Scene of the collision

Authorities say the driver of a box truck is responsible for the death of a Moss Beach man who was riding his bicycle when hit by the truck on Wednesday morning. August Howell / Review

A Moss Beach man was struck and killed on Wednesday by a box truck while biking on Highway 1 near Cypress Avenue in Moss Beach, authorities said.

The San Mateo County Coroner's Office said Harald Herrmann, 55, suffered fatal injuries in the crash. The truck was driving southbound on Highway 1 around 11:30 a.m. when it drifted into the northbound lane and struck Herrmann on the shoulder, according to the California Highway Patrol.

August Howell is a staff writer for the Review covering city government and public safety. Previously, he was the Review’s community, arts and sports reporter. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon.

(23) comments


Good grief infowars has landed at the Review. Sorry Clemens and all the good folks that knew the guy. Really Review. This is worse than old father Bower days.


Another problem is accident liability. Laws now make it incumbent upon motorists to see and avoid bicyclists. The problem is that bicyclists, pedestrians, horses, Amish wagons (back East) and anything else on public roads are generally poorly or not lighted.

I have suggested that anyone using mixed use public roads be legislatively mandated to make themselves visible to motorists. They should be lit up like a Christmas tree!

To repeat: Anyone using mixed use public roads should be legislatively mandated to make themselves visible to motorists!

How many times have you had an unlighted bicyclist or pedestrian pop up in front of you at night? Bicyclists scream about right of way. Nonsense! Bicyclists do NOT always have the right of way! Common sense and visibility ALWAYS supercede right of way.

Comment deleted.

"We can never make a roadway safe enough to prevent all accidents due to careless or impaired drivers."

How about: We can never make a roadway safe enough to prevent all accidents due to careless or impaired drivers, careless or impaired bicyclists and careless or impaired pedestrians?

Bicyclists, pedestrians, horse riders, tractors and anything or anyone else on public roads are responsible for the consequences of their own actions. Don't point the finger at motorists alone.

I have said it before and I say it again: Mixed traffic on roads is ALWAYS an accident waiting to happen. Neither motorists, bicycles or pedestrians are to blame for accidents. It's the mixed use roads.


Losing anyone this way is tragic but losing such an engaged and well known resident is shocking. Given the nature of the accident I don't see any obvious remedy. Even if the long planned parallel trail were in place a user could have been hit by the trajectory of this truck. We've lost a friend who cared about his community to a terrible twist of fate.

Marcus V

Harald was a giver, no other explanation is needed. He gave freely of himself and was genuinely interested in promoting a common good for everyone. A great friend to myself and our family he will be missed dearly. My hope is that from this tragedy some good in the form of safety improvements to Rt 1 will be the result. Harald would have wanted this.


As a motorist who has in fact struck a and killed a bicyclist, I have long argued that mixed traffic on roads is ALWAYS an accident waiting to happen.

A few years ago I pointed this out in a post to this very newspaper as a response to an article that was promoting bicycles as an eco-friendly transportation method. Especially disturbing were replies from readers who generally told me to pound sand and that safety training would take care of the danger. I went on written record to say that under no circumstances should children be taught that it's okay to ride with mixed traffic.

It's naive to think that improving roads will suddenly make them mixed-traffic safe.

Instead of wasting tons of "stimulus" money "improving" public roads serious money should be allocated to provide every road in the US with an adjacent SAFE "auto-free" mini road. Other roads should be designated "No bicycles" as is already done with many major roads.

In my opinion isolation of mixed traffic is the only safe solution. Until then, sadly, we can always expect bicyclist deaths on mixed traffic roads.

John Charles Ullom

Shall we ban bars and saloons too? Alcohol and Driving have maimed and killed millions.

Shall we build separate lanes for motorcyclists too? What about pedestrians? Mixing pedestrians and bicycle traffic has resulted in deaths too.

We don’t have the money. Banning bicycles is not going to work. Booze impaired drivers are here to stay. Motorcyclist are a fact of life.

Life is dangerous. Live it as best you can while doing your best not to hurt anybody.


Why are you going into such a defensive mode about my suggestion. I never said anything about banning bicycles from anywhere. What I said was that there should be adjacent roadways for bicycles (and if necessary for other users.)

People with attitudes like yours are the problem. They're not interested in solving a serious ubiquitous and deadly problem; only point the finger at motorists.

