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Family seeks answers in bike path death of 78-year-old Cudahy man

Cross_memorial Three weeks after a Cudahy man was killed by a dump truck backing up on the Los Angeles River bike path, his friends and family have more questions than answers.

Karl Weichinger, 78, would walk the L.A. River path just a few blocks from his apartment about four times a week. But when he left for a walk on the afternoon of June 1, he never came back.

The coroner has ruled his death an accident from multiple traumatic injuries, saying a dump truck working on the path near Elizabeth Street was backing up and didn’t see him when it crushed him about 5:06 p.m. He was taken to St. Francis Medical Center and pronounced dead at 5:43 p.m.

But relatives and friends of the retired electrician are convinced workers were being reckless and driving too fast when Weichinger was killed.

Maywood-Cudahy Police Det. Scott Cameron said it will be nearly impossible to determine exactly what happened because there were no independent witnesses. The driver, who worked for the Corona-based firm All American Asphalt, told police he did not see Weichinger. The investigation, which included an inspection of the truck, found no evidence the driver was traveling more than 5 mph.

“There have been some people out there saying they saw the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed,” Cameron said. “To this date I have yet to interview or find anyone that can substantiate it.”

Friends set up a memorial with candles, photos and a large white cross on the bike path a few days after Weichinger’s death.

His son, Alfredo Weichinger of Santa Maria, used a marker to write a sign pleading for witnesses to come forward and left a clipboard for people to write down anything they saw.

“Any information on workers and how they were driving when my dad was killed. Please. Please call me,” it read.

Alfredo said his father will be remembered as a gregarious man who was active in retiree circles and looked forward to his routine of going swimming and walking several times a week to stay in shape.

Alfredo is staying in his father’s apartment and has hired a wrongful death attorney while he waits for a police report on what happened.

“I would like justice. I want the real story,” Alfredo said. “This could happen to anybody.”

--Tony Barboza

Photo: A memorial set up on the Los Angeles River bike path a few days after Karl Weichinger died. Credit: Courtesy of Alfredo Weichinger.

Comments () | Archives (4)

The answer is he couldn't see or hear too well...

That was a huge truck backing towards him with a irritating, loud, repetitive, beeping, warning device...

If he missed those two warning signs...what can you do...

My name is Alfred Weichinger Jr. My grandfather could hear and see just fine. He was very active. He did alot of walking and exersizing regularly. He was also a pilot and still flew his plane. He would also drive his car to visit his family in San Luis Obispo. He wasnt blind.

I have been on the pedestrian path where he died. The path was only about 8' wide. How wide was the truck that ran him over? Do you think my grandfather could not see a big dump truck right in front of him?

Now as far as for All American Asphalt, Cal Osha & Fed Osha rules state that if a driver cannot see well he must have a spotter (a man outside the truck looking out for cars and or pedestrians). Where was the spotter? If All American Asphault had a spotter this accident would have been avoided. All American Asphault is clearly at fault for not compying with safety measures which caused a death of an innocent human being.

The driver did not know he had ran over my grandfather until he seen blood come from under the front of his dump truck. He did not immediately call police he called his supervisor. His supervisor did not arrive until 15 minutes later. Then they decided to call police. If my grandfather was not already dead, the negligence of the driver to call 911, before he called his supervisor definately killed him.

The drive also had 3 complaints called in saying he was driving wrecklessly.

So, to answer what can you do.... I don't think you knew too many details to comment like you did. What can you do.... There are many things All American Asphault could have done to prevent this wrongful death.

Thank you Alfred Jr. Our grandfather has walked for many years and he never had any problems. I also, do believe that the company is at fault. How would you feel if this had happened to one of your family members? Whoever you were who post that dumb comment must not have seen the site of the accident to think that it was our grandfather's fault...

Our grandfather would walk all the time and never had any problems or accidents before. Like my cousin Alfred Jr said our grandfather could hear and see prefectly well. I do not understand how something like this could have happened. I also believe that the company is at fault. Whoever posted that stupid comment needs to check out the place where the accident occurred. They need to walk the path for see for theirselves how fast cars pass by. This could have happened to a member of their family.


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