Tag Archive for San Diego County

Bicyclist killed by San Diego Coaster train Sunday afternoon; no details available

Someone riding a bike was killed by a train in San Diego over the holiday weekend, but very little information is available yet.

Which what usually what happens on holiday weekends.

San Diego’s CBS8 reports a bike rider died when they were struck by a northbound Coaster train on Washington Street around 3:25 Sunday afternoon.

The tracks were closed between the Old Town Station and Santa Fe Depot.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

There’s no word on the identity of the victim or how the crash occurred. However, a street view shows a full crossing gate, which suggests the victim may have ridden around it — if it was working.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and just the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which compares to nine this time last year.

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

Update: Mountain biker dies in desert heat, shortly after helping rescue stranded hikers in Carrizo Gorge in east San Diego County

Heartbreaking news from San Diego County, where a 24-year old mountain biker died in extreme heat, shortly after helping to rescue a group of stranded hikers.

According to multiple sources, the victim was with a group of mountain bikers who encountered the hikers in the Carrizo Gorge area of the Jacumba Mountains, in the desert east of San Diego, around 2:45 pm on Saturday.

Two of the bikers rode down to the trailhead to guide rescue workers, while the victim and another rider remained with the hikers, who had run out of food and water in temperatures up to 110° Fahrenheit.

After Cal Fire crews arrived to rescue the hikers, the two remaining mountain bikers rode back down the trail to meet their companions.

However, this is where the stories diverge slightly.

According to one report, the two mountain bikers became separated, and when only one reached the trailhead, Cal fire personnel went back up the trail about a quarter mile, where they found the victim unresponsive.

According to another, the victim complained about feeling tired, and stayed behind while his friend rode to get water for him. Then as they rode back together, he collapsed several times before becoming unresponsive.

Cal Fire personnel carried him to an air-conditioned pickup truck, then transferred him to an air ambulance where paramedics attempted to revive hime, before he was pronounced dead at 5:45 pm.

The victim has not been publicly identified, and no cause of death has been given.

However, the tragedy would be compounded if one of his final acts was giving water to the stranded hikers, then not having enough to get himself to safety.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 24-year old Kai Torres Bronson. The story says a crowdfunding campaign Torres Bronson has raised over $12,000, but bizarrely doesn’t include a link to it. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kai Torres Bronson and all his loved ones.

Update: 15-year old boy dies days after collision while riding ebike in Encinitas; 2nd bike death in San Diego County this year

A teenage boy has died, no more than two days after he was struck by a driver while riding an ebike in Encinitas.

According to The Coast News Group, 15-year old Brodee Braxton Champlain-Kingman was riding north on El Camino Real this past Thursday.

He was apparently hit from behind by the driver of a work van, after allegedly changing lanes in front of the van. No time or location was given for the crash.

Champlain-Kingman was hospitalized at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla with major injuries; family members confirmed his death two days later, on Saturday.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Police don’t believe he was under the influence.

However, there’s no word on whether any other witnesses saw the crash, or observed Champlain-Kingman change lanes.

Anyone with information is urged to call the North Coastal Sheriff’s Station Traffic Division at 760/966-3500.

The paper reports a candlelight vigil is scheduled for 7 pm Tuesday at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to pay Champlain-Kingman’s medical and funeral expenses has raised over $21,000 of the $50,000 goal in just one day.

The crowdfunding page describes the teenager this way,

Brodee Braxton Champlain-Kingman was brought into this world on November 2nd 2007. During his 15 1/2 years, he touched many lives with his grace, compassion, determination and kindness. Anyone that knew Brodee could feel his authentic, heart-forward energy. Brodee was fiercely steadfast in his desire to excel academically, thrive socially and grind for those gains in the gym. Nothing was more striking than Brodee’s natural ability to connect with others and his sincere desire to reflectively grow in his relationships and life pursuits. He lived with grounded humility – always learning, always evolving.

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

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune places the time of the crash as around 6 pm Thursday, near Encinitas Blvd

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brodee Braxton Champlain-Kingman and all his family and loved ones.

Man riding bicycle killed by Oceanside driver high on heroin; driver arrested for DUI and vehicular manslaughter

An Oceanside man is dead, just because he rode his bike on a street that should have been safe.

