other component to safer streets is safer behavior by motorists.

“Drivers need to realize the responsibility they take when they get behind the wheel,” he said. “That means avoiding distractions and slowing down on surface streets which are a shared public space — even 5 mph slower can save a life.”

Except Vision Zero is about reimagining the streets so human error does not result in deaths.

It’s not about eduction. It’s not, as the city often insists, about enforcement.

And it’s not about drivers taking responsibility, as nice as that would be.

It’s about re-imagining the damn streets themselves, so no one dies when they don’t.

And on that count, the city is failing miserably.

………

Then again, the same pattern is holding true across the US, where overall traffic deaths are down 2.4%, according to the Washington Post.

Traffic fatalities fell for the second-straight year in 2018, the agency said, and the downward trend continues, with traffic deaths down 3.4 percent in the first six months of this year…

There also were fewer fatalities resulting from speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers. Additionally, there was a 10 percent reduction in the number of children killed in crashes.

That’s the good news. As long as you get around safely wrapped in a couple tons of glass and steel.

But while overall traffic fatalities were down, more pedestrians and bicyclists were killed on U.S. roads last year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all traffic deaths.

According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, 6,283 pedestrians and 857 people on bikes or similar nonmotorized vehicles were killed in 2018, increases of 3.4 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively. Federal officials said the rises were concentrated in urban areas.

Maybe someday we’ll have elected leaders who care enough to make the hard choices to put human lives over the convenience of motorists.

Let alone actually take steps to protect the planet.

But it hasn’t happened yet.

Not in the US. Not in California.

And not in Los Angeles.

………

Sad news from Palm Springs, where a man was killed in a Palm Springs hit-and-run Monday night.

People who live in the area say the victim was riding a bicycle, but there’s no mention of that in the story, and no confirmation yet through other sources.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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Just a quick, non-sponsored reminder that there is a nationwide roadside assistance program for people on bicycles, too.

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Metro Bike is waiving the standard fee for unlocking their ebikes through Halloween.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A British man is under arrest for pulling up next to a bike rider in a car, and fatally stabbing him as he rode his bike. Police are looking for two other men who ran away from the crime scene, and say the attack did not appear to be random.

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Local

You could soon find yourself riding streets of plastic.

Congratulations to the Long Beach/Los Angeles metro area, on being recognized for having the worst air quality in the US. And yes, that’s sarcasm.

The latest SGV Connect podcast talks with the leaders of Calbike at their recent summit in Los Angeles.

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will discuss bikeway maintenance at today’s 1 pm meeting, as part of a long agenda.

Whittier beautifies a parking lot on the 4.6-mile Greenway Trail, a year before a 2.6-mile extension is scheduled to open.

CiclaValley and company go riding at Crystal Lake.

 

State

Ride 2 Recovery is raising funds for former motocross champ Micky Dymond, who suffered a severe brain injury and a number of other injuries in a solo fall while riding a time trial bike in Orange County; the group has raised over $13,000 of the $100,000 goal for the uninsured victim.

A 74-year old San Diego driver hit a man who riding his bike legally, and what should have been safely, in the bike lane, then just kept going because he thought he hit the curb. Which is prima facie evidence that maybe he shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

A group of five former Navy SEALs will embark on a 1,000-mile bike ride down the East Coast to raise funds for the VIP Neuro Rehabilitation Center in San Diego.

Morro Bay police are looking for the hit-and-run driver that left a bicyclist lying on the side of the road with critical injuries; police say he did everything right. But got hit anyway.

A Cotati man was seriously injured in a crash near Rohnert Park when a driver hit his bike. Naturally, the CHP didn’t hesitate to blame the victim.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever burgled a San Jose bike co-op serving homeless people twice in just four days.

 

National

A website for lovers of four wheel drive vehicles says if you enjoy taking one offroad, you probably already enjoy mountain biking, too.

Speaking of which, Singletracks lists five examples of trail etiquette that apply in the real world, too.

Americans took over 84 million bikeshare and e-scooter rides last year.

The NAACP calls the forcible arrest of a black Oregon State University student for riding salmon an attack on her civil rights.

The Houston Chronicle offers more on the 27-year old man killed in a collision after he pushed his fiancé off her bike just before the crash, sacrificing his own life to save hers.

A resident of a small Iowa town insists the city has been recruiting Chicago “thugs” to get funding for low income housing. And offers as proof backpack-wearing people riding BMX bikes at 2:30 am. Which just happens to be half an hour after the bars close, when employees who don’t have cars would be making their way home from work. Just saying.

A Missouri nonprofit has refurbished and given away 500 bicycles over the past few years, including one they dropped off just in time for a homeless man to get to a job interview.

