Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

34 Comments
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Update by edhat staff
July 10, 2019

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has released the identity of the bicyclist that was struck by a vehicle and killed on Modoc Road early Friday morning.

Daniel Robinson, 54, was a transient in the Santa Barbara area. 

The Sheriff's Office did not confirm if Robinson was under the influence at the time of the collision.

The initial report is provided below.


By edhat staff
July 5, 2019

A bicyclist was struck by a vehicle and killed on Modoc Road early Friday morning.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports that at approximately 12:39 a.m., a collision between a 2003 Ford Explorer and bicyclist took place near Modoc Road and Encore Drive. Life saving measures were attempted but the bicyclist, a 54-year-old Santa Barbara male who's name has not yet been released, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The initial investigation by CHP reveals that 48-year-old Monique Martinez of Santa Barbara was driving the Ford Explorer west on Modoc Road and did not see the bicyclist who was traveling in the same direction outside of the bicycle lane. The bicyclist, who was not wearing a helmet or lighting devices, was ejected from the bicycle when struck by the vehicle. 

Martinez, who was driving with three passengers, was evaluated by CHP at the scene and was found not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is currently unknown if the bicyclist was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Modoc Road was closed for several hours while CHP processed the scene. All roadways are currently open.

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Luvaduck Jul 11, 2019 10:29 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I pity the traumatized people in the vehicle that hit him. They're like those in the cab of locomotives when they hit someone. Some quit or must take extended leaves of absence afterward due to PTSD.

4358ed Jul 10, 2019 02:53 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

Maybe off point, but it's a lousy crosswalk at the Encore/Modoc intersection. The county should improve it with a better warning light system for peds and drivers alike. When school is session it's a "look and run for your lives" situation to cross the street. My condolences to the rider and drivers family.

PitMix Jul 08, 2019 09:43 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I guess as a biker you can take advantage of the 3 ft rule to block any lane you want, but then you are contending with a pissed off car driver and any mistakes are likely to result in injury to the biker. When I bike, I just assume that drivers are a menace to me through inattention or texting and try to ride accordingly. The outcomes are just too unequal for me to want to assert my rights in every situation.

Luvaduck Jul 11, 2019 02:26 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

"Whether the pot hits the dish or the dish hits the pot, it's bad for the dish." A bike sharing the road with any motorized vehicle is a definite "dish", a good thing to remember when you're riding. . .

biguglystick Jul 07, 2019 12:15 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I live in Bel Air Knolls where the streets are nice and wide, and I see a strange phenonmenom all the time. People walking in the street. It's SO dangerous, cars speed here, yet every day there are tons of neighbors out there with their dogs, even babies in strollers IN THE STREET!!! They need to be on the sidewalk. It drives me nuts.

biguglystick Jul 11, 2019 09:54 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

Well, uneven or not, the sidewalks are there for the pedestrians to use. The streets are for VEHICLES. Stay on the sidewalk if you're taking a walk. Sheesh. SMH.

mm1970 Jul 10, 2019 10:06 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I can't speak for Bel air knolls (though I do walk there occasionally) - as a walker/ runner - sidewalks are often narrow, and then you have to contend with the fact that they are uneven, and especially problematic moving up and down on the slant at every driveway. Added to that is the overgrown landscaping and trees that you have to duck and dodge on the sidewalk. I mostly use the sidewalk, but there are uneven sections that I routinely avoid and move into the road.

EastBeach Jul 06, 2019 12:34 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

Regarding bicycle lanes specifically ... the CA DMV says cyclist do not have to use them when they're traveling at/above the average speed of traffic (cyclists and motorists both being legal users of the entire roadway). But cyclists do need to use the bike lane when they're traveling at slower than the average rate. How one determines what the average is could be up to interpretation, but if you're the only user of the road, you're riding at the average rate. From a practical viewpoint, a cyclist would want to use a bike lane when possible - but it's not always mandatory. However, per the DMV, motorists are not allowed to use the bike lanes unless turning or entering/existing the roadway (e.g. driveway).

