Tag Archive for San Diego County

67-year old Thomas Burke dies five days after bike hit by pickup driver in San Diego’s Otay Mesa

Last week, we were told a San Diego man was expected to survive a brain injury suffered when his bike was hit by a truck in Otay Mesa.

Today, we learned he didn’t.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 67-year old Thomas Burke died on Monday, five days after he was injured last Wednesday morning.

Burke was riding north on Beyer Boulevard near Del Sol Boulevard when he was struck by a pickup driver around 11:35 am. He was taken to a hospital in the Hillcrest neighborhood with a brain bleed and other injuries that were expected to be survivable.

Police initially said he was riding in the left of two lanes on the four lane street. However, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, Burke was in a designated bike lane when he was run down from behind.

Which means he definitely did not come out of nowhere, as one witness said.

Just two more example why you should always take initial reports with a grain of salt. If not the entire bag.

The crash remains under investigation. But if Burke was riding in the bike lane, there should be no question who was at fault.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and just the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Burke and his loved ones.

 

Update: Man killed in Carlsbad train collision in what may be first San Diego County bike death this year

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that a 24-year old man was killed when he was struck by an Amtrak train while crossing the tracks in Carlsbad Thursday night.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly named, was riding east on the sidewalk near Grand Ave and Washington Street when he rode onto the tracks, and somehow struck the side of the train around 7:30 pm.

He was taken to an Oceanside medical center, where he died.

Sadly, he was on his way to meet friends in Carlsbad Village, the Times of San Diego reports.

A street view shows the railroad crossing is controlled by warning lights and crossing arms. However, the arms don’t extend to the sidewalk where the victim was riding. No explanation is given for why he apparently either didn’t notice the train, or was unable to stop in time to avoid it.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at 858/565-5200.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be the first in San Diego County.

As we’ve noted many times before, a train crash is the easiest kind of collision to prevent because you know exactly where it will go, and get a clear warning of when it’s coming; it’s also the most difficult to survive.

So never ride through or around crossing arms or warning signals, and never stop on the tracks.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim has been identified as 37-year old San Diego County resident Jason Lynn Holsinger, despite initial reports that the victim was 24.

The San Diego medical examiner confirms that Holsinger rode around the crossing gates and into the side of the train.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Lynn Holsinger and all his loved ones.

 

San Diego man killed in collision after falling off his bike

More bad news.

According to multiple sources, a man was killed in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood on Tuesday when he was hit by a driver after apparently falling off his bike.

The victim, identified only as a 66-year old man, was riding against traffic in the left lane of northbound Fairmont Ave, between Home Street and Federal Boulevard, when he somehow tumbled from his mountain bike around 6:45 pm.

A 61-year old woman ran over his sprawled body after thinking he was just a shadow in the street, and was unable to stop in time when she realized her error.

She stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators, despite initial reports that it was a hit-and-run.

It’s unknown whether the victim lost control because he was under the influence, suffered from some kind of health condition or fell for some other reason.

It’s also unclear why he was riding in the left lane, rather than in the bike lane.

Other sources identify the area of the crash as the Ridgeview/Webster or Chollas Creek neighborhoods of San Diego.

This is at least the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

San Diego bike rider killed after going through red light; third SoCal bicyclist killed this week

A San Diego-area man has been killed while riding his bike, the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this week.

According to the Union-Tribune, the 44-year old victim was struck by the driver of a pickup truck in Chula Vista around 10 pm last night.

The paper reports the collision occurred at Second Avenue and Palomar Street, where witnesses say the victim, who has not been publicly identified, went through the red light on southbound Second.

However, San Diego’s NBC-7 says he was traveling east on Palomar, which would mean the driver was on Second.

He suffered severe head and injuries, and died after being taken to a local hospital.

The 22-year old driver stayed at the scene; police don’t believe drugs or alcohol use was a factor.

