Everyone in the Orange County bicycling community is well aware of the two tragic deaths that occurred on Newport Beach roadways last weekend. Sarah Leaf on Friday, September 14th and Catherine “Kit” Campion Ritz on Saturday, September 15th.
As if this was not bad enough, there was a third collision involving a bicycle on Thursday, September 13th. This is how it appears in the Newport Beach Police Department event list log:
The location of this collision was at a pinch point along the Pacific Coast Highway. One that every biker that has ridden along the PCH is familiar with:
This collision did not end in a fatality. But, what kind injuries were there?
A haunting thought from the audience that overflowed the Newport Beach Bicycle Safety Committee meeting this past Monday was how many people spoke up about bicycle accidents. Ones they had been involved with over the years. To a person they were thankful to have survived their accidents, but, in many cases, they led to daunting life changes.
They attended, first and foremost, to express their condolences for the two deaths. A secondary reason, however, was to ensure that these tragedies would produce some positive changes for pedestrian and bicycle safety. All of us need to do our part.