And had the misfortune of sharing the road with someone who decided to get behind the wheels while high on heroin — by his own admission.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the victim was riding on Douglas Drive near Madra Lane, either in the street or on the sidewalk, when he was struck by the driver just before 5 pm at the entrance to the Mission View mobile home parks.

He died at the scene.

The victim was identified only as a man who appeared to be in his 50s.

The driver, a 52-year old Oceanside resident, was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter after apparently failing a field sobriety test, and admitting that he was using heroin.

That could be escalated to murder if it turns out this wasn’t his first DUI offense.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, but it seems likely the driver struck the victim while either entering or exiting the mobile home park.

San Diego’s Fox5 reported on the crash as well, but seemed more concerned about the effect on traffic from the street closure than the needless death of a human being.

This is at least the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Bad year for SoCal bike deaths, urban roads get deadlier, and Transportation Comm’s new vice chair is one of us

Last year was another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for SoCal bike riders.

But at least it was better than the year before.

Maybe.

According to our latest count, at least 82* people lost their lives while riding a bicycle in the seven county Southern California region last year, just two less than the previous year.

Although that figure is likely an undercount; I’ve heard of a half dozen or more deaths this year that I wasn’t able to officially confirm, but which undoubtedly happened.

It’s also the same number of SoCal bicycling deaths reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2019, the last year before the pandemic, when 81 SoCal riders also lost their lives.

The total for last year reflects the 26 bike riders I counted killed in Los Angeles County last year, which again is likely a dramatic undercount.

A total of 35 bike riders lost their lives in LA County in 2021, which was over twice the total of 17 that I had counted; I also counted 15 in 2020, compared to 27 reported by the NHTSA.

Which suggests that the local media is failing to report a number of bicycling deaths in the Los Angeles area, for whatever reason.

I also counted 14 bicycling deaths in the City of Los Angeles last year, which is in line with verified totals of 18 and 15 in 2021 and 2020.

Further afield, San Diego County suffered 12 deaths last year, which was a significant improvement over 17 in the previous year, though much higher than the 7 and 8 people killed riding bikes in the county in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Meanwhile, Orange County appeared to have their worst year in recent memory, with 17 people killed* riding bikes last year, compared to just 7 in 2021, 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

Although it is important to note that only the totals for 2020 and 2019 have been verified by the NHTSA; 2021 data isn’t currently available through their website.

Riverside and San Bernardino Counties also showed increases last year, with 11 bicycling deaths in Riverside County, and 10 in San Bernardino County. Ventura County suffered 4 deaths — half the previous year’s total — while Imperial County recorded none for the third year in a row.

Here’s a quick recap of bicycling deaths for each of the seven counties.

Los Angeles County

  • 2022 – 26
  • 2021 – 35
  • 2020 – 27
  • 2019 – 38

Orange County

  • 2022 – 17
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 14
  • 2019 – 13

San Diego County

  • 2022 – 12
  • 2021 – 17
  • 2020 – 7
  • 2019 – 8

Riverside County

  • 2022 – 11
  • 2021 – 9
  • 2020 – 8
  • 2019 – 5

San Bernardino County

  • 2022 – 10
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 6
  • 2019 – 7

Imperial County

  • 2022 – 0
  • 2021 – 0
  • 2020 – 0
  • 2019 – 6

Ventura County

  • 2022 – 4
  • 2021 – 8
  • 2020 – 4
  • 2019 – 4

Source: 2021-2022 BikinginLA, except 2021 LA County data from Los Angeles Times; 2019-2020 NHTSA FARS data

While compiling records of this sort is necessary to bring about desperately needed changes to our streets, it also reduces human tragedy and loss to a statistic.

So if you want to see the people behind these numbers who we’ve so needlessly lost, start here and just keep scrolling.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

Correction: A comment from Dawn made it clear that I had miscategorized a story about her father’s August death in Irvine. 

*After correcting the error and adding it back into the totals for OC, that made 17 people killed riding their bikes in the county last year, and 82 in Southern California, instead of 16 and 81, respectively, as I had originally written.

My apologies for the mistake. 

………

On a related subject, rural areas are becoming safer, while urban environments are growing ever deadlier.

