Tag Archive for San Bernardino

49-year old man killed in front of his son in Rancho Cucamonga collision; DUI driver booked for vehicular manslaughter

There aren’t many things worse than killing someone riding a bicycle while driving drunk.

But doing it in front of the victim’s own son is one them.

According to the Fontana Herald News, a man was killed when he was struck by a driver while he was riding with a small group in Rancho Cucamonga early Saturday morning.

The victim, identified only as a 49-year old Rancho Cucamonga man, was riding west on the shoulder of Arrow Route at Haven Ave with 11 other people, when he was run from behind at around 1:58 am.

He died at the scene, in front of own juvenile son.

The driver, identified as Gerald Willis, was allegedly driving under the influence; he was arrested at the scene for gross vehicular manslaughter.

Hopefully, the victim’s son got to see that, too.

Now a man is dead, and a boy will have to deal with a lifetime of emotional trauma, just because some jerk had to get behind the wheel after drinking.

Allegedly.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Rancho Cucamonga Sheriff Station at 909/477-2800.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in San Bernardo County.

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

24-year old road cyclist Christopher Sanchez killed in collision on Rim of the World Highway in San Bernardino

The bad news just keeps on coming.

Just two days after a former Upland councilmember died following a collision while riding his bike, another man has been killed while bicycling in San Bernardino County.

According to the Mountain News, 24-year old Christopher Sanchez was riding south on State Highway 18, also known at the Rim of the World Highway, at lower Old Waterman Canyon Road in San Bernardino when he run down by an SUV driver minutes after 5:45 pm Monday.

Sanchez died at the scene, shortly after being removed from the guardrail he was entangled with. The spandex-clad rider was still wearing his helmet, but was suffering from massive lower body injuries.

(Warning: The Mountain News story describes his injuries in needless detail, so be forewarned before you click on the link.)

The 50-something driver, who was not identified, apparently ran Sanchez down from behind, just yards after a sign warning drivers to watch for bicycles.

It’s not clear if the SUV driver was attempting a dangerous pass, or never saw Sanchez in the first place. Although to his credit, he remained at the scene, and was reportedly distraught after the crash.

Sanchez was a recent graduate of Cal State San Bernardino, and was going to start work at the Riverside County Public Health Department later this week. He had been riding in the area since he was 15-years old, and was very familiar with the roadway.

But as the Mountain News reports, someone on a bicycle can do everything right, and still pay the price.

Meanwhile, the first driver to stop at the scene has already returned to the crash site to place flowers and install a ghost bike for Sanchez.

Anyone who wants to help with Sanchez’s funeral expenses can contact his mother, Kristina Sanchez (RVS), c/o Victoria Elementary, 2910 Arlington Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Sanchez and all his family and loved ones. 

61-year old man killed after allegedly turning his bike in front of San Bernardino police officer

Even cops will tell you they’re often among the worst drivers on the streets.

Yet somehow, they never seem to be at fault when something goes wrong.

That was the case in San Bernardino on Thursday, when a man was killed in a collision with a police officer.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, the victim, identified only as a 61-year old San Bernardino resident, was riding west on Baseline Street east of Valencia Avenue during a rain storm when he allegedly turned left across the five lane street in front of oncoming traffic, and was struck by the patrol car.

He died at the scene.

The Herald News places the time of the crash as 4:55 pm.

The San Bernardino Police Department insists the officer was driving at normal speed, even though he or she was responding to a call at the time of the crash; no mention of whether the emergency lights and siren were being used.

And despite what the Sun’s headline suggests, the victim did not crash into the officer’s car. It hit him.

It’s entirely possible that the crash occurred exactly as the police described it. The rain could have obscured the victim’s vision, and he might have turned in front of the car as a result.

Or it’s possible that the rain obscured the officer’s view, and he or she didn’t see the victim making his turn until it was too late.

It also seems unlikely that the cop was just puttering along at normal speed while responding to a call, though again, it’s possible.

Unless there were independent witnesses to the crash, we’ll only have the officer’s perspective to go on, because the victim can’t tell his side of the story.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Dan Acosta or Sgt. Jeff Harvey at 909/384-5792.

This is at least the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

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

 

87-year old Andres Moreno killed while riding bike in San Bernardino collision Monday; 80-year old driver not charged

This month just keeps getting worse.

Somehow, we missed the news that an 87-year old man was killed while riding his bike in San Bernardino on Monday.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, the victim was critically injured while allegedly crossing an intersection against a red light at 4:16 Monday afternoon.

