Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

17 November 2016

Saul Lopez Probably Never Saw It Coming

When a cyclist ends up under a motor vehicle, do you assume--if only for a moment--that it was some careless driver who was texting, drunk or simply not paying attention?

I admit: I do.  Perhaps it's because I've heard and  read too many of those stories.  

Do you also assume that a single motor vehicle, and driver, was involved?  Again, I admit that I do.  Reason:  See above.

Now, when you hear that two motor vehicles collide, do you picture both of them stopped as a result of the impact?  If you answered "yes", welcome to a club that includes me.  

Also, if you are like me, you probably don't expect a cyclist to be run down by one of those two vehicles that collided. In fact, I'd never heard of such a case--until today.

Saul Lopez was struck and trapped under a pickup truck at the corner of Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street in the San Fernando/Pacoima area.
The crash site in Pacoima.

The other day, in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, a 2016 Dodge Ram pickup truck was headed south on Glenoaks Boulevard.  It collided with a 2006 Chevrolet pickup truck running eastward on Vaughn Street. 

The impact sent both trucks careening southward to an intersection where the Dodge struck a 15-year-old boy who was riding his bike westbound, to school, in the south crosswalk at around 7 am.  He was pinned under the truck and after police arrived, Saul Lopez was declared dead at the scene.

Saul Lopez, from the GoFundMe page for his funeral costs.

The good news--if there could be said to be any--is that both drivers stopped at the scene and cooperated with police.  Neither was arrested.  It's not clear which of them had the right of way.

A GoFundMe page created to cover the costs of his funeral has already raised nearly $28,000: about $13,000 more than the goal.  If only it weren't necessary!


  1. This is terrifying as well as instructive. A couple of years ago i was waiting for a stoplight and was nearly clobbered by a minivan that was caroming off a collision. It skidded by within a foot in front of me. Since then i've made a habit of stopping well behind the stop bar, but keep in mind that no one is ever completely immune from being a third-party crash victim.

  2. Mike--I once had something similar happen You're right: None of us is ever completely immune from being a third-party crash victim!