Redwood City police: 14 year old cyclist at fault in fatal right hook

You might remember Leyla Beban, the 14 year old girl who was killed while riding to school on Jefferson Avenue, Redwood City, California last November.

leyla beban

Redwood City police completed their investigation and determined Beban was at fault. They believe she tried to pass to the inside of the right turning truck and got squeezed at the bulbout on the corner of Jefferson and Alameda De Las Pulgas.

Jefferson is a fast street and, given that it’s a slight descent here, it’s plausible the girl on the bike might have caught up to a slow moving truck. Because 65% of drivers exceed the speed limit on Jefferson at De Las Pulgas, it’s also plausible the truck driver passed her immediately before passing her the girl on the bike immediately before hooking her with that right turn. Many cyclists who ride in traffic have experienced close calls exactly like that — the driver feels he must get in front of the cyclist, only to jam on the brakes immediately after passing to make that right turn.

Redwood City is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County. Unlike several other Bay Area communities, Redwood City lacks a formal bike/ped advisory committee. Just weeks prior to Beban’s death, city staff recommended against a proposed traffic calming project for the area that included the location of this fatal collision.


  1. There is no right-hand turn lane at the intersection in question. The truck driver had a responsibility to be aware of either a pedestrian or cyclist on his or her right side when making the right turn. The assumption, seeing someone there on a bike, should have been that the bike was going straight and that a right-hand-turn would cut the cyclist or pedestrian off.

    Here’s what I wrote about it at the time-

  2. I’m trying to make sense of this. Who is “her” in this sentence? “it’s also plausible the truck driver passed her immediately before passing the cyclist.”

    I’m trying to figure out this other plausible scenario is.

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