The victim, later identified as 87-year old San Bernardino resident Andres Moreno, was reportedly riding south on Crestview Avenue at Baseline Street when he was struck by an 80-year old driver heading west on Baseline.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died sometime later.

Reports indicate Moreno was riding through cross traffic when he was hit in the left lane on the four lane street; the driver claims he didn’t see him before the crash.

As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses other than the driver who saw which direction had the right-of-way, or if there actually were other cars in the intersection.

It simply doesn’t make sense that an 87-year old man would blow a red light, especially with cross traffic flowing through the intersection, unless he was unable to stop for some reason.

But chances are, we’ll never know why this crash occurred, or if it really happened the way it’s been described.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino Police Detective Dan Costa or Sgt. Jeff Harvey at 909/384-5792.

This is at least the 77th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Moreno is also the ninth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, and the second this week, both on Monday.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andres Moreno and all his loved ones.

 

San Bernardino man killed while riding bike, innocent victim of road rage argument between two drivers

This morning, we mentioned a report that a man had been killed in a road rage dispute between a pair of San Bernardino drivers.

Sadly, that new has been confirmed.

The San Bernardino Sun reports that the victim was struck as he was crossing Fifth Street near Ramona Ave around 7 pm, collateral damage in a dispute between two drivers.

According to the paper, 32-year old Rosendo Ortiz and 28-year old Karina Saucedo, both from San Bernardino, became involved in a road rage incident as they headed east on Fifth near Meridian Ave.

They were still arguing as they approached Ramona, nearly two miles from where the incident started.

Ortiz crashed into the victim, identified as 45-year old San Bernardino resident Efrain Garcia. Saucedo, who was following slightly behind, crashed into a parked car to avoid them.

Garcia died at the scene; both drivers were reportedly cooperating with police.

Remarkably, no arrests were made at the scene. Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino Police Det. Peck at 909/384-5664.

If Garcia’s death really is the result of road rage, both drivers should face murder charges. But probably won’t.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Efrain Garcia and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Driver uses car as weapon to murder San Bernardino bike rider in intentional hit-and-run

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a San Bernardino crash.

But this time, it was not an accident — in any sense of the word.

According to a press release from the San Bernardino Police Department, 52-year old San Bernardino resident Elroy Preston was riding on the 1400 block of E. Date Street around 6:27 pm Sunday when he was struck by a driver, who fled the scene.

Preston was taken to a local hospital, where he died later that night.

Witnesses reported he was struck by a black Dodge Magnum driven by 34-year old Dominic Deshaun Simmons of Fontana; the two men had been at the same home just before the crash.

Police spotted a vehicle matching the description at a gas station in Rialto, and arrested Simmons on suspicion of murder. He is currently being held without bail.

Simmons has an extensive criminal record, as well as several outstanding warrants for failing to appear for hearings on various charges.

Preston also had a record, though no details are available; no word on what the relationship was between the two men, if any.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Oldendorf at 909/384-5619 or Sgt. Kokesh at 909/384-5613.

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Elroy Preston and all his loved ones.

Man riding motorized bicycle killed in San Bernardino collision; 12th bike death in county this year

A San Bernardino man has been killed in a crash while riding his bike.

According to the Fontana Herald News, 24-year old Michael Brian Brownstein died after he was struck by a vehicle where North E Street turns into Kendall Drive in San Bernardino around 5:49 pm on Thursday. 

He was taken to a local hospital, then transferred to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:50 pm.

The San Bernardino Sun fills in some of the missing details, reporting that Brownstein was riding north on E Street when he was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by a 70-year old woman, who remained at the scene.

She was not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Sun also reports that Brownstein was riding a motorized bicycle, though it doesn’t clarify whether he was on an ebike or a gas powered bike.

A street view shows an undivided roadway with two lanes in each direction, with no shoulder or parking lane, forcing bicyclists to ride in the traffic lane.

This is the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in San Bernardino County. That compares with seven in the county for all of last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michael Brian Brownstein and all his loved ones.

Bike rider pulling shopping cart killed in San Bernardino hit-and-run

Sometimes the stories don’t add up.

The San Bernardino Sun reported this morning that a 37-year old man had been killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike in San Bernardino.

According to the paper, he was riding on southbound Arrowhead Ave at 13th Street when he was struck from behind at 11:04 pm.

However, a press release from the San Bernardino County coroner said he was pushing a shopping cart, instead.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to St. Bernardine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:47 pm.

The driver fled scene, but was arrested sometime later. No word on his or her ID, or if drugs or alcohol was involved.

The discrepancy was explained by KABC-7, which said the victim was towing the shopping cart behind his bike. However, the report does not appear to be online at this time.

