Update: Sonora bicyclist killed in crash is identified

Merced Sun-Star file

The California Highway Patrol has identified a bicyclist killed Saturday evening as 67-year-old John Richard Kikugawa of Sonora.

The identification corrects the age of the man, originally said to have been 69.

Kikugawa rode his electric bicycle into the path of an SUV in Sonora, according to the CHP. The crash occurred at about 5:40 p.m. on State Route 49 near Old Sonora Columbia Road.

Kikugawa was riding south, along the edge of the road. Just behind him was a 2006 Buick Rendezvous driven by Shawn Williams, 44, of Sonora.

Kikugawa turned left toward Old Sonora Columbia Road, riding directly into Williams’ path, the CHP said. Williams took evasive action but was unable to avoid a collision, which threw Kikugawa into the air. The man, not wearing a helmet, died at the scene.

Kikugawa was a musician, who had played bass with the Lava Cats and How You Hazz Jazz. His bio on the latter band’s website reads: “While growing up in San Francisco’s East Bay, John was mentored into Jazz by a close friend who opened the door that welcomed him into the Bay Area’s Jazz Radio mainstream.

“His initial passion for the genre led him to a stand-up bass that had seemingly been waiting for his artful ministrations ... gradually taking him to an excellence which matched his burgeoning career as a master carpenter. The two artful endeavors brighten a life endorsed by a wondrous destiny that eventually nudged him into Now You Hazz Jazz, where his refined talent now shines brightly alongside master drummer, Bob Lehmann.”