Coroner Rules Bicyclist's Death on PCH in Malibu as Accidental

The woman suffered "multiple traumatic injuries," according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

A bicyclist who was killed in a crash with a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu on Saturday apparently veered into the transit vehicle after her handlebar hit a parked vehicle.

The 36-year-old woman, whose name was being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The crash was reported at 1:50 p.m. Saturday in the 25000 block of Pacific Coast Highway.

  • RELATED: Bicyclist Killed in Crash with Metro Bus

An autopsy was conducted over the weekend and her death was ruled as accidental from multiple traumatic injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

The woman was an Ironman athlete, Biking in LA reported. She was also involved in Team in Training, a nonprofit that raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

According to the preliminary investigation, the woman lost control of her bicycle after some trucks passed her, and her handlebar hit a parked vehicle, said Sgt. Philip Brooks of the Malibu/Lost Hills Station. She then veered into the bus, and was dragged beneath it and crushed, he said.

The driver was not arrested, Brooks said, but the investigation was continuing.

The bus, in service on the 534 line, was eastbound on PCH when the crash occurred, MTA spokesman Luis Inzunza said.

Inzunza said the driver was given a drug and alcohol test, which is standard procedure, but the results will likely not be released to the public by the agency.

"That will be between the personnel and the sheriff's investigators," Inzunza said.

Anyone with information about the crash was asked to call the sheriff's Malibu/Lost Hills station at (818) 878-1808.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Ann Tomkins October 18, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I found this article very interesting. Thanks Jessica. Does anyone know if the addition of sharrows has been considered for those parts of PCH where there is no shoulder and bikes are forced into the traffic lane? I've noticed a lot of other cities use them to improve driver and cyclists education as to how to share the road. Because they are just painted on the road, they wouldn't cost very much and may be a helpful addition until the road can be made safer.
Alexandra October 21, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I want to extend my sincere condolences for the women killed on PCH on her bicycle. Having lost my only child by a repeat offender drunk driver, who had no remorse, I know the sudden loss of a senseless accident on the road. I am sure that the Metro Bus driver is not doing well mentally with this also. I hope that help is being given to all to cope with this tragedy We seriously need bike lanes on PCH. We need to remember, if we are riding a bike, or driving a car, that it is a privilege, not a right to be out on the road. We all have to earn this privilege by learning how to, staying focused, accepting responsibility and obeying the law. If a car is doing 60 mph or 25 mile mph, a cyclist is going to be killed.The cyclist cannot sustain impact from the larger vehicle. It happens in residential areas. We cannot be arrogant in our car or bike, PCH is not a speedway. Most drivers and cyclists obey the rules, some do not.The rule for cyclists is to ride single file, we all have observed double file, even triple file on PCH, and cyclists talking while riding this way. PCH is not the place to do this, PCH is not a social outing ride.This is dangerous. Drivers are squeezed into their lanes when cyclists double lane, or more, and a few have become arrogant about it when a car honks and calls out to please single lane only. With car lanes, parking lanes, sidewalk, residential, it is hard to fathom where the bike lane can exist, but exist it must, please. Thank you. Alexandra
Concerned Mom October 22, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Gasoline taxes pay for a large portion of our roadway funds. Bicyclists don't pay those taxes. In addition, our family has been hit by a bicyclist who left the scene without offering to pay damages. Why aren't they required to carry mandatory insurance as drivers of motor vehicles are required to do? If bicyclists want to demand all of these "rights," then they need to start upholding some responsibilities, also.
Bob Perkins DDS October 22, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Alexandra- I can't imagine what you must have gone through. That would be breathtakingly difficult for a parent to process. I am so sorry for your loss. Highways, especially in Malibu, are places where hurtling pieces of machinery are brazenly close to pedestrian and cyclist, often when the driver of said machinery is either distracted, intoxicated, or careless. It is a very dangerous cocktail!!!! You make great, and easily overlooked, points about the bus driver's state of mind after only 8 short days. I hope that we can reach out in some way to the bus driver AND to Mari's family to give our support. It is an opportunity to make a "connection" and show empathy during an extremely difficult event to process. I think the human contact can be incredibly valuable in the healing process, though I am no expert. This could be a major turning point in that bus driver's life. How she processes this event is huge to her healing. The family, of course, bore the greatest insult but at least they can find comfort in one another. The bus driver is quite possibly wearing the scarlet letter with nowhere to turn. It's time to get creative.... I would not want the responsibility of driving a giant bus down the PCH with all that goes on....heck, there is no margin for error. You have to thread the needle all day long. She was just trying to do her job.
Ann Tomkins October 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I'm not really sure about the law being for cyclists to ride single file. Generally cyclists must ride as far to the right as practicable. However, if the lane isn't wide enough for the cyclist and car to occupy the same lane safely, then the cyclist should take the entire lane by riding more to the left. Two cyclists riding next to each other are no wider than a car. If the cyclists are "taking the lane" they are more visible riding in a group, and take less length of the road when riding side by side. I find them easier to pass when they are riding that way than when they are riding in single file. I personally don't think it is safe for drivers to attempt to share a lane with cyclists on most stretches of PCH. The draft created by the speed of the vehicle and the width of the lane requires the driver to cross over into the left lane to pass a cyclist who is in the right traffic lane. It appears far safer to change lanes before getting to the cyclist instead of straddling two lanes. Share the road doesn't mean split the lane. In my view, share the road on PCH means give the cyclist the whole lane, not part of it. Once I give them the whole lane, it doesn't really matter to me whether they ride side by side.


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