HEMET, Calif. — Missing since last month, the body of a missing Hemet bicyclist was discovered down a steep and rocky embankment along Vista Del Valle, a mountainous roadway with many sharp curves in the Hemet foothills Thursday afternoon, June 11.
The victim, Brian Darrell Grangaard, 45, of Hemet, had been missing since May 25, after he left his home for a bicycle ride on a Simpson Park bike trail.
Although officials had searched for Grangaard along the Simpson Park bike trail after he was reported missing, officials had not been able to find the missing bicyclist, CHP Officer Matt Napier reported yesterday.
“He told my grandma he would be home for dinner that night, after riding Simpson Park bike trail,” Grangaard’s daughter had said in a social media post after her father’s disappearance.
After receiving new information that Grangaard may have been spotted riding along Vista Del Valle around the time he went missing, on Thursday Riverside County sheriff’s deputies along with search and rescue volunteers re-focused their search along the mountainside in that area.
During their search, officials eventually found Grangaard’s body and wrecked bicycle down a steep embankment.
At around 4:30 p.m., after determining that Grangaard appeared to have died after losing control while trying to negotiate Vista Del Valle’s dangerous curves, officials at the scene requested CHP respond to the scene.
“(Deputies) noted physical evidence consistent with a bicycle collision and CHP was notified and responded to investigate the collision,” said Napier.
“The decedent was located down a mountain side, along a sharp curve in the roadway,” explained Napier; saying, “The decedent and the bicycle were obscured under heavy brush and not visible from the roadway.”
During the investigation, officials determined “(Grangaard) was traveling at a high rate of speed and was unable to safely negotiate the sweeping curve before he and his bicycle left the roadway,” explained Napier.
“Although this collision is still being investigated … and drugs/alcohol did not appear to have contributed to this collision …. we know that excess speed combined with a sharp curve likely contributed to this unfortunate death,” Napier continued.
Officials work to recover Grangaard’s body after the missing man and his bicycle were discovered Thursday afternoon.
Traffic in the area was not affected by the extensive, hours-long rescue and recovery operations, according to officials.
“This tragic event is a somber reminder that even experienced riders should use caution on mountain roads and regularly check their equipment,” Napier said of the tragic accident.
“Whether you are an experienced rider or just a beginner, do not ride ‘above your head’ and constantly reevaluate your riding capabilities to increases your chances of a safe ride,” said Napier.