Tag Archive for Pomona

Update: Cyclist killed near Cal Poly Pomona; third Pomona bicycling fatality this year

What the hell is happening in Pomona?

News is just breaking this morning of yet another bicycling fatality in Pomona, the third so far this year — putting it on the near one-a-month pace more typically shown by San Diego and Orange Counties. Not a city of just 150,000.

According to KABC-7, the rider, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding east on Valley Blvd near Dupont Street just after midnight when he crossed over the westbound lanes and was hit by a white Mercedes Benz. The driver, 25-year old William Johnson of Beaumont, allegedly drove on for some distance before stopping to call the police.

The victim died at the scene. The station reports that the area is very dark at night; no word on whether he had lights or reflectors on his bike.

The location is near DeVry University and not far from Cal Poly Pomona, where Ivan Aguilar was killed riding to campus earlier this year; another rider died in an apparent fall in March.

KTLA-5 identifies the bike as a Schwinn 10-speed, which was badly mangled in the crash. The car had a dented hood and broken windshield.

And no, KTLA, the driver’s actions are not exactly what a motorist should do in the event of a collision. Drivers are expected to remain at the scene of a collision and render aid to the victim, not leave him bleeding in the street, then call police after driving away.

Yes, there are circumstances in which motorists are allowed to drive to a safer location before stopping; whether that happened here is unclear at this time.

Johnson has been interviewed by the police, and has not been placed under arrest at this time. The investigation is still ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to call Pomona police at 909-620-2081.

This is the 15th 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and remarkably, the ninth in Los Angeles County; that compares to just two in L.A. County this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the victim and his family. 

Thanks to Alan Thompson and Kevin Yuskoff for the heads-up.

Update: the Banning-Beaumont Patch says the still-unidentified victim was in his 40s.

Update 2: Details continue to trickle in, as the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin describes the victim as a Hispanic man in his 40s. The paper also notes that the collision take place just west of a billboard with Metro’s new Every Lane is a Bike Lane safety campaign; for whatever reason, it didn’t help this time.

Update 3: I’ve just become aware of another bicycling fatality which occurred in Apple Valley on March 1st, in which 56-year old Kevin Olin was rear-ended while riding in a bike lane. That raises the total number of 2013 Southern California bicycling fatalities to 16.

Breaking news — bike rider killed in apparent fall; second Pomona cyclist to die in three weeks

News is just breaking of yet another bicycling fatality, the third in Southern California this weekend.

According to the San Bernadino Sun, Pomona police are investigating the death of a bike rider near Ganesha Park sometime Sunday evening. KCBS-2/KCAL-9 reports the victim apparently died as the result of a fall.

No other details are available at this time.

And yes, I’m getting very tired of writing that.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 4th in the last two weeks. Tragically, half of those deaths have occurred in Los Angeles County; this is also the second cyclist to die in the city of Pomona in just the last three weeks, following the death of Ivan Aguilar on the Cal Poly Pomona campus last month.

My heartfelt sympathy for the victim and his or her loved ones.

Pomona hit-and-run killer arrested, OC Register’s Dan Whiting questioned, and a Westwood pothole fail

The driver who killed Rafael Perez in a Pomona hit-and-run on Wednesday has turned himself in to the police.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 67-year old Chino resident Rodger Allen Karcher walked into the Pomona Police Station around 8 pm Thursday. Police speculated that Karcher turned himself in after hearing media coverage of the collision, in which the victim was dragged half a block under Karcher’s SUV.

The Tribune reports that his SUV was also located, and matched the evidence found at the seen.

Karcher was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run causing death, and was being held on $50,000 bail; arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.

Yes, that’s a lousy $50,000 for dragging a man half a city block to his death.

And of course, Karcher may — or may not — have been drunk as a skunk when the collision occurred. But if he was, he had plenty of time to sober up in the 26-and-a-half hours before he turned himself in.

Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

……..

