Truck driver kills 2 cyclists in 3 years

On November 4, 2010, Lauren Ward of Los Altos, CA was killed at Alpine Road near I-280 in Portola Valley when she was hit by a truck and killed. The truck was driven by Gabriel Manzur Vera working for Randazzo Enterprises. Fault has not been determined in that crash. Vera was apparently making a right turn onto the freeway when Ward was hit on the left side of the truck, though there are no witnesses to the crash (other than Vera).

On August 7, 2007, teacher John Myslin of Santa Cruz was riding his bicycle to work when he was hit by a truck and killed at the intersection of Mission and Bay in Santa Cruz, California. The truck was driven by Gabriel Manzur Vera working for Randazzo Enterprises. The cyclist in this case was determined to be at fault. Myslin was riding on the sidewalk, passed on the truck’s right and was hit as the truck driver made a right turn.

Mercury News: Truck driver in Alpine Road collision also involved in fatal 2007 crash in Santa Cruz. This story has gone crazy among Bay Area cyclists on Twitter and local listserves this morning. There are only a small handful of cyclist fatalities involving big rigs. Make of it what you will.

Partly in response to the 2007 and another similar truck-vs-bike fatality in 2008, Ecology Action Santa Cruz published a bike safety around trucks brochure.

10 Comments

  • Kamahonu
    November 16, 2010 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    this is a another viewpoint to understand more facts of SC case. http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/node/80132

  • Andy
    November 16, 2010 - 8:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s not all that surprising that one person could be involved in 2 unrelated cyclists’ deaths. In fact, we should actually assume that this has and will happen in the future. There was a very interesting episode of Radiolab about coincidences. Some people win the lottery 3 times, and the odds show that we should actually expect that to happen every so often. Especially given how many miles and hours truck drivers spend on the roads.

  • November 17, 2010 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    i wonder if the truck driver was punished with those two accidents. accidents can happen anytime and anywhere to anyone, but i believe that it can be avoided only if we become more alert, and cautious and more responsible. i think its not worth it to die just because of others irresponsibility.

  • Kimmy323
    November 21, 2010 - 11:18 pm | Permalink

    why should he be punished for something that was not his fault? surveillance have showed the cyclists was at fault, he was trying to beat an 18 wheeler to the turn…not very smart…that said cyclist should take into consideration and rationalize size before trying to beat the semi to the turn. Im a cyclist as well and trying to beat a semi would never cross my mind.

  • Kimmy323
    November 21, 2010 - 11:18 pm | Permalink

    why should he be punished for something that was not his fault? surveillance have showed the cyclists was at fault, he was trying to beat an 18 wheeler to the turn…not very smart…that said cyclist should take into consideration and rationalize size before trying to beat the semi to the turn. Im a cyclist as well and trying to beat a semi would never cross my mind.

  • Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

    It could easily be negligent behaviour.
    It would be worth learning the driver’s driving record, although we already know that he’s been involved in a broadly similar fatality before.

    Fatal Pedestrian Collisions – Driver Negligence Baker et al. 1974

    ‘….Prior driving record,
    driving behavior at the time of the “accident,” and
    subsequent administrative action were of particular interest.

    Many types of negligent driving behavior have been reported in connection with pedestrian injuries and deaths….’
    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/64/4/318.pdf

  • February 9, 2011 - 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it was negligent behavior by the cyclist, at least in the 2007 case.

  • Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 - 5:22 am | Permalink

    “Yes, it was negligent behavior by the cyclist, at least in the 2007 case.” – but seemingly only based upon the driver’s own testimony, and drivers who kill aren’t always honest.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and the legal system has apparently been relying on the latter.

    But there’s more, the driver’s been in THREE fatal collisions:

    ‘The Nov. 4 collision with the big rig claimed the life of Lauren Ward, a mother of two and an active community member who friends and family have described as an avid bicyclist. The crash was the THIRD fatal collision for the big rig’s driver, Gabriel Manzur Vera.’

    http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_16910167

  • April 25, 2011 - 9:36 pm | Permalink

    This guy needs to lose his fucking trucking license. Are you shitting me?

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