Tag Archive for Whittier

Bike rider killed on Whittier Blvd in unincorporated LA County; second Whittier Blvd bicycling death in one week

Nothing like marking the holidays with yet another fatal hit-and-run.

Even if officials are unlikely to call it that.

According to the Whittier Daily News, 64-year old Whittier resident Alfred Tiscareno Jr. was riding west on Whittier Blvd when he was struck by a driver near the onramp to the 605 Freeway in unincorporated LA County near Whittier, around 6:50 Monday evening.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

There’s no explanation for how the crash occurred; hopefully, more details will be available after the holiday.

The driver, identified as 69-year old Rameshbhai L. Bhakta of Montebello, fled scene, but later called CHP investigators to report his involvement. He was reportedly cooperating with authorities, and has not been arrested.

And even though he he failed to stop and render aid, as required by law — or presumably, even call 911 to report the crash — he probably never will be.

Especially since Bhakta is not believed to have been under the influence, which too often seems to be the only thing that matters.

The crash is still under investigation; anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer G. De Luna at 562/868-0503.

Tiscareno’s death comes just one week after Whittier’s beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin was killed, also on Whittier Blvd, less than seven miles away. Over 250 bike riders turned out to honor him on Sunday.

Now the Whittier bike community has one more victim to remember. And one family’s Christmas season will never be the same.

This is at least the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 34th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Tiscareno is also the eighth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, in what is turning out to be a very bloody December.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfred Tiscareno Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: Adult trike needed for Whittier ghost bike, and Ventura wants to hide death records from you

Just five days left in the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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A three-wheeled adult bike is needed to install a ghost bike for fallen bike rider Danny Martin, aka Whittier’s beloved Tricycle Man, who was killed in Whittier on Monday.

And speaking of Danny, there will be a ride in his honor this Sunday. 

Thanks to everyone who sent me this one.

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Ventura County officials want to block your right to know about bicycling and other fatalities, calling for a new law banning the disclosure of death records to both the general public and the media.

Thanks to Steven Hansen for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to help improve bike connections in the San Gabriel Valley.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1207390576263360512

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A homeless German man who wanted to go to jail for free meals and a warm place to sleep got his wish when he was sentenced to life in prison for intentionally ramming a bike rider with the car he’d been sleeping in, seriously injuring the victim as well as inflicting long-lasting psychological trauma.

In a road rage incident seen ’round the world, a Singapore truck driver was convicted of deliberately swerving into a bicyclist and failing to report the crash.

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‘Tis the Season.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s department donated 250 bikes refurbished by honor farm inmates to kids in need.

The widow of North Carolina’s Bicycle Man is continuing his legacy, donating a whopping 1,500 bicycles and helmets to local children.

A Louisiana sheriff’s department gave away 100 bicycles to local kids in their 26th annual bike giveaway.

A Jacksonville FL foundation gave nearly 100 bikes to children from the local Police Athletic League and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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Don’t make her suffer this indignity for nothing. Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today.

You can now count the last days of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive on one hand.

That’s right. Just five days left to show your support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. Along with the late Corgi’s last days as spokesdog for this site.

So let me offer my sincere thanks to Andrew G, Joel S, Janice H and Thuan V for their generous donations to help keep this fund drive going strong in its final days

So what are are you waiting for?

Stop take just a minute to give something right now. Because time’s running out. 

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Local

Brooks McKinney interviews LADOT transportation planner Severin Martinez about his work creating a “safe, comprehensive and well-connected bicycle network.”

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks at the three bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridges nearing completion over the LA River. Although it’s probably just a matter of time before the horse people try to get us kicked off those, too.

Long Beach’s “whimsical” bike racks are celebrating their 10th anniversary on the streets of the bayfront city; designs include a yoga stick figure, skeletal fish and a cupcake, among others.

 

State

A member of San Diego’s Mobility Board questions if the city is doing more harm than good by removing 430 parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes in the North Park neighborhood. Short answer, no.

