Dan Tran, 19, of Lancaster, died in an auto accident on Sept. 23 when his bicycle collided with a Honda Civic, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officials said a 38-year-old Lancaster man was driving southbound on 30th Street West in a 1989 Civic. The accident happened near Avenue L-6 when the Honda hit Tran, who was also heading south on 30th Street on his bicycle.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Dan Tran for their tragic loss.
It’s still too early to tell what caused this bicycle accident or who was at fault. Both vehicles were apparently traveling in the same direction, so they were essentially sharing the road. We don’t know from the report if one of the vehicles was attempting a turn. There is a good chance that the driver of the Honda just did not see the bicyclist and this bicycle accident could have been caused by a negligent driver. Investigators will definitely look into whether the driver was intoxicated or operating under the influence of drugs.
According to California Highway Patrol data, Lancaster has had 47 bicycle-involved injuries in 2006, one of the highest numbers for a Los Angeles County city. If I were representing Tran’s family, I would also look into how safe that street was for a bicyclist. Did the city provide a bicycle lane? How wide was the bicycle lane? If there was a bicycle lane, was it so wide that it misled motorists into thinking that it was an additional traffic lane?
If a dangerous condition on that Lancaster roadway was a factor in this fatal bicycle collision, then the city or the government agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable for the accident and fatality. Please remember that any claim against a government agency in the state of California must be filed within six months of the accident. The family of Dan Tran should be consulting with a reputed Southern California bicycle accident attorney, who will thoroughly investigate this case and determine who should be held responsible.