Tag Archive for Rialto

Update: Suspect still at large after man riding bike killed in Rialto hit-and-run; 15th SoCal bike rider killed by hit-and-run drivers this year

The recent carnage on SoCal streets has continued unabated, marking five people killed riding bicycles in just the last six days.

And far too many of those deaths have come at the hands of hit-and-run drivers.

Including a man killed by a heartless coward who fled the scene in Rialto Saturday night.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, the victim was riding south in the second lane of Riverside Ave, approaching Santa Ana Ave, around 7 pm when he was run down from behind by a driver in a Hyundai sedan.

The victim, described only as a man in his 60s, died at the scene.

Police found the car abandoned nearby in Bloomington, and issued an arrest warrant for 46-year-old San Bernardino resident Santos Lopez-Rosales on suspicion of hit-and-run.

As of tonight, he was still on the run.

A street view shows a highway with two lanes in each direction, with a 50 mph speed limit and a complete lack of bicycling infrastructure.

Anyone who may have information about the crash, or the whereabouts of Santos Lopez-Rosales, is urged to call Rialto Police Traffic Sergeant Dan Smith at 909/644-6025.

This is at least the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

It’s also at least the 15th fatal hit-and-run involving someone on a bicycle since the first of the year, and the third since Wednesday.

Update: The victim’s family has identified him as 65-year old Leopoldo Mondragon, an Orange County resident who lived and worked in Rialto during the week to provide for his family. 

The father of six was on his way home from work on his bicycle when he was run down from behind, and left to die alone in the street. 

Lopez-Rosales still remained at large as of Tuesday night.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Leopoldo Mondragon and his family and loved ones.

Riverside bike rider killed by speeding drunk — or maybe stoned — driver in Rialto

Let’s call it what it is.


Maybe that’s not what the law says. Or what the DA will charge.

But when death is the entirely foreseeable consequence of getting loaded and speeding down a busy roadway, that what it is.

It’s no different than if the driver had fired a gun down the street, then was surprised to learn he actually hit someone.

In effect, that’s what happened in Rialto Tuesday evening, when an intoxicated high-speed driver ran down a man on a bike.

According to KTLA-5, a 34-year old Riverside man was was riding his bike west on Rialto’s Industrial Drive at North Riverside Ave around 6:52 pm when a driver headed north on Riverside slammed into his bike.

The victim, who was not publicly named, was lying dead in the roadway when police and paramedics arrived at the scene.

Both the driver and his passenger were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. Thirty-two-year old Hesperia resident John Godinez was booked on a DUI charge upon his release.

Hopefully additional — and more serious — charges will be added later.

Anyone with information is urged to call Rialto police at 909/820-2550.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: A commenter below has identified the victim as 34-year old Justin Vaughan.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Justin Vaughan and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: LA’s first people protected bike lane protests Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ineffective Vision Zero

About damn time.

Bike activism finally returned to the mean streets of Los Angeles, with the city’s first people protected bike lane, courtesy of a new group calling itself People Protected LA.

Their message, “LA needs safe streets, not lip service.”

Which is exactly what they got in remarks from LA’s mayor, who took a break from his unannounced campaign for president to defend the city’s Vision Zero program at the annual convention of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO.

According to LAist,

Speaking at the conference Tuesday, Garcetti said the city has implemented “over 1,200 Vision Zero improvements” but said he recognizes that not all of them will work out as planned…

“They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s not done yet, people are still dying’,” Garcetti said. “Well, we had a 7 percent reduction last year (and a) double-digit reduction in pedestrians this year — those are real people that are still living. You can’t quantify who they are, but that is worth it … because those are people who are going to be alive for decades from now because of those improvements. So our reach must always exceed our grasp.”


Which sounds great, if you ignore the 80% increase in pedestrian deaths over the last two years, or the six bicyclists who were killed in traffic collisions in just the first four months of this year.

Not to mention the continued failure to build the network of safe bikeways we were promised with the 2010 bike plan.

Or the cancellation of nearly every planned road diet project by frightened councilmembers, after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti pulled the rug out from under Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin by ordering the removal of the bike lanes and road diets he was fighting to protect in Playa del Rey.

Let alone Garcetti’s repeated failure to defend his own Vision Zero and Great Streets programs at any of the city’s countless contentious public meetings, leaving it to bike and pedestrian advocates to do his job for him.

Which makes a protest like yesterday’s people protected bike lane almost inevitable.

And necessary.

This is how a press release from the organizers of the people protected bike lane addressed the protest.

Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 and set a goal for 2017 of a 20% reduction in traffic deaths. Instead, Los Angeles has seen a 34% increase in traffic deaths. Last year, 245 Angelenos were tragically killed in traffic collisions. LADOT has determined that speed is the primary factor causing unnecessary loss of life, and that improvements to roadway infrastructure are critical in reducing deadly speeding, yet proposed projects like North Figueroa Street, 7th Street, Fletcher Drive, Manchester Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Temple Street, and Venice Boulevard have languished or been cancelled outright.

Up to this point, LA’s Vision Zero program has been a major disappointment.

And to be perfectly honest, so has the mayor for the past few years.

Let’s hope he gets the message, and refocuses his attention on the people and the city that elected him.

And finally turns Vision Zero into the transformative, life saving program we were promised.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers more on Garcetti’s remarks and the protest, saying LA’s mayor doesn’t “appear to have used his considerable influence to help councilmembers to better embrace Vision Zero.”

No, he hasn’t.

All photos by Michael MacDonald.


Tragic news from Rialto, where the father of a three-year old girl remains in a medically induced coma after a heartless coward crashed into his bike, and left him bleeding and barely conscious in the street.

Andy Welch was riding his bike to the market when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, laying crumpled in the street for nearly half an hour as more drivers sped by.

He was finally able to crawl to his cellphone and call for help.

This is yet another tragic reminder of California’s pervasive hit-and-run epidemic.

And the near total lack of action on the part of our elected officials, who have the power to stop it.

Yet don’t seem to recognize the problem.



See above.



Caltrain develops a new bike plan to accommodate bicyclists, but bike riders say it doesn’t go far enough.

A San Diego writer traces the engineering mistakes and bad political decisions that turned busy Clairemont Blvd into a dangerous “stroad.” And questions whether it will be the next San Diego street to get a road diet and bike lanes, which some local residents consider a “conspiracy to make driving so difficult that we all will be forced to pedal bicycles.” They’re onto us, comrades.

A Santa Barbara bicyclist offers advice for motorists, like don’t door bike riders and signal your damn turns. Although he may not have actually said the d-word.



A writer on an automotive website says scooters are a menace, but it’s okay to feel conflicted about bikes as long as you don’t take it out on the riders.

Singletracks questions why e-mountain bikes are still fighting for acceptance in the US, despite their popularity in Europe.

A local newspaper talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner about his new Portland-area cannabis shop, and how he moved from illegal doping to legal dope.

They get it. The Denver Post says e-scooters may be a headache, but the solution is building more bike lanes to accommodate their users, while the city works on a pre-paid rental plan to get users to ditch their cars.

A bike-riding Colorado Springs CO city councilmember says the city must accommodate alternative forms of transportation.

According to a Nebraska planning professor, safe and efficient self-driving cars could block efforts to build walkable, bikeable and livable communities.

A pair of musicians stop in Ohio on their 4,300 mile tour of the US by bicycle.

The Brown University paper calls the arrival of Uber’s JUMP electric bikeshare program a giant leap for Providence RI.

A Connecticut public radio station spends an hour discussing the origins of bicycles, and how bikes helped inspire the women’s movement over century ago.

A cannabis website examines New York’s illegal bicycle weed delivery services.



A local writer describes how Bogotá’s ciclovía has become a part of life for an entire generation.

Lime scooters invade Canada.

New British government figures show the number of pedestrians injured in collisions with bicyclists reached an all-time high of 531 last year. However, despite the obvious implication, there’s no word on who was at fault in the crashes, or whether it was simply due to the increased number of people riding in the UK. That said, it’s a reminder to always use care around people on foot, who can be unpredictable and are the only ones more vulnerable than we are.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old man from the UK just finished a 4,000 mile bike ride across the US.

Maybe its a sign of progress that bicycles are seen as a sign of progress in Armenia, as the new Prime Minister makes waves by riding the “first official state bicycle of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.”

An Indian website says now is the best time to own a bicycle, and the country’s first homegrown ebike will help you burn more calories than cash.

Israeli government ministries appear to be arguing over the best way to kill the ebike boom.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. Mountain biking ancient Moroccan Berber trails.

Australian drivers — and some bicyclists — have a meltdown after someone posted a photo of a group of riders using the traffic lane, rather than the bike lane next to them.

A wanted Japanese criminal hid in plain sight during seven weeks on the run, touring the country by bike and posing for Facebook photos.

An Air Force major rode 375 miles across Korea to honor fallen service members.

