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Bicyclist Dies In Macabre Accident, Run Down By A Car On The Sidewalk

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Even for the hardest of hearts, yesterday was a particularly painful day. Nearly 300 innocent men, women and children were killed in a vicious rocket attack on a Malaysian airliner. Israel began a ground invasion into Gaza. The United Nations reported that over 5,000 Iraqis have been killed in the last six months. Desperate children are being harassed and imprisoned at America's borders.

The bad news is relentless. The Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan... The human experiment is failing. Of that I have no doubt.

I'm one of the fortunate. I don't live in a war zone. I don't duck bullets and bombs. My home isn't in shambles. I have plenty of food. I come and go as I please. And I have an outlet -- a way to pedal my tears away for those who are less lucky.

Cycling is my thing. Like Paul Rudd's character in Judd Apatow's This Is 40, when things get tough, I jump on my bike and ride as hard and far as my mind and body will let me. But for me, unlike Rudd, it isn't This Is 40. For me, it's actually This Is 65.

And so it was that yesterday, a particularly egregious day for humanity, with the clock passing 4pm, I began thinking about my bicycle. I felt the need to ride.

I was on twitter at the time, following news of Gaza and the downed Malaysian airplane. Just then an ABC Eyewitness News tweet hit my twitter timeline:

ABC7 Eyewitness NewsVerified account
#BREAKINGNEWS: LAFD on scene of a fatal crash in Canoga Park. At least one person has died. 2 vehicles and a bicycling (sic) were involved. lb

My neighborhood. A bicyclist. A death.

I ran out into my yard to look for a helicopter. Within a minute I saw it, hovering a slight bit east of my house. I grabbed my cell phone, jumped in my car, and drove around the corner. I immediately saw police cars, firetrucks and flashing red lights. I parked and walked the two blocks to the accident. For this cyclist, on this day of unthinkable global misery, this was the most unwelcome scene.

I approached the intersection of Sherman Way and Shoup. On the west side of Shoup, on the sidewalk beneath a stark white sheet, lay the body of a woman. Next to her, on the street at the curb, was a sleek black bicycle similar to the one I'd recently purchased, which I, too, often ride on this street. The cyclist had no helmet.

Body of dead bicyclist
(image by
Linda Milazzo)

The circumstances of the accident were macabre. An elderly woman in a 2004 silver Lexus LX430, traveling north on Shoup Avenue, was making a left turn at the light to proceed west on Sherman Way.

Damaged Lexus
(image by Linda Milazzo)

A 1993 Toyota Camry, with a male driver, age unknown, traveling south on Shoup, entered the intersection at the same time. The Lexus and Toyota collided, sending the Toyota onto the sidewalk and into the bicyclist who was standing on the sidewalk with her bike. According to Investigator McCracken of the Los Angeles Coroner's Office, the cyclist suffered multiple traumatic injuries to her face and body.

Car and body on sidewalk
(image by Linda Milazzo)

The identities of the drivers of the autos have not been released. The elderly woman driver was able to leave the scene with what appeared to be minor injuries. According to Detective Fajardo of West Valley Traffic Division, the Toyota driver is hospitalized in stable condition. Toxicology tests are underway.

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Linda Milazzo is a Managing Editor of Opednews, Los Angeles based writer, educator and activist. Since 1974, she has divided her time between the entertainment industry, government organizations, community development projects and educational (more...)

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Wow. Sobering, Linda. I've been in that intersecti... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 2:35:58 PM
Thanks for reading the piece. ... by Linda Milazzo on Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 4:05:25 PM
Sobering. Makes the senseless killing all over th... by Sandra Parson on Sunday, Jul 20, 2014 at 6:02:07 PM
I take issue with your headline: "... Run Down By... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Jul 20, 2014 at 10:48:06 PM