Tag Archive for Riverside County

Wrist slap for fatal Jurupa Valley hit-and-run, prelim for killer hit-and-run socialite, and bank robbing cyclist talks to BBC

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Riverside County judge rewarded a killer hit-and-run driver with his choice of 364 days in jail, work-release or home vacation confinement, for the crash that killed 30-year-old Rigoberto Guzman Jr in Jurupa Valley three years ago, followed by what the DA described as “a torrent of lies.”

Pizza deliveryman Andrew Scott Walters struck Guzman as he was riding his bike, then got out and pulled Guzman’s bike out from under his car before driving away, leaving the injured victim lying in the road when he was struck and killed by another driver — assuming he wasn’t already dead from the first crash.

Walters went so far as to call 911 to report seeing an injured man down in the road, without bothering to mention his own involvement.

He then went back to the Pizza Hut he worked at, where he explained the damage to his car by telling his boss that a drunk homeless man had hurled his bicycle at him “out of nowhere.”

No, really.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

Hidden Hills socialite and philanthropist Rebecca Grossman faces a preliminary hearing for the alleged street racing death of two young boys, who had the misfortune of crossing the street with their family while she was speeding down it.

Grossman, co-founder of the famed Grossman Burn Center, was reportedly driving at speeds up to 81 mph on residential streets, while repeatedly switching lanes with another driver, when she slammed into the boys as they rode their skateboard and scooter in the crosswalk.

She faces two murder counts, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and a single charge of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Which proves the over-privileged can be just as idiotic and deadly as the rest of us.

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No surprise here, as Streets For All has endorsed Eric Darling to replace Mike Bonin in West LA’s CD11; Darling has stood out from the other candidates for his stands on safe and livable streets since the start of the campaign.

The street safety PAC has also endorsed Bob Wunderlich for Beverly Hills City Council, along with John Mirisch.

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The BBC talks with former US Olympic hopeful turned bank robber Tom Justice, who used his cycling skills to make his getaway from over two dozen banks.

He still rides his bike, even after nine years in prison and more than a decade out, but with a La Grange jersey these days.

Chicago Magazine took a deep dive into his story in 2019 if you want to learn more.

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Buena Park continues work on a plan to install a road diet and bike lanes on Dale and Whitaker.

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If you build it, they will come.

This is what the newly bikeable Paris looks like these days. And what Los Angeles could, with just a modicum of effort from city hall.

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But only bicyclists ignore the right-of-way, right?

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

The Texas car shop owner who posted video of himself rolling coal at a bike rider, then denied knowing anything about it, now says he’s really, really sorry. But only after the video went viral, leading to calls to boycott his shop.

No bias here. Someone in the UK altered a road sign with their own handwritten message telling bike riders to ride “single file you Lycra wearing twats!”

After a British bike rider filmed a driver using his phone behind the wheel, the driver chased him, including driving up on the sidewalk at one point, as the terrified bicyclist begged people to call the police.

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Local

We’re #1! The Los Angeles – Long Beach region once again takes the title as America’s smoggiest metro area. So try not to breathe so much on your next ride. Your lungs will thank you.

Streetsblog looks at the new “protected” bike lanes on westbound 1st Street from Boyle Heights to Little Tokyo. Although once again, the protection is only in the form of little plastic bollards that won’t stop anyone from crashing through.

The Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance between National and Sepulveda through Friday.

 

State 

Residents of a San Diego apartment complex voiced their anger over new bike lanes in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood, which they say were striped in the dead of night with no advance warning. Although that’s hard to believe, since the parking spaces that were removed to make room for the bike lanes would have been full of cars at that hour.

Hats off to a Santa Barbara Eagle Scout, who built a mountain bike trail for students at his old elementary school.

San Francisco takes the next step towards a safer, less-polluting future by permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Questions remain over San Francisco’s Slow Streets program, as the city keeps four of its car-lite corridors, while some residents want them gone.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane; another person riding in the bike lane at the time was uninjured.

 

National

A fascinating new study shows colorfully painted street surfaces can cut crashes involving vulnerable road users by a whopping 50%.

The Bike League belatedly addresses April’s Distracted Driving Month, noting that one in five traffic deaths is the result of distracted driving.

Police in Mt. Vernon, Washington are looking for a man and woman who fled on foot after crossing onto the wrong side of the road and driving up on the sidewalk, where they slammed into a family riding their bicycles, injuring both parents before crashing into several parked cars.