A street view shows a four lane road with left turn bays on Palomar, and a two lane street on Second. Palomar has a 35 mph speed limit, while residential Second should have a 25 mph limit.

The severity of the victim’s injuries, despite wearing a helmet, would suggest that the driver may have been traveling faster than that.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

It comes after a bicyclist was killed in LA’s San Fernando Valley on Monday, and another was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run in Torrance yesterday.

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

Update: Road bike rider killed in East San Diego County crash

A man has been killed riding a road bike in an unincorporated area east of San Diego.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim was riding south in the bike lane on Avocado Blvd just above Nabal Drive in the Casa del Oro neighborhood of San Diego County around 8 am. He reportedly swerved into the traffic lane, and was struck by a car driven by a 63-year old woman.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a regional trauma center, where he died from his injuries.

The only identifying information given is the make of his bike, a Masi Gran Corsa road bike.

As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver.

It’s possible that he may have swerved out of the bike lane to avoid an obstruction, or moved left to turn onto Nabal Drive without checking for traffic.

However, it’s also possible that the driver may have been speeding, or drifted into the bike lane and only assumed the he swerved in front her. The lack of physical evidence in bike crashes can make it difficult, if not impossible, to identify the exact point of impact.

Crashes like that are so common they are often referred to sarcastically as an SWSS, or Single Witness Suicide Swerves.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old La Mesa resident Daniel Lusteg

And yes, he was wearing a helmet. In this case, it was not enough to help.

Meanwhile, Frank Lehnerz forwards a Google image showing what might have made Lusteg swerve.

What hasn’t been mentioned is that if he swerved around this or any other object, it would suggest that the driver didn’t give a three-foot passing distance as required by law.

Otherwise, anything less than a swerve into the left turn lane shouldn’t have been enough to cause a collision. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Daniel Lusteg and his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski, Charles Schenck and Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up. 

 

Bike rider dies after collision on a San Diego freeway early Tuesday morning

Earlier this week, we mentioned a bike rider had suffered major injuries when he was hit by a driver on a San Diego freeway.

Sadly, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim died of his injuries the next day.

According to the paper, 53-year old San Diego resident David Sheridan was struck by the driver of a Toyota Camry around 5:15 am on the southbound State Route 163, near the transition to State Route 52 in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood.

Earlier reports indicated the driver’s car was traveling at 60 mph as she transitioned from westbound SR-52 to southbound SR-163. She crashed into Sheridan’s bicycle after the driver ahead of her swerved to avoid Sheridan as he rode in the traffic lane ahead of her.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died at 11:38 am Wednesday.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

There’s no explanation given for why Sheridan would have been riding on a major freeway where bicycles are not allowed.

A satellite view shows a four lane freeway on the southbound side, with a double transition lane entering from both directions of SR-52.

It’s possible Sheridan may have been riding on the shoulder of the freeway, and was caught in traffic when he tried to cross the entrance lanes. However, that is just speculation.

There’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike at that pre-dawn hour. The U-T also notes that he was wearing a helmet, even though it wouldn’t have done a damn bit of good under those circumstances.

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

And this is the third SoCal bike rider killed while riding on a freeway in recent memory.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Sheridan and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

 

Man killed in El Cajon bicycling collision Monday night, press blames the victim

Note: Due to tonight’s breaking news, and the discovery of another fatal bike crash in Perris last week, there won’t be any Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on everything tomorrow.

An El Cajon bike rider died after being stuck by the driver of a pickup Monday night.

Yet somehow, the San Diego paper managed to wait until the second sentence before blaming the victim.

Parroting the coroner’s press release, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 40-year old Jason Wilcox was struck around 10:30 p.m Monday when “he rode into the intersection of Second Street and Pepper Drive” in El Cajon without a helmet.

According to the paper, the driver “traveled into the intersection at the same time” at a high rate of speed, and was unable to stop in time.

Wilcox, who is described as a transient, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died of multiple blunt force injuries 50 minutes later.

