There’s no word on who had the green light, or why the driver apparently didn’t notice an older man on a bicycle in the crosswalk directly in front of him.
The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police, and did not appear to be under the influence.
This comes less than two weeks after a Canadian man was fatally injured in a collision just eleven miles away in Indian Wells — at least the fourth bike rider killed in the Coachella Valley in the last year, according to the Desert Sun.
Which would make this man the fifth bicyclist to die in the valley, where surface streets are too often designed like freeways, encouraging drivers to exceed the already too high speed limits.
And what little bicycling infrastructure there is does far too little to keep riders safe.
Anyone with any information is urged to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s department at 760/836-1600.
This is at least the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Riverside County.
Too bad we don’t have the money to put these up everywhere, one for every rider who loses their lives on the streets.
Maybe then drivers would start to pay attention.
Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.
In yet another example of LA leaders’ rhetoric exceeding their actions, bike-friendly Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez were joined by the decidedly unfriendly Paul Koretz in calling for a Green New Deal for the City of Los Angeles.
Never mind that Koretz has consistently blocked much-needed bike lanes in his Westside district, forcing residents to rely on carbon fuel-driven motor vehicles. And gone out of his way to fight the density that would cut trips for work, school and shopping.
Koretz has long positioned himself as LA’s most ecologically minded councilmember.
But until his actions catch up with his words, they’ll remain just that.
Caught on video too: A London bike rider discovers an air horn can move mountains. Or at least pedestrians blocking bike lanes. Be sure to stay to the end for the totally unsurprising response; thanks again to Steve S.
According to Palm Springs TV station News Channel 3, a bike rider was killed in Rancho Mirage this morning by a speeding driver, who claims he was trying to get away from someone who was attempting to run him off the road.
Sure, let’s go with that.
The victim was struck at the intersection of Ramon Road and Rattler Road around 6:49 am. A photographer for the station who witnessed the crash reported that the victim was rear-ended as he was riding east on Ramon Road, with the force of the impact sending him cartwheeling through the air.
The driver stopped after the crash, and was cooperating with investigators. Police do not think drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
The Desert Sun reports the crash occurred on a relatively desolate stretch of northbound Bob Hope Drive. The victim was found several feet from his bike, with a heavily damaged utility truck stopped nearby.
A street view shows two wide, straight traffic lanes in each direction on Bob Hope, with a 50 mph speed limit, and an unprotected gutter bike lane on each side.
Donald McCluskey was stopped at the red light on southbound Da Vall Drive at Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage around 12:15 pm Wednesday when a 2010 Chrysler Town and County minivan traveling in the opposite direction ran the red light.
The van overturned after it was hit by a 1998 GMC Sierra pickup traveling west on Ramon, plowing into McCluskey, as well as the car stopped next to him. He was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:40 pm.
Remarkably, Larry Wayne Goodman of Cathedral City, the driver who had the green light — not the one who ran the red light — was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence. No word on the identity of the Chrysler driver, who was hospitalized with moderate injuries, or why he blew through the light.
In other words, the two people who caused the collision were both breaking the law, while the person who died as a result of their actions apparently did everything right.
Garcia-Espinosa was riding on Cactus Avenue near the intersection with Lasselle Street when he was struck from behind after Joseph Gerald Edgerson of Moreno Valley lost control of his vehicle, which went on to strike a utility pole. Edgerson was reportedly incoherent following the collision and was taken to a local hospital in critical condition; KTLA reports he may have suffered a seizure.
A story by the Press-Enterprise suggests that Garcia-Espinosa may have been struck some distance from the final crash site, noting that he was found lying on the side of the road at 10:48 am. He was pronounced dead at Riverside County Regional Medical Center at 11:11 am.
This is the 42nd confirmed traffic-related cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in Riverside County.
Thanks to Dj Wheels and an anonymous source for the heads-up.
I’m told that bike riders in some parts of Mexico and Central America are often taught to ride against traffic, and bring that habit with them when they ride the more heavily traveled roads of this country.
Sometimes with tragic results.
I can’t say that’s what happened here, though the delay in contacting his next-of-kin suggests that they may not be in this country.
According to MyDesert.com, a cyclist was killed while riding against traffic in Rancho Mirage last night.
The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was headed east in the westbound on Highway 111 near Atrium Way when he was struck by a car traveling west at around 10:50 pm. KPSP-2 reports that he was pronounced dead at the scene.
No other details are available at this time.
Some bike riders believe it is safer to ride against traffic, since it allows them to see oncoming vehicles. However, it’s actually significantly more dangerous because motorists aren’t looking anything approaching them on the same side of the road, and it shortens time both rider and driver have to react to a dangerous situation.
It also dramatically increases the severity of the impact by combining the speeds of both bike and car, rather than reducing the speed of impact as it would if both were traveling in the same direction.
For instance, if a car was traveling at 30 mph in the same direction as a bike at 15 mph, they would collide with a force equivalent to hitting a stationary object at 15 mph. However, traveling in opposite directions means the force of impact would be equivalent to 45 mph.
And that makes a big difference. It’s said that a pedestrian hit at 30 mph has an 80% chance of survival, while one hit at 40 mph has an 80% chance of dying.
This is the 6th bicycling fatality in Riverside County this year, and the 43rd confirmed cycling traffic death in Southern California since January 1st.
Update: The rider has been identified only as a 41-year old Hispanic male. While the cyclist appears to be clearly at fault for riding on the wrong side of the street, at least one local TV station seems to be going out of its way to blame the victim, as they quote a local resident questioning why anyone would ride a bike at night:
“I’m very sorry this man was killed but the average bicycle rider doesn’t ride at 11 O’clock at night,” Wells said.
Unless, of course, the average bike rider needs to get home from work or school, has someplace they want to go or just happens to enjoy riding after dark. You know, sort of like people in cars, but with fewer wheels.
And writer Jim Lyle questions my physics, saying that force of impact in a collision isn’t as simple as adding and subtracting relative speeds
It doesn’t work that way. Ignoring differences in mass, if two cars collide head on at 30 mph, the force of the collision is not doubled; it’s the same as driving into a wall at 30 mph for each car.
For a bicycle/car collision, the differences in the masses are so large that the force of the collision is only marginally different if you are hit from behind or head on.