Not many details yet, but I’m getting word of woman on a bicycle killed in a Yucaipa collision yesterday afternoon.
A 2:35 pm Facebook post from the Yucaipa Police Department reported that Wildwood Canyon Road was closed between Mesa Grande Drive and Canyon Drive, next to Wildwood Park, due to a fatal traffic collision. They added later that it involved a crash between bike rider and a motorcyclist.
A commenter says she knew the victim, identifying her as a “beautiful, young, athletic, wife, mother,” while other comments confirm it was the person on the bicycle who was killed.
An Instagram post calls her a “bright light” in the bicycling community, describing her death as “an absolutely crushing blow to a young family” he’s close with.
There’s no word on the condition of the motorcyclist.
Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now; hopefully we’ll get more information soon. If you know something, let me know if there’s anything you can share.
This is at least the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year. And it’s already the third that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County, which is off to a very bad start to the new year.
Update: No word yet on how this crash occurred, but now we know who the victim was. And why so many in the local bicycling community were so upset when they got the news.
VeloNews is reporting that 42-year old retired pro endurance mountain biker Monique “Pua” Parmelee was the woman killed in Wednesday’s collision.
Parmelee, known as Pua Mata before her marriage to Chris Parmelee, was described as a “fierce and ferocious competitor” on the bike, but quiet, kindhearted and compassionate off it.
Here’s how the magazine describes the ten-time national champion’s racing career.
A native of Oahu, Hawaii, Monique Parmelee rose to prominence in the U.S. mountain bike scene in the early 2000s as a top cross-country rider on the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) circuit. A tenacious and focused racer, Parmelee was known best as both Monique Sawicki and Pua Mata. She excelled at cross-country races that stretched beyond the typical hour-and-a-half duration, and began winning ultra-endurance and Marathon-length MTB events on the budding U.S. circuit. Parmelee also blossomed into one of the top 24-Hour solo MTB racers on the planet.
She claimed three U.S. titles in 24-Hour solo racing and seven national Marathon MTB titles. In 2009 Parmelee finished seventh place at the UCI Marathon MTB World Championships. Parmelee also won Costa Rica’s grueling La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain bike race in 2012 and 2013, and finished second at the U.S. cross-country mountain bike national championships in 2013.
She leaves behind her husband and two young children, boys aged just six and four. A fundraising campaign for her family has raised over $36,000 of the $150,000 goal in just 24 hours.
I’m told the park near where she was killed is a popular exit point for mountain bikers coming off the local trails.
Correction: I initially spelled the victim’s last name as Parmalee, based on the spelling in the VeloNews story. However, I’m told by a family member that the correct spelling is Parmelee, and have corrected it throughout this story, including within the VeloNews quote.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Monique “Pua” Parmelee and all her family and loved ones.
Thanks to Victor Bale, Zachary Rynew and Cani for the heads-up.