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Newport Beach Hit-n-run ends in tragedy

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Newport Beach Hit-n-run ends in tragedy

Old 12-10-09, 04:28 PM
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Newport Beach Hit-n-run ends in tragedy

https://www.ocregister.com/news/polic...cle.html?pic=1
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Old 12-11-09, 08:49 AM
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Hi,

Very sad. I don't ride that stretch of road very often (a few times a year) but I never thought of it as being dangerous -- especially in that area as it is very wide. Hope that Mr. Murphy pulls through this tragedy well.
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Old 12-11-09, 09:34 AM
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Yeah, very sad. If you read the comments under that article, you'll see that apparently Mr. Murphy did not make it, someone mentioned that he was taken off life support later that evening. I ride that stretch of road sometimes (southbound side). I think that the width of our roads in general give motorists a false sense that they have a wide margin of error. That because there is a bike lane, that they don't have to pay as much attention to the road because they can drift for a few feet before hitting the curb. The reality is that the presence of cyclists makes their margin of error much smaller than they realize. What we need is a movement to get municipalities to turn the white line that denotes the bike lane (in some areas) to a raised curb - especially on roads like this where the difference in speed between bikes and cyclists is HUGE. I don't fully believe in separated bike paths and trails because I'm a bike commuter. Orange County has plenty of trails, but they don't lead me from home to work.

Anyway, back to Mr. Murhpy, there is talk about a ghost bike memorial. I really hope that happens.
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Old 12-11-09, 09:59 AM
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Here are the details from one of the cyclists in the group:

The last two days have included some of the saddest moments I have experienced and I thought I might share some of them.

I struck out on the usual Wednesday morning bicycle ride yesterday (11/9) with my friends, Pete Fildes and Don Murphy. Being experienced riders, we were each decked out in warm clothes and bright reflective orange or yellow jackets and, of course, bright lights in front and flashing lights at our backs (we would be back before daybreak).

After our turnaround point Don and I were just about to the top of the biggest climb on the route (Pete had cut short and was waiting at the top for us) with Don about 100 or so yards behind me. Just as I reached Pete we heard a loud thump behind us. At that instant I did not process the sound as catastrophic, thinking that one of the very few cars out at that hour (5:50 AM) must have run over something in the road. Then we saw a dark SUV speed past us (45 or 50 mph, normal for that stretch) and Pete and I remarked that whatever the SUV had run over must have gotten stuck under it since we could hear a scraping sound and then saw sparks under the car and commented that there must be some metal in whatever was being dragged.

Then Pete suggested ďCould that have been Don?!Ē We both turned and saw Don lying in the road against the curb about 60 yards back. We raced to Don and, even though there was no visible trauma (just a little blood from his nose), he looked to be in terrible shape: no pulse, no breathing. I dialed 911 and gave my phone to Pete to summon the paramedics while I started CPR on Don.

When Pete had finished the call, he started to try to flag down a passing car (with surprisingly poor results). After many unsuccessful attempts, we got someone to stop and a woman told me she was ďfamiliar with CPR, but that it had been a long time." I showed her how/when to do the chest compressions as I continued the breathing for Don and after a minute or two she told me that she thought she felt a heartbeat (elation!). She monitored the heartbeat and I continued the breathing until the paramedics showed up (between 5 and 10 minutes from the call). As they took over, they took Donís blood pressure: 110/86 (more good news).

While they worked on Don, I called my wife, Carol and told her the terrible news and asked her to call Donís wife (a friend of Carolís). She called and went over to drive Heather, Donís wife, to the hospital. After they transported Don, I stayed at the accident scene to do the best I could with the police. I noticed that the police were paying special attention to an area far down the road from where we found Don. When I walked down to see what they were looking at it became apparent that Don had been struck far down the road from where we found him. I paced off the distance: 55 yards.

The police told us that they had located the hit-and-run vehicle parked behind a restaurant a mile and a half down the road from us and were questioning the driver. Pete and I rode our bikes to the restaurant. It was a sickening ride. Pieces of Donís bike were strewn the entire mile and a half. When we got to the restaurant we saw the SUV and the police asked us if it was consistent with the one we saw drive past and, of course, it was. When we got a closer view (they wouldnít let us into the parking lot Ė crime scene tape) we saw the smashed windshield and crumpled hood and parts of Donís bike were still protruding from the front of the car. The police were talking to a Hispanic woman whom they identified as the driver (but they wouldnít let me talk to her Ė probably wise of them).

