UPDATE: Coroner ID's Bicyclist Killed by Truck on PCH

A 29-year-old woman was hit by a truck Friday morning on Pacific Coast Highway and Bayside Drive.

A Newport Beach woman died Friday after being hit by a truck in Newport Beach, the Orange County coroner's office reported.

Bicyclist Sarah Leaf, 29, was involved in a deadly collision with a stake bed truck about 10:40 a.m. at the corner of Bayside Drive and Pacific Coast Highway, according to Newport Beach police Sgt. Mark Hamilton.

Leaf was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The driver remained at the scene and no arrests have been made," Hamilton said.

A witness said Leaf was wearing a helmet.

"I thought she was so still, I didn't know if she was dead," resident Barbara D. said. "I feel so bad, really sad."

Both vehicles were going east, and the collision happened when the driver of a stake-bed truck turned right on Bayside Drive, according to police.

Southbound Bayside Drive from Pacific Coast Highway was closed for several hours on Friday.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

LNorm September 16, 2012 at 09:23 AM
well written Mike M. so sorry for all of you that new and loved Sarah. This is a huge issue that worries me daily. I married into this world of cycling. My husband comes from a Pro background and moved to OC for me. He has been hit with big gulp drinks, full in n out meals, shot with a be be gun, ran off the bike lane in Laguna canyon, screamed at by angry women in huge SUV cars. He is constantly keeping his riding crew in check with regards to the road laws. I have learned so much being involved in this bike to car, car to bike exchange on our Roads. BOTH have much to be alert in, both have responsibilities to protecting life. I have witnessed idiot cyclists that ruin the reputation for all. AND, I have witnessed many inconsiderate, hateful drivers. It's Sooooo not worth the outcome. Takes being cautious and kind in every sport, everytime we step out our front door really. RIP dear Sarah.
Gary Delsohn September 16, 2012 at 02:11 PM
My wife and I worked with Sarah for a year when we lived in Newport Beach and we so fond of her. She was such a sweet and wonderful young woman. We became good friends and thought the world of her. This is so terribly sad and hard to digest. Our thoughts and prayers to all her many friends and family. - Gary Delsohn Sacramento CA
MikeMccarthy September 16, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I believe Sarah was a consciencous rider who did her best within an imperfect system.
Jim Wallace September 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM
i am a cyclist and that intersection is tricky and dangerous. The drivers are scrambling to get into the right lane or straight lane often at the last minute and getting over safely to go straight is a real challenge. My thoughts are with Sarah and the driver.
Barbara September 16, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I am so saddened by the sudden loss of beautiful Sarah. I came to know her over the years at Shape Up and was at the intersection at Bayside when the first officer arrived. I did not know at the time it was Sarah. She was such a beautiful, loving, caring person, always willing to give her healthy advice to all of us. She had a such a sweet gentle spirit that showed from the inside out....I read in Nixel yesterday that another woman 57 years old was killed in cycling up Newport Coast by a hit and run driver in a black pickup. Another tragedy in less than 24 hours. All of us drivers and cyclist need to be vigilant when we are on the road... My heart and prayers go out to Sarah's boyfriend and family... God bless you and in rest in peace sweet Sarah...my heart breaks:(:(
steve September 16, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Sean John Charles The Bottom line guys IS although tragic that She died in an ACCIDENT there---this is a VERY dangerous area--I pass by Probably 10 times a week--Perhaps this will help to make BOTH Drivers--AND Bikers more aware P.S. Sean John nothing here discusting OR pathetic----Just FACTS !!!!!
Jim Leonard September 16, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Hey 'Safe Driver', letter of the law you are correct. But motorists have an ethical responsibility to watch for cyclists - it is not hard to see a cyclist in front of you! And in order to collide with one while turning right, the motorist would have had to overtake the cyclist in the right turn only lane. Motorist need to be aware there is no where else to ride when proceeding straight on PCH in this case - the bicycle lane disappears when the right turn only lane begins! Myself - I ride in between the right lane and right turn only lane to avoid this mishap, but slower less experienced cyclists would not feel comfortable doing this. I had a girlfrient die because she waited on the curb corner for a semi truck to turn right, and the semi went over the curb! Killed her instantly, the truck driver was not even aware. So the motorist needs to carry SOME responsibility.
