A man was killed in a Seal Beach bicycle accident after being struck by a vehicle the morning of Jan. 11. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal bicycle accident occurred near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Seal Beach Boulevard. The bicyclist suffered traumatic injuries and was transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and was interviewed by officers. No details were released about how the crash occurred.
The crash was discussed on the site Biking in LA. One person said they were at the scene when the accident happened and that four people rendered CPR to the bicyclist before emergency personnel arrived at the scene. The person who posted on the site said: “We all knew what to do and did our best, but we know the tragic outcome all too often when it’s bike versus auto. I ride my bike on that route most weekends and have had several close calls at that intersection.” The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Seal Beach Police Investigator Keith Phan at 562-799-4100, ext. 1625.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members and friends of this bicyclist for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2015 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities and six injuries reported as a result of bicycle accidents in the city of Seal Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 17 people died and 1,022 were injured as a result of bicycle accidents during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the bicycle was struck by a vehicle at what is usually a busy intersection. There are a number of questions here. What caused this fatal bicycle versus vehicle collision? Whose fault was the crash? Was the driver in this case impaired, distracted or speeding? Did the driver blow through the light at the intersection or fail to yield the right of way to the bicyclist?
Under California Vehicle Code, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. If the driver in this case is determined to have been negligent, he or she can be held liable for the bicyclist’s wrongful death in addition to potentially facing criminal charges.
If a dangerous roadway or intersection caused or contributed to this accident, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim must be filed within 180 days of the incident, under the California Government Code. An experienced Orange County bicycle accident attorney will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.