A Wisconsin bike rider is suing after he was seriously injured when he hit a steel cable that came off a fence and was lying across the roadway.

The Chicago Tribune rates the best bicycle inner tubes.

An Akron, Ohio man was lucky to escape with his life when an armed thief jumped out of the bushes and demanded his valuables, pedaling away as the thief repeatedly fired at him.

A Toledo, Ohio recycling plant recovered a 1962 bicycle license that somehow became embedded in concrete that someone brought in to be crushed. Let’s hope the rest of the bike wasn’t in there, too. Or the rider, for that matter.

New York residents say the city will have to take “their” parking spaces out of their cold, dead fingers.

Comedian Billy Crystal barely avoided getting knocked down by an out-of-control food delivery rider who landed at his feet as he was filming his new movie in New York.

After someone steals a New Jersey convenience store manager’s unlocked bike, kindhearted customers pitch in to give him a new one, along with $600 cash.

The bike-riding woman who gained international fame for flipping off President Trump’s motorcade, and got fired as a result, is now running for county supervisor in Virginia.

 

International

Cycling News ranks the best steel frame bikes.

Strava users are angry the popular app is dropping support for Bluetooth and ANT+ devices.

Firefighters from Mexico City and Phoenix AZ recovered the body of a Mexican bike rider, who drowned after falling through a six-foot wide sinkhole in a Hermosillo street.

An English man who received a double lung transplant is riding 300 miles from London to Paris to raise the equivalent of over $25,000 for the hospital that performed the operation.

British police investigators are headed to the US to interview the wife of an American diplomat — or possibly spy — who killed a 19-year old motorcyclist, then claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the country.

Life is cheap in Northern Ireland, where a driver got just one year behind bars for plowing into a group of bicyclists, killing one man and seriously injuring another.

An Irish writer wonders why bike riders and pedestrians can’t just get along.

Five people crossed Australia’s 370-mile wide Simpson Desert on fat bikes, 80 years after it was crossed for the first time, without bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly rates the WorldTour teams on their success this part year; Deceuninck-Quick-Step topped the rankings, while Dimension Data might want to take up another sport.

Transgender Masters track champ Rachel McKinnon defends her right to compete — and win — in women’s cycling, while fending off criticism from other cyclists, as well as Donald Trump Jr.

 

Finally…

Skip the energy gels, and pass the French fries. Ride the future today.

And when in Rome, don’t trash the ebikes.

 

Palm Springs bicyclist killed in collision with semi truck

Another Riverside County bike rider has been killed, the third in the past month.

The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports a 49-year old man was struck by a big rig truck at 4:48 am yesterday on East Ramon Road west of Paseo Dorotea.

He was pronounced dead at the scene four minutes later.

The Riverside County Coroner’s office identifies him as Eddie Galindo of Palm Springs, while placing the site of the collision as approximately 208 feet west of Paseo Dorotea.

It’s unclear just how the collision may have occurred.

The Desert Sun reports that police concluded Galindo was riding north when he was struck by the eastbound truck. However, a satellite view shows a six lane divided highway with no obvious crossing points west of Paseo Dorotea.

Meanwhile, KESQ-2/3 says he was riding east on Ramon, which would suggest he was rear-ended by the driver of the truck.

It’s possible he may have been attempting to cross the eastbound lanes to make a left turn, which is the only explanation that would appear to fit both descriptions.

Police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved. And no word on whether the victim had lights and reflectors in the early morning darkness.

Galindo’s death follows the hit-and-run death of Forrest Holmes in Jurupa Valley, and that of a Hemet man who has still not been publicly identified, both earlier last month.

This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Riverside County. That compares with 56 in SoCal this time last year, and five in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eddie Galindo and all his loved ones.

Palm Springs bike rider dies in solo fall

A bad weekend just keeps getting worse, as a bike rider was killed in a solo fall in Palm Springs this morning.

According to Palm Springs Patch, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on a bike path on the 3100 block of East Palm Canyon Drive around 8:38 am when he somehow lost control of his bike. He veered down an embankment, and landed head-first on the pavement at the bottom.

He was pronounced dead at Desert Regional Medical Center.

A satellite view shows a separated bike path on the east side of the street, with a drop off leading to the parking lot next to it.

No word on whether the victim was wearing a helmet. However, relatively slow speed falls, like this appears to be, are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

This is the fifth bicycling fatality this year; remarkably, it is already the third death in Riverside County — or four if you count Phil Richards, who died yesterday of injuries he suffered in a Calimesa hit-and-run December 29th.

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

 

 

Guest post: No justice, no closure for family of a fallen Palm Spring cyclist

This story breaks my heart. And it scares the crap out of me.