Jim Leonard September 16, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Mr Mccarthy, I am truly sorry to you and Sarahs family for your loss. Good Bless. -Jim
Bryan September 17, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Did you see the crash? I am a friend of Sara's who took her boating at the slip right there the 6 days earlier. I cannot help wondering if she took her eyes off the road looking at the boat slip
Pam September 17, 2012 at 05:49 AM
I just found out about sweet Sarah. I am in shock... She was the beautiful, smiling face that greeted us at the gym in the mornings with her yummy samples of protein shakes. I worked with her, for awhile, as my nutritionist to better understand and make healthy choices when it came to diet. I send blessings to Sarah's family and her boyfriend. I am so very sorry for your loss...so sorry.
Andrea September 17, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Really?!?!?!...........people are discussing anything except for their deepest sympathy for Sarah' family. I can't believe anyone would actually bring up things that can be perceived as anything but sadness at losing such an amazing, kind, wonderful human being.
Andrea September 17, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Really?!?!?!...........people are discussing anything except for their deepest sympathy for Sarah' family. I can't believe anyone would actually bring up things that can be perceived as anything but sadness at losing such an amazing, kind, wonderful human being.
G September 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM
What changes can the city make to keep this from happening? This is so sad. We need to make it safe for people to ride bikes. It's just not right that you can't ride a bike and be safe. Cyclists are forced to trust drivers. We need k-rails or a bike path to separate bikes from cars. PCH is not a freeway. Give up a lane to the bikes. With cell phones, nav systems. We can't trust drivers, the cyclist always loose. Please make it safe to enjoy the outdoors. I am just so sad this happend it's just not right.
steve September 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Andrea Yes Andrea -- REALLY---hopefully to EDUCATE others to not have the same tragic accident !!!!!!!!!!!!!
steve September 17, 2012 at 04:57 PM
G like I have said in prior posts--i live here and pass this spot twice daily--this is a free right turn lane for cars---if you are on a bike--you MUST look before you cross Bayside--STOP AND LOOK !!!! people on bikes NEED to understand that cars are gonna hurt you--hope this helps others
William September 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Sean John, you need to pull your head out of your butt. No one here is showing any disrespect in the least. By discussing the accident, and the scenario, hopefully one of the readers can help prevent a reoccurrence. If you’re looking for more heartfelt and personal condolences i suggest you look somewhere other than a public newspaper.
Adam September 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
'Safe Driver,' how about some respect here? Were you at the scene? How could you possibly think that you're qualified to make statements such as these? A wonderful young woman has passed away. She was one of my best friends. Your speculation and blanket statements are insensitive, unfounded and inappropriate. Please delete this and have some decency the next time you decide to post something. You didn't know her, but many of us did. Anything other than respect and love for Sarah and her family is unacceptable here. RIP, Sarah. We will all miss you more than you know.
Adam September 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM
She was one of my best friends in the world. For those of you who didn't know her, you would have loved her. Everyone did. She was and is one of the best, most amazing people I have ever met, and had a genuinely good spirit and heart. She will be truly missed and will never be forgotten. We all love you so much, Sarah, and will always honor you and your life. You have made such a positive impact on SO many people. I am so blessed and fortunate to have known you and I promise to tell your story always and know that you will be with us in spirit, even though you now live in Heaven. Love, Adam
sharla September 18, 2012 at 05:24 AM
I was at the scene of the accident right after it happened. I saw the victim in a body bag and wondered if it was a girl or a boy. I saw the blue and white bike and I wondered how it happened. I drive that route every day and I use to bike it, but I am too frightened to ride it because cars fly. I know that experienced cyclists get out in the road and go fast...... but cars need to pay more attention-- go slower at the intersections - because it's just not worth a life and all of us that live around here know cyclists are out around here every day. My prayers go out to her family. The picture of her laying there does not leave my mind.