Santa Barbara is preparing to roll out a traditional 250-bike docked bikeshare system aimed at local workers, rather than tourists.

Nice story. When someone stole a bike belonging to a high school student in Half Moon Bay, he soon spotted someone riding it and confronted the thief, but decided to let him keep it because the other kid probably needed it more that he did. When the local sheriff’s department heard about it, they found an abandoned bike, refurbished it and gave it to him as a reward for his selfless act.

 

National

Unbelievable. Omaha, Nebraska ripped out a bike corral after the bike shop it fronted closed down, preferring to regain one lousy car parking space instead of parking for a dozen bicycles; bike riders tried to halt the removal by rushing to lock their bikes to the racks, but the city took them out anyway.

Missouri works out a land transfer to build a 144-mile bike trail through the state — assuming supporters raise nearly $10 million to pay for it.

Kindhearted Wisconsin cops work with a local bike foundation to replace an autistic man’s three-wheeled bike after noticing the frame was broken.

Kinda sucks when your own aunt turns you in for stealing a bike, like this Minnesota man.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a reckless hit-and-run driver got a whole year behind bars for killing a man riding a bike. With good behavior, he’ll probably get out in half that time.

A somewhat strange New Hampshire letter writer says only give your wife a Peloton bike if you’re a man’s man; otherwise, be a girly man and go to a jewelry store.

An upstate New York letter writer complains about a bike and walkway on a bridge over the Hudson River, somehow blaming it for the potholes caused by cars.

New York is looking for robbers who have stolen 22 ebikes after pepper spraying the victims.

The death toll just keeps going up in NYC, after the city notched its 29th bicycling fatality this year when a man on a bike fell on some ice, and was hit by the driver of a loaded school bus. That’s still better than Los Angeles, which has suffered 17 bicycling deaths this year, in a city half the size.

A Florida bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when a 12-foot sinkhole caused by a broken stormwater pipe opened up under the roadway, which collapsed underneath him. Or maybe not; his boss says he’ll need facial reconstruction surgery.

 

International

Road.cc tells you how to avoid the pitfalls of bike commuting. Like skip the Strava KOMS and don’t wear your heavy jeans for more than a few miles.

The Guardian asks the burning question of what will British Prime Minister Boris Johnson do for bicyclists. Assuming the country survives Brexit, or course.

A three-year old girl from the UK born with a severe birth defect is now walking and riding a bike, after doctors had given her zero chance of ever walking.

Maybe they’ll take requests. London’s electric buses will now play music to warn bike riders and pedestrians they’re coming.

Life is cheap — and grossly unfair — in Australia, where a 20-year old Iranian refugee got just 10 months in a youth facility for falling asleep at the wheel and killing a 49-year old father riding his bike to work; his short sentence means he won’t be deported. His victim’s family won’t be so lucky; after losing their husband and father, they face deportation because they were in the country on his employment visa.

An Aussie website says the country’s road rules should be rewritten to put pedestrians first, with bike riders second.

Taipei, Taiwan will allow foreign expats to use its bikeshare system after all.

 

Finally…

No, throwing one at a passing cab whose driver won’t stop to pick you up is not the proper use of a bikeshare bike. Probably not the best idea to steal a bike from the local police.

And if you’re using a distinctive pink and purple kid’s bike as your getaway vehicle following an armed robbery, you probably don’t want to ride it back past the scene of the crime a few minutes later.

Seriously.

Beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin killed in Whittier collision Monday morning

What happens when you kill a beloved community icon with your car?

Probably nothing.

The Whittier Daily News reports that 61-year old Whittier resident Danny Martin, well known for waving at strangers from the seat of his three-wheeled bike, was killed in a collision early Monday morning.

According to the paper, Martin was riding to a Bible study class when he was struck by a driver while crossing the 16500 block of Whittier Boulevard.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said he was not at an intersection or in a crosswalk when he was struck. The driver stayed at the scene, and authorities said that speed was not a factor.

