Tuesday, February 9 , 2016, 2:44 pm | Fair 82º

Bicyclist Critically Injured in Downtown Santa Barbara Collision

Police say Talia Alessandra Tashma-Rapp, 18, ran red light and rode into the path of a vehicle

A damaged bicycle lies at the corner of Santa Barbara and Victoria streets in Santa Barbara Sunday night after a female cyclist was critically injured in a collision with a vehicle.
A damaged bicycle lies at the corner of Santa Barbara and Victoria streets in Santa Barbara Sunday night after a female cyclist was critically injured in a collision with a vehicle.  (KEYT News photo)

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol | updated logo 9:56 a.m. |

An 18-year-old Santa Barbara woman was critically injured Sunday evening when she was struck by a vehicle while riding her bicycle in downtown Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The accident occurred at about 6:45 p.m. at the intersection of Santa Barbara and Victoria streets, said Sgt. Kenneth Kushner.

The bicyclist, Talia Alessandra Tashma-Rapp, was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with life-threatening injuries, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Tashma-Rapp was eastbound on Victoria Street when she failed to stop for a red light, and rode into the path of a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven northbound on Santa Barbara Street by Richard Cannis Sander, 28, of Santa Barbara, Harwood said.

There were several witnesses to the accident, which also was captured on surveillance video from a nearby story, Harwood said.

Tashma-Rapp had a light on her bicycle, but was not wearing a helmet, Harwood said.

Investigators suspect, based on evidence found at the scene, that Tashma-Rapp had earphones on and was listening to music, Harwood said.

Sander was cooperative with investigators, Harwood said, and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

The Police Department’s Critical Accident Team remained on the scene until late Sunday, Kushner said.

The intersection was shut down after the accident occurred, and remained closed until near midnight, Kushner said.

The intersection of Santa Barbara and Victoria streets was shut down Sunday night after a bicyclist was critically injured in a collision with a vehicle. (KEYT News photo)
The intersection of Santa Barbara and Victoria streets was shut down Sunday night after a bicyclist was critically injured in a collision with a vehicle. (KEYT News photo)

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 11.19.12 @ 01:21 PM

Did she run a stop sign?

» on 11.19.12 @ 02:16 PM

John, The article states that she ran a red light.

Unfortunately this happens too often. Bicyclists seem do believe that vehicle laws, like stop signs and red lights, don’t apply to them.

In the past month, I have had this happen to me 3 times. In every case, I had to brake abruptly to avoid the bicycle. In 2 of the 3 cases, the bicyclist didn’t even acknowledge the close call but just kept going with no look back.

» on 11.19.12 @ 04:41 PM

Sorry to hear about this collision, but local bicyclists run stop signs all the time and show no regard for traffic laws. This needs to stop.

» on 11.19.12 @ 05:24 PM

What an avoidable tragedy! Unfortunately, as Art stated, happens all too often. Too many times I’ve had to avoid hitting a cyclist going through stop signs, red lights, wrong way on one-way streets, etc. There are laws for cyclists, obey them and live!

» on 11.19.12 @ 06:02 PM

If the red light comment was in the original story this AM, I apologize - I missed it.

I too have had issues with bicyclists ignoring traffic laws.  In my case a bicyclist ran a stop sign, ran into and damaged the side of my brand new car, screamed at me, gave me the finger, and pedalled away. 

My personal observation is that most, but not all, bicyclists regard traffic laws, esp stop signs and red lights, as not applicable to them.  SBPD should step up.

» on 11.20.12 @ 03:50 AM

Wishing with all hearts that Talia recovers as quickly as possible. Your community’s love and support is with you.

» on 11.20.12 @ 10:59 AM

I have always beleived in the open door policy….as they ride by just open your door…that seems to stop them every time.

» on 11.20.12 @ 12:48 PM

Hey Daniel!  The straight-arm (aka clothesline) approach works with skateboarders in a similar way.

» on 11.20.12 @ 12:51 PM

I just read the article again.  Earphones on, listening to music, riding a bike, AND running a red light.  Now that’s just stupid.  And stupid has a price.  This should be a BIG public deal, so the scofflaw set of the bicyclist world understands what their behavior can lead to.

» on 11.20.12 @ 03:07 PM

Defensive driving is always important also.  Going through an intersection it is always important to slow and expect the unexpected. 
Most importantly let’s remember this is a girl not a woman, 18 years old.  Let’s remember her in our thoughts and prayers and her family also.  No matter who is at fault this is a major tragedy for her family and I am sure they would appreciate people being a bit more thoughtful in their comments.

» on 11.20.12 @ 03:42 PM

Sometimes harsh commentary opens the eyes of those that have not made the same mistake.  Sure we have compassion for her and her family…does not alleviate the results of her stupity.  Others can learn from her misunderstanding of reality and that all actions have consequences.

» on 11.20.12 @ 09:52 PM

There are ways to say things and using words like stupidity usually shows that the person speaking has a very narrow way of thinking.  Teenagers sometimes do things without thinking and hopefully terrible accidents like this will help some think about what they are doing and to just be careful.  The most important lesson here is for bicyclists and drivers to be careful and be defensive drivers and riders and the very most important thing here is to pray for the cyclist and her family in this most horrific time.

» on 11.20.12 @ 10:34 PM

I certainly hope this ADULT recovers, and then learns a lesson. That said stupid is as stupid does. Headphones, ignoring signals, riding without paying attention? Sorry person but that’s plain air headed stupid.

» on 11.21.12 @ 11:29 PM

Talia is a beautiful being, who was thrown into an unfortunate situation. I believe that we should all put aside the negativity at this time, and send all of our love and prayers to her and her family.

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