Pete and I opted for the bike trail to ride home and Carol called me in route to say that Don had been taken into the ER and Donís youngest daughter, Chandler, had already gotten to the hospital. She recognized one of the paramedics (they had been lifeguards together) who said to Chandler that he was so sorry her dad was in such bad shape. Carol also told me that Donís older daughter, Madison, was stranded at UCLA without a car, but they were going to wait to see what developed before making arrangements to get her there. I protested and told them to find a way to get Madison to the hospital a.s.a.p. As soon as I disconnected from Carol, my phone rang again and it was another riding friend, Helen, who said that she had just learned of the accident (Madison had tested Helenís son about it). Helen asked if I could think of anything she could do. There are no coincidences. I told her about the need to get Madison back to Orange County and had her call Carol to coordinate that while I rode home to change clothes and get to the hospital.

In a crisis, activity is almost a blessing; you do what needs to be done with a sense of urgency, but without having to reflect. At the hospital, waiting was almost unbearable. Family and some friends had gathered around the ER while the tests were run on Don. Then the doctors ushered those who were there into a small lounge and delivered the grim news. Don had suffered two fatal injuries: serious damage to the lining of his brain and a broken neck (between C1 and C2). They said there was no operation that could be done, no brain activity, nothing that would change over time (and no hope). I will not forget Chandlerís anguished cry when the words sank in. Either grief or numbness washed over those in the room. Carol had to step out. There were a few questions, but nothing more could really be said.

Madison and Helen arrived from UCLA and the wound was reopened as the finality of the situation was shared with them. In ones and twos, we stopped by the room where Don was connected to the life support systems and begged him to come back. Chandlerís paramedic friend phoned her to tell her he had talked to Don in the ambulance the whole way urging him to hang on. Over the next hour the sadness deepened.

I understand that today was the day they were to disconnect life support and do the organ donor thing, but we have let the family grieve by themselves.

This has been one of the saddest episodes I have experienced. But I am just a spectator. Don and his family have had so much taken from them. Every time I think of them rekindles that sadness.

Don was such a good man with a wonderful family. While his loss may felt more acutely by Heather, Chandler, Madison and his immediate family, there is a huge group of people in this community who feel a great sense of loss and we are all pooer now.
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Old 12-11-09, 12:44 PM
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Godspeed Mr. Murphy.

My condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

A very sad day for all cyclists in Southern California.
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Old 12-11-09, 12:48 PM
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So sad.
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Old 12-11-09, 01:11 PM
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My condolences to his family and friends. Thanks for the narrative, Rick. It was very poignant and extremely sad. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old 12-11-09, 01:26 PM
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Thank you, Rick.
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Old 12-11-09, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by grrlyrida
My condolences to his family and friends. Thanks for the narrative, Rick. It was very poignant and extremely sad. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Yes, I got that in an email from David, a friend of mine, a guy I've ridden with on several doubles. I didn't know Don Murphy, however. I thought that David's report would clear up a lot of questions that the newspaper article left unanswered.

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Old 12-11-09, 03:31 PM
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That's really terrible news.
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Old 12-11-09, 09:06 PM
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RIP Don Murphy. All of us SoCal riders mourn your passing.
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Old 12-11-09, 09:36 PM
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How very sad. I feel for his family.
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Old 12-12-09, 07:16 PM
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His family members are better than I........

https://www.ocregister.com/news/famil...rphy-john.html
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Old 12-13-09, 02:50 AM
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Thanks for posting that Rick, I really don't know what to say...it was a terrible tragedy, may His Family find the strength to cope with this...
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Old 12-13-09, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaguar27
Thanks for posting that Rick, I really don't know what to say...it was a terrible tragedy, may His Family find the strength to cope with this...
When the family plans the funeral, let us know if its going to be public. That will be our expression of support. If the family wants us to donate to a charity, let us know.
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Old 12-14-09, 04:46 PM
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I notice these moronic drivers coming into intersections at about 30mph and coming to a quick stop. They sometimes dont even look in the direction of oncoming traffic or expect cyclists and I think thats why they are so dangerous. They pull up on the right side with enough space for oncoming traffic to pass but almost dangerous for cyclists as I would have to swerve past them or come to a stop. Sometimes that creates a chain reaction of me swerving and then making the driver behind me uneasy about the erratic movement. I get somewhat irrate when this happens and yell at the driver coming into the intersection so quickly. They are not safe in my opinion. I make sure I know whats going on 360 degrees around me. If I wasnt so cautious those situations would have likely turned into accidents.