And the photo at the bottom of this thread goes a long way towards explaining why.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1610779366476353538

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1610843949924777984

………

Promising news about the new LA City Council Transportation Committee members we mentioned yesterday, at least two of whom have taken bike tours with the new BikeLA (formerly the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, or LACBC).

Meanwhile, new CD11 Councilmember and Committee Vice Chair Traci Park is one of us, as well.

Now if she just votes that way, we should be in good shape.

………

Transportation PAC Streets For All is hosting their next virtual happy hour next Wednesday, featuring my councilmember, CD4’s Nithya Raman.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A former contestant on the UK’s version of The Apprentice criticizes plans for traffic filters on Oxford streets, saying you won’t be able to drive more than 15 minutes in any direction — and somehow manages to get the whole thing wrong.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A British Columbia man faces charges for stealing a truck and using it to smash through a gate, then hoping on a bicycle to make his escape after the truck was disabled in the crash. Which raises a lot of questions, like whether the fact that he wasn’t charged with stealing the bike means he just happened to have it with him in case he needed to pedal away from the crime scene.

There’s a special place in hell for the Kiwi ebike rider who faces charges for repeatedly kicking a wheelchair-bound handcyclist in the head for no apparent reason, unless he was upset that she could go faster than he could on his ebike. Which is a ridiculous reason to do something so horrific.

………

Local 

Protected bike lanes are usually intended to improve safety, but Burbank residents wanted the new quarter-mile protected bike lane on Leland Way in order to halt graffiti and drag racing.

A travel magazine recommends touring West Hollywood by ebike, but apparently can’t distinguish between WeHo and nearby Beverly Hills.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Even an automotive website questions whether the newest generation of electric SUVs are too big, too heavy and too fast. Depends on whether the goal is to get from here to there, or to send as many people as possible to the promised land.

Forbes looks at five trends this year that could impact the future of transportation. Although the modest state and local tax rebates for ebikes pale in comparison to the massive federal benefits for electric car buyers.

A writer for Adventure Journal geeks out over an 1880s ad for a Penny Farthing from Boston’s Columbia Bicycle Company. Then again, he’s not the only one geeking out, since I have a version of that ad on a t-shirt.

House Beautiful recommends the best bike storage racks for your home or apartment.

Singletracks considers the ethics of editing trails to preserve them or remove hazards.

Digital Journal addresses one of the burning questions of our time — how to take your dog with you when you ride your bike.

My friends at West Seattle Blog managed to scoop the local news media about hit-and-run and vehicular homicide charges against an alleged killer driver who fled the scene after running down a 63-year old man riding his ebike home from work.

An Arizona man has made a remarkable recovery following the crash in a Show Low, Arizona master’s race that killed one man and seriously injured several riders; 37-year old Shawn Michael Chock was quietly sentenced to 26-1/2 years behind bars for second-degree murder and felony aggravated assault.

Denver announced the return of the city’s highly popular ebike rebate program at the end of this month, although at a reduced level, with $300 vouchers for buyers or regular ebikes, and $500 for e-cargo bikes.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is giving away bike helmets to organizations to give away to people who need them.

St. Petersburg, Florida, is remaking a dangerous residential boulevard with barriers at four intersections, forcing motorists to turn while allowing pedestrians and bike riders to pass through, and effectively turning it into a bicycle boulevard, even if they don’t use the term.

A kindhearted Florida man spends his days refurbishing and assembling bicycles so children in need can get to school, and adults can ride to work.

 

International

Calgary bicycle advocates are calling for safer bike infrastructure, after reports of snow and ice clogging bikeways and creating a hazard for riders. Here in SoCal, our snow and ice comes in liquid form, but still creates hazards on days like this. So be careful out there. 

Bike Portland goes riding in London. Which I deeply regret I didn’t get a chance to do when my wife and I visited earlier this century.

British foldie maker Brompton will begin sourcing more parts from other countries, over fears that tensions between China and Taiwan could result in supply chain disruptions.

If you’re already wanted on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, maybe illegally riding your bike on a pair of UK highways isn’t the best idea.

The newly crowned world darts champ credits a broken hip suffered in a bicycle crash when he was 15 year old with setting him on the path to pointed greatness.

The Guardian follows along as an Australian woman attempts to set a new record by riding 2,500 miles in 13 days.