This is the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Bernardino County.

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

Update: San Bernardino bike rider killed in early Sunday morning collision; few details currently available

A man was killed riding his bicycle early Sunday morning in San Bernardino.

In a news story that amounted to little more than a retyping of the Coroner’s press release, the San Bernardino Sun reports that 52-year old San Bernardino resident Dennis Joseph Urquijo was hit by a vehicle of some sort around 2:48 am on the 1100 block of 39th Street.

He was pronounced dead just 11 minutes later.

The paper offers no other details, and reports that it’s unclear whether the driver remained at the scene. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, whether the victim had lights on his bike, or whether either party had been drinking at that hour.

A street view shows what appears to be a quiet residential street coming off a T-intersection with Harrison Street.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County. He is also the seventh bike rider killed in the City of San Bernardino in the past five years.

Update: The Sun reports Urquijo was struck from behind while riding west along the curb line on 39th; the driver fled the scene, leaving his victim to die in the street.  

Anyone with information is urged to call the San Bernardino police at 909/384-5791.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dennis Joseph Urquijo and all his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: San Bernardino police unfairly blame victim; bike commuter dares Sepulveda Pass sans spandex

This is the sort of crap bike riders have to deal with far too often.

After an 81-year old bike rider was killed in San Bernardino recently, police investigators determined that the victim was at fault.

Even though he had legally taken the lane, which was too narrow to share because of drifted sand, and was riding abreast, which is not not forbidden under California law.

And even though his bike was well lighted, and should have been clearly visible to the driver who hit him from behind, and who could have easily changed lanes to avoid him.

So evidently, it’s legal to kill bike riders in the Inland Empire, even when they’re riding within their rights.

The victim’s family asked the Executive Director of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance to talk to the detective in charge of the case.

What follows is a recount of the conversation from their Facebook page, reprinted with permission, which reads more like an Abbot and Costello routine.

Note: The name of the detective has been withheld to spare him well-deserved embarrassment.

Time to bring your blood to a boil. Our ED was asked by the family of William Easley (killed when hit from behind in SB) to represent their grievance with the police report putting William at fault. The traffic commission determined that the primary cause of the collision was Easley’s violation of CVC 21202. They contest that because he was riding two abreast, that is why he was hit.

Here is the abbreviated exchange between Mark and SBPD.

Mark: It is not illegal to ride two abreast and I have a letter from CalTrans stating such.

SBPD: It is not stated to be legal either

Mark: But it’s a substandard lane due to the sand (see picture below) and riding two wide allows for the rider to control the lane which is his right to do so

SBPD: Doesn’t matter. If he had been riding in front or behind other rider he would not have been hit

Mark: What if it were a car that been hit behind?

SBPD: He is not a car and must adhere to bike laws.

Mark: He’s still a vehicle and has a right to the lane. Why couldn’t the driver have simply change lane?

SBPD: He didn’t see him.

Mark: Why didn’t he see him? Didn’t the cyclist meet and exceed the required lighting for a bike?

SBPD: I don’t know and yes he had lights that were visible

Mark: So he didn’t even know if it was a car because he “didn’t see it”? But the fact that he was NOT paying attention is in your opinion NOT the primary cause?

SBPD: Correct

Mark: So where in the law is it ok to not see things while driving?

SBPD: It happens that’s why it’s an accident.

Mark: So your telling me that if a cyclist is not to the right as far as practicable, it is ok to hit and kill them as long as you say I didn’t see them?

SBPD: If Easley had not been riding 2 wide he would not be at fault.

Mark: I don’t care just about the fault. What scares me is you are setting a precedent that it’s ok to run over bikes and peds from behind if they are just a few feet out of what YOU DETERMINE as practicable.

Mark: What about CVC 21750 the 3′ Law? This is a clear violation of it.

SBPD: True but it’s not the primary cause therefore not applicable.

Mark: Then why aren’t we allowed the lane, since we are acting as a vehicle?

SBPD: Because your not. You have bike laws.

Mark: But we are also required and have the same rights as a car.

SBPD: You can’t have it both ways. You can’t pick and choose which laws you wish to follow. Either your under bike laws or motor vehicle laws.

AT THIS POINT MY MIND IS BLOWN

The scene of the fatal collision; note how the sand reduced the ridable portion of the roadway.

Mourners gather at the scene of the fatal collision; note how the sand reduced the ridable portion of the roadway.

HE stopped the meeting after this exchange:

Mark: How far in the lane was Easley?

SBPD: 7.5′

Mark: Wait a second. How wide is the lane?

