Tag Archive for Ventura County

31-year old man killed in solo Thousand Oaks ebike crash; 34th SoCal bike death this year

At least this time, there wasn’t a driver involved.

That we know of, anyway.

The Ventura County Star is reporting a man was killed crashing his ebike in Thousand Oaks early Sunday.

According to the paper, the victim, identified only as a 31-year old man, was riding with a friend when he crashed into a wooden fence at Borchard Road and North Los Vientos Drive around 1:30 am.

He died after being taken to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

There’s no word on what caused him to crash into the fence. It’s possible he could have been run off the road, or could have simply lost control of the bike for some reason.

A street view shows bike lanes on Borchard, with a low wooden fence lining the sidewalk in each direction west of Los Ventos.

A Ventura County sheriff’s captain also notes the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Which only matters if he died of a head injury, or if his injuries might have been survivable with one.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Lemoore resident Dustin Rodrigues. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dustin Rodrigues and his loved ones.

Read the story on Yahoo if you get blocked by the paper’s paywall. 

69-year old man riding bike killed in Simi Valley right hook crash; 32nd SoCal bicycling death already this year

There just doesn’t seem to be any end to the carnage on Southern California streets this year.

Ventura radio station KTVA is reporting a man riding a bicycle was killed in a Simi Valley collision Wednesday afternoon.

According to Ventura County Star, 69-year old Simi Valley resident Stephen Wright was riding his “10-speed style” road bike north on Sycamore Drive, south of Los Angeles Ave, when he was right hooked by the driver of commercial flatbed truck around 12:15 pm.

He died at the scene.

The driver stopped following the crash and cooperated with investigators. Police don’t suspect he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There’s a painted bike lane on northbound Sycamore, but nothing to protect riders from vehicles turning onto Los Angeles, or into the parking lots below it.

A police commander notes Wright was wearing a helmet, which clearly didn’t do any good in this case. Nor would it be likely to in a collision like that.

Anyone with information is urged to call Simi Valley Traffic Officer Bryan Sarfaty at 805/583-6189 or email bsarfaty@simivalley.org.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

That puts us on a pace for nearly 100 bicycling deaths this year — almost twice the average from just a few years ago.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Stephen Wright and all his loved ones. 

Update: Man riding BMX bike killed by alleged drunk driver in Oxnard collision

Another day, another person on a bicycle killed by a driver on the streets of Southern California.

But at least this time, the driver stuck around. Even if he was drunk.

Allegedly.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding a BMX bike on the south shoulder of Wooley Road, just east of Oxnard Blvd, when he was struck by a driver around 10:18 Sunday night.

The driver was reportedly traveling east on Wooley at a high rate of speed when he swerved onto the shoulder and slammed into the victim.

The bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene.

The 27-year old driver remained at the scene and was booked for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, as well as felony DUI. He was being held on $50,000 bond.

Anyone with information is urged to call Oxnard Police Officer Manuel Perez at 805/385-7750 or email manuel.perez@oxnardpd.org.

This is at least the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 47-year old Oxnard resident George R. Miranda Jr

My deepest sympathy and prayers for George R. Miranda Jr. and his loved ones. 

At least 83 people killed riding bikes in SoCal last year, no more “car oopsies,” and Sartre and Hackman are one of us

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s news.

As we noted, 18 people were killed riding bicycles in Los Angeles last year, a 20% jump over the year before. And ten more than the eight we had counted.

That news confirmed that running total of bicycling deaths maintained on this site was a dramatic undercount. Because too many tragedies on our streets never make the news, and the LAPD is often too slow in releasing reports of bicycling deaths.

If they ever get around to it at all.

Adding those 10 extra deaths to our totals comes out to 35 bicycling deaths in Los Angeles County last year, which compares to 34 in 2019, and around 30 in 2020, when we saw a similar problem confirming bicycling fatalities.

Orange County showed just seven deaths last year, which again seems like an undercount compared to 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

San Diego County suffered through a horrible year, with 17 bicycling deaths, compared to just seven in 2020 and four in 2019.

The nine deaths in Riverside County fell in line with previous years, with ten in 2020 and eight in 2019.

The same is true for San Bernardino County, where seven people lost their lives riding bikes last year, compared to five in 2020 and eight the year before.

Ventura County showed a significant jump, with eight deaths in 2021, double the total of four for 2020, and six in 2019.