No surprise here, as a new Aussie study shows the biggest barrier to biking is a fear of cars. Personally, I’m not afraid of cars. But the people driving them scare the shit out of me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four time Tour de France champ Chris Froome will finally get a chance to go for five after his Israel Premier Tech team got one of two wildcard invitations to the race, with the other going to Norway’s Uno-X.

A ‘cross fan captures the chaos after Ryan Cortjens crashed at the Superprestige Diegem, and apparently forgot to get the hell out of the way.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own DIY 6-passenger, throttle-controlled ebike. That feeling when no one wants to steal you bike, even if you want them to.

And who says you need two wheels to mountain bike?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Ramona resident Michelle Scott dies, 3 years after she was severely injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike to work

This is a story I hoped I’d never have to write.

And to be honest, I’m struggling to write it now.

Because a Ramona woman has died, three years after she was severely injured in a hit-and-run.

Michelle Scott was 53 when she was the victim of a horrific collision while riding her bike to work on October 2nd, 2019.

She was struck by the driver of a Ford SUV at 6:30 am while riding on the right shoulder of northbound State Route 67, north of Dye Road.

The driver fled without stopping, with her bicycle still stuck in his grill for more than a mile before it finally fell off.

Police arrested then 34-year-old Ramona resident Chase Edward Richard six days later, holding him on $1 million bail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, after a neighbor spotted his damaged SUV hidden under cardboard in his garage and painted another color.

Richard served two years of a 44-month sentence after accepting a plea, and is now free on supervised probation, and still must serve 200 hours of community service.

Scott was initially hospitalized with a severe brain injury, and spent the next three years in various long-term care facilities. At best he was able to gesture with her thumb, and struggled to say the name of her husband of 35 years.

She died November 27 when she was disconnected from life support after developing an infection.

Michelle Scott will be buried at Miramar National Cemetery, thanks to her husband Don’s military service; a celebration of life is planned for January 4th.

This is at least the 81st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Scott is also at least the 26th bike rider to die as a result of a hit-and-run in Southern California since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michelle Scott and all her family and loved ones. 

Update: 71-year old man riding bike killed by hit-and-run driver in San Diego’s Valley Center neighborhood Saturday

Go ahead and call it murder.

Because once again, a heartless coward has left an innocent victim to die alone in the street.

This time in San Diego.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding north on the shoulder of Cole Grade Road above Horse Creek Trail in the city’s Valley Center neighborhood when he was apparently run down from behind by the driver of a northbound pickup or SUV around 5:34 Saturday evening.

The victim, identified only as a 71-year old Valley Center man, died at the scene.

The driver fled, leaving behind their right front headlight; police are looking for a Ford Expedition SUV or F Series pickup, no model year or color given.

There’s no word on how fast the killer driver was going at the time of the crash, or how long the victim lay in the street before paramedics arrived. Or whether he could have been saved if the driver had called for help after the crash.

But clearly, whoever was behind the wheel didn’t care enough find out.

A street view shows one lane in each direction, with left and right turn bays leading west to Horse Creek Road. Sadly, there is a bike lane on the recently repaved southbound side of Cole Grade, but not on the northbound side where the victim was riding.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Oceanside Area CHP office at 760/643-3400.

This is at least the 80th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

At least 25 of those have been killed hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified as 71-year old Mario Lucero of Valley Center; community members described him as a beloved grandfather, landscaper and friend.

The Oaxaca, Mexico native leaves behind his son and daughter, as well as six grandchildren. Family members are trying to return his body to Oaxaca for burial. 

Lucero was killed on his way home, shortly after stopping at his favorite restaurant after work. 

His 20-year old granddaughter wonders if he could have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help. 

Good question. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Lucero and all his family and loved ones.

79-year old man killed riding bike in San Marcos collision last week; 10th San Diego County bike death this year

I may have taken last week off to deal with health issues.

But SoCal drivers didn’t.

Multiple sources reported that a 79-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in San Marcos last Tuesday.

Sadly, he died later after being taken to a hospital.

The collision occurred around 9:15 am September 20th at San Marcos Blvd and Via Vera Cruz.

The victim has not been identified, though The San Diego Union-Tribune speculates he may have been a resident of San Marcos.

The driver was identified only as a 23-year old Fallbrook man; he was not suspected of being under the influence.

