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Cyclist Succumbs to Crash Injuries

Antonio Cortez, 40, was hospitalized for two weeks after peddling into an opened car door at 11th and Oak streets in Santa Monica.

A Los Angeles man has died from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident earlier this month in Santa Monica.

Antonio Cortez, 40, died June 22, two weeks after he crashed into an open car door on 11th Street, near Oak Street in the Sunset Park neighborhood, the Santa Monica Police Department confirmed Saturday.

The impact sent him flying over the car door, and he landed head first onto the pavement. When he hit the ground, he wasn’t breathing, according to Sgt. Richard Lewis.

The police will not file criminal charges against the car's driver, who had the door open for several seconds to unload groceries before Cortez hit it, Lewis said.

Alcohol played a major role, he said, noting that Cortez was not wearing a helmet and had a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit of .08 when tested at the hospital.

"It appears to be an accident," Lewis said after the crash.

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David Huntsman August 11, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Michael, that doesn't make sense. Are people supposed to wear body armor to protect themselves from motorists?
Michael K March 09, 2013 at 03:37 PM
David, seriously, the answer is yes. People are "supposed" to protect their heads with helmets. If you are a cyclist -- and I reckon you are not -- you would appreciate the virtues of protecting your skull and the brain it contains. Don't you wear shoes to protect your feet? But here's an even more germane question: What measures will pedestrians have to take to protect themselves from silent electric bicycles using the sidewalks as bike paths (because the cyclist is too afraid of motorists to use the street)?
Michael K March 09, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Last year, I was cycling southbound on Abbot Kinney, had just crossed Venice Blvd., when a mountain-of-a-man stepped out from between two trucks. I never saw him, but I flew over the handlebars and landed in the middle of the street, my head close to the double yellow line dividing traffic directions. I heard the back of my head thump the street very hard and loud. My first thought was to try to crawl out of the street -- I couldn't stand -- so as to avoid being run over. Eventually I was helped up and helped to walk to the curb where I sat. My helmet was split open, but my head was not. The behemoth who stepped out in front of me was unhurt but rattled. I rode home, wobbly at first, but satisfied my helmet had done its job. ("Face down" wouldn't have been good.) Point of my story? Cycling is dangerous in an uncaring environment. The stupid driver's actions resulted in a cyclist's death. David Huntsman point is well taken: On a dangerous and busy street, why not unload the groceries from the curbside rather than the streetside?
David Huntsman March 10, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Oh good lord.
Glenn E Grab March 11, 2013 at 02:25 PM
you flew over the handlebars?.....sounds like you turned front wheel and locked up the front brake....if it had been me, I would have run into the big guy...... he was at fault, right?....and used him for a cushion....

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