Finally, there appeared to be no bicycling deaths in Imperial County last year or the year before, compared to two in 2019. Although it’s easier to get light out of a black hole than news from Imperial County, so take that with a grain of salt.

But bear in mind these are only rough estimates, based strictly on reports in the press or announced by the police, the coroner or some other credible source.

Each death included here has been confirmed, eliminating any risk of an overcount; if anything, this is more likely to be an undercount. I’ve heard of several bicycling deaths over the past year that I haven’t been able to confirm, and so haven’t included them in these totals.

That leaves us with at least 83 people killed riding bicycles in the seven county Southern California region last year.

Eighty-three mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones who were not here to greet the new year.

And likely more.

Maybe many more, when we finally see the official government totals in a few years.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

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The older term was more accurate.

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Gene Hackman is one of us.

And boy do I want to be like him when I grow up.

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A soaked Sartre on a foldie.

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Those vintage ice bikes we shared with you yesterday?

They’re still a thing, if somewhat more stable now.

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

No bias here. And apparently, no sense of irony either, as a proposed new Virginia law would would charge people on bicycles twice as much as motor vehicle drivers for rolling a stop sign, despite the people in the big, dangerous machines posing a much great risk to others. And just try impounding people’s cars for a simple traffic violation.

https://twitter.com/yitgordon/status/1480610900444778496

At least they’re honest about it. The BBC backtracks on an earlier story claiming new bike lanes are responsible for making London the world’s most congested city, correcting it to lay blame on a number of factors; a reporter admits that the “anti-cycling angle ‘gets more readers.'”

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

Reminiscent of the infamous Crimanimalz ride on LA’s Santa Monica Freeway more than a decade ago, over 100 people taking part in a Berkeley ride out took over the right lanes of the I-80 Freeway on Sunday, before they were escorted off by a CHP officer. As someone else pointed out, despite their scofflaw behavior, fewer people are killed by bicycle ride outs than everyday motor vehicle traffic. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Huh? A San Diego letter writer criticizes the Union-Tribune for using the widow of a fallen bicyclist to illustrate the need for safer bikeways, saying that safety was never raised as a reason for bike lanes on 30th Street, because everyone knows it was too dangerous to ride a bike there.

A 20-year old Merced woman is under arrest after she was found with a man’s stolen bicycle, which was taken when the man was smashed in the head with a hard object; her alleged partner in crime is still on the run.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a fix to the formerly unprotected bike lane used by an SUV driver to bypass stalled traffic last year, killing a pedestrian in the process, still wouldn’t stop anyone with its new car-tickler plastic bendie posts. Although that may not be quite the way they phrased it.

 

National

How not to bonk on your next mountain bike ride.

E-pickup maker Rivian has applied for an ebike trademark, suggesting a foray into bikemaking could be in their future.

A Houston paper says the local bike lanes in the auto-centric city are an “absolute joke and incredibly dangerous to any cyclist who decides to risk it and ride in them.So, it’s like most other major cities, then.

A writer for Chicago Streetsblog questions who we should really be building bike lanes for, concluding that they should be for inexperienced bicyclists who’d like to ride more, rather than more confident, experienced riders.

 

International

UK GQ recommends stylish and practical panniers for your bike. I’ll take the bright yellow leather ones, thank you very much. 

That feeling when a drunk Irishman breaks into your home and demands an ebike charger. Probably for the e-scooter he just stole to carry your television out on.

A German sociologist concludes that bicycles are becoming status symbols, since poorer people are more likely to drive to show they can afford it, while bike riders tend to be wealthier and more educated, and more likely to send a message by choosing to ride. Methinks he’s full of scheisse.

Life is cheap in Israel, where a professional soccer player was given early release for good behavior after serving just two years for the hit-and-run death of a 17-year old ebike rider.

Popular Bangladeshi actor Bappy Chowdhury is one of us, taking a spill after losing his balance while filming a scene on a bicycle.

An Indian man learns the hard way that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, as he orders a $600 bicycle from a discount site for just $155 — and gets a box full of scrap.

No surprise here. A Singapore report shows an average of 560 serious crashes involving bicyclists in each of the past five years, compared to just 90 a year on bike paths and park connectors. Meanwhile, the island city-state requires ebike and e-scooter user to pass an online test and carry a certificate with them when they ride.  And no, I don’t know what a park connector is, either.

Most of Japan’s abandoned and second-hand bicycles end up in Cambodia’s thriving used bike market.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team of Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new Guinness record for a relay team by riding 1,037 miles in just 48 hours.

