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Guacamole Grande accident info(4 posts)

Guacamole Grande accident infoCHRoadie
Apr 15, 2002 8:38 AM
Greetings fellow cyclists. I did the Guacamole Grande yesterday in Fallbrook, CA. I was riding with a woman (who I met just a few miles into the ride) who had a very nasty accident about 13 miles into the ride during a quick descent. I stayed with her until the ambulance took her to the hospital. After the crash she had no feeling below the waist. I was wondering if anyone had any info on her condition? After the ride, all the staff at the finish line knew was that she was taken to the hospital with "minor injuries." Thanks.
re: Guacamole Grande accident infojohnjohn
Apr 15, 2002 10:23 AM
CHRoadie,
My brother and I were also at the Guacamole Grande yesterday. At Sag stop 2 (half way around the 50) we heard information coming in over one of the organizer's radios suggesting that a 38 year old woman out of Anaheim had been hit on Stagecoach road. The details were sketchy at the time (perhaps struck by a van?) but the speaker seemed to think that this might end badly. Sadly, it seems he was correct. While driving back to LA, we heard on 1070 newsradio that a woman had lost control of her bicycle during the GG, been critically injured, and later died at the hospital.

IF this is the incident to which you are refering, I am sorry to inform you in such an abrupt manner. I also apologize for my very piecemeal information-- particularly if it contains any errors of fact. Perhaps others have a better account of what occurred?

In any case, may this unfortunate victim rest in peace. And may we ride with all due caution and wisdom.
re: Guacamole Grande accident infoCHRoadie
Apr 15, 2002 10:47 AM
Thanks for your reply. I had also heard about this horrible accident. However, the crash that I was referring to took place about 3 miles after the first SAG stop on the 50 mile route on Rice Canyon, and did not involve a car. It's a shame there were two awful incidents on what was otherwise a really nice ride.
Guacamole Grande accident Full ArticleCKS
Apr 15, 2002 10:35 AM
This article from the North County Times explains this awful tragedy.

Anaheim bicyclist killed

ERICA WARREN
Staff Writer
FALLBROOK ----

An Anaheim woman was killed early Sunday while riding in the "Guacomole Grande" cycling event before the start of the Fallbrook Avocado Festival.

Vilma Vega-Martinez, 38, lost control of her bicycle on Reche Road just south of Stage Coach Lane, fell onto the roadway and was struck by a van at about 8:50 a.m., said Officer Ron Thatcher of the California Highway Patrol.

Vega-Martinez was riding with her 42-year-old brother, also of Anaheim, who told authorities his sister was an "inexperienced rider," Thatcher said. When she had difficulty going up an incline, her bicycle began to wobble and she fell to her left side onto the roadway and was struck, Thatcher said.

"I guess he had no chance of avoiding her," Thatcher said of the driver. "She fell right in front of his front right tire."

No charges are pending against the driver, Thatcher said.

Vega-Martinez was taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, where she was pronounced dead at 9:41 a.m., a San Diego medical examiner's office spokeswoman said.

The cycling route began at the Fallbrook Unified High School on Stage Coach Lane, went to Rainbow and then returned. Thatcher said there were California Highway Patrol officers stationed along the route for traffic control.

San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Rob Heltmach and Thatcher said the death was the first associated with the annual Guacomole Grande, which takes place every year before the start of the festival.

"There was an incident a couple years ago where a bicyclist had some road rash when he fell, but it wasn't serious," Heltmach said.

"It's extremely unfortunate," said Bob Leonard, executive director of the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce.

Randy Ice, organizer of the ride, could not be reached for comment.

The 50-mile ride began at 7:30 a.m., while the two shorter rides began at 9 a.m.

"That's so horrible," said Susan Gans of Los Angeles, a cyclist for 30 years. "I'm surprised because there's so little traffic on this ride."

She said she hopes the accident won't stop people from participating in future rides.

"It's a wonderful ride and beautiful scenery and I hope it won't discourage riders," Gans said. "I'm just so sad and sorry this happened."

Contact staff writer Erica Warren at (760) 728-5511 or ewarren@nctimes.com.

4/15/02