Local News

Bicyclist Killed in Traffic Collision

Fullerton Police Officers responded to a traffic collision involving a motor vehicle and a bicyclist in the area of Bastanchury Road and Lancer Way on Monday, November 23.

Upon arrival, Officers located 33-year-old male bicyclist Joshua Pumphrey with severe injuries. Fullerton Police Officers, along with Fullerton Fire Department personnel who were on the scene, immediately began life-saving measures. Pumphrey was transported to a local trauma center where he died.

Pumphrey had gotten married just two weeks before he was killed. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help his widow Tanya pay for funeral costs.

The driver of the involved motor vehicle, a white Mercedes sedan, remained on-scene and is cooperating with investigators.

Initial investigations showed the driver of the Mercedes was southbound on Bastanchury Road when they collided with the bicyclist. At this time, investigators do not believe drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in the collision.

Pumphrey was in a group of 11 riders on the “Fullerton Loop,” a popular series of interconnected local bike trails that sometimes cross major streets. According to witnesses, as the group of riders headed westbound on Valley View to Bastanchury, they turned right and hugged the right curb as cars were coming their same direction, northbound. The cars passed and the group merged across northbound traffic to the left turn lane which would put them westbound on Lancer Way. It was then that Pumphrey was struck by the car.

Joel Eckman Maus, founder of the group Bike Fullerton (www.facebook.com/bikefullerton), and a member of the City of Fullerton Active Transportation Committee, organized a memorial vigil for Pumphrey on November 24.

A “ghost bike” was put up in his memory and to remind cyclists and vehicle operators to always be attentive, to constantly look out for people on bikes and to always slow down.

“Ghost Bike” memorial to Joshua Pumphrey. Photo by Joel Eckman Maus

Other bicyclists showed up with flowers and candles to pay their respects.

Maus, an advocate for cyclists and bicycle safety, shared some ideas to prevent future accidents of this type.

“I think the solution that is sticking is to put up a sign where Hiltscher Park Trail ends at La Mesa Dr, Fern Drive, and W. Valley View Drive directing riders to turn right on La Mesa Drive to a left on W. Valencia Mesa Dr,” Maus said. “This would have them encountering Bastanchury at a light so they  will have to ride straight across with no merging. I believe this will be presented to the City Council and we’ll see how they receive it.”

“I feel that wayfinding signs should be placed all around the Fullerton Loop,” Maus added. “I also feel that on W. Valencia Mesa Drive at Bastanchury there should be a green bike box/ bike lane- bicycle infrastructure to create an unquestionable path for bikes. Tools like this would help in other areas as well. There is lots to do.”

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