Tag Archive for Raymond MacDonald

Romero guilty of murder in Huntington Beach DUI bike death, and wrong-way driver injures 25 LA sheriff’s cadets

Guilty.

An Orange County jury convicted 28-year old Victor Manuel Romero of second-degree murder and hit-and-run in the 2019 death of Raymond MacDonald as he rode his bike in Huntington Beach.

Romero faced the murder charge after signing a Watson notice following a 2012 conviction for DUI, specifying that he could be charged with the crime if he killed someone while under the influence anytime in the future.

And he did.

Romero started the deadly chain of events by crashing into a bar owner’s car as he left a parking lot, before smashing into MacDonald’s bike and speeding off without slowing down, then fleeing on foot after finally crashing his car into a tree.

He had been drinking at a pair of Huntington Beach bars, and got into a fight with someone in the parking garage next door, which his lawyer bizarrely argued meant Romero was not responsible for his actions after suffering a brain injury.

Fortunately, the jury didn’t buy it.

He now faces 15 to life when he is sentenced in February.

Adding to the tragedy, MacDonald had just finished celebrating his 33rd birthday, and was towing a bike trailer loaded with gifts across the street when Romero ran him down.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

A wrong-way SUV driver plowed into a group of LA County Sheriff’s cadets on a Whittier training run Wednesday morning, injuring 25 recruits — five critically.

One of the five is on a ventilator, while others suffered life-changing injuries, including lost limbs.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who lost his run for re-election this week, describe the scene as looking like an airplane crash, with “bodies scattered everywhere.”

And in case anyone still thinks hi-viz is the key to bike and pedestrian safety, all 75 recruits on the run were wearing reflective vests, in addition to running in four columns accompanied by two black-and-white patrol vehicles and eight road guards.

Yet the driver still smashed into them at an estimated 30 – 40 mph. Not only did the 22-year old driver fail to slow down, there are reports that he continued accelerating as he sliced through the cadets — which could suggest this was something other than just another “oopsie.”

Reports varied on whether driver appeared to be under the influence after the crash, though cannabis was found in his vehicle.

He was taken into custody by the cadets, and was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

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No surprise here, unfortunately.

A year after acquiring Cycling Tips, Pink Bike and Trailforks, Outside has reportedly laid-off 12 percent of the workforce, with a focus on writing and editorial workers, including at sister publication VeloNews.

Needless to say, it was not well received by readers of the sites.

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Nice to see LA marking Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

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Georgia senatorial candidate Hershel Walker somehow derided his opponent, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, for “letting” President Joe Biden ride his bike.

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

A Brooklyn councilmember is demanding answers from the local police precinct commander, saying it’s deeply disturbing that a noted bike lawyer was hauled off in handcuffs for attempting to remove a piece of plastic illegally obscuring a driver’s license plate.

A Hoboken city councilmember called for more bike lanes, days after he was hit by a driver who yelled at him to use the bike lane before crashing into him; the driver in question says it was just an “oopsie,” not road rage.

No bias here. A Conservative Member of the British Parliament says lowering the speed limit in Wales to 20 mph is just a ploy to raise cash while attacking motorists — even if it is almost universally ignored.

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

A bike-riding British naval commander has been cleared of using racially abusive language in a heated roadside road rage incident with a Black motorist, who alleged the commander called him a “Black cunt,” while the sailor insisted he had merely referred to the driver’s black car.

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Local

In what could be good news for bike riders, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell conceded his re-election effort to challenger Hugo Soto-Martinez, who has promised to complete many of the bikeway projects O’Farrell had blocked until recently, along with pedestrianizing parts of Hollywood Blvd.

 

State 

Streetsblog talks with Bike East Bay Advocacy Director Dave Campbell, who is leaving the organization after 26 years of fighting for safer streets in the East San Francisco Bay Area.

Sad news from Modesto, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Tuesday evening. He must have been the victim of a sentient self-driving car, however, since there’s no mention of a driver anywhere in the article.

 

National

Politico talks with former DC and Chicago DOT director Gabe Klein, who is now tasked with overseeing EV infrastructure for the Biden administration.

Gear Junkie recommends ten gifts for the bicyclist in your life. Even if the only bicyclist in your life is you.

A new study from Oregon State University shows bike boxes really do improve safety at intersections for people on bicycles.

The rich get richer. Just one day after we mentioned the ebike rebate program in Austin, Texas, the city announced it is more than doubling the amount available for rebates, from $600 to $1,300.

