Police: Driver Not At Fault in Fatal Bicyclist Crash

Newport Beach police say Sarah Leaf lost control of her bike and fell into traffic on Bayside Drive.

The driver of a truck that collided with a young cyclist in Newport Beach was not to blame for the fatal accident, Newport Beach police reported.

Sarah Leaf, 29, was killed on Sept. 14 while cycling on Bayside Drive. Police say the investigation showed Leaf and the driver of the truck both made right turns from eastbound East Coast Highway to southbound Bayside Drive.

"While making her turn, Ms. Leaf began  to lose control of her bicycle and subsequently fell into the number two lane of southbound Bayside Drive," Kathy Lowe, police spokeswoman, said in an email. "Ms. Leaf fell underneath the truck and the truck then traveled over her body. There was no evidence to indicate that the truck and bike made contact prior to Ms. Leaf falling to the ground."

Police say drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

Leaf worked as a nutritionist at Shape-Up Fitness and Spa in Corona del Mar. A public memorial was held for her on Sept. 22. Her family had her funeral in Arizona.

Safe Driver November 01, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Everyone in the cyclist community jumped on the band wagon and immediately shouted that this woman had been "MURDERED" by the truck driver. Now that the truth has come out and the driver of the truck exonerated, maybe our wonderful city council will come up with a MEMORIAL TRUCK DRIVE, to help raise money for a special fund to help innocent truck drivers who suffer intense mental anguish and psychological problems, due to the fact that their vehicle happened to run over a bicyclist who lost control of her bike and fell under the poor soul's truck. I would venture to guess that the VAST MAJORITY of fatal accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles, are caused not by the motor vehicle driver, but by the bicyclists themselves. This tragic death is yet another example of why riding a bike on PCH or Bayside Drive is horrendously dangerous. Attention bike riders: Irvine has miles and miles of incredibly WIDE, ALMOST-VACANT-ON-THE-WEEKENDS, smooth, open roadways on which you can safely cycle. Forget Newport Beach and Corona del Mar and go ride there. If you insist on riding on narrow, horribly congested PCH, with car doors opening, pedestrians crossing and vehicles pulling in and out of parking spots and lots, YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR HEAD EXAMINED!
Ted November 01, 2012 at 05:20 PM
This was a very tragic accident. Ms. Leaf lost her life and the truck driver will always have a horrible memory of taking her life. Maybe something good can come of it. Maybe creating a NARROW bike lane to help bikes stay to the side of the street.
LNorm November 01, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Irvine safe? guess you didn't hear about the big rig that took out a seasoned cyclist and dragged him for a few intersections while his buddy chased him down to tell him what he had done. Took a turn in bike lane, no clue of who or what was on the road. get your head examined. It's everywhere.
Safe Driver November 01, 2012 at 07:52 PM
OK, I guess I should have said that Irvine was SAFER, in the huge, commercial areas, on the weekends, as compared to CDM on ANY DAY. I am quite sure that there are accidents everywhere, even during the best of conditions. With that in mind, maybe folks ought to think twice about riding a bicycle on the street.
LNorm November 01, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Yes Ted, Yurs a more productive addition to this conversation. WE all need to put our heada together. So exercise enthusiast can be safe, whatever the exercise of choice is.
LNorm November 01, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Most adult cyclists are also motorist and aware of these road issues. One has to CARE enough to DO something different.
Katherine November 01, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I am relieved to hear that the driver was exonerated....heaven's knows he suffered a LOT of anguish, exacerbated by the vicious, biased attacks against him on this site. I am sorry for Ms. Leaf's family and friends as this is an enormous loss....but I am relieved to know that the driver and his family have been spared from an injustice.


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