HESPERIA — With two boys hurt and another killed in less than a week, many are wondering what can be done to improve bicycle safety in Hesperia and the rest of the Victor Valley — and there are no easy answers.

Henry Chavez Jr., 16, was hospitalized for days after the bike he was riding was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Mesquite Road near Mesa Vista Road in unincorporated Hesperia on June 27. In another hit-and-run crash, Daniel Sanchez, 17, was struck on his bicycle on Monday near Main Street and Escondido Avenue. Sanchez died from head trauma a day later.

A 12-year-old boy suffered major injuries when his bicycle collided with a car in the area of Buckthorn and G avenues in Hesperia on Tuesday. The boy’s name and the specifics of his condition were not released. Unlike the other two incidents, the driver of the car stayed at the scene.


Bicycle safety is important to California Highway Patrol spokesman Matt Hunt, who is a cyclist himself.

“Bicycles are viewed the same way as vehicles,” Hunt said. “If bikers are doing anything wrong, we will make the same enforcement stops we would on vehicles. We’re actively going after drivers, making sure they are not distracted while driving on the road.”

Hunt said bicycles can be hard for motorists to see, and any distraction while driving makes it even more difficult.

Hunt asks that cyclists do their part by wearing helmets and bright or reflective clothing, obeying traffic laws and making sure their bikes are equipped with reflectors and lights.

Hunt said Chavez was not wearing a helmet during the crash on June 27. Hunt did not have information on whether the other two crash victims were wearing helmets.

Hesperia Mayor Bill Holland, who served as a major accident investigator for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for 15 years, said bicyclists as well as motorists have to be conscientious and obey the laws of the road.

“It’s not an excuse, it’s just simply a fact, but many times pedestrians or bicyclists are actually found at fault,” Holland said. “Now a hit-and-run, that’s clearly not the case. But in an instance where a cyclist is not obeying the road laws and a motorist can’t see them, it’s difficult to fault the motorist. But without all the facts of these incidents, it’s hard to say.”

Holland said in order for bike lanes to be effective, there would need to be more pavement in the city. Hesperia is full of dirt roads, and the city can’t afford to pave and install bike lanes on every road, Holland said.

Holland said he’s hopeful the two hit-and-run drivers are caught soon.

The suspect vehicles in both incidents are described as white pickup trucks, though sheriff’s officials say there is no other evidence to suggest the incidents are connected.


Source: Jose Quintero, Staff Writer, vvdailypress.com/articles/bike-41182-community-crashes.html