Last spring, Donny McCluskey was waiting at a red light when he became collateral damage in a violent vehicular collision.

He did everything right. He was exactly where he was supposed to be, and obeying the law in every way.

And yet he still died when a speeding driver ran a red light, and was broadsided by a drunk driver who was crossing on the green, sending the van tumbling into him.

The pickup driver who was otherwise obeying the law was arrested on the spot for DUI. Yet the driver who caused the collision and took the life of an innocent cyclist got a relative slap on the wrist, charged with a single count of misdemeanor vehicular homicide.

The victim’s family thought they’d see justice and get closure at his hearing. They were mistaken.

I’ll let his sister, Patti McCluskey-Andre tell the story.

No JUSTICE

Update on Donny McCluskey’s case with opening court date completed on February 13, 2013. It appeared to be held in Indio traffic court where most of the crimes were DUI, not showing up for DUI work (warrants) or driving without a license. After hearing these cases, there was Donny’s case: MISDEMEANOR vehicular manslaughter. No bail, no driving suspension, no reason to even show up in court for the driver (Armando Gomez of Cathedral City) who killed Donny-HE NEVER has to go to court because as the judge said several times: he was only charged with a misdemeanor (never mentioned manslaughter again) and he hired an attorney to represent him.

The judge explained the charges and the law as the DA had but the DA had no way of knowing he had hired a lawyer. As a family, we believed we would see the man and have some kind of closure. We agreed it was a terrible tragic accident caused by one man’s inattention and selfishness but not intentional. Yet, after court we realize the man who killed my brother, NEVER HAS TO GO TO COURT. Court was imagined as a form of cathartic movement for us to check off our grief list. We know there is no bringing Donny back, no matter what our actions are. We left the court in disbelief as to what kind of message are these charges delivering? Donny’s life was not worth more than paying a lawyer and going on with your life without much ado?

I could literally feel my 82 year old dad’s heart break as he sat next to me. I sensed him using sheer will to keep on breathing through the impersonalization and lack of importance attached to the death of his son. He also had to go home to tell Donny’s wife and mom what occurred. My heart breaks for everyone. My sister, my dad and I came to INDIO as we felt it was Donny’s day in court and since he was dead, his family would represent him.

Seems there are no laws protecting cyclists who die from gross vehicular operation unless the driver was texting, drunk or leaves the scene. Mr. Armando Gomez ran a light and accelerated an additional 30 mph when he realized it. Unfortunately, Mr. Gomez and his van were hit by a truck traveling through a green light resulting in his van flipping and skidding into my brother causing massive life ending injuries (Donny was following ALL the laws).

Mr. Gomez’s lawyer actually stated it was possibly the OTHER man’s fault. Now that is taking responsibility for your actions. I don’t know what the green light man did, but he was arrested at the scene for being under the influence. Maybe he could have stopped, if he was not under the influence but he was not the root cause of the accident. I am sure this driver will have more profound consequences.

Meanwhile, we grieve and acknowledge every month that goes by without our amazing husband, brother, son and uncle. Today is the 10 month anniversary. February 28th would have been his 50th birthday.

We need to change CA law. A car is a weapon and when not following laws that govern their use, even if you did not intend to kill someone and you do, then there needs to be consequences. It could be you or someone you love next time!

We need guidance on how to change these laws!
Patti McCluskey-Andre

The scary thing is this could happen to any of us. The actions of a careless driver can cause a chain reaction that can put us at risk; I’ve jumped the curb myself to avoid a car careening from a collision.

And if it does, the driver will probably get off. Or face the most meagre of charges, despite the damage he or she may cause.

Patti’s right.

The law has to change to ensure lawbreaking drivers who kill or maim innocent people face consequences equal to their actions.

Because their victims do.

38-year old cyclist killed in Palm Springs

Evidently, we couldn’t escape November without another cycling fatality after all.

Details are still sparse, but The Desert Sun reports that 38-year old La Quinta resident Corey Holley was hit by a car at South Palm Canyon Drive at Avenida Palmera in Palm Springs at 9:07 pm Friday.

According to the paper, Holley was in the right lane when he was struck by a southbound Ford Thunderbird. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:20 pm.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; drug or alcohol use is not suspected to have been a factor.

No other details are available at this time.

There’s no word on whether Holley was riding with or against traffic, or if he may have been crossing the roadway when he was hit. And no information on how he was dressed or whether he was using lights after dark.

There’s also no mention of whether the driver may have been speeding, using a hand-held cell phone, or been otherwise distracted or driving carelessly in some way.

All we know is that a rider who should have been visible to those around him evidently wasn’t, for whatever reason.