This is why people keep dying on our streets, part two. A Las Vegas food delivery driver faces her third DUI in recent years after she ran into a child riding a bicycle, leaving the kid with moderate injuries. Although the two “popular food delivery service providers” she claimed to work for disavowed any knowledge of her. One more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. 

A Utah bike rider is asking the same question every hit-and-run victim asks — “I just want to know why they didn’t stop.”

Denver is putting money where its bike-friendly policy is, with all Denver residents now eligible for a $400 rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with an additional $500 for an e-cargo bike, while qualified low income residents can get a $1,200 rebate.

The Denver Post says Colorado’s new Safety Stop Law, aka the Idaho Stop Law, exposes the animosity between bicyclists and drivers. But you’ll have to sign up or subscribe to find out how or why.

Great idea. A Missouri bike and pedestrian advocacy group got a handful of state legislators on their bikes to ride a bike trail crossing the state with their constituents. I’d love to see that here, at LA City Hall, or in Sacramento.

New York’s fire department is warning about the dangers of improperly charging and storing lithium-ion batteries, after a number of fires, while Bicycling offers advice on how to keep your ebike battery from bursting into flames. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever took a trailer filled with kids bikes from the New Orleans advocacy group Bike Easy. Although they’re just saying it’s “missing” at this point.

 

International

Shimano says the worldwide bike boom is showing signs of slowing off in Asia and South and Central America, though the North American and European markets are going strong.   

YK Design looks at the top ten bikes designed for an eco-friendly urban commute, including some that are seriously weird, and/or just vaporware at this point. Although number nine may be very strange, but in a very cool way, even though you probably wouldn’t want to ride it with those wires just begging for your crotch. 

A British van driver was sentenced to a total of eight years, including four behind bars, and barred from driving for 12 years, all for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle while so drunk he couldn’t to stand on his own following the crash; he had 25 previous traffic convictions. Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

A Malaysian paper decries kids riding the popular basikal lajak, illegally modified bicycles that allow users to race downhill in the Superman position, calling them “a threat to road safety.” Even though it was a woman driver who was convicted of killing eight teens who were riding them, rather than the other way around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal posted a video telling fans to be patient, because he’s on his way back. Evidently he meant it, as he returns to Europe to begin training for the first time since the training crash that nearly took his life.

World champion Julian Alaphilippe’s multiple serious injuries during Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège came when he fell down a ditch and hit a tree as a result of a mass crash.

Want to feel old? An eight-year old Missouri second grader was named to the US national BMX team.

  

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Mini Cooper. Seriously, if a Burley is good enough for your kids, it’s good enough for your pet.

And you probably weren’t planning to, but still.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Man killed riding bicycle in the left lane of the 91 Freeway in Corona; 8th Riverside County bike death already this year

Once again, someone has been killed implacably riding in the traffic lanes of a major freeway.

According to a writer for the Press-Enterprise, the victim was struck by a driver while riding on the 91 Freeway in Corona early Monday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was reportedly riding in the left lane of the eastbound 91, west of McKinley Street, when he swerved to the right and was struck by a driver in the next lane.

He died at the scene.

Then again, there’s little chance of someone on a bicycle surviving a crash at freeway speeds.

A CHP spokesman speculated that he may have been living in a homeless camo in the area, and using the freeway to get to McKinley. Which doesn’t make his death any less tragic.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the eighth already this year in Riverside County.

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

 

74-year old Hemet man killed in San Jacinto collision, victim allegedly swerved into passing car

I don’t think so.

News broke last night that a man suffered major injuries when he somehow swerved into a car while riding in San Jacinto Saturday evening.

It seemed unlikely then.

It seems more unlikely now, after learning the victim has died.

According to My News LA, 74-year old Hemet resident Pedro Garcia was fatally injured he as he was riding in the right lane on southbound Lake Park Drive, below Soboba Road, in San Jacinto around 6:30 pm Saturday.

Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators allege Garcia somehow swerved left for no apparent reason and crashed into the side of a passing car, falling into the roadway.

He was taken to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he died at 11:13 pm.

The driver remained at the scene and called for help.

It’s possible that Garcia may have moved to his left without looking, or hearing the car coming up beside him.

However, it seems more likely that the driver may have been passing too close, or swerved to his right and sideswiped Garcia’s bike.

