LODI, Calif. — A man crossing a road on a bicycle collided with a school bus here on Friday, fatally injuring him, authorities said.
The crash occurred around 1:50 p.m. at the intersection of Kettleman Lane and School Street in Lodi. According to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) press release, the initial investigation found that the bicyclist was traveling southbound from School Street through stopped traffic in the westbound lanes of Kettleman Lane. CHP said that a school bus was traveling westbound on Kettleman Lane in a left turn lane, and the bus struck the bicyclist.
A review of the intersection on Google Maps shows that School Street has stop and right-turn-only signs at Kettleman Lane, a larger street with a raised median that blocks traffic from crossing at School Street. The left turn lane that the bus was traveling in, westbound on Kettleman, proceeds past School Street to turn left at the next intersection, with Church Street. The image below shows the median on Kettleman, beyond which is the left turn lane, the other westbound lanes, and then School Street in the background.
CHP said that medical personnel transported the bicyclist to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Investigators determined that neither alcohol nor drugs was a factor in the collision.
A CHP public information officer could not be reached for additional details about the crash as of press time.
Lodi Police Sgt. Tim Fritz told the Lodi News-Sentinel, “It sounds like the bicyclist came across the lanes in front of the bus. I don’t believe the bus was moving very fast.”
That fits a witness’s account of the crash. James Grill told the Lodi News-Sentinel that he saw the bicyclist riding in between cars, and the man apparently failed to see the bus coming in the turn lane.
“[The bus driver] wasn’t speeding or anything,” Grill told the newspaper. “[The bicyclist] just cut out right in front of her.”
A GoFundMe online fundraiser identifies the bicyclist as Salomon Edgar Rodriguez. His niece, Alejandra Rodriguez-Nava, wrote that he had been in the U.S. for about two years and was working to provide for his wife and daughter in Mexico. Rodriguez-Nava wrote that her uncle was riding to his second job at the time of the crash.
“He was a hardworking son, brother, father and husband who was loved very much by all his family,” Rodriguez-Nava wrote. “He will be dearly missed.”
She said that all donations will go toward her uncle’s funeral expenses, including transporting him back to Mexico to be buried.
Fox 40 reported that Rodriguez’s family members also held a car wash to help cover funeral expenses.