This happened last week.
A guy was hit near Davenport, north of santa cruz , thrown off the road down the embankment and was there for 8 to 12 hours before anyone found him. I don't think he was touring down the coast but he had a small dog in his basket that stood by his dead owner for that 8 to 12 hours.
Everytime I ride i am always looking at all the stuff that is thrown off the road. Seeing a mangled bicycle and a corpse must have been an eyefull for the person who found him. I have ridden this route many times from san francisco down hwy 1 to santa cruz and beyond. I don't remeber the shoulder being bad or this area being especially dangerous.
Being "seen" is our only defense. The problem is, of course, is the driver even "looking?" How come there was no witnesses? I hope this doesn't stop people from riding the california coast, its a wonderful ride. but...
Makes you think though, one day you're here ond one day your not. Live for the moment as they say.