SAN DIEGO — A tragic electric bike crash killed a Carlsbad woman last weekend, and now the community is rallying to her family’s side.
Christine Hawk Embree, 35, was riding her electric bike back home from the park with her 16-month-old daughter Delilah when she was hit by a car, according to family members who spoke to FOX 5. The 16-month-old was taken to the hospital out of precaution, but was not hurt in the crash.
Police have not formally confirmed the identity of the e-bike rider, or the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash.
The crash happened Sunday afternoon, less than three weeks after Christine Embree’s husband — a Southern California firefighter — spoke to the Carlsbad City Council to try and help stop speeding in their neighborhood.
Bob Embree learned of the crash while on duty in Orange County, according to the Carlsbad Firefighters Association.
“A phone call every first responder fears – While on duty serving as a Firefighter for the citizens of Orange County, Bob learned about the tragic events his family had suffered back at home, here in Carlsbad,” the organization wrote in a social media post.
In his speech to city council on July 19, Embree had referenced a speeding driver that crashed into about six vehicles in front of his home. He said he has been in public service for 15 years, and a Carlsbad resident for more than 30 years.
“Kids ride e-bikes up and down the hill,” Embree said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “Speed bumps, roundabouts, stop lights — anything to save a life,” he recommended.
“In my 10 years as a medic, I’ve been on multiple people hit by cars and it haunts me. Children are the worst and even worse is seeing the mom whose kid has been hit. To think their kid might not come back, or possibly their kid is never going to live the same life, because someone was speeding and hit their child.”
“All I’m asking is that we can hopefully slow traffic down and hopefully save a life. Thank you,” he concluded.
Just 19 days later, the tragedy he was trying to prevent in his own neighborhood hit his family.
“I heard this big crash and I looked out the window and saw the car, the bike underneath it, and I heard the little baby crying,” Ed Rose told FOX 5. He lives at the intersection of Basswood Avenue and Valley Street in Carlsbad, where this crash happened.
Carlsbad police say the 42-year-old driver of the Toyota 4-Runner involved in the crash stayed at the scene. Police said drugs or alcohol don’t appear to be a factor in the crash, but have not said if speeding was a factor.
Neighbors tell FOX 5 they have feared something like this could happen after the speeding they witness while at home, or out on walks in the neighborhood.
“We have been trying to … slow down the speeding in this community for years — years,” Oziel said.
“It’s a necessity at this point,” nearby resident Ashley Harris said. “It’s time to wake up and use our tax dollars to making these streets safer.”
“I personally have petitioned to the city about my own street because people fly down my street,” Joanna Munday, who lives in the neighborhood said. She lost her teenage son in a crash on Carlsbad Village two years ago, and said her heart goes out to the Embree family.
The Orange County Firefighter Authority, where Bob Embree works as an engineer, shared this statement with FOX 5: “As a tight-knit family of firefighters and staff, OCFA will continue to support the Embrees and honor Christine’s life – now and in the months and years ahead.”
The Orange County Firefighter Authority Benevolent Association opened a trust fund for the Embree family, where 100% of the donations go directly to the family.
A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up for the Embree family.