Mountain biking champ Rebecca Rusch won an Emmy for her documentary Blood Road, retracing the infamous Ho Chi Minh trail through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to find the site of her pilot father’s death during the Vietnam war.

Two Chinese farmers are expanding their horizons by riding across the country one stage at a time; in the last five years their traveled over 12,400 miles.


Competitive Cycling

Former Olympian and cycling promoter David Chauner says the solution to cycling’s broken business model in the US is to develop a season long track cycling competition. Sort of like the World Cycling League he’s been trying to get off the ground, for instance.



We may have to deal with angry drivers, but at least we don’t have to contend with road raging ‘roos.

And when dangerous streets mean saying goodbye like a fighter pilot going into war.

Which isn’t the least bit funny.


Update: The holiday bloodbath continues — teenage bike rider killed in Rialto

Word is just coming in that a young bike rider was killed in a Rialto collision this evening, the fourth SoCal cyclist to die in the last three days.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the collision occurred around 5:40 Monday evening near the intersection of Riverside Avenue and South Street; police found the victim on the sidewalk in front of 335 S. Riverside Ave.

He was unresponsive and suffering from major injuries when police arrived, and died after being taken to a local hospital.

The paper identifies the victim only as a juvenile Hispanic male; other sources that aren’t available online yet give his age as 13.

The paper reports the driver remained on the scene and is cooperating with investigators; alcohol is not believed to be a factor. Which could mean that the driver was sober, or had not consumed enough to be intoxicated.

No other information is available at this time, and no word on how the collision occurred.

This is the 85th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in San Bernardino County. It’s also the first cycling death in Rialto in the last four years.

And hopefully the last.

Update: The victim has been identified as 16-year old Ryan J. Martinez of Rialto. 

According to the Press-Enterprise, Martinez was riding near his father’s home on a new bike he’d just gotten for Christmas. He was reportedly going the wrong way on Riverside when he was hit head-on by a northbound car. 

He died one day after his mother’s birthday. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Ryan Martinez and his family and friends.

Drunk driver gets 19 years for killing a toddler; 2nd driver gets 300 days for pre-fatal hit-and-run

Sometimes justice takes a long time. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of months.

And sometimes, both cases are just too tragic to comprehend.

In the first case, a Phelan man has pleaded guilty for the June, 2008 collision with a family of four enjoying a quiet bike ride that left one child dead just weeks before her 2nd birthday, and her 11-month old brother severely injured.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, the incident occurred  when Jesse Rolando Astorga fled the scene following  a drunken collision with another car.

Rialto police say Astorga fled from a fender bender with another car in June 2008, when he ran his 2008 Honda Pilot into a median on South Willow Avenue a few minutes after noon, veered to the right, jumped a curb and struck a family of four riding on the sidewalk.

The collision knocked the father, 28-year old William Dean Dinoso, off his bike, and ripped off the bike trailer carrying the two children. He then smashed into the 26-year old mother, Glenda Brooks, throwing her off the car’s windshield and into the gutter.

Brooks, who was unaware that she was pregnant at the time, later delivered another son who was born with developmental difficulties.

Astorga was videotaped buying two 18-packs of beer at a gas station just an hour before the collision.

According to the Sun, he accepted a plea deal on September 9th for five felony counts.

Astorga, now 31, would have faced 10 felony counts at trial, including murder. However, he pleaded guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit and run resulting injury or death, and three counts of drunken driving with a 0.08 blood alcohol content, causing bodily injury.

He now faces the next 19 years in prison.

And a two-year old’s family faces life without her.


In a bizarrely tragic case, a 19-year old Rialto man has been sentenced to 300 days in jail for a hit-and-run collision that severely injured an 18-year old BMX racer, possibly leading to his death in a separate collision months later.

In January of this year, Andrew Dean Murvine drove his pickup truck off Norco Drive in Riverside, and onto a dirt path used by pedestrians and horseback riders. He struck Tyler Rosen as he was walking along the path, then fled the scene, leaving Rosen with life-threatening injuries.

Remarkably, despite weeks in a coma, Rosen recovered from his injuries enough to get back on his bike.

Then on July 30th, he was hit by another car while riding, and reamined in a coma until taken off life support on August 7th.

According to the Valley News, family members believe he would never have been hit by the second car if not for the lingering injuries from the first collision.

As in the Astorga case, Murvine accepted a plea deal, changing his plea to guilty in exchange for a sentence of 300 days in jail and three years probation.

He had faced up to three years in prison.