VeloNews says UCI is disrespecting women’s cycling by banning team kits, while disrespecting women’s cycling themselves by hiding the editorial behind a paywall.

It’s time to head to Austria and get your snow bike racing on.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your toddler arrives in a bike trailer like an aristocrat. Stop your kid’s balance bike by remote control.

And can we have these on every street?

Please?

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

71-year old man killed riding bicycle in Simi Valley collision, 4th SoCal bike death this week

This isn’t the news any of us wanted for Christmas.

The Ventura County Star is reporting that a 71-year old man was killed riding his bike in Simi Valley Friday night.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on Royal Ave west of First Street when he was struck by the driver of an SUV around 7:10 pm.

He died at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or any factors that may had led to it.

While the driver wasn’t suspected of being under the influence, the paper bizarrely questions whether the victim was sober, without giving any reason to suspect he might not have been.

A preliminary investigation determined the driver of the SUV was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol but it was unclear if the bicyclist was sober.

This is the worst kind of victim blaming.

If this implication came from the police, the paper should make that clear, and explain why they suspect he might not have been sober.

If not, they should be ashamed of themselves.

Anyone with information is urged to call Simi Valley police accident investigators Laura Austin at 805/583-6183 or Cody Dee at 805/583-6224.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

He was also the fourth SoCal bicyclist killed since Tuesday.

Mountain biker dies of apparent medical emergency on Newbury Park trail

Cars and their drivers aren’t the only dangers bicyclists face.

Sometimes, our own bodies attack us.

That appears to be what happened in Ventura County Sunday morning, where a man died after suffering an apparent medical emergency while mountain biking in Newbury Park.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a mountain biker crashing on a trail near the 101 Freeway Scales and the park area by Hill Canyon.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 50s, was pronounced at the scene.

Investigators initially suspected he died as a result of a mountain biking crash, but later concluded his death was caused by some sort of undisclosed medical problem.

This is at least the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

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

Update: 16-year old Port Hueneme boy killed riding bike in Oxnard hit-and-run, 39-year old Oxnard man arrested

Yet another Southern California bike rider has lost his life to a heartless coward in a car.

Except this time, the victim was just a 16-year old boy.

According to the Ventura County Star, he was riding his bike on Hemlock Street in Oxnard, east of N Street, near the boundary with Port Hueneme around 8:35 Wednesday night, when he was apparently run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver.

The victim, identified only as a Port Hueneme resident, was rushed to Ventura County Medical Center, where he died.

Police investigators concluded that he was riding west on Hemlock, and had the right-of-way when he was struck.

The driver’s car was found abandoned less that a mile away near Hemlock and Patterson Road. The 39-year old owner was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

According to an Oxnard police spokesperson, the victim had a headlight and reflectors on his bike, although it was so badly mangled as a result of the crash that police couldn’t tell if he had a taillight.

However, he was not wearing a helmet, as required for anyone under 18 under California law. Although whether that matters would depend on whether he suffered a head injury, and whether his injuries might have been survivable with one.

And that could depend on how fast the driver was going, on a street where residents have long complained about speeding drivers, and have repeatedly requested speed bumps, with no response from Oxnard city officials.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

At least 18 of those deaths have involved hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified as 16-year old Andres Hernandez, who died of blunt force head trauma.

So his lack of a helmet may be relevant, depending on the speed of the impact. 

His alleged killer, 39-year old Julio Sanchez, was being held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andres Hernandez and all his family and loved ones. 

Arrest made in fatal Vista Del Mar hit-and-run, PCH shoulder closing near Point Mugu, and feds cut ebike tax rebate

It looks like the LAPD got their man.

Police arrested 39-year old Darwin Dantzler for the hit-and-run death of a mother as she carried her three-year old son across Vista Del Mar last weekend.

Wendy Galdamez Palma was attempting to make her way from the beach to her car parked on the other side of the deadly roadway. She reportedly turned away from the onrushing car, sacrificing herself to save her child.

Palma would not have had to cross the street if city leaders had the courage to keep a road diet in place that shifted parking to the west side of the street to protect beachgoers, after a 16-year old girl was killed crossing the street several years ago.

The city settled a lawsuit over that crash for $9.5 million.

Palma’s death will likely cost Los Angeles a lot more, after city leaders caved in to demands from angry pass-through drivers used to using the street as a free-flowing  freeway bypass, ripping out the road diet and returning Vista Del Mar to its previous dangerous state.

And making another death virtually inevitable.

Authorities showed just how seriously they don’t take traffic crime in California, releasing Dantzler on a remarkably low $50,000 bail, given the seriousness of his crime.

Then again, he faces a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run. And if he’s convicted, he’ll likely serve less than half of that with good behavior.

Meanwhile, Wendy Galdamez Palma was — allegedly — given the death penalty at Dantzler’s hands.

And her husband and kids will have to somehow find a way to go on without her.

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Caltrans will be closing a section of shoulder on southbound PCH in Ventura County for several months to repair damaged retaining walls.

If you ride through that area, you can expect to share the right lane with motorists.

But at least they’ll be dramatically lowering the speed limit through the construction zone. Let’s just hope drivers obey it.

Especially when someone on a bike is in front of them.

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PeopleForBikes is urging everyone to voice your support for a proposed federal ebike tax credit and bike commuter benefit.

Although Treehugger argues, correctly, that ebike incentives are laughable compared to those for electric cars — especially after the House Ways and Means Committee cut the proposed benefit in half to just 15% of the purchase price, with a max of a lousy $750.

But at least that’s $750 we wouldn’t get otherwise.

Meanwhile, Calbike wants you to email Governor Newsom and urge him to sign AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which will allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of us already do anyway.

AAA and the CHP had an outsized influence on our last governor. Hopefully they won’t oppose this bill. Or if they do, let’s hope Newsom listens to more enlightened voices and signs it anyway

And congratulate him on keeping his job while you’re at it.

It never hurts to suck up a little.

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Valley Blvd is well on its way to getting shiny new curb-protected bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/boyonabike62/status/1438329554058186753

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More proof, as if you need it, that Bike Index works.

So what are you still waiting for? Get free lifetime registration now, before you need it.

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This could be huge.

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Evidently, the new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge pass inspection.

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Milan is reclaiming space from cars, and giving it back to people.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1438388469785575431

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We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about avian dive bombers.

https://twitter.com/gplama/status/1437311200002408451

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

I don’t even know what to say about this one, as a cop tells someone on a bicycle that it’s not safe to ride in a bike lane, because of all the cars in it. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

Be on the lookout for bike-riding Santa Monica cello thieves.

Dallas police are looking for a shirtless, purple-pantsed, pistol-packing bike rider who fired a shot into a vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

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Local

Metro Bike bikeshare is now brought to you by Doordash.

Los Angeles approved plans to make street improvements, such as bulbouts, speed humps and traffic circles, to deter street racing, which should improve safety for everyone by slowing all traffic.

CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León will host an open house to discus plans for the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit through Eagle Rock on October 2nd; if you live, work or ride in the area — or want to — show up to support the Beautiful Boulevard Complete Streets plan.

 

State

Caltrans offered an update on $100 million in funding for Complete Streets projects on state roadways, including three projects in Los Angeles County, as well as others in Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

Yuba Bicycles is moving its HQ to San Juan Capistrano, with a couple new jobs in the front office.

Chico’s Sierra Nevada Brewing is working with a number of bike brands to give away a couple of custom bicycles, to raise funds and awareness for a pair of nonprofits working to repair severe damage to trail systems due to flooding and wildfires in Northern California and North Carolina.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips for better trail etiquette on your next off-road expedition. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Streetsblog op-ed offers advice on how to take on the NIMBYs, and beat opponents of street safety.

A physicians website argues that riding a bicycle to work can make you a better doctor.

Cycling News takes a deep dive into the “unique sizing, geometry and design of gravel bikes.”

Your next bike helmet could filter the air you breathe while you ride.

A new app promises to help you get your bike fit right.

Scary news from Alaska, where a doctor is urging everyone to leave their bikes at home because all the hospitals are full of Covid patients, and they may not be able to treat you if you get hurt.

You’d think it would be hard to go belly up in the middle of a worldwide bike boom, but a Denver bike shop would beg to differ.

An Oklahoma driver had his manslaughter conviction and 19-year sentence for killing a 12-year old, bike-riding Cherokee boy overturned, after the state Supreme Court ruled it had no jurisdiction on Indian lands.

A 74-year old Wisconsin man pled guilty to the hit-and-run death of a teenage boy riding a bicycle on the eve of his trial; he allegedly drove off after the crash, then returned to slowly drive by the crash site before fleeing again, leaving the boy to die in a ditch on the side of the road.

Shades of Vista Del Mar, as a Chicago bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver on a street where parking protected bike lanes were ripped out eight years ago, just because homeowners wanted to park next to the curb.

NatGeo sings the praises of Minneapolis as a bicycling city and a leader in the urban bicycling movement.

This one will put a smile on your face, as an Indianapolis paper profiles a 72-year old woman who’s famous locally for riding her pink bicycle everywhere she goes in her neighborhood.

A DC writer argues that every block matters in the fight for safer streets and a better climate.

Nice story from South Carolina, where a young boy riding an old bike crashed into a stranger’s car because he didn’t have any brakes, so instead of screaming at the boy, the man bought him a new bicycle, presumably with brakes that work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to shifting.

A woman riding through Mexico discovers firsthand what it’s like to run out of water in the middle of the desert; fortunately, she stumbled on total strangers who saved her.

Britain’s ex-health secretary is one of us, as he was spotted riding a Lime ebike through Trafalgar Square after being forced out of the government over an affair, while leaving his wife to suffer through long Covid alone. Schmuck.

Paris continues to free itself from the tyranny of motor vehicles, as Slate talks with David Belliard, the city’s adjunct mayor for transportation and public space.

Time is running out for Afghanistan’s women’s cycling community following the Taliban takeover of the country; a campaign to evacuate and resettle 28 bicyclists and their families has raised nearly $100,000 of the $250,000 goal.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams is attempting to jumpstart the moribund heart of American cycling with a one-day, $100,000 crit in Sacramento next month, including equal payouts for men and women.

Of course, the way they’ve performed this season, there’s a good chance L39ion will just win all of that money back.

 

Finally…

One sure sign you’ve got too much money — paying $65 for an ounce and a half of chain lube; then again, what else would you use on your $12,700 ebike? Your next bike could come complete with a retractable plastic roof.

And always ride with a friend.

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

Update: 32-year old bike rider killed in collision with Amtrak Surfliner in Oxnard; 6th SoCal bicycling death in less than 2 weeks

Another day, another ghost bike.

But at least this time there wasn’t a motorist involved.

Ventura talk radio station KVTA reports a man was killed when he was run down from behind by an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks in Oxnard Tuesday morning.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 32-year old Oxnard man, was reportedly riding north on the railroad tracks roughly 100 yards from the Oxnard Transportation Center when he was struck by a northbound train just after 11 am.

The Ventura County Star places the collision at 11:09 am, on the tracks at Fourth and Meta streets.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Oxnard Police Commander Luis McArthur, the engineer of Pacific Surfliner Train 763 sounded his horn several times and tried to stop, but couldn’t bring the train to a halt in time, despite witness statements that it was traveling at just 20-30 mph before the crash.

The victim made no effort to get out of the way as he rode with a hoody pulled over his head; however, there’s no evidence that he was wearing headphones or earbuds.

Which raises the question of why he wasn’t aware of the massive train bearing down on him. Let alone what he was doing on the tracks in the first place.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County, which exceeds the total for all of last year.

It’s also the sixth Southern California bike death that’s come to our attention in less than two weeks.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Oxnard resident Esau C. Castaneda.

Investigators have ruled out suicide as a cause of death, but still have no explanation why he didn’t hear the train approaching.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esau C. Castaneda and his loved ones.

 

Teen boy killed, two others seriously injured when hit-and-run driver plows through Port Hueneme bike riders

Horrific news from Ventura County, where one teen bike rider was killed and two others “significantly” injured in a Port Hueneme hit-and-run.

According to the Ventura County Star, the northbound driver plowed through a group of seven young bike riders at north Ventura Road and east Pleasant Valley Road  at 9:28 pm Monday, leaving bikes and debris strewn across the seven lane intersection.

The massive crash occurred directly in front of the naval base.

One victim, described only as a teenage boy, died after being taken to a local hospital.

Another boy was hospitalized in critical condition with what was described only as major injuries, while a third suffered significant lower body injuries.

The other riders apparently escaped unharmed.

The driver abandoned his car five blocks away on the 500 block of East Clara Street after fleeing the scene.

Twenty-eight-year old Port Hueneme resident Samuel Rocha turned himself in to police sometime overnight. He was still being processed at 9:30 this morning.

KABC-7 reports Rocha has been booked on one count of homicide and two counts of attempted homicide, in a story that hasn’t been posted online yet.

Let’s hope they’re right, and authorities are taking this crime seriously for a change.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

That matches the county’s total for all of last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

 

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