Renee Sampedro September 19, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I loved Sarah, she was like my little sister. I am still in shock and denial. I can't believe the world has lost such a beautiful vibrant young woman. I met Sarah 6 1/2 years ago, I hired her and trained her to be a nutritionist. I was her mentor, friend, and family! We took trips together, went out to dinner monthly if not weekly, shared stories about work which only we could relate to. I was her advisor and therapist. She is so special to me. There is a hole in my heart. This is the saddest tragedy. She touched and changed so many lives in a positive way. She lived her life with passion and was so ambitious. I truly admire her , and will miss her deeply. I already do. Even though I placed flowers at her memorial, I can not believe that she is gone. I wish her and her family peace and love and prayers Love Renee Sampedro
Renee Sampedro September 19, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Adam I feel exactly the same way. Thank you for expressing it so beautifully She will truly be missed Xoxo Renee
steve September 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Safe Driver Attn : ADAM and Andrea and SEAN JOHN----Safe driver and I and others are NOT being disrespectful to Sarah or her family---we are trying to point out the dangers of riding a bike--ESPECIALLY at the spot Sarah was killed !!! Hopefully bikers wiil now be more aware and make better judgements while riding WITH cars
steve September 19, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Renee Sampedro----I never met sarah, but she sounds like wonderful young girl---I and others are simply trying to warn others about the dangers of biking and Bayside/PCH---as sad as her passing is---perhaps this can be a warning to others to be more careful---and believe me I MEAN NO DISRESPECT !!!!
Jim Leonard September 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Thank you Steve, I agree completely - we are only trying to help. Sorry if I - and others - do not appear to recognize the loss of Sarah appropriately. I am hopeful that our discussions of this accident and bicycling in general will help prevent someone from being hurt in the future.
jane September 19, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Wishing the family of Sarah Leaf peace in the midst of this horrible accident.
Cindy September 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I rode my bike on that route once, but on the sidewalk on the other side of the street where it's safer. I don't dare share the rode on PCH, crazy drivers going very fast. So sad...
Bryan Scarano September 24, 2012 at 08:21 AM
You people trying to justify the concept of riding your bike the safest way and not recognizing the true tragedy of a beautiful life lost makes me sick! Its not the time nor place for that discussion!! No matter the fact of who thinks they were right or wrong is missing the point that Sarah's family just had a very untimely and tragic loss. My prayers go out to the family. People need to open there hearts and not there big, uneducated, selfish mouths at times! Put yourself in the family's shoes for a second and think about what you just said.
Charles September 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I would recommend cyclists ride on the side streets, the less congested streets parallel to the main route. Also, wear bright clothing and one of those bike flags for visibility (they don't add too much aero drag).
steve September 24, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Bryan Scarano I and others are just trying to make others aware of the danger of riding you bike---I hope Sarah's family respects that !!! Perhaps it might even save YOUR life
Great Big Pick-Up Truck September 30, 2012 at 02:33 AM
As so many of her friends have said, I am quite sure that Sarah was a wonderful, loving person. If this wonderful, loving person had been driving a car on PCH and not riding a bicycle on PCH, she would, most likely, be alive today. Riding a bicycle on PCH--ANYWHERE on PCH is dangerous. Riding a bicycle on PCH between Dover and Poppy in Corona Del Mar is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! Even if every driver is cautious and watches where they are driving. Even if every cyclist is cautious and watches where they are riding, ACCIDENTS HAPPEN. If you are in a nice, big sedan, you will probably be all right. If you are on a bike, you will probably die or be seriously injured. Now: Who wants to take a bike ride from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach on PCH? If you raise your hand, you are STUPID!


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