Particularly if there were no independent witnesses who observed the crash. Which seems likely, given the remote location on a weekend evening.

It’s also extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact position of a bicycling collision, due to the lack of skid marks or other forensic evidence.

Unfortunately, Garcia isn’t around to give his side of the story, which leaves the driver’s statement as the only evidence for deputies to base their investigation on. And drivers have a vested interest in seeing their own actions in the best possible light, regardless of the circumstances.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Deputy Ray Cortez of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at 951/654-2702, or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Pedro Garcia and his loved ones.

Bike rider killed in pre-dawn Palm Springs collision; 7th Riverside County bicycling death already this year

What the hell is going on in Riverside County?

The county, which has averaged nine bicycling deaths per year for the past three years, had already suffered six deaths, less than three months into the year.

Now you can make that seven.

According to multiple sources, a person riding a bicycle on Indian Canyon Drive, between Garnet Avenue and Palm Springs Station Road in Palm Springs, was struck by a motorist around 5:40 am Saturday.

The victim was taken to a local hospital, where they later died as a result of unidentified major injuries.

Both the victim and the driver were described only as local residents.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence; needless to say, no arrest was made and no one was ticketed at the scene.

There is a narrow paved shoulder on Indian Canyon, a painted stripe the only protection from drivers speeding by at — or more likely above — the posed 55 mph speed limit.

There’s no other information available at this time. No word on which direction they were both traveling, or why the driver wasn’t able to avoid someone on a bicycle in the early morning darkness, over an hour before sunrise.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Traffic Division of the Palm Springs Police Department at 760/323-8125.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Which is too damn many.

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

Driver leaves bike-riding woman to die alone in violent Riverside crash; 8th fatal SoCal bicycling hit-and-run this year

It never stops.

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

According to LA’s FOX-11, Riverside police found a woman lying dead on the side of the roadway early Wednesday morning, her bike and belongings strewn for a full block behind her.

The officers discovered the victim, who has not been publicly identified, while responding to a call at Orange and Center streets in Riverside a few minutes before 2 am.

There was no sign of the driver, and no description of the suspect vehicle. It’s not clear if she was riding or walking the bike at the time of the crash.

The lengthy debris field suggests she was either struck at high speed, or she and her bike were dragged under the vehicle for at least a block.

There’s no way of knowing at this time how long she had been there, or if she could have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help, as both the law and basic human decency requires.

When and if the driver is found, they’ll face a maximum of just four years for felony hit-and-run resulting in death under California’s overly lenient hit-and-run statute.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Riverside Police Department.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Eight of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

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

15-year old boy riding salmon killed in Riverside hit-and-run; 22nd SoCal bike death this year, 7th fatal hit-and-run

The carnage continues on Southern California streets, as yet another person riding a bicycle has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

This time, the victim was just 15-years old.

According to multiple sources, he was struck by a driver while riding in the 2200 block of Main Street in Riverside, near Poplar Avenue, around 9:30 pm Tuesday.

The victim, identified as Colton resident Javier Gonzales, died at the scene less than 25 minutes later, after suffering major injuries.

Security cam video acquired by KCBS2/KCAL9 shows Gonzales was riding against traffic with three other boys when he was struck by the driver of a speeding pickup, who kept going without slowing down.

His friends immediately dropped their bikes and chased after the driver, but weren’t able to catch him or get the license plate.

Police are looking for a black or dark-colored full size pickup. Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Police Department Traffic Detective Jeff Derouin at 951/826-8722, or email Jderouin@riversideca.gov.

They note that this is the fifth fatal crash in the city in just six days. But the other drivers at least had the basic human decency to remain at the scene.

Ironically, the driver would have been unlikely to face charges in this case if he or she had simply stopped after the crash. Now they face up to four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Seven of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: Police have arrested a 37-year old man as the hit-and-run driver who killed Javier Gonzales. As of March 24th, Rosendo Morales Caldera was being held without bail. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Javier Gonzales and all his family and loved ones.

Bike rider killed in Temecula crash; 3rd Riverside County bicycling death already this year

Someone was killed riding a bicycle in Temecula Friday night.

Once again, there’s almost no information available. And what little there is doesn’t make much sense.

According to multiple, nearly identical stories, a bike rider was riding on Temecula’s Margarita Road, near Moraga Road, when they was struck by a driver around 8:50 pm Friday.

they died at the scene, despite the efforts of first responders.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified in any way, was reportedly riding outside of the bike lane on Margarita while attempting to cross the street.

