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Old 02-22-13, 02:15 PM   #1
eja_ bottecchia
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Simi valley cyclist killed last night

A 78-year-old Simi Valley man was killed while riding his bicycle early Thursday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol said.

Bernard Cooper was hit by a car while riding east on the shoulder of Tierra Rejada Road east of Highway 23, the CHP said.

Officers identified the driver of the car as Nicolas Santiago, 20, of Ridgecrest.

Santiago continued east on Tierra Rejada for about 1 miles after hitting Cooper, authorities said.

Santiago then returned to the scene of the accident, the CHP said.

Cooper was pronounced dead at the scene by Ventura County fire personnel.

Alcohol did not appear to have been a factor in the crash, the CHP said.

CHP officers arrested Santiago on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, authorities said.

The crash remained under investigation Thursday night.

Eastbound Tierra Rejada was closed for about 3 hours after the accident.

Anyone who may have seen the incident may call the CHP at 553-0800.


Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/...#ixzz2Lf2V40S0
- vcstar.com
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Old 02-22-13, 02:28 PM   #2
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He kept going until remorse drove him back? Till he finished his text?

Makes me sad, it does. RIP, Mr. Cooper.

I can't tell which part he was riding on - some of that road looks like it has a beautiful, wide, shoulder area that's perfect for cycling, and other parts are 3 lanes each way with no room at all.
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Old 02-22-13, 03:01 PM   #3
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The frequency of these "hits" makes me physically ill.

Godspeed Bernard Cooper. And I hope his family and friends find succour at this terrible time.
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Old 02-22-13, 03:09 PM   #4
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Tierra Rejada

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I can't tell which part he was riding on - some of that road looks like it has a beautiful, wide, shoulder area that's perfect for cycling, and other parts are 3 lanes each way with no room at all.
Most of the road is wide with a large shoulder (not a bike lane); the only part that gets a little dicey is where it crosses the 23. All of the cyclists in the area ride Tierra Rejada frequently, and while the traffic is moving at a high speed (limit is 50 I believe but most are going faster of course) the shoulder width and lane width is enough to provide a good buffer. I too suspect texting will come up in the investigation.
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Old 02-22-13, 04:05 PM   #5
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Most of the road is wide with a large shoulder (not a bike lane); the only part that gets a little dicey is where it crosses the 23. All of the cyclists in the area ride Tierra Rejada frequently, and while the traffic is moving at a high speed (limit is 50 I believe but most are going faster of course) the shoulder width and lane width is enough to provide a good buffer. I too suspect texting will come up in the investigation.
DCBenton and I often ride that road in our group rides. In the summer I ride on it daily during my morning and evening rides. Y DC is absolutely correct, the only truly dangerous portion of that road is where the road crosses the on ramps to the 23 Fwy. Otherwise the shoulder is wide and clear of debris.

Mr. Cooper was riding his recumbent bike at the time of the accident. He was a strong rider. I rode with him a few times and I had to hammer it just to keep up with him. We weren't friends per se, except for those moments when we shared the road.

I will miss not seeing him on the road.

RIP Bernie.

PS: this is the second bike death in Ventura County in the space of a few days. The other happened on Tuesday, on Route 126, just west of Piru.

PSS: BTW DC meet TrojanHorse, TH meet DC. DC and I often ride together...well DC rides way ahead of me. TH and I rode up to the Village at Mount Baldy. I am trying to convince TH to come out and ride here for our Tour de Alpacas or for the second Beer Run Ride to Neptune's Net.
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Old 02-22-13, 05:19 PM   #6
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You know I'm all over the Alpacas (in a strictly platonic sort of way, I assure you.) I have a conflict with the Cruisin' the Conejo ride that I'm trying to work out too. My stinking kids! They're up to their noses in activities! I just hope it pays off one day when I'm retired and living off their largesse.
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Old 02-23-13, 02:43 PM   #7
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Our Moorpark group rode east on Tierra Rejada this morning and stopped at the site of the accident-obvious where it occurred due to the skid marks. A completely straight section of road, wide shoulder, no visual obstruction. And yet, a cyclist is dead.
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Old 02-23-13, 05:31 PM   #8
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Skid marks? So the jackass obviously knew he hit somebody but drove off anyway. Great.

Based on the marks, was the cyclist in the shoulder area?

Man, what a tragedy.

I was out riding this morning on Colima Rd in Hacienda Heights - similar sort of arrangement, 2-3 lanes of 50 mph traffic on both sides, but there is a skinny little bike lane for parts of it. I just don't think about it.
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Old 02-23-13, 05:43 PM   #9
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Skid marks? So the jackass obviously knew he hit somebody but drove off anyway. Great.

Based on the marks, was the cyclist in the shoulder area?

Man, what a tragedy.