a-1568784133 Jul 10, 2019 01:58 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

EASTBEACH: I have pulled up next to drivers, although not recently, to ask them if they knew they were driving in the bike lane. Here's a tip for every driver: you're supposed to ease into the bike lane a short distance before you commit to that right turn. And it's also against the law, when you're turning right, to leave enough room for a vehicle to pull up beside you on your right. Everyone: watch out for those "turn left from the right lane on a one-way street" dummies, er, visitors. I have seen three such turns made in the past two weeks.

tagdes Jul 07, 2019 08:10 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

So when the SUV approaches which would be apparent from it's headlights the average speed of traffic is now 45 mph and the bicyclist would have to move back into the bike lane, thus a moot point.

a-1568784133 Jul 06, 2019 10:59 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

CHOOSE! Are roads for parked cars or transportation coordinators for pedestrians, bikes, strollers and motorized vehicles? Most every SB residential street is too narrow for what officials expect to be accommodated. Please SB Officials: 1) No street parking of vehicles or bike riding either on streets under 70 feet wide. 2) Improved street lighting on streets with bike lanes. It’s hard enough for seniors to see bikes weaving around parked vehicles or where there are no bike lanes on narrow streets. On most nights, there are occasions I must fast break for a cyclist or car in front of me maneuvering to miss a cyclist.

Eggs Ackley Jul 11, 2019 07:08 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

Maybe it's time to hang up that drivers license if you can't navigate the average 40'-48' wide urban street. Your 70' is five and a half 13' wide lanes. Your average car/SUV/pickup is less than 7'-6" wide including mirrors. Travel lanes are typically 10'-12' wide. Not exactly threading a needle. http://nacto.org/docs/usdg/lane_widths_on_safety_and_capacity_petritsch.pdf

jak Jul 06, 2019 10:20 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

1354, you are right on point. I was never a minimum wage shift worker but I used to have to work late into the wee hours at times and often without advance notice so using one of my cars on days that I worked late wasn’t much of an option. That said, I rode a bike with full reflectors, front and rear lights (bright led lights with a highly visible but non-dazzling pattern) and had little led strobes on my helmet and spokes. I also had a mirror on my helmet and often one on my handlebars. Exercise is great (even at 2:00am) but safety first. Be visible, be predictable, and be careful. 200 pounds of bike and rider will never prevail over 2000 pounds of automobile.

haroldm Jul 06, 2019 09:25 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I drive and bike in equal amounts, and commute along Modoc daily. While that bike path is nice and wide, others are fairly narrow, and many are mostly concrete curb/gutter with a ridge down the middle, so riders either have to stay near the white line, or ride over all kinds of debris. AND MOST IMPORTANT: this town sweeps its parking places weekly, but basically NEVER the bike lanes. There is SO MUCH DEBRIS IN MOST BIKE LANES. Also on Modoc--the westbound stretch between Las Positas and La Cumbre is worst. Try riding down Hitchcock from State to Calle Real, or up Calle Real to La Cumbre (always, not just now after the repaving). Rocks, sticks, trash, auto parts (lead weights from wheel balancing)--cyclists have good reason to avoid them. DRIVERS BE AWARE OF THE 3 FT RULE: no matter where the cyclist is--they/we have full rights to the full lane, bike path or no--don't pass unless you can leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist. That is MORE THAN AN OUTSTRETCHED arm (mine is 30"). Be courteous and keep your distance until it is safe to pass. That said, I agree: cyclists light up or at least reflectorize!

Luvaduck Jul 06, 2019 09:24 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

Sometimes there's a lot of debris on the south side of the bike path along Modoc, but no helmet and no lights are a different story. One night about 9pm coming from Vista del Monte toward Hollister/State, a guy on a bike in dark clothes, dark backpack, no lights came zooming out of the bike path and across the road. If I hadn't had good tires & brakes, my brights on and was in no way distracted, I'd have hit him. I assumed "bum on a bike" but am prejudiced about that presentation at that hour.

