Around 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 31, Seamus O’Bryan clocked out at the Old Globe Theatre, where he worked as a prop master.
At 32, O’Bryan had seen the world, even sailed to remote islands to help build clinics and deliver medical supplies. But for now, San Diego was home. And this was going to be a good night. His friend, Peter Newbigin, was visiting from Australia.
O’Bryan got on his motorcycle and picked up Newbigin, who rode on the back. The two planned to park the bike at O’Bryan’s house, then walk to a bar. But as they drove down University Avenue in North Park, in a blink, everything changed.
Newbigin suddenly felt O’Byran’s muscles go tense, and peeked around his friend’s helmet to see white, rushing headlights. A moment later, they were tumbling across the pavement.
Newbigin stood up immediately and saw the white sedan – which had been traveling in the wrong lane – stop briefly, then turn left and speed out of sight.
Emergency dispatch phone lines lit up. Multiple witnesses had called in the crash. But four minutes later, when San Diego police units arrived at the scene, O’Bryan lay motionless. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead at 1:06 a.m.
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Pedestrians have some ownership in this issue.
Safety should not be an assumption but rather a deliberate awareness at all times of ones surroundings.
Deadly by design. When we gave our streets over to cars, we (literally) gave our lives over to cars. Engineers know how to design safe streets. It's time we demand that the SDDOT do just that, and stop designing streets that are deadly for everyone and hold them accountable. A good start would be for Mayor Faulconer to declare a Vision Zero policy.
@earthysara --- the joy of buses, trolleys, subways, and taxis/Uber (although the latter clearly isn't the most transit friendly option)
Thank you for covering this troubling but important topic. Having recently seen first-hand the effects on a family of a hit and run victim in my neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo, it is crucial that our police work to bring these criminals to justice for closure and to help prevent more incidents. There is also the effect of people not wanting to walk or bike in our neighborhoods because it just doesn't seem safe, and that you is a serious consequence to health and community connectedness. Look forward to more coverage on this topic.
@Gaby Dow Hi Gaby, there are several efforts in San Diego to make walking and biking safer via road diets and bike lanes, but many residents and businesses oppose any reduction in the number of auto lanes or parking spaces. These groups have claimed ownership of our public streets and are unwilling to "give up" any of this space, regardless of how many pedestrians and bicyclists are injured or killed.
The intersection in Rancho Bernardo where the pedestrian was killed on the sidewalk encourages high auto speeds, as do all the roads there. Until we start considering people - not just how fast our cars can get from point A to B - in all of our non-freeway road designs, the situation is unlikely to improve.
Street parking is a form of corporate welfare. Of course they won't willingly give up something that gives them a benefit at no cost. But they would jump at the opportunity to shed some of the parking they are forced by the city to provide at their own expense.
You are an insane elitist. If you live in San Diego you need a car. If you don't like driving and parking you should move to New York or San Francisco
@Muriel If you think the city should continue to take away our freedoms and property rights by forcing property owners to overbuild their parking lots, then you should move to North Korea.
And it will remain that way. Roads are public infrastructure and with that comes the need for parking. More not less as was pointed out by the Moreana business association.
That escapes some people.
@Mark Giffin If the Morena Business Association feels they need more parking, they will build it at their own expense. So far, it appears that they don't really need it very much after all.
@Jim Jones : Because of course, it will be so much better with more cars clogging up the roads and competing for parking.
Once you park, how do you get to the place you are going if you can't walk there?
@Jim Jones This is the third facetious comment you've provided about a very serious subject, Mr. Jones. Why do you find all of this so funny? People have been killed and maimed and all you can contribute to the discussion is this? You need something constructive to occupy your time, writing because of you're bored just an unnecessary distraction, kind of reminds me of a gnat.
@MarioKoran well done.
couple of other things that seem to have changed over time.
The lack of eye contact (both from other motorists and pedestrians).
People stepping off of the curb without looking.
People not looking before going when the light turns green.
People assuming what a driver will do or assuming they will be stopping at a stop sign. ( this last one was tragically demonstrated in Del Mar about a month ago)
"Back in North Park, a light rain was falling when an investigator from
the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office arrived at the accident
Mr. Koran, are you sure the hit and run in North Park was an accident? Accidents are when "There’s no criminality", but the driver could have been drunk at the time of the collision.
@ollingers Thanks, Sam. More to come.
Seems like hit and runs have become more common over the last decade or so. Would be interesting to see the if figures over a longer time frame suggests a societal change regarding this lack of conscious of driving off after hurting/killing someone in a accident.
Hard to fathom such a lack of regard.