Memorial Day weekend is historically one of the most dangerous periods for bike riders.
Sadly, that proved true for a 58-year old man from Joshua Tree on Sunday.
According to the Hi-Desert Star, the victim, whose name has been withheld, was riding a mountain bike north on Sunburst Ave, south of Jericho Way, when he was struck by a car around 8:15 pm; he died at the scene.
The Joshua tree resident was riding without lights in the gathering darkness, half an hour after sunset, when he was hit from behind by a driver traveling around 50 mph. However, he should have still been visible in the driver’s headlights on the straight and unobstructed roadway.
A street view shows a two-lane road with a dirt shoulder, and no visible speed limit sign.
The paper also notes that the victim was not wearing a helmet, although a collision at that speed was unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.
The driver, a 26-year old man from Yucca Valley, stayed at the scene and was guided in performing CPR by emergency dispatchers after calling 911. He was taken into custody on outstanding warrants while the investigation continues.
This is the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Bernardino County. That compares with 41 in SoCal and four in the county this time last year.
Update: The victim has been identified as Tim Kelly, a musician who often played violin at the local farmer’s market.
This is a case of a someone who shouldn’t have been riding without lights being hit by someone who shouldn’t even have been on the road. According to Z107.7 News, the driver was wanted on numerous warrants for driving without a license and a lack of registration for his car.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tim Kelly and his loved ones.