Tag Archive for San Diego County

Update: 21-year old Escondido bike rider killed in crash after allegedly running a stop sign

An Escondido man has paid the ultimate price for allegedly failing to observe a stop sign.

According to a notice from the Escondido police department, the crash occurred at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Cedar Street around 8:04 Friday morning.

The victim, identified only as a 21-year old Escondido resident, was riding north on Cedar Street when he reportedly rode through the stop sign, and into the path of a minivan driver headed east on Grand.

He died there in the roadway, despite efforts to revive him.

The driver remained at the scene, and did not appear to be under the influence.

As always, though, the question is whether any independent witnesses actually saw him blow the stop, and whether it might have been possible for the driver to avoid him.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Mike Nelson of the Escondido Police Department’s Traffic Division at 760/839-4407.

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

That compares with just five deaths in the county for the entire year in 2019.

Update: The victim has been identified as 21-year old Escondido resident Joseph Palacios.

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

Death of San Diego lacrosse executive Dylan Herrick finally confirmed, over 2 months after he was injured riding bike

Too often, the press never follows-up after reporting about a crash.

Which means it may take weeks to know whether the victim lived or died. If ever.

Sadly, this time, he didn’t.

As we mentioned on Friday, we’ve finally found confirmation that San Diego resident Dylan Herrick passed away in the hospital, shortly after suffering a life-threatening head injury when he was struck by a driver last November.

The 27-year old Herrick was riding north on the 2000 block of Morena Boulevard in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood a little after 10 pm on Thursday, November 14th, when he was rear-ended by a 67-year old pickup driver traveling in the same direction.

A front office staffer for the San Diego Seals professional lacrosse team, Herrick’s death was announced on the Seals Twitter account, and confirmed by the league later the same day.

Dylan Herrick; photo from San Diego Seals Twitter account

I’m told his death was also recently confirmed by a family member.

Herrick was reportedly riding a black beach cruiser while ghost riding another bike, holding the second bike with his right hand as he rode. According to the police, neither had lights or reflectors, despite the late hour.

Neither drugs nor alcohol were suspected of being a factor in the crash.

Morena Blvd is a two lane divided roadway lined with apartment buildings on the northbound side, which means the parking lane would likely have been full at that hour, forcing Herrick to ride in the number two lane.

Unfortunately, the painted bike lane on the southbound side offers no benefit to bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction, while the straight, wide lanes make it likely drivers would exceed the posted 40 mph speed limit during nighttime hours.

This is at least the 79th bicycling fatality in Southern California last year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County, all of which occurred in the City of San Diego.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dylan Herrick and all of his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for his efforts to confirm this story.

53-year old man killed in El Cajon hit-and-run; Kevin Wilson 2nd San Diego County bicyclist killed this year

Last year, there were just four confirmed bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for the entire year.

Or maybe five, if we include a man who reportedly died in the hospital after he was struck by the driver of a pickup while ghost riding another bike in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood last November, but which I have been unable to confirm.

After yesterday, there’s already been two bike riders killed this month alone.

According to multiple sources, 56-year old La Mesa resident Kevin Wilson of La Mesa was riding east in the bike lane on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive in El Cajon Monday morning, when he was run down from behind by 56-year old Craig Wendell Nelson around 10:45 am.

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

Nelson reportedly veered his car into the bike lane, slamming into Wilson’s bicycle before fleeing the scene; there are no word on whether he stopped or slowed down before speeding away.

He abandoned the damaged car on Sloane Canyon Road, and was arrested after a police helicopter crew spotted him hiding in the bushes.

He’s being held at the San Diego Central Jail on $50,000 bond on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, and expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s El Cajon area office at 619/401-2000.

This is at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County; two of those three deaths have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Wilson and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

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 collision occurred at SR-76 at Bennet Road in Oceanside. , with investigators blaming the victim for running the red light. 

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.

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.

Correction: I originally wrote that the driver was arrested for DUI. However, I misread the ABC 10 News story, which actually said a second crash occurred as police were investigating the crash, and it was that driver who was busted for DUI. Thanks to Zero 007 for the correction

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.

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