Two people were hit by vehicles in Santa Monica last weekend, with one collision resulting in a fatality.

On Friday night, a man fell off an electric scooter and died after being struck by a vehicle in Ocean Park. Two days later, a teenage girl riding a bicycle was hit by a Metro bus in front of the Santa Monica Public Library.

The man, 41, was riding a personally owned electric scooter – a City Hopper, manufactured by Bike Rassine – south on 3rd Street between Hill Street and Ashland Avenue after 8 p.m. when he fell onto the road, according to the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD). A vehicle also traveling south hit him. The driver got out of his vehicle but fled the scene before first responders arrived.

The man suffered significant head and body trauma and died shortly after he was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

The vehicle is an older, off-white or tan sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry with damage to its front passenger’s side. The driver is a white man in his 30s and is 6 feet 2 inches tall with a medium build. He has a shaved head or short hair and was wearing prescription glasses.

The investigation is ongoing and investigators are interested in speaking with anyone who was in the area near the time of the collision. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Investigator Scott Pace at (310) 458-8954 or SMPD at (310) 458-8495.

The Notre Dame High School student was an experienced bicyclist and was riding in the bike lane to the library Sunday afternoon when the bus struck her, her family said. She was conscious when Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) officers arrived at the scene at about 2 p.m., said Lt. Saul Rodriguez.

Santa Monica saw an uptick in traffic fatalities and accidents in 2017 – nine people died, up from an average of four to five each year – but zero people died in traffic collisions in 2018. Still, 40 percent of residents feel uncomfortable navigating city streets, according to a recent City of Santa Monica survey.

The City launched a Vision Zero road safety initiative in 2016, following cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, branding the campaign with the slogan “Take the Friendly Road.” City planners have been making changes to intersections, bike lanes and crosswalks, as well as deploying citywide safety advertising, to reduce collisions, with a goal of zero fatalities by 2026.

Pedestrians and bicyclists make up 70 percent of traffic fatalities on average and accidents are mainly caused by drivers who fail to yield, speed or drive under the influence, said principal transportation planner Jason Kligier.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the cyclist attends Santa Monica High School. In fact, she attends Notre Dame High School.

madeleine@smdp.com

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1 Comment

  1. Because the city is too damn crowded!!! Deal with reality people. Walking and biking is NOT SAFE IN SM!!!! Deal with it or move!!!! I moved!!!

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