Source: According to the Daily Breeze, 49-year old Benjamin Torres was on his way to work early Wednesday morning when he was hit by a vehicle while riding east on 135th Street at Wilton Place in Gardena. Oddly, the intersection appears to be controlled by a red light in just one direction on 135th, with a stop sign on the cross street. (Update: It’s actually a one-way fire station signal.) His body was found by a nearby worker after Torres was already dead. Whether he could have been saved if the coward behind the wheel had stopped and called for help may never be known. Torres’ stepdaughter reports that he always rode his bike from his home to his job at Brek Manufacturing on 132nd Street at 4:15 each morning, saying he felt it was pointless to pay for gas to go to work. Police say he was struck sometime before 4:30 and 5 am. No witnesses have come forward; given the early hour, none are likely. The paper says investigators found debris from the vehicle, including headlights, suggesting it’s likely to have significant front-end damage, most likely on the right side. Police are using that debris to determine the make of the vehicle; however, they had no other description at this time, including the color. No mention is made of whether Torres was using lights or reflectors at that early hour. He suffered severe head injuries despite his helmet. However, bike helmets are only designed to protect against impacts up to 12.5 mph; they are no match for a car moving at speed. Torres leaves behind a wife of 17 years, as well as five stepchildren and their 12 children.
Crash time: between 3 a.m. and 5:59 a.m.
Closest Intersection: Wilton Place
Land use: Urban
Road type: Urban Arterial
Where on the road the collision happened: Unknown
Collision type: Unknown
Vehicle type: Unknown
If truck: Unknown
At crash time driver was: Hit & Run
SourcesSource: News Report
Link if Website: http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/torrance-bike-commuter-killed-wednesday-in-gardena-hit-and-run/