Bicyclist, 18, Killed in Westwood

A Critical Mass rider loses control of his bike Friday on UCLA's campus in Westwood.

A 18-year-old man was killed when he lost control of his bicycle and crashed into a wall on the campus in Westwood, police said Saturday.

The rider was declared dead at UCLA Medical Center, where he was taken by private ambulance after the crash at 9:50 p.m. Friday on De Nave Drive and Charles E. Young Drive, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. C. Clark of the West Traffic Division, which was investigating the accident.

Jerico Culata of Los Angeles was participating in the Critical Mass ride when he lost control of his bike and slammed into a masonry wall, Clark said.

Culata went wide on a downhill curve, his friend told a photographer outside the hospital.

Several other riders also crashed, but none was seriously hurt, according to Culata's friend.

There was also trouble at the Critical Mass cycling event in San Diego on Friday night.

A San Diego police officer was recovering today after being hit in the head with a screwdriver that a rider allegedly threw.

It was unclear if any of the riders were arrested near Sixth Avenue and Market Street downtown, where the crime occurred about 9:10 p.m. Friday.

The officer was taken to a hospital with a bleeding head wound, Officer David Stafford told the U-T San Diego.

The last-Friday-of-the-month ride, held in about 300 cities worldwide, is an outgrowth of the Critical Mass movement started in San Francisco in 1992. The name of the ride refers to the number of riders needed to dominate streets.

In Southern California, the riders can sometime be rowdy. In other cases, the riders don't follow the rules of the road. For instance, "corking'" is when a handful of the leaders block an intersection to enable the larger pack of riders to pass through. Run-ins with police during Critical Mass rides are not uncommon, since some riders apparently embrace the nighttime tours as a form of protest.


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