Although Martin’s mangled bike would seem to belie that. It’s hard to imagine how that kind of damage could occur without excessive speed.

He also left his usual bike helmet at home, wearing a Christmas hat in its place.

A former motocross racer, Danny Martin was severely injured testing a new motorbike at Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert in 1981, spending a full year in a coma. When he finally awoke, he was paralyzed and told he would never walk again.

Yet after a year of physical therapy, he regained the ability to get around on his own, and learned how to ride an adult tricycle.

He never quit, spending the better part of the past four decades riding around Whittier with an American Flag flying high above his trike, and signs praising God attached to it after becoming deeply religious during his recovery.

Martin became a local icon beloved throughout the city, often by people whose only contact with him was a friendly wave as they passed by in their cars.

That love was shown by the Whittier community in 2016, when he was struck by a driver who destroyed Martin’s bike and briefly put him in the hospital.

A crowdfunding campaign to replace his bike trike raised over 14 times the original $1,000 goal; the Daily News reports the extra money paid Martin’s rent for a full year.

And it was shown again last night, when hundreds of people turned out for a candlelight vigil to remember him.

Now another crowdfunding campaign has raised over $7,000 in just the first eight hours to help pay his funeral expenses.

A ride will be held in his honor this Sunday. Let’s hope it gets a big turnout, with lots of flags flying high over the bikes, and friendly waves for everyone around.

Because Whittier is going to be a much poorer place going forward.

https://twitter.com/1Cycle20/status/1206755205762600960

This is at least the 73rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 32nd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the sixth SoCal bike death in less than ten days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Danny Martin and all his family and friends. 

Thanks to Sgt. Helper, Lois R, Eric Griswold and John Damman for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in Whittier hit-and-run this morning; police looking for woman in newer pearl-colored Lexus

Yet another person has been left to die by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

According to the Whittier Police Department, a man was riding a bicycle on the 9100 block of Calmeda Ave when he was struck by the driver of a newer pearl-colored Lexus around 7:30 this morning.

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

The woman who struck him fled the scene, and was last seen traveling west on Lambert Road.

Calmeda is a two lane residential street which should provide a safe place to ride. However, it connects two major streets and could offer a convenient cut-through route to avoid rush hour traffic.

The car is described as a four door with tinted windows and paper license plates, and is likely to have front end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Richard Jensen at 562/567-9261, Officer Esteban Medina at 562/567-9259 or the Whittier police Crime Tipline at 562/567-9299.

Once she’s caught, she should face a lifetime ban on driving as well as a lengthy prison sentence. Anyone without the common decency to stop for another human being, let alone observe the law, doesn’t belong on the streets.

Let’s hope that one day lawmakers, prosecutors, judges and the DMV will finally figure out that out.

This is the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh fatal bike crash in Whittier in the last four years.

Update: According to a reporter for KABC-7, the victim, who was on a BMX bike, was dragged 600 to 800 feet by his killer. Let that sink in — at least the length of two football fields. 

That should elevate the case from simple felony hit-and-run to second degree murder. But it won’t.

Update 2: KTLA-5 confirms the victim was dragged across two city blocks, while police report the bike rider appears to have done nothing wrong that would have caused the crash.

Update 3: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Whittier resident Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

Update 4: KCBS-2 reports Rodriguez was killed when one driver paused to let him go by, and a driver following behind went around the stopped car, hitting him head-on. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Agustin Rodriguez Jr. and his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.  

Update: Bike rider killed in apparent Sante Fe Springs train collision

Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in Sante Fe Springs today.

The Whittier Police Department tweeted at 2:49 this afternoon that their officers were investigating the death of a bicyclist at the railroad intersection of Rosecrans and Marquardt.

No other details are available at this time.

The implication is that he or she was hit by a train, but that has not been confirmed yet.