Neither motorists, bicycles or pedestrians are to blame for accidents. It's the mixed use roads.

John Charles Ullom

“ Other roads should be designated "No bicycles" as is already done with many major roads.”

Sounds like a ban.


Here is my memory of Harald Herrmann. He was a better man than I. Tentative plans are for a service/celebration of life just after Thanksgiving.

John Charles Ullom

Oh God. I just found out who this man was and now realize I knew him and had worked with him along with others on various issues facing our community.

Harald was a really sweet man. I saw him out riding his bike one night a few months ago. He was an obviously fit rider who rode with confidence. I would have enjoyed going for a ride with him. I know he will be missed.


Harald was a passionate advocate for his community, a dedicated father and husband, and the best boss I have had. His loss is incalculable. I hope the drive of the truck is held to the fullest account possible.

here ya' go

“drifted into the northbound lane and struck Herrmann on the shoulder”

The so-called driver of the truck DROVE across the center turn lane and the NB lane before hitting this poor man and then driving well off the road (probably a lane or two more in distance) before hitting the trees. He should receive the MAXIMUM penalties and lose his driving privilege. Enough!

John Charles Ullom

Are you sure? Are you really sure? Have you learned enough from this story to make such a judgment? You know nothing broke? You know he didn't have a medical emergency?

What if this man is a good man? What if this the first time anything like this has ever happened while he was driving? What if he has a family that he supports?

What are you hoping for? Justice or vengeance?


All valid points, John. Reports are he was wearing an ankle bracelet, but it will take weeks before we have reliable info on causality. The MWSD crew was shaken, in part because it was almost them, save for the 2nd and larger tree which caught the truck and stopped it.

John Charles Ullom

A friend sent me a photo of the license plate. I Googled.

That truck has had 13 mechanical violations in the last 16 months. Also noticed, per the photos, no skid marks.

Odds are the driver made a horrible mistake. But hating on him is not useful.

Odds are that whatever the driver was doing prior to the accident has been done by most of us.

Cid Young

John, the San Jose Mercury news said they did not suspect drugs or alcohol (but they did not state if he was talking on a non-hands-free mobile phone) . There were several witnesses. A crew from MWSD were working nearby, and members of the MCC were collecting trash in the same area where the crash occurred. The truck was traveling in the southbound lane (on the Westside), but then crossed over the center line, across the entire Northbound lane, struck Harald on the roadway shoulder (there are NO bike lanes in Moss Beach) and then continued on past the paved shoulder into the weeds (between Hwy One and Carlos Street) until he struck the tree which stopped his truck! I’m hoping the County makes some long-promised road improvements in Moss Beach. We have been having meetings about safe crossings, round-a-bouts, bicycle trails etc. Since at least 2011, but, so far, they have only funded studies. Then, they never followed-up on any of them! Big Wave was approved in 2015, and part of the development agreement with tge County required them to fund traffic control at Cypress and Highway One. In 2017, the Bd. of Supervisors let them wiggle out of the agreement, or postpone it, so, instead, it’s been “All talk, no Action” regarding that intersection ever since. We are still waiting, but for Harald, it’s too late! He was a fantastic person, and a true loss to our entire community.

here ya' go

Yep, I’m sure. Why would they charge him if there was not evidence to support it? I saw the active scene. Justice, please.


This is the second person on a bike to get killed in the past months. Who is going to improve our roads so that it is safe to walk or bike on the coast? I notified the City of HMB of the first death and they didn't know about it.

John Charles Ullom

The first death was caused by a Drunk Driver with an extensive history of Drunken Driving and happened 10 miles South of town. She has ruined her life and the lives of many others.

Wednesday's tragedy was caused by a driver who swerved across the road into on coming traffic, then the shoulder.

Short of banning a few things, there is nothing the CC can do to prevent the two deaths you are rightfully upset about.

Way too much money being made by local bars, saloons, and restaurants serving booze. Alcohol should only be consumed when within stumbling distance form where one intends to sleep. No city council is going to take on that crusade. And we can't afford to separate all traffic.

So, be careful but live your life as best you can without fear.

John Charles Ullom

Prayers for his family and friends.


Harold was an engaged Coastsider. He helped problem solve community issues which concerned us all. I am shocked that his life was taken. He offered so much hope to people working with him on mutual causes.

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