Which doesn’t make sense, because it would be impossible to cross the street without leaving the bike lane, regardless of just where the crash occurred, which isn’t clear, or whether he was directly crossing the road or trying to make a left turn.

There’s also no word on which direction the driver was going, or why they were unable to avoid hitting the victim.

At least the driver remained at the scene following the crash, which should be a given, but sadly isn’t these days.

This is at least the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and already the third that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

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

Teen killed riding bicycle in Corona crash, victim identified as 13-year old Corona boy

Every death is tragic.

But it always hits harder when the victim is a kid.

That was the case in Corona yesterday, where KTLA-5 reports that a 13-year old boy was killed when he was struck by a driver Thursday afternoon.

According to a press release from the Corona Police Department, the victim was riding his bike at West Citron Street and South Lincoln Avenue when he was run down by a motorist, who has not been publicly identified, around 4:32 pm.

He died after being taken to a local hospital.

The Riverside County coroner identified the boy as 13-year old Corona resident Edward Vazquez.

The driver remained at the scene, and police don’t suspect drug or alcohol use.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on how the collision occurred, or who might have had the right of way at the signalized intersection; there are no bike lanes or any other bike infrastructure in any direction.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Traffic Officer Johnathan Drylie at 951/817-5784, or at Johnathan.Drylie@Coronaca.gov.

This is at least the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Edward Vazquez and all his family and loved ones. 

 

At least 83 people killed riding bikes in SoCal last year, no more “car oopsies,” and Sartre and Hackman are one of us

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s news.

As we noted, 18 people were killed riding bicycles in Los Angeles last year, a 20% jump over the year before. And ten more than the eight we had counted.

That news confirmed that running total of bicycling deaths maintained on this site was a dramatic undercount. Because too many tragedies on our streets never make the news, and the LAPD is often too slow in releasing reports of bicycling deaths.

If they ever get around to it at all.

Adding those 10 extra deaths to our totals comes out to 35 bicycling deaths in Los Angeles County last year, which compares to 34 in 2019, and around 30 in 2020, when we saw a similar problem confirming bicycling fatalities.

Orange County showed just seven deaths last year, which again seems like an undercount compared to 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

San Diego County suffered through a horrible year, with 17 bicycling deaths, compared to just seven in 2020 and four in 2019.

The nine deaths in Riverside County fell in line with previous years, with ten in 2020 and eight in 2019.

The same is true for San Bernardino County, where seven people lost their lives riding bikes last year, compared to five in 2020 and eight the year before.

Ventura County showed a significant jump, with eight deaths in 2021, double the total of four for 2020, and six in 2019.

Finally, there appeared to be no bicycling deaths in Imperial County last year or the year before, compared to two in 2019. Although it’s easier to get light out of a black hole than news from Imperial County, so take that with a grain of salt.

But bear in mind these are only rough estimates, based strictly on reports in the press or announced by the police, the coroner or some other credible source.

Each death included here has been confirmed, eliminating any risk of an overcount; if anything, this is more likely to be an undercount. I’ve heard of several bicycling deaths over the past year that I haven’t been able to confirm, and so haven’t included them in these totals.

That leaves us with at least 83 people killed riding bicycles in the seven county Southern California region last year.

Eighty-three mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones who were not here to greet the new year.

And likely more.

Maybe many more, when we finally see the official government totals in a few years.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

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The older term was more accurate.

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Gene Hackman is one of us.

And boy do I want to be like him when I grow up.

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A soaked Sartre on a foldie.

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Those vintage ice bikes we shared with you yesterday?

They’re still a thing, if somewhat more stable now.

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

No bias here. And apparently, no sense of irony either, as a proposed new Virginia law would would charge people on bicycles twice as much as motor vehicle drivers for rolling a stop sign, despite the people in the big, dangerous machines posing a much great risk to others. And just try impounding people’s cars for a simple traffic violation.

https://twitter.com/yitgordon/status/1480610900444778496

At least they’re honest about it. The BBC backtracks on an earlier story claiming new bike lanes are responsible for making London the world’s most congested city, correcting it to lay blame on a number of factors; a reporter admits that the “anti-cycling angle ‘gets more readers.'”