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Old 12-21-09, 10:54 AM
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I drove on Jamboree road for the first time after hearing about this "accident". I was looking for a memorial or even a ghost bike to mark where this happened. I didn't see anything.

However I was shocked when I notice that this part of Jamboree (between Ford and Bison) HAS NO BIKE LANE MARKINGS. Not so much as a fog line or anything else for that matter. The road itself is VERY wide - it has very wide shoulders for cyclists to use. In my mind, it comes as no surprise that the driver hit the cyclist. There was absolutely no visual indicator (aside from a cyclist's blinking light), showing where the driving lane ends and the bike lane begins. It's easy to see how a bad driver could easily think they are driving in the right place especially when there's no line indicating the edge of the roadway.
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Old 12-21-09, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaneko
His family members are better than I........

https://www.ocregister.com/news/famil...rphy-john.html
why is the family praying for this person and why are they forgiving her?? I could understand if she killed him and pulled over, but she kept going.

I dont get it...
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Old 12-21-09, 04:55 PM
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I think they're a Christian family. I'm guessing at how they think, but Christians see life as from God, and one's permanent home is really with God in heaven. Life, here, is transitory. It doesn't mean that life here is without value, or insignificant. The family is praying for the person causing the fatality because taking a human life is a serious matter. When that matter is applied to the driver, its unknown to the family, her intentions, her state of mind. The driver's level of culpability (willful intent) determines the seriousness of sin. Praying for the driver, is interceding (intercessory prayer) on behalf of her, asking God for forgiveness of sin. Secondarily, prayer is asking for emotional and spiritual healing for her.
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Old 12-21-09, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
I think they're a Christian family. I'm guessing at how they think, but Christians see life as from God, and one's permanent home is really with God in heaven. Life, here, is transitory. It doesn't mean that life here is without value, or insignificant. The family is praying for the person causing the fatality because taking a human life is a serious matter. When that matter is applied to the driver, its unknown to the family, her intentions, her state of mind. The driver's level of culpability (willful intent) determines the seriousness of sin. Praying for the driver, is interceding (intercessory prayer) on behalf of her, asking God for forgiveness of sin. Secondarily, prayer is asking for emotional and spiritual healing for her.
Thats pretty devout...If someone killed my wife or my dad I dont think I would act like this. ESPECIALLY since she tried to run away. I can understand praying for her because things happen but when you try to flee.

Anyways, I still think the state should press charges, even if the family "forgave" her.
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Old 12-21-09, 07:44 PM
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I attended the funeral (my second funeral in two days, but that's another story). It was a moving and encouraging experience, an affirmation of life.

If you didn't know Don, his eulogy and the remarks shared by his wife, daughters and brother certainly painted a picture of a caring, compassionate, and committed man who was full of life and shared his time and talents with others.

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Old 12-22-09, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ovoleg
Thats pretty devout...If someone killed my wife or my dad I dont think I would act like this. ESPECIALLY since she tried to run away. I can understand praying for her because things happen but when you try to flee.

Anyways, I still think the state should press charges, even if the family "forgave" her.
Cultural conditioning. In Mexico it used to be that drivers would normally leave a scene of an accident. I don't know if that's still the case now.
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Old 12-22-09, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Cultural conditioning. In Mexico it used to be that drivers would normally leave a scene of an accident. I don't know if that's still the case now.
Well, this ain't Mexico. If this is how they do in Mexico, then I don't really care to ever go there! I am also an immigrant, in case people look for an anti-immigrant bias in my response.

I would hope for, and expect people to stop if they run over a pet, not to talk of a human being.

She should have stopped, even if all she could do was to give Don Murphy a sip of water or talk to him in his last moments.

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Old 12-24-09, 10:28 AM
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There is now a ghost bike for Mr. Murphy...
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Old 12-24-09, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by LUCAS
Well, this ain't Mexico. If this is how they do in Mexico, then I don't really care to ever go there! I am also an immigrant, in case people look for an anti-immigrant bias in my response.

I would hope for, and expect people to stop if they run over a pet, not to talk of a human being.

She should have stopped, even if all she could do was to give Don Murphy a sip of water or talk to him in his last moments.
I asked my gf's friend about this(shes mexican) and she said people in Mexico would not run away from a scene of an accident. She said thats the most obsurd thing shes ever heard.
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