The cyclist who was killed last weekend after hitting a parked vehicle in Corona del Mar may have been distracted by his cell phone, according to police.
Jonathan Wilson, 23, of Costa Mesa (recently relocated from Newport Beach), died Sunday after the electric bicycle he was riding collided with a parked, unoccupied silver Mazda van in the 1800 block of Bayside Drive, just east of El Paseo Drive.
“Evidence suggests that he may have been distracted by his cell phone prior to the collision,” noted Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman
There is no indication at this point that drugs or alcohol were involved, she added.
Police received the call at approximately 1:27 p.m. Sunday. Wilson had been traveling westbound on Bayside when the accident occurred.
“The force of the impact had fully ejected the young man from his bicycle and propelled him into the back window of the van,” an NBPD statement explains.
Wilson was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, police confirmed.
His exact speed is unknown, Manzella noted later in an email.
“Technically, any time there is a collision, speed is a contributing factor,” she explained.
A bike (manual or electric) is considered a “motor vehicle” when it is on the road, Manzella explained. All traffic rules apply to cars/motorcycles/bikes equally. The speed limit for a bike is the same as a car, she added.
“The basic speed law says that you can only drive/ride at a speed that is safe, given the roadway conditions,” she noted. “You can go as fast as is safe, up to the maximum posted speed.”
Although, there is one special rule for an electric bike’s speed: They can only go up to 20 miles per hour on the power of the motor alone; speeds in excess of 20 miles per hour can be reached only by pedaling to increase the speed further, Manzella added.
Manzella was unsure of the model of the electric bike Wilson was riding.
Both police and fire officials responded to the scene. Authorities found Wilson to be “conscious and responsive,” according to the police press release.
He suffered several lacerations and was transported to a local trauma center in critical condition. He died as a result of his injuries about an hour later.
The circumstances of the collision are still under investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the collision to contact Investigator Dave Darling at (949) 644-3746 or [email protected].