Henry Fung writes that the train tracks run diagonal to the streets at that intersection, and the warning gates are placed prior to the intersection, rather than next to the tracks. So it could be possible for a rider to be inside the gates when they come down, and not see the warning before a train comes.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Whittier Daily News reports the victim, identified only as a man, was riding north along Rosecrans around 2:45 pm when he slipped between the crossing arms, and was struck by a freight train.

Let this serve as a reminder to never, ever go around, under or through railroad crossing arms. They’re down for a reason.

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

Update: 70-year old Whittier bike rider succumbs to his injuries

Collision scene suggests Ornelas was riding in the street, not on sidewalk; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Collision scene suggests Ornelas was riding in the street, not on sidewalk; photo by Danny Gamboa.

More bad news.

Last night we mentioned that a 70-year old Whittier bike rider suffered severe injuries in a collision yesterday afternoon, noting that early reports said the victim’s injuries weren’t considered life-threatening.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Word came today that he died of his injuries.

According to the Whittier Daily News, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on Lambert Road just south of in Washington Blvd around 1:30 pm when he was struck by a Toyota Ridgeline and dragged several yards.

The paper reports he was was riding to work with a co-worker when he was struck. They were riding against traffic, though it’s not clear if they were riding in the street or on the sidewalk at the time of the collision.

The driver, identified only as a man in his 60s, was leaving the Home Depot parking lot and making a right turn onto Lambert when the collision occurred. He claimed to be unaware that he had struck anyone, driving several yards before stopping when he heard a grinding noise coming from under the truck.

As others have pointed out, it’s possible that he was looking left as he turned right, and may not have seen the bike riders coming from the other direction.

He was alert and stable when taken to the hospital; what happened afterwards that led to his death is unknown at this time.

Hopefully, the Daily News will update their story with more information.

I’m told a ghost bike will be installed at the site of the collision at 9 pm tonight.

This is the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth already this year in Los Angeles County. It’s also third cyclist killed in Whittier since 2012.

Update: The Daily News confirms that the victim, identified as 70-year old Whittier resident Arturo Alfredo Ornelas, died at County USC Medical Center less than an hour after the collision.

Update 2: After examining the scene, Danny Gamboa reports Ornelas was dragged approximately 150 feet — half the length of a football field. 

Update 3: This morning I received the following comment from a witness to the collision. 

Having a first hand account as an eyewitness to this tragedy. One thing that wasn’t included is that the driver rolled the stop. Working next door, I see drivers run that stop all the time. If the driver had come to a complete stop – he would have seen the cyclist riding on the sidewalk. Some of the simple rules of looking both ways when making a turn were not followed. It is easy to blame the cyclist when it’s convenient.

Meanwhile, Danny Gamboa forwards this comment from another witness.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Arturo Ornelas and his loved ones.

Groove carved in pavement by dragging bike under truck; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Groove carved in pavement by dragging bike under truck; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Ghost bike for Arturo Alfredo Ornelas; photo by Danny Gamboa.

Ghost bike for Arturo Alfredo Ornelas; photo by Danny Gamboa.

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On another note, my deepest sympathy to the LAPD on the loss of an officer in a traffic collision today, and my prayers for him and his loved ones.

Update: Whittier cyclist killed when 78-year old driver backs over her in parking lot

“She looked real happy this morning.”

That’s how her stepmother described 26-year old Rosie Manzanares on the last day of her life. Just a few hours later, she lay dead in a parking lot, victim of a 78-year old driver who lost control of her car after visiting the hairdresser.

The collision occurred around 1:30 pm in the parking lot behind Celebrity Burgers, 11270 Whittier Blvd in Whittier.

According to the L.A. Times, the Toyota driven by Angelica Cuevas accelerated unexpectedly as she was backing out of her parking space, hitting Manzanares before coming to a stop on top of her.

No explanation is given for why the car accelerated; maybe the car malfunctioned, or maybe Cuevas panicked and hit the gas instead of the brake after seeing Manzanares behind her.

Either way, an innocent woman is dead. And an older woman has to spend the last years of her life knowing she took another.