Unfortunately, there’s no information on how the crash happened, or who may have been at fault. Or exactly where the crash occurred, though a street view appears to show bike lanes in every direction.

What is clear is that someone who can ride a bicycle at that age deserves better.

Then again, we all do.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Dana at 760/510-5259, or email Jerry.Dana@sdsheriff.org.

This is at least the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th that I’m aware of in San Diego County. It’s also the second fatal bike crash in San Marcos this year.

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Update: 82-year old man murdered by hit-and-run driver in San Diego’s Rolando Village; 5th San Diego County bike death this month

Unbelievable.

Yet another person has been killed while riding a bike on the mean streets of Southern California.

And once again, a heartless coward fled the scene.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, an 82-year-old man was riding in the bike lane on the 4400 block of College Ave near Adelaide Ave in San Diego’s Rolando Village neighborhood, when he was run down by a driver around 2:55 pm.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck from behind when the driver made an unsafe move to the right, hitting his bicycle with the right front of her massive Cadillac SUV.

He was taken to a nearby hospital with multiple injuries, and died sometime after arrival.

At his age, he deserved far better.

The 52-year old driver fled the scene, but was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run when she returned an hour later.

Anyone with information is urged to call 858/495-7800, or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888/580-8477.

This is at least the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in San Diego County, including five just this month.

Twenty of those deaths have been at the hands of hit-and-run drivers.

Update: I received the following email Saturday morning; I’m withholding the sender’s name to protect her privacy.

This is the cost of traffic violence.

The article about an 82 year old bicyclist being murdered in Rolando Village on August 25th was my dear sweet church friend George.

I have known him for years.

He was STILL doing construction work and kept busy and never missed church.

At our church we all sit and eat together on Sundays after church service. I had lunch with George about 3 weeks ago.

He was telling me after 80 years old the DMV makes it hard to renew your license. That’s why he was riding his bicycle.

I am absolutely crushed to hear of his death.

Here I am up half the night thinking about him. It is 4 a.m. and I am googling articles to see what all happened. I can not believe this happened. All it takes is a few seconds and he is gone and families changed forever, including the driver’s.

George H. was the kindest man. Although the situation is maddening and disheartening, he would never want the driver to suffer for this.

I know George and knew how he was and he had a heart of gold. One time he employed a newly-made friend of mine who was homeless. The homeless man relinquished his  2 dogs to me to be able to get them off the street. When I told George about this stranger’s plight he hired the man in a blink of an eye. He was that way. A true Christian man. He will be greatly missed.

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

 

Update: Man riding bicycle killed by motorcyclist fleeing police near Carlsbad State Beach; 4th San Diego County death in 10 days

What the hell is going on in San Diego County?

For the first seven months of this year, it was one of the safest places to ride a bicycle in Southern California, with just four deaths.

Even though just one is one too many.

Yet the county has doubled that total in just the last ten days, with the latest death coming yesterday in Carlsbad, where the victim was collateral damage in a police chase.

According to multiple sources, the victim was killed when he was struck by a motorcyclist who was being chased by a state parks officer for speeding and reckless riding.

The crash occurred around 1 pm at Carlsbad Boulevard near Palomar Airport Road, either in or near Carlsbad State Beach.

The San Diego Union-Tribune places the crash near North Ponto Beach.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene, while both the 28-year old motorcyclist and his passenger, a 22-year old woman, were hospitalized with serious injuries.

There’s no word on when or where the pursuit started, or how fast the motorcyclist was going at the time of the crash.

However, it raises inevitable questions about the wisdom of police chases that place innocent people at risk, and whether a parks cop was properly trained in how to conduct a chase.

Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Investigator Adam Bentley at 442/339-5559.

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

It’s also the 4th bicycling death in the county in the last ten days, and the second in Carlsbad.

Update: According to the Union-Tribune, the victim has been identified as 68-year old Solano Beach resident Brad Allen Catcott

Catcott was reportedly moving from the bike lane to a turn lane when he was run down by the fleeing motorcyclist, and succumbed to blunt force trauma. 

The paper reports Carlsbad Police referred questions to State Parks officials, who said there “is no new information to share with the public” ten days after the crash. 

Not that they’re trying to cover their collective ass or anything. 

My deepest prayers and sympathy for the Brad Allen Catcott and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

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