SBPD: 20′ (actually 19′)

Mark: That gives a lot of room

SBPD: How wide is a Honda?

Mark: 6′ at best. He still has 12′ to clear him.

SBPD: I’m not going to go back and forth all day with this. We determined the primary cause

We all know the flawed logic in all this and we could hash this for hours with arguments. There was back and forth with CVC and hypotheticals earlier, that got nowhere.

I cannot express the level of frustration here. The shear power of this decision to undermine our right to the road and the danger it poses to all vulnerable users as now we are “just an accident” if you didn’t see us.

The family asked us to offer a rebuttal to the final police report, which I agreed to do. After that, it’s up to the family to decide whether they wish to pursue suing the insurance company. In a weird turn, the unlicensed driver was driving a car with insurance on it from his wife.

All of which raises the question of how can we ever be save of the roads if the police don’t understand the laws regulating bicycling.

And refuse to enforce them even if they do.

……..

Local

A magazine editor attempts an apparently death-defying commute from the Valley to UCLA over the Sepulveda Pass. Without the aid of spandex.

A Santa Monica woman was thrown off her bike by a homeless man who had been running in and out of traffic.

More bike lanes at Cal Poly Pomona may come down to the same old argument over removing parking. Never mind that improving bike access and safety could reduce the need for it.

BikeSGV will offer free bike safety classes in El Monte the next four Saturdays; click the link for classes in other cities around the county in coming weeks, as well.

 

State

Maybe it really is a new Caltrans, as the agency asks planners, engineers and cyclists for input on guidelines for protected bike lanes.

San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood prefers to remain auto-centric, rejecting plans for protected bike lanes and suggesting sharrows instead.

A Jurupa Valley bridge is being rebuilt with bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides. Unlike plans for a certain LA bridge we could name.

A three-month Sacramento road closure could force bicyclists to take a 16-mile detour.

A sidewalk riding Modesto cyclist somehow avoided serious injuries when he was hit by a big rig truck.

 

National

The broken leg John Kerry’s suffered in a solo bike fall won’t stop the Iran nuke talks after all.

Not even ghost bikes are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a Portland memorial was struck — perhaps intentionally — just six days after a rider was killed at the same spot. But in rare case of a city actually giving a damn, Portland officials want to lower the speed limit on the city’s crash corridors.

For some reason, Kansas farmers were okay having a railroad in their backyard, but not the bikeway that replaced it.

A North Dakota driver faces a negligent homicide charge for killing a bike-riding triathlete last August while he was taking selfies as he drove; he deleted the photos in an attempt to hide the evidence.

A lawsuit says a Chicago area cop ran down a bike rider with his patrol car, Tased him, then shot him in the foot — all in a case of mistaken identity. To make matters worse, the rider is still sitting in a jail cell facing a battery charge resulting from the altercation two years later.

In a failure of the medical system, a 16-year old bike rider died two weeks after he was treated and released by the hospital following a rear-end collision.

 

International

Wired ranks the 20 most bike friendly cities on the planet; Minneapolis is the only US city to make a list, while Copenhagen replaces Amsterdam at the top spot.

A Vancouver librarian says stop demonizing fat people if you want get more people on bikes.

All bike thieves suck. But it takes a real jerk to steal a customized bike from a Winnipeg man who had his leg amputated.

Ontario cyclists now face fines up to $500 for riding without a light; the good news is, drivers now have to give bike riders a one meter — 3.3 feet — passing distance, and face a $1,000 fine for dooring.

A noted Toronto architect has died a month after he was hit by an SUV while riding his bike.

A new British helmet prototype gives riders a heads-up display of the safest bike routes.

That road raging UK driver who threatened to break a bike rider’s neck and eat him for breakfast just happens to own a chain of upscale coffee shops that offer cycling workshops. But no need to boycott because he says he’s very sorry. No, really.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a popular British riding route with drawing pins.

Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid describes his recent US book tour to promote his new book, Roads Were Not Built For Cars.

Beijing works with Dutch experts to revive bicycling in the Chinese capital.

Bangkok is starting to take safety seriously, reducing speed limits for streets with bike lanes to just 18 mph. Good luck with that here.

A Japanese Nintendo hero is teaming with Tokyo police to stop bike theft.

 

Finally…

It’s bad enough when police figuratively crap on bike lanes; worse when their horses literally do it. When you’re riding your bike with 18 bags of marijuana, put a damn bell on it, already.

And a Fargo man is convicted of drunk driving for operating a Zamboni with a BAC nearly four times the legal limit.

But at least he rode a bike to the arena instead of driving.

 

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