It’s likely to be a very long time before either family — the driver’s or the victim’s — will have another happy morning.

This is the 11th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County — both of which occurred in Whittier.

My heart and prayers go out to Rosie, and her family and loved ones.

Update: According to the Whittier Daily News, Cuevas had stopped her car halfway out of the parking space, then inexplicably accelerated as Manzanares rode behind her; Manzanares was pronounced dead at the scene.

Relatives say she had borrowed a bike in order to return a bracelet. Her father said she was getting help for a bipolar condition, and was in the process of straightening her life out.

Now she’ll never have the chance.

40-year old cyclist killed in Whittier; 14-year old Garden Grove cyclist dies as final fatality of 2011

Just 13 days into the new year, 3 cyclists have already been killed on Southern California streets.

According to the Whittier Daily News, two cyclists were crossing Whittier Blvd in Whitter, headed north on Rockne Ave around 10:40 am, as a car approached from the east; only one rider made it across the street.

Forty-year old Joseph Parra was struck by the Dodge Magnum and died at the scene. Police note that the driver remained at the site, and no criminal behavior was suspected.

A photo on the Daily News site shows minor damage to the left front of the car, with a smashed windshield on the driver’s side.

Google Street View reveals the riders had a stop sign, while the driver had an uncontrolled intersection, suggesting that the riders may have gone through the stop. However, it is also possible that the driver may have been speeding, or the cyclists’ view of the oncoming car could have been obstructed in some way.

This is the first cycling fatality in Los Angeles County this year, along with one each in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up.

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A search for information about this collision also uncovered one final fatality for 2011.

According to a release from the Orange County Coroner’s office, 14-year old Albert Nguyen of Garden Grove was hit by a car while riding his bike at the intersection of Gilbert Street and Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove around 4:45 pm on Thursday, December 29th. He died at 6:30 pm on New Years Day at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

Reports indicate he was killed in a right hook after riding his bike off the sidewalk into the path of a turning car.

That makes Nguyen the 71st — and hopefully last — traffic-related bike fatality in Southern California in 2011, and the 13th in Orange County.

Whittier cyclists under attack; female rider severely beaten in most recent assault

A 19-year old woman was severely beaten after being knocked off her bike on a Whittier bike path.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the attack took place on Wednesday around 10:30 pm on the Greenway Trail, a Class 1 off-road bike path between Painter and Greenleaf Avenues when three or four men in dark clothing pushed her off her bike. Her attackers then punched her repeatedly in the face and body, and may have kicked her, as well.

Authorities report she suffered injuries to her face, teeth, hands and elbows, as well as losing consciousness for a period of time; she was reportedly awake when police and firefighters arrived on the scene, and was transported to a local hospital.

The suspects fled when other people approached. Police say she was not robbed and the motive for the attack is unknown.

However, KTLA reports that there have been at least three other attacks in the same pathway in the past month. In one case, a man was able to fight off an attacker who tried to steal his bike, while a 16-year old boy was arrested for allegedly grabbing another man and demanding his money; no information was available on the other attack.

These cases are reminiscent of the reports of attacks on cyclists riding along the Ballona Creek bike path a few years back, and point out the inherent problem with off-road bikeways.

While they can offer a pleasant respite from the headaches and risks of riding busy streets, they are often largely isolated and hidden from public view, providing secluded areas where criminal activity may occur.

And most are rarely, if ever, patrolled by police.

In fact, when cyclists tried to report the Ballona Creek attacks, 911 operators and police officers reportedly had difficulty even identifying where the bike path was and who had jurisdiction in order to respond.

Fortunately, the Ballona attacks proved to be the rare exception, rather than the rule on that pathway, though the reports circulated widely enough that many cyclists still express reservations about riding there.

Hopefully, this latest, unidentified victim will recover from her injuries — both physical and emotional — and get back on her bike soon.

And greater enforcement will improve safety for everyone on Whittier’s Greenway Trail.

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