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Authorities Probe How Big Rig Container Became Loose, Crushed Cyclist To Death

CARSON ( — An investigation was underway Wednesday into how a big rig's container struck a railroad bridge in Carson, knocking the container from the truck and crushing a cyclist to death in Carson.

The bicyclist was identified by the coroner's office as Robert Castorena, 51, of Long Beach.

The accident was reported at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Santa Fe Avenue and Warnock Way, Melanie Flores, a supervising dispatcher with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said.

"The container struck a bridge and got knocked off the trailer," Flores said.

The container fell on its side, landing on top of Castorena on the sidewalk.

"It was like a freak accident, (everything) about it," Castorena's cousin Julie Hyder said. "He didn't feel (any) pain. He must have died instantly."

It was unclear if the truck exceeded the posted height of the railroad bridge, or what other factors may have contributed to the container toppling off the truck and onto the passing bicyclist. It was also unclear if the truck driver was cited or could face legal action.

Castorena was a longshoreman, who worked with shipping containers on a regular basis.

"That's their biggest fear on the docks, is to be crushed by a trailer," friend Rubin Ramirez said. "I'm almost speechless."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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