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Bicyclists injured in Mulholland Highway collision [Updated]

Three people riding bicycles on Mulholland Highway suffered major injuries Monday when they collided with an 81-year-old Calabasas woman making a left turn, authorities said.

The cyclists were westbound on Mulholland Highway approaching Stokes Canyon Road at 7:30 a.m. when an eastbound Audi A-4 driven by the woman attempted to make a left turn, said California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos.

Investigators were on the scene to determine who was at fault, Villalobos said.

Los Angeles County firefighters airlifted the three injured riders to UCLA Medical Center, Villalobos said.

The names of the Audi driver and bicycle riders were not immediately available.

A fourth cyclist suffered minor injuries and was released, authorities said.

-- Catherine Saillant

[For the record, 2:14 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the accident occurred on Mulholland Drive instead of Mulholland Highway.]

Comments () | Archives (53)

When is the right time for the elderly to give up their driver's license? Sometimes we don't know until it's already too late to avoid a tragedy.

LOL senior drivers.

They are deadly as teenagers learning how to drive. Yet who pays the higher car insurance? LOL!

The car insurance industry needs to corect this age discrimination policy. They charge teens super high insurance rates, but granny or gramps with 65 years of driving experience pays a fraction of the teen's rate dispite the equal risk factor.

They need to jack insurance rates for the seniors high so they will think twice about driving.

Oh yeah and if gramps ends up killing many people like in a farmer's market in Santa Monica, of course the victims families wont blame the driver. You blame the city that hosted the event because they failed to put army tanks, military check points, and land mines to protect pedestrians from motorists. Did I forget to mention the city has more $$$ to sue for?

I'm assuming they collided with the woman's car, not her.
Is she ok?

Yesterday I got brushed repeatedly, and later in the day I came 99% towards actually getting hit and killed by a driver. Interesting times, these. I hope these cyclists heal. Tuesday night is another cyclists meeting downtown, and we're gonna keep at it.

For those who ride bicycles or motorcycles - like me - a car making a left hand turn that crosses your direction of travel is very dangerous - they just don't see you. I recommend that all bikers slow down when approaching all intersections and flash your headlights before you pass through, or use a flashing LED light attached to the front of your bike.

The latest update is that three (not four) bicyclists were involved in this morning's accident in Calabasas, CA. Two are in critical condition the third cyclist suffered minor injuries.

"Investigators were on scene to determine who was at fault"

Just a guess, and it's not the cyclists.

This appears to be a case of road "age."

Cyclists and cars don't mix. The roads of LA are not safe for cyclists. Don't let them ride on them without a bike lane.

there they go making trouble for people and themselves . . . how many times do they ever stop at stop signs for example, yet insist to be treated the same as cars? why not ride on the 405? you could not pay me (below 6 figures at least) to attempt a muhulland bike ride - its just not that kind of road.

Alan unfortunatly that happens more then we like. I stick to early morning rides and the river trials. The roads are too dangerous and cycle will never win. Althought I support what the downtown rides do, it does no good for cycling it only frustrates overly aggessive LA drives that are sick of being stuck in traffic. Be Safe this weekend

The fact that this was an old valley dweller, I'm inclined to believe that it was her fault, too. 80 year olds are about as attentive as teens, if not less so, and the peripheral vision seems to lack.
Even so, I don't have a hard time believing it was the cyclists either. I think it's great that people are cycling, especially for work, but the new cyclists seem to be very angry and activist. I had to ride behind two such cyclists on a main avenue recently going about 10mph, because they refused to move to the right, even though they were holding up traffic and had room. I flashed my lights, I honked. Nothing. This, by the way, is illegal (CVC 21202(A)). It's also incredibly dangerous. But to the mustacheoed, tight jeaned, I-would-hate-capitalism-if-I-understood-it-but-I'm-an-artist-on-my-parents'-salary crowd, they could really care less. It's about sticking it to the man right?
Actually, no, it's about sharing the road and being safe.

Why don't bicyclists stop at STOP signs? Are they not required to, or do they simply refuse to? I always thought the same rules applied to cars and bikes..

I don't agree that the 81 year old motorist didn't see the cyclists. I think she like many motorist misjudge how fast modern cycles can move. I always see motorist trying to outrun me while they're making a left hand turn. And at 81 years old, I'm sure her ability to judge distance and maneuver quickly have diminished.

Motorists need to be patient, wait until cyclists pass before making a left hand turn and give cyclists 3 feet of passing space as they drive around us.

