Double BOLO alert for L.A. hit-and-run drivers, surprising choice for LADOT head

Yesterday, I got word of two cyclists asking riders to be on the lookout for drivers who hit them, then fled the scene.

Including one that left a rider seriously injured, and another that may have been an intentional attack.

The LACBC’s Alexis Lantz forwards word of collision involving a cyclist at 3333 McLaughlin Ave, just north of Mar Vista Park, on the street also known as S. Barrington Ave just a little north.

The collision, which left a rider named Cary lying unconscious in the street with 14 broken ribs, occurred around 2 pm on Thursday, May 26th.

While police were called, they have little information to work with, since Cary was knocked out and unable to get any information on the car that hit him, and no one else has come forward with a license number or description of the vehicle.

If you witnessed the collision or have any additional information that could help in the investigation, contact me and I’ll make sure it gets to the right people,  including the victim. Or you can call the LAPD’s 24-hour tip line at 1-877-LAWFUL (1-877-529-3855).

……..

Richard Risemberg of Bicycle Fixation forwards word of a Highland Park road rage incident in which a rider was knocked off her bike after exchanging words with a driver.

According to the Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch, Winona Wacker was riding her bike along Avenue 50 near Buchanan Street when a driver in a Volvo convertible came up from behind and started yelling at her to get out of the road.

Wacker said she responded to the motorist, who she described as a white male who looked to be in his fifties, by telling him that she was allowed to use the whole lane for her safety.

That response only angered the driver more, Wacker said.

“He laid on his horn, then yelled back at me  ‘you wanna test your weight against mine?’” Wacker said.  “ [He] continued blowing his horn, hit the gas and then sped up to run me down.”

The writer reports that a good Samaritan stopped to help her, then sped up to get the motorists license number. Police are handling the case as a general assault, and cycling and community activist Stephen Box has reached out to Sgt. Krumer urging action on the case.

In the meantime, area cyclists are urged to be on the lookout for a middle-aged white male driving a white Volvo C-70 convertible. If he’s run down a rider once, there’s no reason to believe he won’t do it again.

If anyone still needed proof of why L.A. needs an anti-harassment ordinance to protect the rights of cyclists, this is a textbook example of exactly what the proposed law, which is still awaiting final approval by the city council, is intended to address.

And don’t think this case is unique.

Change the location and reverse the sex of the participants, and it’s very similar to the road rage case that left me injured in Westwood over a decade ago.

……..

After months of instability at the head of LADOT, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is nominating his transportation deputy Jaime De La Vega as the agency’s general manager.

Not surprisingly, the story was broken on Twitter by Streetsblog Damien Newton, who clearly has his pulse on the city’s transportation beat. Just one more reason to support the site’s Spring Fundraising Drive.

And yes, that sigh you heard this morning was thousands of cyclists around the city expressing their disappointment that the mayor didn’t make a bold move by appointing a proven bike-friendly director to the post. On the other hand, it would be hard to get someone like that to take a politically appointed post in any mayor’s lame duck administration, with no guarantee the role would continue into the next mayor’s term.

In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that the new mayor will want his or her own person in the roll.

We’ll have to wait and see whether De La Vega will push to reform the chronically auto-centric agency, or if the former Hummer driver will just assume a caretaker role until the mayor’s term runs out.

4 comments

  1. Joe says:

    Former Hummer driver?

    I thought he was still driving it. What did he do, subdivide it into affordable housing units or something?

  2. PlebisPower says:

    > it would be hard to get someone like that to take a politically appointed post in
    >any mayor’s lame duck administration

    Not to mention a lame, lame duck. This mayor has been an utter disappointment since he hoisted Gloria Jeffs into that chair. She was nobody’s idea of an innovative thinker, and the rotating roster since has been no more impressive. Oh why, oh why, Los Angeles can’t you ever take a bold step? Is it simply cronyism and corruption, business as usual, or is there a more banal reason?

  3. Janice Resler says:

    If Ms. Wanker was so concerned about her personal safety, why was she riding down the middle of the street? And why didn’t she simply move over when the car approached? This sounds awfully fishy.

  4. Joe B says:

    Janice: My thought exactly! In fact, if she was so concerned about her personal safety, why did she leave her house that morning? If she had any sense at all, she’d stay in bed all day surrounded by soft pillows, like you and I and all thinking people do.

    All these people who “go outside” and “get assaulted”…their stories sure do sound awfully fishy.

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