A USC professor was in serious but stable condition Wednesday evening after being hit by a delivery truck on Pacific Coast Highway near the Getty Villa early Wednesday morning.
Maija Iris Heller, 33, was traveling downhill on Coastline Drive in Pacific Palisades at 4:41 a.m. when she ran through a red traffic light and collided with a two-axle flower delivery truck traveling westbound on PCH, California Highway Patrol spokesman Leland Tang said.
Heller was transported to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where she remains in serious but stable condition after sustaining undisclosed "major injuries."
"It should have been a fatality but we're really lucky it wasn't," Tang said. "She's really luck it isn't."
Heller is a German citizen and professor of oceanography at the University of Southern California.
Heller's driver's license listed a Pasadena home address, Tang said, although she may have lived in the area. She was likely bicycling for early morning exercise, he said.
Tang encouraged bicyclists to follow the traffic guidelines.
"One of the biggest things we are having a problem with is bicyclists are not following the rules of the road," he said. "Bicyclists have to stop at stop signs, they have to stop at red lights. [Heller] ran a red light."