Who's at fault? Lets see...

a. The cyclists didn't notice a car turning left in front of them and rode into it/in front of it.

b. The cyclists saw the car turning but refused to yield because they had the right of way as the non-turning traffic.

c. The driver didn't see the cyclists and turned into them.

Hmmm. Pretty obvious to me.

Cyclists need to also obey all traffic laws, too many times I have come across cyclists that don't stop at stop signs or red lights, you want to share the roads with cars then you must obey the same laws period.

These riders were up early in the morning to attack the canyon climbs and have some freewheeling downhills. This wasn't your typical cluster of commuters, but more likely a small peleton of hard-core cyclists. I ride these hills myself on the weekend, and a left hand turn in front of me could easily kill. Downhill speeds can approach 60 mph if you don't carry a lot of brake on the way down.

I don't remember if this stretch of Mulholland Hwy is uphill downhill or flat, but even in the flat a seasoned rider can be doing close to 30 mph.

I hope everyone heals 100% and can be back on two wheels as soon as possible.

surprise surprise. Anti-bike comments blaming the victims when they don't even know how it happened.

A case of cyclist who were not visible to the driver or an automobile. Imagine driving east bound at 7:30 in the morning. The sun will be right in your eyes. I believe that the lady didn't have it in her mind to be looking for any moving vehicles other than cars when making that turn. Tragic accident and I hope the injured cyclist will be okay, recover and can get back to riding soon. As a cyclist myself, I'm always in the mind that people just don't see me and ride accordingly.

Regardless of what the facts of the case are, you can bet the CHP will blame the cyclists.

From the KTLA story here:

“It’s unclear if the bicyclists didn’t see the Audi, or the Audi didn’t see the cyclists, CHP officials said.”

The cyclists did NOT have a stop sign, the car did. It is totally irrelevant whether the cyclists saw the car or not.

If this accident were between two cars, the CHP would NEVER make a statement like this. But since its cyclists, they are automatically at fault in the eyes of the CHP.

"For those who ride bicycles or motorcycles - like me - a car making a left hand turn that crosses your direction of travel is very dangerous - they just don't see you."

What are you talking about? How can they not see you? You are coming right at them, along with all the cars flowing in the same direction. Sure, cyclists may be "smaller" and harder to see because they are not in a car, but any motorist who gives this as an excuse was just plain not paying attention. You have to watch for oncoming traffic when making a left turn, so why would you not see or be watching for cyclists as well?

I've ridden in this city for 30 years without getting hit, part luck but also follow one simple rule.Assume that the car ahead of you can" t see you and will do the dumbest thing possible.

Cycling is a sport, in its professional arenas the roads and tracks they use are regulated and safe. Amateur/professional cyclists wishing to train on the roads without bike lanes best pay heed for placing to much trust in ANYONE behind the wheel. I hardly feel safe on the roads of Los Angeles in my car, much less a non-motorized, open aired two-wheel contraption doing 35mph.

Whose to blame? Sounds like the driver didn't give the cyclists the right of way or just flat out didn't see them. Hope they heal, but I hope this doesn't fuel the 'renegade' cyclists seeking equality on the road, but rather shows that they aren't safe and need to realize that the big dog is always gonna beat the little dog no matter how much barking the little one does.

Be safe people, your life may depend on it.

At the end of the day - regardless of who is right - it is not safe to bicycle on the roads of Los Angeles. The traffic is too heavy, the drivers are clueless and the roads are in poor condition.

Bicylcists do yourselves a favor and don't ride on public roads.

No cyclists & Bill: These cyclists seemed to have been riding their bikes legally, the DRIVER made an illegal left turn (turning left when it wasn't safe to do so); yet, according to both of you, the cyclists shouldn't have been there a) because some cyclists don't stop and stop signs [neither do most motorists - California Roll was named after motorists in California failed to come to a complete stop] and b) the road isn't designed for cyclists [actually, bicycles were around before cars, cars have outnumbered them over the past few decades]. The bottom line is cyclists are supposed to be on the the road. The law states that a bicycle is a vehicle and the operator must obey all traffic laws). I quite ofen ride my bike on the roads, if I was limited to riding it on a bike path, I would only be able to ride it partway to my destinations, which include riding bike lanes, which stop suddenly. FYI, riding on Mullholland is legal, riding on the 405 is not. Both cyclists and motorists need to be ticketed when appropriate along with education of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Too many people are killed, maimed or injured as a result of inattentive road users. Hope they all recover.


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