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"Accidents"

On Fountain and LaBrea, a Ghost Bike Appears

9:59 AM PDT on April 22, 2009

4_22_09_ghost_bike.jpg

Yesterday morning, the sun rose on the corner of La Brea and Fountain to a new occupant on the street corner.  A Ghost Bike had been erected by a group of bike activists to memorialize two pedestrians, one of whom may have been walking her bike across the street, who "lost their lives to a motorist" on March 31 while walking their bikes across the street.

When Alina Sheyman and Maria Velasquez, both in their 70's, stepped off the curb they weren't expecting to be placing their lives on the line.  Yet, when a left turning car hit another car; the second car was sent careening out of control into the two women, both were killed.  Of course, neither driver was charged in the crash because of a little-known, but oft-cited, part of the vehicle code that clearly states, "Unless a driver is drunk, runs away from the crash or does something else horrific but telegenic action; said driver can kill as many pedestrians as he or she desires."  I guess causing a chain reaction of crashes that kills two elderly women, and injured a third pedestrian, wasn't quite exciting enough.

However, the boredom shown by the LAPD doesn't extend to the family and friends of the victim nor the cycling community at large.  Spear-headed by User1, a group of Ridazz and Bike Oven volunteers constructed, moved and set-up the make shift memorial late on Monday night.

Similar projects are underway for riders downed in Echo Park over the weekend and another to the victim of a drunk driver in Glendale.

For more pictures of the Ghost Bike, you can find some at Streetsblog's or User1's Flickr pools.

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