And now a man is dead because of it.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in the seven-county Southern California region this year, one behind the total of 70 for all of last year. It’s also the 12th cycling fatality in Riverside County, which is one more than last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Holley and all his loved ones.

Update: Mountain biker dies of apparent dehydration on Palm Springs trail

Motor vehicles aren’t always the biggest threat cyclists face.

According to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, a pair of cyclists were riding on a mountain trail above Araby Cove south of the city around 1:45 Saturday afternoon when one rider collapsed in the near-record 105 degree temperature.

A CHP helicopter that was already in the area responding to another call dropped off a Palms Springs Fire Department paramedic before going on to rescue an injure hiker. The victim was declared dead at the scene, apparently as a result of dehydration, though the official cause of death is still under investigation.

The helicopter later returned to pick up the body of the victim, who has not been publicly identified, as well as his uninjured companion.

The sad part is, this may have been preventable.

It’s vital to carry sufficient water and keep hydrated when riding, especially in hot weather. And even rides that start out cool can turn dangerously hot as the day progresses. It’s always better to err on the side of carrying too much water than not enough.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Riverside County.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Johnny Lee of Placentia. He was riding around the 1,300 foot level; the official temperature was upgraded to 107 degrees, tying the record set in 1958.

Fire officials urge extreme caution in temperatures that high. Lee was the fourth cyclist to die in the Southern California region last week.

Labor Day links: Palm Springs cyclist killed; witness the birth of ciclovía

A cyclist was struck and killed near Palm Springs on Saturday.

Thirty-six year old Palm Springs resident Milen Dimitrov was hit by a full-sized pickup truck traveling the same direction on Highway 111 northwest of Overture Drive at 6:30 am. He died at the scene less than half an hour later.

The driver stopped at the scene, and police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved.

Kind of a sad commentary when it’s news that a driver didn’t flee after a crash.

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On Sunday, September 12, attend a free screening of the film Bogotá Change, including the birth of ciclovía, at Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles; screening starts at 4 pm, with discussion to follow at 5 pm. RSVP via EventBrite.

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In Saturday’s 8th stage of the Vuelta, Cofidis mountain specialist David Moncoutié takes the stage win, while Anton Igor moves into the leader’s jersey. David Lopez, a domestique for the now-banned Alejandro Valverde, wins stage 9 in a solo breakaway. Britain’s Team Sky withdraws from the race following the death of soigneur Txema González; the peloton observes a moment of silence in his honor.

Lance Armstrong faces yet another investigation, as arch-nemesis Floyd Landis files a federal whistlebower lawsuit; he isn’t the only one, as Italian authorities widen an investigation into sprinter Alessandro Petacchi.

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Three LAPD bike officers are involved in the shooting death of a knife wielding man in Westlake. Johnny Knoxville at the L.A. Bicycle File Festival, on one of Flying Pigeon’s Nihola bikes. L.A. Observed writer Kevin Roderick spots Arnold and Maria, aka Gov. and Mrs. Schwarzenegger, biking on Santa Monica’s Main Street; maybe they were checking out the route for that city’s ciclovia. A writer for the Daily Beast says stylish women lead the increase in bike ridership across the U.S. A Colorado trucker is cited for violating the state’s three-foot passing rule after striking a cyclist; yet when a Massachusetts cyclist is grazed by a passing car, it somehow does not violate that state’s three-foot law. Doing Denver by bike, even if local police are targeting cyclists riding on the sidewalk. A ghost bike is installed for a 19-year old cyclist killed in New Mexico while on a cross county ride to raise money for cancer research. A Utah mountain biker is critically injured when he loses his front wheel. BikeRadar talks with Keith Bontrager; yes, that Bontrager. NYC backs off on a plan to remove ghost bikes. A retired priest rides 5,000 miles from the Pacific Northwest to Key West. Over a million cyclists have crossed a Vancouver bike bridge, but a safety expert says that isn’t enough. The mother of a woman who rode into a truck while listening to headphones urges cyclist to learn from her mistake. Building a bike lane from Denmark to Deutschland. British Olympian James Cracknell gets back on his bike six weeks after nearly being killed in an Arizona collision — and just one day after being released from the hospital. London prepares for escorted bike rides as Tube workers plan a strike for Monday. Britain’s heir to the throne is criticized for taking a train to promote biking as green transportation. Singapore police arrest a serial molester who stalked his victims by bike.

Finally, London Mayor BoJo, Olympic Champion Chris Hoy and model Kelly Brook lead 85,000 cyclists on a 15 kilometer tour of the City, though the tabloids note the biking Brook seemed a little wobbly, despite her high heels and high visibility top.

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