The 16-year-old driver took the curve in the road too fast and struck the bicyclist.
Smartly, he stopped and called 9-1-1 and waited for emergency personnel to arrive.
That’s the conclusion of the California Highway Patrol officer who investigated the Dec. 22 crash that landed 40-year-old cyclist Kevin D. Korenthal in the hospital with a broken neck, cracked ribs and and a fracture in the remaining part of a leg that had been amputated eight years earlier.
According to the CHP report, the teenage driver from Canyon Country was traveling north at about 40 mph in a relative’s black 1998 Honda Civic on Little Tujunga, just past Santa Clara Truck Trail, while Korenthal, also of Canyon Country, was coming toward him from the opposite direction at about 6 mph on his bike.
“(The driver) entered a right curve in the roadway,” the report states. “Due to (the driver’s) unsafe speed for roadway conditions, the turn in the roadway, (the driver) lost control of (his vehicle).”
Korenthal could hear a car’s tires lose traction around the bend, according to the CHP report, and as it came into view it “continued out of control towards the northwest, crossing over the double yellow lines.”
“(Korenthal) observed (the car) crossing over the double yellow lines,” the report states. “(The driver) applied (his) brakes. (The driver) observed (Korenthal) and (another cyclist) riding their bikes southbound towards him. The front end of (the car) struck the front end of (Korenthal’s bicycle. Korenthal) was ejected from (his bicycle) and struck (the car’s) hood/windshield. (Korenthal) fell off of (the car) and struck the west dirt shoulder of Little Tujunga Canyon Road, north of Santa Clara Truck Trail. (Korenthal’s bike) fell off of (the car) and struck the west dirt shoulder…”
The weather was cloudy but dry. The “condition” that made 40 mph an unsafe speed was “the turn in the roadway.”
The CHP report notes that the teenage driver stopped, tried to help Korenthal, called 9-1-1 and remained at the scene.