More bad news.
Word is just coming in that yet another Southern California bicyclist has been killed — the 13th to die on SoCal streets this month alone.
According to a report from KTLA-5, the cyclist, who has not yet been publicly identified, was riding on northbound Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach when he was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver around 4:19 pm Saturday.
The collision occurred at the intersection of 8th Street and PCH in the Sunset Beach district. Emergency responders found the victim lying unconscious and seriously injured in the middle of the roadway; he was declared dead at the scene.
No word yet on how the collision occurred, however, police arrested the driver, Becki Lee James of Huntington Beach, on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Anyone with information is urged to call police at 714/536-5670.
This is the 42nd cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 7th in Orange County; the victim is also the 6th cyclist killed by a suspected drunk driver in SoCal this year.
My prayers and sympathy for the victim and his family.
Update: An anonymous source has identified the victim as 52-year old Kenneth Prevatte, which has just been confirmed by the Orange County Register; the Register says he’s from Long Beach. A comment from Allan indicates that he was wearing full road kit when he was killed, suggesting that he may have been an experienced road rider.
My source indicates that Becki James was charged with felony DUI causing great bodily injury & gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and has already been released from custody.
Update 2: A comment from Boyonabike reminds us that Prevatte’s death comes just a little over a month after Roger Lippman was killed while riding on PCH, and five months since Ernest Klein died in a collision on Bolsa Ave — making this the 3rd fatal cycling collision in Huntington Beach in less than six months.
It also points a bloody finger at the beachside city, with a population of less than 200,000. as one of the most dangerous places in Southern California to ride a bike. As a comparison, San Diego, with twice as many deaths this year, has over six times the population.
Meanwhile, a comment from Jeff Keller offers more details on the collision.
As clarification, the cyclist and vehicle were driving southbound on PCH. This happened a few hundred feet from a party we were attending. The cyclist was laying near a parked car, not the middle of the street. His bike was on the sidewalk, mangled and unrecognizable. The vehicle that hit him stopped a few feet away. I did not see any skidmarks. If she stopped in the path that she hit him, she was 2-3 feet to the right of the right lane line, putting her in the path of the “bike lane”. It appeared his head hit the top of the passenger’s window, near the roof line. Sadly and disturbing, the driver’s emotions were muted. Not of someone that just killed an innocent human.
And Kenneth Prevatte’s sister writes to tell us a little bit about who he was, and the family he leaves behind.
My name is Michelle, I am Kenneth’s sister. I live in North Carolina and our family is devastated by his death. Thank you for your posts, any information is so appreciated as we piece together this tragedy. My brother was an experienced cyclist, extremely cautious, and conscientious. He leaves behind a loving wife, whom he just wed last July, a beautiful infant son, 2 sons and a daughter all in college, parents, a sister and many more loved ones. He was such a good, good man, words cannot express the depths of this loss. I hope that his death will not be in vain and something can be done to protect cyclists in your beautiful part of our country.
Update 3: A source who has spoken with paramedics on the scene says that Prevatte most likely died instantly of severe head trauma, despite wearing a helmet, and was unlikely to have experienced any pain or possibly even known what was happening. Thank God for small favors, anyway.