There’s no word on which direction either Wilcox or the unidentified driver were traveling.

However, a street view shows a four lane roadway on Second with a 45 mph speed limit and a bike lane on either side, with the intersection controlled by a traffic signal in each direction.

That means either the victim or the driver went through the red light; the way the Union-Tribune’s story is written, it implies that Wilcox was at fault. However, there is nothing in the coroner’s press release to suggest that.

The statement that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed also suggests he was exceeding the 45 mph speed limit.

It should be noted that few homeless people have, let alone use, bike helmets. And even the best bike helmet won’t prevent injuries to other parts of the body; a high-speed collision with a truck is unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County. It’s also the second in El Cajon in the last three months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Wilcox and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up. 

Screen shot of the coroner’s press release

Update: Bicyclist killed when driver drifts off the road near El Cajon

It looks like LA’s recent epidemic of bicycling deaths has moved south.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a man on a road bike was killed when a driver drifted off the road, and lost control on the soft shoulder of a highway just outside El Cajon.

The crash occurred around 3:15 pm on Olde Highway 80 west of Flinn Crest Street.

The 67-year old driver reportedly sideswiped the victim, identified only as a 58-year old Alpine resident, before continuing to strike a bus stop sign, mailbox and a parked pickup truck.

The victim was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Video from the scene posted by San Diego’s KGTV-10 shows a badly mangled bike, and the driver’s minivan with the front end smashed in.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 58-year old Brian Jennings, a professor of comparative politics and U.S. Government at Grossmont College.

Police believe the driver of the minivan fell asleep before drifting off the road and slamming into Jennings.

Update 2: I originally said the victim was riding a mountain bike, based on the initial reports; however, the video above clearly shows a road bike. Thanks to BV for the correction

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Jennings and his loved ones.

60-year old bike rider dies one day after Imperial Beach crash

Sad news from the San Diego area, where a woman has died following a left-cross collision in Imperial Beach.

According to the Times of San Diego, 60-year old Kathleen Ann Cua was pronounced brain dead a day after she was hit by a left-turning driver.

And yes, she was wearing a helmet.

The crash occurred around 5:15 Saturday evening at the intersection of Palm Ave and 4th Street in Imperial Beach.

The Union-Tribune reports she was one of three people riding east in the bike lane on Palm, when she was struck by the driver of a car, crashing into the windshield. She was taken to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, where she died.

The driver remained at the scene, and police do not suspect he was under the influence.

However, he told investigators that he did not see Cua until she hit his windshield — which should be seen as a confession, rather than an excuse.

He also told the U-T he didn’t think Cua saw him before the impact, an odd statement considering his claim that didn’t even know she was there.

Evidently, he was somehow able to read her mind at the moment of impact. Or maybe he just saw a look of surprise as he slammed into her.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kathleen Ann Cua and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Homeless man killed riding bike in San Diego’s Mission Valley; same location another homeless man killed in 2015

A homeless man lost his life Tuesday night in what appears to be a tragic case of deja vu.

According to Fox-5 San Diego, the victim, identified only as a homeless man in his 50s, was struck by a car at 6:15 pm Tuesday in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

He was reportedly trying to ride his bike across the 8800 block of Friars Road near Rio Bonita Way when he was hit by the driver of the car, who claimed he could not see the darkly clad rider until it was too late.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports he suffered a number of open fractures, and died after being transported to a hospital.

A street view shows a busy six lane roadway, with bike lanes of widely varying widths.

Police reported he was crossing Friars Road “outside of a crosswalk.” However, there doesn’t appear to be a crosswalk, or any other safe crossings, anywhere in the vicinity.

This comes a little over two years after another homeless man, 65-year old Matthew Driggers, was killed walking his bike across Friars in almost exactly the same location.

Which suggests that something has to be done to provide a safe way to cross a badly designed and inherently dangerous street.

And more has to be done to protect the most vulnerable and invisible members of society.

This is the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and first in San Diego.

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

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