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

Reminiscent of the infamous Crimanimalz ride on LA’s Santa Monica Freeway more than a decade ago, over 100 people taking part in a Berkeley ride out took over the right lanes of the I-80 Freeway on Sunday, before they were escorted off by a CHP officer. As someone else pointed out, despite their scofflaw behavior, fewer people are killed by bicycle ride outs than everyday motor vehicle traffic. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Huh? A San Diego letter writer criticizes the Union-Tribune for using the widow of a fallen bicyclist to illustrate the need for safer bikeways, saying that safety was never raised as a reason for bike lanes on 30th Street, because everyone knows it was too dangerous to ride a bike there.

A 20-year old Merced woman is under arrest after she was found with a man’s stolen bicycle, which was taken when the man was smashed in the head with a hard object; her alleged partner in crime is still on the run.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a fix to the formerly unprotected bike lane used by an SUV driver to bypass stalled traffic last year, killing a pedestrian in the process, still wouldn’t stop anyone with its new car-tickler plastic bendie posts. Although that may not be quite the way they phrased it.

 

National

How not to bonk on your next mountain bike ride.

E-pickup maker Rivian has applied for an ebike trademark, suggesting a foray into bikemaking could be in their future.

A Houston paper says the local bike lanes in the auto-centric city are an “absolute joke and incredibly dangerous to any cyclist who decides to risk it and ride in them.So, it’s like most other major cities, then.

A writer for Chicago Streetsblog questions who we should really be building bike lanes for, concluding that they should be for inexperienced bicyclists who’d like to ride more, rather than more confident, experienced riders.

 

International

UK GQ recommends stylish and practical panniers for your bike. I’ll take the bright yellow leather ones, thank you very much. 

That feeling when a drunk Irishman breaks into your home and demands an ebike charger. Probably for the e-scooter he just stole to carry your television out on.

A German sociologist concludes that bicycles are becoming status symbols, since poorer people are more likely to drive to show they can afford it, while bike riders tend to be wealthier and more educated, and more likely to send a message by choosing to ride. Methinks he’s full of scheisse.

Life is cheap in Israel, where a professional soccer player was given early release for good behavior after serving just two years for the hit-and-run death of a 17-year old ebike rider.

Popular Bangladeshi actor Bappy Chowdhury is one of us, taking a spill after losing his balance while filming a scene on a bicycle.

An Indian man learns the hard way that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, as he orders a $600 bicycle from a discount site for just $155 — and gets a box full of scrap.

No surprise here. A Singapore report shows an average of 560 serious crashes involving bicyclists in each of the past five years, compared to just 90 a year on bike paths and park connectors. Meanwhile, the island city-state requires ebike and e-scooter user to pass an online test and carry a certificate with them when they ride.  And no, I don’t know what a park connector is, either.

Most of Japan’s abandoned and second-hand bicycles end up in Cambodia’s thriving used bike market.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team of Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new Guinness record for a relay team by riding 1,037 miles in just 48 hours.

VeloNews says UCI is disrespecting women’s cycling by banning team kits, while disrespecting women’s cycling themselves by hiding the editorial behind a paywall.

It’s time to head to Austria and get your snow bike racing on.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your toddler arrives in a bike trailer like an aristocrat. Stop your kid’s balance bike by remote control.

And can we have these on every street?

Please?

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

Update: 7-year old boy riding bicycle killed by driver of massive pickup in San Jacinto collision Wednesday morning

The recent carnage on Southern California streets continued with the death of a bike-riding boy in San Jacinto late Wednesday morning.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by the driver of a massive pickup around 11:30 am in the 400 block of Bryce Canyon Way.

The boy died at the scene before first responders could arrive.

The driver of the westbound Dodge Ram 3500 heavy duty pickup, which was hauling a utility trailer, remained at the scene. He was not suspected of being under the influence.

The design of truck, with its high clearance and flat grill — let alone sheer size — almost ensure any crash will be unsurvivable for a child. It’s entirely possible the driver couldn’t even see the boy over the hood of the truck.

A street view shows Bryce Canyon is a quiet residential cul-de-sac, where it should have been safe for a kid to ride a bicycle.

But wasn’t.

Anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff’s San Jacinto station at 951/654-2702.

This is at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

He is also the eighth SoCal bike rider killed in the past three weeks, and the third in the past two days.

Update: The victim has been identified as seven-year old Johan Orozco. However, there’s still no word on how and why the crash happened. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers forJohan Orozco and all his friends and family. 

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