Chicago’s mayor was deservedly blasted online after an advocacy group posted video of her guards double-parked in a bike lane for a doughnut run.

‘Tis the season. An Ohio man is preparing for holiday bike giveaways, after spending the year collecting, fixing and donating bikes for kids who need them; he estimates he’s given away nearly double the 3,000 bikes from last year.

A Connecticut driver learns the hard way that it may not be the best idea to flee the scene after severely injuring the bike-riding brother of the state’s lieutenant governor.

New York considers a ban on secondhand and uncertified lithium-ion ebike and e-scooter batteries, which have been blamed for an increasing number of fires.

An 18-year old Virginia man now faces additional charges for the alleged drunken crash that killed one woman and seriously injured another as they were riding together this past August.

South Carolina advocates are calling on the legislature to repeal a ban on red light cameras, as a national study shows the traffic cams reduce fatalities by 20%. Hopefully, a new city council will reconsider LA’s ban on red light cams, too.

An Orlando bike cop was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was dragged by a fleeing driver following a traffic stop, and was still stuck on the vehicle when the driver crashed into a tree.

 

International

A new report shows it’s still not safe to travel through London if you’re not in a car.

Bicycling deaths are even spiking in bike-friendly Belgium, as fatalities hit a ten-year high for the first nine months of this year.

An Indian man has just 21 countries left in his around-the-world bike tour of 191-countries, which began four bikes and 18 years ago; one of the bikes was purchased by the Polish prime minister, after his previous bicycle was stolen while touring the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lachlan Morton, the Aussie cyclist who beat the Tour de France peloton to Paris in his own Alt Tour, has now set his sites on breaking the 78-day record for riding around the world set by Scottish long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont in 2017.

World handbike champ Mitch Valize is working with a lab in the Netherlands to improve the high-tech materials and design of his handcycle, comparing it to the design of F1 race cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when science proves ebikes are more efficient and fun than regular bikes. If you’re going to burglarize vehicles, try to hide your wet bike tires from sharp-eyed cops.

And if the prices are too good to be true, you may have been conned by yet another fraudulent SRAM website.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

DA won’t prosecute deputies in Dijon Kizzee shooting, and drunken Huntington Beach hit-and-run death goes to jury

It looks like there won’t be any justice for Dijon Kizzee, after all.

The Los Angeles County DA’s office announced that a pair of sheriff’s deputies won’t be charged for killing 29-year old Dijon Kizzee in South LA in 2020, in what began as a traffic stop for the crime of riding salmon on his lowrider bike.

Kizzee attempted to flee on foot, and was shot 16 times in the front and back as he ran away after picking up a gun he had dropped, suggesting the firing continued long after he was on the ground.

Never mind that Kizzee never pointed the gun at the deputies, or attempted to confront them with it.

His death came during the protests over the killing of George Floyd, which may have contributed to his decision to flee when the deputies tried to stop him.

His family has filed a $35 million claim against the county, which is a required precursor to filing a lawsuit. His family’s attorneys have called it a case of “biking while Black” in the largely Black and Hispanic neighborhood, where riding against traffic is a common response to dangerous streets.

Meanwhile, Knock LA insists there’s no evidence to support crucial details of the deputies stories.

Kizee’s shooting was just one of a number of questionable shootings by LA County sheriff’s deputies, which led to weeks of protests in the local community.

And like the other cases, no action by Los Angeles Count District Attorney George Gascón, who ran on a platform of holding police accountable for their actions.

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The trial of 28-year old alleged drunk driver Victor Manuel Romero has gone to the jury for a verdict, three years after the hit-and-run crash that killed 33-year-old Raymond MacDonald in Huntington Beach.

Romero was over twice the legal alcohol limit during a series of hit-and-runs, starting with crashing into the car belonging to the bar owner where he’d been drinking, and ending when he fled on foot after slamming his car into a tree.

Sandwiched between was MacDonald’s death as he rode his bike in a crosswalk on Beach Blvd at Adams Ave.

Romero’s public defender had bizarrely claimed that he wasn’t responsible for his actions, blaming a head injury sustained in a fight in the bar parking lot for his actions.

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People responded to yesterday’s call to turn out to oppose plans to remove bulb outs on Fair Oaks Ave in South Pasadena, would would make the street even more dangerous for anyone not in a motor vehicle.

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Orange County continues to make slow but steady progress on building new bike facilities, including new bike lanes in Buena Park.