Luvaduck Jul 06, 2019 04:56 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

Coming off the bike path onto Modoc so I don't think so. Either way, at night, zipping out in dark clothes, with no lights, he was taking a risk for himself and others. Anyone who hit him and whoever was in their car would have been traumatized for life.

Sprigofsage Jul 06, 2019 02:00 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

So sad. I rode that route for years and always felt a sigh of relief when I safely crossed Modoc to that glorious bike path. RIP.

haroldm Jul 06, 2019 11:22 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

BTW Modoc and Encore is the place where the separate Atascadero Creek bike path starts/ends, so westbound cyclists have to cross Modoc to get onto that wonderful path. It is well marked on Modoc with "bicycle crossing" yellow diamond signs to warn drivers. Could be that the poor guy was just trying to get onto the bike path?

d8vanilla Jul 06, 2019 09:10 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

It's time to enforce bicycle rules... Helmets required. Lights required. Ride in the bike lane, or all the way to the right, stop impeding traffic. Use the streets with the bike lanes. Use arm signals when turning. Stop at the stop signs & red light. Stop for people in the crosswalks.

sunsets Jul 06, 2019 10:48 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

No excuse for no lights - legally required. Helmets, only for under 18 years of age. Regarding lane position- key fact: cars must be 3 feet minimum from bike regardless of bike location. Even 3’ from bike in a separate lane. Even if lane is bike lane. And that’s 3’ from the left most part of the bike or rider, ie, handlebar grip. And 3’ from the rightmost part of the vehicle- ie, mirror. I’ve been nearly killed by mirrors more than once. Bike not in bike lane? There are many reasons, debris, sight lines, tree limbs, bumps, cracks, grates, bike lane too narrow. All legal reasons to not be in bike lane. There is a section of Modoc which is posted 50 or 55- the lane is required to be min 5’ but is under 3’. Go figure. No excuse for no lights. No excuse for driving faster than you can see either. That’s a legal requirement too. Around a corner, cresting a hill, making a turn, or flat out on a straight away. Speed must be no faster than your sight line allows. I will say that drivers are becoming incredibly aware of bikes today and the roads around SB are safer as a result. I ride every day and appreciate the great job people are doing. Lets be safe out there!

Roger Jul 06, 2019 10:04 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I totally agree with you as the bicyclists on the sidewalks are too much only people that get a pass from me riding on the sidewalks kids.

haroldm Jul 06, 2019 09:28 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

Rather: sure, but also time to enforce vehicle rules, like 3 feet needed to pass a cyclist. And put your phone down while driving!

paglinsb Jul 06, 2019 08:17 AM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I recall safety reflectors etc being given to cyclists at UCSB recently. Maybe this could be done for others in the community. I often notice men pedaling along, no reflectors or even a light. I assume it’s someone who can’t drive (for whatever reason). Sometimes I want to stop and tell them to get reflectors, a light, or at least wear a reflective vest. If they only knew how dangerous it is.

wheezy Jul 05, 2019 03:56 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I live on Modoc and drive Modoc every day going both directions in the vicinity of the "accident" and most days see bicyclers out of the bike lanes. It is a very common occurrence.

a-1568784133 Jul 05, 2019 06:58 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

It's a daily route for me too and agree. Also a lot of crap drivers out there not paying enough attention. Sad situation for all involved!

a-1568784133 Jul 05, 2019 03:52 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

A good forensics team may be able verify where the bicyclist was struck--in the bike path or in the road--based on where he fell, etc. Very sad. Obviously I have no idea who was at fault, but I urge bicyclists to remember that they are often hard to see.

d8vanilla Jul 05, 2019 03:19 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

There's other indications as to where the bicyclist was riding, other then someone saying it....... They ride outside the bike lane, or ON the edge of the line closest to the traffic, all the time.....

a-1568784133 Jul 05, 2019 03:31 PM
Bicyclist Identified in Fatal Collision

I drive on that part of Modoc road at least 3-4 times per week, at different times of the day. I have yet to see a single bicyclist "going over the line" unless it's a momentary thing to avoid sticks or glass or such. I have ridden those lanes on my bike. They are nice and wide.

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