I’m still hearing from cyclists about David Whiting’s recent columns about bicycling in the Orange County Register.

As I’ve said before, Whiting seems to have his heart in the right place. I have no doubt that he genuinely cares about keeping riders safe, and ending the seemingly eternal conflict between riders and drivers behind the Orange Curtain — one that has contributed to a nearly one a month rate of biking fatalities in the county.

On the other hand, that’s a hell of a lot better than the 21 riders killed on OC streets in 2006, or even the 15 killed the following year.

The problem is that Whiting seems to blame the victims, placing more than our share of responsibility firmly on the helmets and wheels of riders. And interpreting bike laws in an overly conservative manner, including a common misconception that riding two or more abreast is against the law — even though that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the California Vehicle Code.

Mark Loftus, author of the insightful riding website The C-Blog — I particularly like his explanation of why we roadies wear such ridiculous clothes — copied me on an email he sent to Whiting in response to his latest column on bicycling.

I have a quick observation that I was hoping you might see fit to print in the future…

There are several comments from readers included in your piece (referenced above) that go something like this:

  • I saw cyclists doing this (breaking a perceived law).
  • I saw cyclists run this light.
  • I saw a cyclist run that stop sign.
  • I saw cyclists do that.

And then these comments conclude with something akin to:

  • Cyclists should not be allowed on the road.
  • Cyclists should ride on bike paths.

I will not debate the validity of these observations except to say that many comments, on many different websites (not just your article) put out a cyclist “infraction” and it’s not really against the law anyway because the writer apparently doesn’t know/understand the law.

At any rate, why is it, in articles that draw out comments such as these, we don’t see comments also saying:

  • I saw a car driver not stop at a stop sign.
  • I saw a car driver texting while driving.
  • I saw a car driver blocking the whole lane and they wouldn’t let me pass. I had to pass on the shoulder or into oncoming traffic.
  • I saw a car driver run that red light.

And then, these comments could conclude with:

  • Car drivers should not be allowed on the road.

Food for thought, I should think.

Whiting responded positively, indicating that he’s written critically about drivers in the past. And may do so again soon.

Now that’s something I’ll look forward to reading.

……..

Finally, a major Streets Services fail in Westwood.

In the roughly 18 years I’ve lived in this neighborhood, I’ve noticed a repeated problem at the corner of Manning and Ohio Avenues.

A near constant flow of water through the gutter on the west side of the intersection results in a massive recurring pothole undermining the eastbound lane — in fact, you can even see it in this Google satellite photo.

For nearly two decades, I’ve watched as the city would send out a crew to patch the pavement, without ever doing anything about the root cause of the problem. And every time, the patch would only hold for a few months — or in some cases, weeks — before washing out again under the continual barrage of water and traffic.

Never mind that if they figured out where the water was coming from, they might be able to actually solve the problem, and save a fortune in perennial pothole repair.

Maybe they’re finally catching on.

Instead of patching the pothole once again, after doing it yet again just a few months earlier, the city responded by placing warning signs directly over the potholes.

In the middle of the traffic lane.

So instead of investing a few bucks worth of asphalt for yet another temporary fix, they’ve decided to avoid the issue entirely.

And hope drivers manage to avoid the signs placed directly in their path, forcing them to go around by either cutting into the heavily trafficked pedestrian crosswalk on the right. Or cut around the signs on the left by entering the oncoming traffic lane.

Neither of which is a reasonable — or even rational — expectation.

And never mind that the second option places motorists directly in the path of vehicles coming over a blind hill, at an intersection where drivers frequently roll through the stop in all four directions.

And of course, when the inevitable collision occurs, if it hasn’t already, it will be your tax dollars that will pay the city’s share of the damages.

All because some rocket scientist thought putting a warning sign in a traffic lane was a better idea than patching the damn pothole one more time. Let alone finding the problem causing the posthole to keep coming back.

And fixing it.

Best wishes to all for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year!

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