Tag Archive for San Diego County

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.

Update: LA County Sheriff’s Deputy dies after falling in San Diego century ride

Sad news from San Diego, where a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy died nearly two weeks after falling in a century ride.

Brian Villa, a 29-year veteran of the department, fell while riding in the Orange County Wheelmen’s Amtrak Century on September 9th.

He suffered a severe head injury, and was taken to a local hospital in grave condition; he was taken off life support and passed away on the 21st.

The crash apparently occurred somewhere between Solano Beach and Torrey Pines in San Diego County.

Villa was training for the annual Police Unity Tour. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.

A ride will be held in Irvine on October 28th to raise funds for his family, while a GoFundMe page has raised over $25,000, $10,000 more than the $15,000 goal.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the fourth in San Diego County. Six of those have been the result of solo falls.

Update: I’m told Villa was 56 years old, and may have been a resident of Orange County. He had participated in the Unity Tour in 2015.

A source places the location at 200 Camino Del Mar in Del Mar. The photo of the site below showing a deep pothole suggests why he may have crashed.

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

Thanks to Bill Sellin, Ellen Steel and Greg “Sarge” Christopherson for the heads-up.

Photo from GoFundMe page

Update: Bike rider killed when suspended driver veers into Oceanside bike lane

And then there were two.

Less than two hours after a man was killed riding his bike in Long Beach, another man was killed while riding on an Oceanside highway.

According multiple, mostly identical reports, the victim was struck from behind while he was riding west on State Route 76 east of Melrose Drive around 11 am.

Oceanside police were unable to revive him at the scene, and he died after being airlifted to an Escondido medical center.

He has not been publicly identified at this time.

The 25-year old driver reportedly veered into the bike lane where the victim was riding. He was arrested at the scene on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, as well as driving with a suspended license.

A satellite view shows three through lanes on westbound SR-71, with a double left turn lane, right turn lans and a bike lane. There’s no protection for the bike lane, which runs between the right through lane and the right turn lane, despite the apparent 55 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information is urge to call OPD officer David Paul at 760/435-4431 or Sgt. Rick Davis at 760/435-4906.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County. It’s also the second in Oceanside this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 70-year old Wildomar resident Paul Cornish.

Update 2: It was later discovered that the driver, Felix Ruizbazan, was driving a stolen car

Update 3: Twenty-six-year old Felix Ruiz Bazan pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; in addition to driving a stolen car without a license, Bazan was high on meth at the time of the crash.

He faces ten years behind bars when he’s sentenced.

Meanwhile, Cornish once held the record for the fastest crossing of the US by bicycle, which eventually led to the creation of the Race Across America (RAAM).

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Paul Cornish and his loved ones.

 

Update: Fallbrook bike rider killed by alleged drugged teenage driver

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been killed by an intoxicated driver.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a 59-year old Fallbrook man, whose name has been withheld, was riding on the shoulder of northbound Old Highway 395 south of Pala Mesa Drive when he was hit from behind around 3 pm Tuesday.

The driver, 19-year old Sulem Areli Garcia, also of Fallbrook, reportedly veered off the road to strike the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was booked on suspicion of manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs; however, there’s no word on what she’s suspected of being on. Presumably, police will also get a warrant to determine whether she was using her mobile phone at the time of the crash.

A street view shows an unobstructed two lane highway with a wide paved shoulder on each side.

This is the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Fallbrook resident Paul Burke; a GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit his family. 

Meanwhile, the woman accused of killing him pled not guilty at her arraignment.

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

Oceanside bike rider dies after apparently crashing into a tree

For the third time in two weeks, a bike rider has died in an offroad fall in Southern California.

San Diego’s CBS2 is reporting that an unconscious man was found around 9:40 this morning just off a bike path in Oceanside, near North Santa Fe Avenue and state Route 76.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was found with his bicycle next to a tree at the bottom of an embankment. He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite attempts to resuscitate him.

No other information is available at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident Investigator Gabe Cobian with the Oceanside Police Department at 760/435-4989.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County.

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

 

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