James E. Ballidis
On Tuesday August 3rd, 65-year-old Dan Crain was bicycling southbound on Newport Coast Drive when a vehicle merging onto the same street from the 73 Toll Road struck him, the impact throwing him to the ground. While Crain was lucid enough to give a statement after the cycling accident, his injuries required multiple spinal surgeries throughout the week following the accident. He died at Mission Hospital last Sunday evening. The cause of death is still under investigation, reported the Orange County Register.
“The risk of sustaining serious or fatal injuries while cycling in Newport Beach appears to be escalating,” noted an Orange County injury attorney. “Last month a Ghost Bike Memorial was erected just a few miles from here for another fallen cyclist.”
Crain received his own memorial on Monday when the Orange County Rebel Riders, the bicycling club in which he was a member, posted a eulogy for him on their website: “Cycling has suffered yet another terrible loss, and the OCRR has lost a good friend and wonderful cyclist.”
If the injuries Crain sustained from the accident were in fact the cause of his death, then this marks the fourth fatal cycling accident in this area of Newport Beach to occur since July 2009, when Darryl Benefiel died from his injuries after a car making a left-hand turn onto Tesoro crashed into him. Then, in December, an Irvine bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Jamboree. Last July, Michael William Nine—the cyclist for whom the Ghost Bike Memorial was constructed—was fatally struck by a stake-bed trucking making an illegal left-hand turn.
The Newport Beach Task Force on Cycling Safety, which was recently created with the objective of improving safety conditions for bicyclists in the area, submitted its suggestions to the Newport Beach City Council last May. Hopefully, safety measures are being implemented.
“Drivers and bicyclists must take extra precautions when traveling through this area, or any other for that matter,” said an Orange County injury attorney. “Many cycling accidents occur when drivers are turning and either underestimate how quickly a cyclist will enter an intersection, or fail to see the cyclist.”
Whether driving or bicycling, slow down before entering an intersection, check your surroundings, and make eye contact with other parties to ensure that they intend on stopping for you.
James Ballidis is an Orange County injury attorney who has written extensively on cycling accidents, as well as other subjects related to personal injury law. If you have been in a cycling accident and have questions about your rights and options, feel free to call 866-981-5596.
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