I was out riding this morning on Colima Rd in Hacienda Heights - similar sort of arrangement, 2-3 lanes of 50 mph traffic on both sides, but there is a skinny little bike lane for parts of it. I just don't think about it.
Absolutely - skid marks to the edge of the shoulder, then back on to the road the other way.
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Old 02-25-13, 12:17 AM   #10
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He kept going until remorse drove him back? Till he finished his text?
More likely he got to a pull off that he could get out and inspect his car. If there were no damage, he would have gone home, assured he got away with it. Seeing damage to his car, he figured he would avoid the hit and run charge by driving back to the scene.
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Old 02-25-13, 10:14 AM   #11
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...PS: this is the second bike death in Ventura County in the space of a few days. The other happened on Tuesday, on Route 126, just west of Piru.
That sucks! I've ridden that road many times when I lived in Simi and T.O. Prayers to Bernie's family. At least he had a long, productive life and went out doing what he enjoyed most.

I saw a ghost bike on my ride Saturday just west of Piru and wondered about it and said a short prayer. 126 has a very wide shoulder also, but it is usually littered with debris, mostly gravel from local tractors going from field to field.
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Old 02-25-13, 11:13 AM   #12
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That sucks! I've ridden that road many times when I lived in Simi and T.O. Prayers to Bernie's family. At least he had a long, productive life and went out doing what he enjoyed most.

I saw a ghost bike on my ride Saturday just west of Piru and wondered about it and said a short prayer. 126 has a very wide shoulder also, but it is usually littered with debris, mostly gravel from local tractors going from field to field.

Volo you are absolutely right. Tierra Rejada is traveled by countless local bike riders and it is generally very safe. It looks like in this case the driver veered into the shoulder striking Bernie.

You are also right about the 126. I rode on it a couple of weeks ago. Although the shoulder is wide it is littered with debris, mostly gravel. (Which is exactly what you wrote.) Some of the gravel, however, is quite large forcing the rider to either go on the road to avoid it, or riding through it and risking a flat or worse.

I personally think that PCH is safer.

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Old 02-19-14, 06:38 PM   #13
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I am Bernie's son. I was looking at the Internet today and saw this thread. Thank you very much for the kind words you said about him.
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Old 02-19-14, 06:38 PM   #14
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Jed,

I am Greg, Bernie's son. Thank you for message.
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Old 02-20-14, 11:04 AM   #15
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I am Bernie's son. I was looking at the Internet today and saw this thread. Thank you very much for the kind words you said about him.
I'm very sorry for your loss.

It's been a year since the accident, hopefully the driver has been held accountable.
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Old 02-20-14, 12:01 PM   #16
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Greg, my condolences to you and your family.

TrojanHorse, I felt somewhat safe on Colima because there is a buffer between the bike lane and traffic lanes that contains a rumble strip. The rumble strip should get distracted drivers' focus back on the road. Except during Little League season when the bike lane fills up with SUVs.

I say felt because I haven't been on the road since shortly after the Alondra bridge over the 5 was taken out. It wasn't a conscious decision to stop riding on the road. I just started riding the MTB every weekend. But I can't see myself regularly riding on the road again. I don't have hard data to back it up, but it certainly feels like there are more riders being taken out from behind than there used to be. And the only difference I can think of is an increased number of portable electronic devices in vehicles distracting drivers. A decade ago I mostly worried about right hooks and left crosses. And I felt with good defensive, alert habits, I could mitigate that risk. But hits from behind? There's not a damn thing you can do. It's like playing Russian Roulette every time you are on the road. And too many times here in SoCal lately, that chamber is not coming up empty.
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Old 02-20-14, 12:07 PM   #17
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Another one.
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Old 02-20-14, 01:58 PM   #18
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I am Bernie's son. I was looking at the Internet today and saw this thread. Thank you very much for the kind words you said about him.
ECB - not to pick the scab off an old wound but I'm very sorry for your loss too. Do you have any idea what the outcome was for the driver? I'm assuming from your user name that you're not living out here.
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Old 02-20-14, 08:07 PM   #19
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Jed,

I am Greg, Bernie's son. Thank you for message.
Greg, just saw your post. So sorry about your dad.
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Old 02-24-14, 12:51 PM   #20
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On February 19, 2014, the defendant pled guilty to:

1. One count of Vehicle Code sec. 20001(b)(2)--felony hit and run, and

2. One count of Penal Code sec. 192(c)(2)--misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

He was sentenced to serve 365 days in Count Jail (with good behavior he will serve half of that), 60 months probation, fines and penalties, plus $1,000.00 restitution to Mr. Cooper's widow.

The possible sentence range for felony hit and run is: 2-3-4 years.

I still ride, on a regular basis, by Mr. Cooper's ghost bike. His family and friends have done a great job of keeping up this monument to Mr. Cooper. There are flowers and USA flags placed at various holidays. This is a memorial, and tribute, to the kind of person Bernie was--a Father, Husband, Grandfather, friend to many...and a fellow brother of the bike. RIP.

Last edited by CbadRider; 02-24-14 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Deleted political content
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Old 02-24-14, 08:51 PM   #21
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I deleted some political posts because we're not going to go there in a memorial thread. Please take that topic to the P&R forum.
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Old 02-24-14, 09:15 PM   #22
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Thank you, the driver was convicted last week.
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Old 02-24-14, 09:17 PM   #23
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Thank you, I appreciate it. The driver was convicted last week and will spend a year in prison.

I live in Virginia.
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