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UC Davis grad student Megan Lynch continues to question why the campus enjoys its newly renewed status as a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University.

Particularly after a bike-riding student was killed by the driver of a university truck, in a crash that still hasn’t been adequately explained.

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Yet another ebike rebate program is kicking in before dysfunctional California can get its fully funded ebike rebate act together.

This time in Austin, Texas.

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It’s the opposite of road rage, as a bike rider in the UK apologizes for crash into a van, and the driver says “don’t worry about it.”

@norfolkdashcam

The Van Driver was fine about the situation. No dramas. #Accident #Cyclist #Cycle #Van #Norfolk #NorfolkDashCam #UKRoads #DashCamFootage #DashCam #UKDashCam #CaughtOnCamera #Fail #CyclistsOfTiktok

♬ original sound – Norfolk Dash Cam

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Now that’s what I call an endorsement.

Averaging almost 14 mph for 34 hours on a heavy three-speed roadie isn’t bad, either.

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‘Tis the season.

Over 300 Odessa, Texas second graders got matching new bikes and helmets thanks to Occidental Petroleum and bike charity Wish for Wheels.

Kansas City’s first bicycle collective is celebrating 15 years of turning junk into transportation for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

A team of 200 volunteers are working to prepare 400 “gently used” bicycles to give to Atlanta kids in need this holiday season.

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

A Hoboken, New Jersey city councilmember says he was the victim of a road-raging driver, who intentionally plowed into his bikeshare bike.

A London man was lucky to get out of the way when an SUV driver accelerated at him as he attempted to block the vehicle with his bicycle, destroying his bike.

London bicyclists are subjected to “dehumanizing language” and abuse on social media, and fear that anger could translate to attacks on the roads.

No bias here. A leading Swiss economist says that people on bicycles can be up to four times more damaging to the environment than cars, accusing officials of using “creative accounting” and “official tricks” to hide the damage done by bikes — apparently because he somehow thinks all bike riders refuel with beef, and drivers evidently don’t. 

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

Police in New York are looking for a man on an ebike who shot and killed a promising 21-year old basketball player.

Hampshire, England police are on the lookout for a man on a bicycle who threatened and shoved a man riding a mobility scooter after he moved his scooter over to let the bike rider pass.

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Local

No surprise here, as the woman whose home was destroyed by actress Anne Heche in a drunken crash last August has filed a $2 million lawsuit against Heche’s estate; Heche later died from her injuries after falling into a coma once she was finally extracted from the fiery crash.

 

State 

He gets it. A Rancho Bernardo author says we must “recognize and respect that walkers and bicyclists have the right to safety on our roads.” And we can’t use the fact that there are “bad actors in every mode as an excuse to not address the reality of these tragic incidents.”

San Diego has announced the three finalists in a contest to name the city’s new mini electric street sweeper, designed to remove trash from bike lanes and other narrow spots, even as San Diego reduces the frequency of street sweeping in large swaths of the city.

Bakersfield officials held a public workshop to develop a package of traffic calming tools that can be used to tame the city’s notoriously deadly streets.

 

National

Bicycling rates the best early Black Friday ebike sales available right now. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Channing Tatum is one of us, as his relationship with Zoë Kravitz went public last year when a New York paparazzo spotted Tatum giving Kravitz a ride to her writing partner’s house on the back of his BMX bike.

A new accessible mountain bike trail built on the site of a former New Jersey wild animal park is designed to accommodate bike riders of all abilities

A local weekly ranks the top ten Philly bikeways for your next visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine goes riding on dirt roads through the interior of Mexico from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City.

Bike shops holding out for big Black Friday sales may be disappointed, as new research shows UK shoppers are holding onto their money.

The Jerusalem Post says riding a bike is a great way to get to know your city better.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering a one-year bikeshare pilot program with 1,000 bikes — including 500 ebikes — available at 94 docking stations throughout the city

 

Competitive Cycling

After a pair of top ten finishes in the Giro Donne and Tour de France Femmes, Italian classics specialist Silvia Persico thinks she has a real shot at winning the women’s Tour.

Some of the top pros are hanging up their bike shoes and pulling on running shoes to keep in shape during the off season.

 

Finally…

Your next bike seat could be made of environmentally friendly cork. Now you, too, can build your own DIY bike made entirely of nuts.

No, not the kind you eat.

And shockingly, painted stripes and car-tickler plastic bendy posts are no match for bigass trucks.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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