Tag Archive for San Diego County

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Oceanside collision; first SoCal bicycling death of the year

Unfortunately, it had to happen sooner or later.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a woman was killed in Oceanside around 7:20 pm when a driver slammed into her bicycle.

The crash occurred at near west State Route 76 and Benet Road.

The paper reports SR-76 is a surface street in that part of Oceanside, with stop lights at major intersections.

No other information is available at this time.

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

That compares with at least 78 SoCal bike deaths last year, and four in the county.

Update: According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, the driver was arrested for DUI following the crash; placing the location on SR-76 at Bennet Road in Oceanside

Yet they blame the victim for allegedly running the red light, only mentioning the DUI as an aside at the end of the story. 

Then again, an earlier story on San Diego’s Fox 5 quotes a sergeant with the Oceanside police department as saying “intoxication was not a factor in the crash.”

So who the hell knows. 

A street view shows a busy intersection with a two lane road with a 45 mph speed limit on Bennet, while SR-76 has four lanes with a 55 mph speed limit. Most SoCal drivers routinely exceed the posted limits by 5 to 15 mph, sober or otherwise.

There is simply no excuse to allow speeds like that on a surface street, unless your intention is to kill innocent victims.

It also seems extremely unlikely that the victim would have run the red light at an intersection like that, unless she was caught mid-crossing when the light changed.

Which is not the same thing in any sense.

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Update: 63-year old Colorado road cyclist killed in Bonsall collision near Camp Pendleton in North San Diego County

Drivers are expected to see what’s in the road directly in front of them.

Except too often, they don’t.

That was the case in tiny Bonsall yesterday, just west of Camp Pendleton, where a man from Colorado was killed when he was rear-ended by a 19-year old motorist.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 63-year old man, was riding westbound on State Route 76 near Thoroughbred Lane when the driver slammed into him from behind around 9:50 am Wednesday.

He was thrown from his bike, and died at the scene before paramedics could arrive.

The San Diego Union Tribune describes him as riding a Cannondale road bike, “in full biking gear and wearing a helmet.” Which clearly wasn’t much benefit in the crash, with a likely impact speed at or above the posted 55 mph speed limit.

The driver continued a short distance to a nearby strip mall, where he pulled over to call 911 and wait for the CHP to arrive, telling them he never saw the man he killed until after the impact.

A CHP spokesperson says he was not under the influence.

No mention is made of whether he was driving distracted, however, or if there was some other reason why he couldn’t see a grown man on a bicycle right in front of his car.

Investigators are unsure where the victim was riding prior to the crash, although it’s likely he was riding in the painted bike lane on the right shoulder. Which raises the question of whether he left the lane for some reason, or if the driver somehow drifted into it.

No word on whether the victim was visiting from Colorado, or living in the area.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the CHP’s Vista office at 760/643-3400.

This is at least the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, but just the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim’s hometown newspaper has identified him as 63-year old William Tyson, an experienced bike rider who lived part-time in the San Diego area. 

According to the paper, police suspect Tyson swerved into the traffic lane in order to make a left turn at the upcoming intersection, and that the driver was unlikely to be charged as a result. 

However, that doesn’t explain why an experienced bicyclist would swerve into the traffic lane without apparently looking on a highway with a 55 mph speed limit. Or why the driver failed to see him until the moment of impact, when he should have at least been aware of someone riding in the bike lane in front of him. 

There are still far too many questions out there to accept such a simplistic answer. Especially coming from the CHP.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William Tyson and his loved ones. 

 

Update: Mountain biker killed in Escondido hit-and-run; victim hit head-on during group ride

Yet another SoCal bike rider has lost his life to a hit-and-run driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a driver at 11:52 Saturday morning on the 1600 block of La Honda Drive, just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area.

Reports indicated he was headed south on the narrow street with a group of other riders when he was hit head-on by the driver of a dark colored Toyota sedan, who continued without stopping.

The victim, identified only as a 36-year old Vista resident, died at the scene before rescuers could arrive.

Police later found the heavily damaged car abandoned half a mile away, on the 600 block of Aster Street.

They note the victim was wearing a helmet; clearly, it was not enough to save his life.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune absurdly reports that police don’t know if the driver was under the influence. Which is probably true, considering they don’t even know who was behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Adan Martinez of the Escondido Police Department at 760/839-4465.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be just the third in San Diego County.

It’s also the 23rd fatal hit-and-run I’m aware of involving a bike rider since the first of this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz; the former mountain bike racer leaves behind his wife and one-year old son.

The driver reportedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road, after rounding a blind curve.

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $52,000 in just one day.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Lentz and his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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

%d bloggers like this: