Tag Archive for Ventura County

Santa Clarita mountain biker dies on Simi Valley trail Saturday morning

Cars and drivers aren’t the only dangers we face.

Sometimes it’s your own body that lets you down.

That’s what happened yesterday morning on trail above Simi Valley, where a man apparently died of natural causes while riding with a group of friends.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding on the Undertow Trail, which they describe as a popular mountain bike trail south of Hummingbird Ranch outside Simi Valley, when he began to feel ill around 10:40 am.

His riding companions told him to turn back, and called 911.

The Ventura County Fire Department and a county helicopter crew responded; sadly, the 52-year old Santa Clarita resident died before rescue personnel could arrive.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

It’s also a reminder to see your doctor on a regular basis — especially if you’re having unexplained chest pains or difficulty breathing, no matter how fit you may feel.

It may not have made a difference in this case.

But it might in yours.

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

Man riding bicycle killed after allegedly riding in front of driver in Oxnard crash

Once again, a bike rider is dead after somehow magically appearing in front of a driver.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was struck by an 18-year old driver on Saviers Road near Iris Street in Oxnard around 8:10 pm Thursday, although a local TV station places the time of the crash shortly after 10 pm.

The driver was headed south on Saviers when he said the victim, identified only as a man in his mid-20s, “suddenly appeared in front of (his) vehicle.”

The bike rider was taken to Ventura County Medical Center, where he died.

The driver, who hasn’t been publicly identified, stayed at the scene, telling police he was unable to avoid the man’s bicycle.

There’s no explanation given for why the driver wasn’t able to see the victim or his bike.

However, in any case like this, where there doesn’t appear to be any surviving witnesses other than the driver, it’s important to remember that we’re only getting one side of the story.

It’s entirely possible that the victim somehow rode out in front of the driver’s car. But it’s also possible that he may have been riding safely in the bike lane on southbound Saviers, and the driver just didn’t see him.

Because no one, ever, comes out of nowhere.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Senior Officer Paul Knapp of the Oxnard Police Department at 805/385-7750 or email paul.knapp@oxnardpd.org.

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

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

Oxnard man killed after allegedly swerving his bike in front of bus

An Oxnard man was killed when he was hit by a bus while riding his bike Monday afternoon.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding in the eastbound bike lane on Gonzales Road west of Lantana Street when he allegedly veered in front of a transit bus around 4:13 pm.

The victim, who was identified only as a 60-year old Oxnard man, was pronounced dead after being taken to Ventura County Medical Center.

Video from the scene shows debris strewn across the left lane, with the bike coming to rest near the center median.

A street view shows a four lane road with a center divider, and a curbside bike lane.

As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver, since the victim is unable to tell his side of the story. However, the fact that a photo from the Star showed the victim’s bike resting just beyond a left turn bay adds credence to the suggestion that he may have somehow turned in front of the bus.

No brake marks are visible in any of the photos which would indicate where the bus was prior to the impact.

This is at least the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

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

 

 

Bike rider killed in Oxnard DUI collision; driver reportedly high on prescription drugs

More bad news.

The Ventura County Star is reporting that a 46-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a van in Oxnard.

Forty-six-year old Oxnard resident Amado Ray Johnson was riding on the dirt shoulder of southbound Victoria Avenue north of Gum Tree Street around 3 pm Tuesday when the driver drifted off the road and struck him from behind.

He died at the scene.

The driver, identified as Ventura County resident Sean Patrick Donovan, was arrested on site for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three southbound lanes and a left turn lane, with what appears to be a macadam shoulder.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amado Ray Johnson and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Anthony Navarro for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: 300 days in Moorpark distracted driving case; applications now open for Great Streets grants

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Life is cheap in Ventura County.

The Ventura County Star reports 27-year old Rachael Hill was sentenced to 300 days in jail for killing bicyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman just outside of Moorpark last year while “distracted by a portable electronic device.”

Probably texting, in other words.

Hill received an unwarranted gift when the Ventura County DA inexplicably filed the case as misdemeanors, rather than the felony charges recommended by CHP investigators.

She’ll begin her sentence November 4th, and will most likely serve just a fraction of that time before she’s released from county jail.

On the other hand, we should probably be grateful she got any time at all.

Meanwhile, Hill sentenced both men to death, and their families to a lifetime without them.

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Applications are now open for the second round of LA’s Great Streets Challenge projects.

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The official trailer has been unveiled for a new documentary about cargo bikes, called Motherload.

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A triathlete gave up a probable gold medal while competing in Cozumel, Mexico, when he stopped to help his heat-stroke stricken brother across the finish line.

There’s a new record for the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle, as a bullet-shaped ‘bent hit 89.58 mph in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge.

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Local

Peter Flax says riding an ebike does not make you a bad person, and that ebikes aren’t about replacing bicycles, but replacing cars.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes that bicycling and equity advocates will converge on Atlanta in November for The Untokening: A Convening for Just Streets and Communities to reclaim the streets and make them safe and accessible for all.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests walking, expanded bikeshare and bike valets as possible solutions to the transportation crunch getting to the Rams games at the Coliseum. Improved bike lanes would also help, while benefitting USC students and local residents on non-game days.

The 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postposed due to last June’s brushfires in the San Gabriel Valley has been rescheduled for March 5th; the 19-mile open streets event will allow people to walk, jog, skate and bike through eight SGV cities.

 

State

Seven years after being paralyzed from the waist down in a dirt bike crash, a California man is able to ride a recumbent under his own power after receiving an electronic spinal implant.

Only eight tickets have been written in the entire state of California for violating three-foot passing law since it went into effect in September 2014; out of 10 drivers asked about the law by a San Francisco TV reporter, not one knew it even existed.

A mountain biker had a close encounter of the scary kind when he was confronted by a mountain lion while riding in Foothill Ranch; a bike rider was killed by a mountain lion on the same trail in 2004.

Laguna Beach plans to deal with safety problems on PCH by somehow moving cyclists off the deadly roadway instead of building the bike lane recommended in a recent safety study; as always, the real reason appears to a preference for parking spaces over human lives.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a bike rider was killed when he allegedly turned left in front of a car.

Palo Alto approves plans for a Dutch-style protected intersection to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

National

Cosmo recommends riding to work, and offers solutions for five excuses not to.

Bicycling explains what goes on with your body when you crash.

Nikon introduces a new $500 action cam, while GoPro unveils a new $800 drone.

A Virginia cyclist outruns a road raging tractor driver who tried to cut him off in a bike lane.

North Carolina approves a four-foot passing law, while allowing drivers to briefly cross a center line to pass cyclists when they can see far enough to do it safely.

A New Orleans chef turns to Uber after her bicycle is stolen and someone steals the seat off her other bike.

 

International

The Ottawa trucking official who caused a stir by saying cyclists should have to stop half a block back from intersections so they don’t interfere with turning trucks doubles down, complaining about the complaints he received, while noting we all just want to get home safely. Never mind that in any crash with a bicyclist, the truck driver probably will, while the bike rider, not so much.

Halifax drivers complain that new protected bike lanes meant the loss of 49 parking spaces, even though the city installed 79 new spaces just a few blocks away to more than mitigate the loss. Meanwhile, someone keeps moving a Halifax bike corral out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

A writer for the Guardian says we need to kick our addiction to driving.

A London man describes a fist fight between a road raging cyclist and his equally road raging Uber driver, while getting billed for the driver’s trip to the hospital.

Iranian women continue to ride their bicycles, despite a religious edict from the country’s supreme leader banning the practice because it “exposes society to corruption” and “contravenes women’s chastity.” Because we all know bike riding makes you a slut, right? And that goes for men, too.

Caught on video: A Chinese ebike rider was badly injured after being kicked off her bike by someone on a passing scooter.

 

Finally…

Don’t leave home without your reflective clothing. Once again, using your bicycle to whack the driver you just collided with is just not what it’s designed for.

And evidently, riding a bicycle will remove all your skin and strip you naked.

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Bicyclist killed in Oxnard hit-and-run; 17-year old driver arrested

Apparently, you’re never too young to take a life while driving under the influence.

The Ventura County Star reports a bike rider was killed in an Oxnard hit-and-run Friday morning, and the 17-year old driver taken into custody minutes later.

Forty-two-year old Oxnard resident Gregory Dominguez was riding near the intersection of Lakehurst Street and Janetwood Drive a little after 7 am Friday when he was struck by an SUV.

The driver continued down Lakehurst, knocking down numerous mailboxes before crossing the road, and crashing into a magnolia tree with enough force to knock it down.

The driver, who has not been publicly identified, then fled the scene on foot, but was arrested nearby. Police say drugs or alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Dominguez was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Star reports local residents have tried in vain to get city officials to do something about speeding drivers on what should be a quiet, residential street.

Evidently, they need to do something about teenage drivers who are drunk or stoned at seven in the morning, as well.

This is the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gregory Dominguez and all his loved ones.

Update: Ventura bike rider killed in midnight hit-and-run

A Ventura bike rider has been left to die by a heartless and cowardly driver.

According to KABC-7, a male bike rider was hit by vehicle at Telegraph Road and Saticoy Avenue shortly after midnight today.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene; his identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver fled the scene, leaving his victim lying in the road, where he was found by police responding to the call.

No word yet on how the collision may have occurred.

A satellite view shows the area is a mixture of farmland and housing developments. There appears to be a substandard bike lane headed east on Telegraph, with only a fragmentary bike lane westbound at the intersection with Saticoy, giving way to a narrow shoulder to the west with a 50 mph speed limit. Meanwhile, Saticoy is marked as a bike route, with no improvements to the street.

Police are looking for a white, four door Nissan sedan with substantial front end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call the Ventura Police Department’s Traffic Unit at 805/339-4323.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Ventura County. That exceeds the total for all of last year in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 14-year old Jonathon Hernandez of Ventura; KABC-7 reports he was a football player at Buena High School in Ventura.

He was apparently riding at that hour because he was upset after an emotional family meeting to mark his sister’s birthday, who died of leukemia a few months earlier; family members did not know he had gone out. He had called friends to say was coming over because he needed to talk. 

Surveillance video shows he was struck by a white flatbed tow truck driving east on Telegraph, which should have major front end damage based on evidence at the scene.

He was then struck by a silver or light-colored SUV as he lay in the road, which also continued east on Telegraph without stopping.

Based on the description, the tow truck driver should face a murder charge once he’s apprehended, since Hernandez wouldn’t have been struck by the second vehicle if the driver had stopped as the law and basic human decency requires. Which does not absolve the second driver of his or her own responsibility. 

A fund has been established to pay for funeral expenses. As of this writing, it had raised nearly $6,000 of the $10,000 goal in just seven hours.

Update 2: Police have identified the driver of the tow truck as Martin Henderson, the owner/operator of a towing company that contracts with Ventura.

They say he had the right-of-way as Hernandez allegedly ran the red light; presumably they base that on the same surveillance video that showed the two collisions.

Regardless of who may have been at fault, it does not excuse leaving a young man to die on the street.

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

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up. 

Update: Bicyclist killed Tuesday in Ojai Valley

This has got to stop.

For the fourth time in the last four days, bike rider has been killed in a SoCal collision, this time in Ventura County.

According to the Ventura County Star, a man was hit by a box truck while riding his bike in the Meiners Oaks area of the Ojai Valley just before 1:30 pm Tuesday, as the driver was leaving a private parking lot on East El Roblar Drive east of Felix Drive.

The victim was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His identification has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver remained at the scene.

There’s no word on where the victim was on the road or which direction he was riding, or which direction the driver was turning. A street view shows a two lane roadway with a parking lane on either side and a 25 mph speed limit, though that would not seem to be a factor in this case.

Anyone with information is urged to call 477-4100.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old Ojai resident Christopher Angelos.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Christopher Angelos and his loved ones.

Oxnard woman killed in bicycling fall in Port Hueneme

This is why you always secure loose items on your bike.

According to the Ventura County Star, 53-year old Oxnard resident Maria Dupre was riding her bike on the 800 block of North Ventura Road in Port Hueneme around 6 pm Sunday, when something she was carrying on her bicycle became lodged in her front wheel. She lost control and fell from her bike.

She was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

The paper notes Dupre was not wearing a helmet; in this case, it might have made a difference, assuming she suffered a head injury. Solo falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Ventura County; the first occurred just eight days earlier in Moorpark.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Maria Dupre and all her loved ones.

Update: Two dead in Moorpark collision as driver rear-ends Emmy-winning cyclist, then swerves into motorcyclist

Tragic news from Moorpark, as two people are dead in a chain-reaction collision that took the life of a bicyclist and a motorcycle rider.

News initially broke last with a CHP report of a cyclist killed in a collision at the intersection of Moorpark and Tierra Rejada Roads around 5:21 pm.

However, the initial news report from the Ventura County Star, which is no longer available online, suggested that there were two dead at the scene in a collision between car and a motorcycle.

The confusion was cleared up this morning with news reports from the VC Star and Ventura radio station KTVA.*

A Saturn Ion driven by woman, who has not been publicly identified, was traveling south on Moorpark south of Tierra Rejada at 55 mph when she slammed into a cyclist riding on the shoulder, then overcorrected to hit the motorcyclist head-on on the opposite side of the road.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

The road narrows to a single lane south of Tierra Rejada, but has a wide, well-marked shoulder where the first victim was riding.

He was identified this morning as 53-year old Emmy Award-winning sound editor Maciek Malish. KTVA reports he won two Emmys for his work on the X-Files, as well as receiving numerous Emmy nominations. IMDb lists a number of credits dating back to 1987; he was currently working as dialogue editor on the new Westworld TV series.

The other victim was identified 42-year old Fillmore resident Jesse Cushman.

No reason is given for why the driver drifted onto the shoulder at such a high speed, although the description of the wreck suggests some form of distraction, However, it’s still under investigation by the CHP.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

Update: The Star confirms that investigators suspect that distraction appears to have played a role in the crash.

A CHP spokesman said the driver was apparently looking for something in the car when she swerved off the roadway, but it’s too early in the investigation to determine if the 26-year old woman will be charged.

The paper also notes that both victims were wearing helmets. However, a collision at 55 mph was unlikely to be survivable, with or without one.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman, and all their loved ones.

Thanks to Lester Walters for the heads-up.

*Because of the Star’s paywall, and KTLA not allowing linkage to a single news story, these stories may be unavailable later.

 

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