Update: Cyclist murdered in Pomona hit-and-run

Evidently, it was just too much to ask.

I’d been hoping that we could somehow manage to make it through this year without another cyclist getting killed. But Wednesday night, those hopes were dashed in a gruesome hit-and-run in rush hour traffic.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the driver was traveling northbound on Towne Ave in Pomona around 5:30 pm — KCBS-2 lists it as precisely 5:29 — when he struck a male cyclist crossing Towne on 6th Street. The green Dodge or Chrysler SUV then continued without stopping, dragging the victim half a block to his death.

The SUV was last seen traveling east on Mission Blvd, with moderate to major front-end damage.

As usual, the rider has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.

And yes, this should be considered a homicide, regardless of who might have originally been at fault. Had the driver stopped at the scene, the victim may or may not have had a chance. But by heartlessly dragging him down the street, the driver undoubtedly — and knowingly — contributed to his death.

And there should be no question of intent. Dragging someone that far without stopping pretty well indicates that, at best, the driver didn’t give a damn whether the victim lived or died.

Anyone with information is urged to call Pomona police at 909/622-1241.

This is the 22nd confirmed traffic-related bike fatality in Los Angeles County this year, and the 67th in the greater Southern California area. This is also the 5th fatal hit-and-run in L.A. County, and 12th in SoCal.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Gabriel Perez of Pomona; according to KNBC-4, he was riding home from work when he was killed, leaving behind a wife and daughter. 

KNBC captures the heartrending reaction from Perez’ widow.

“I want to ask that person – why didn’t he help at that moment? Why did he leave?” said Patty Cardenas, Perez’ wife. “Maybe there was a chance my husband still be alive.”

Cardenas is now faced with the challenge of telling her 8-year-old daughter about her husband’s death. So far, she’s isolated her from hearing the news.

“Oh what can I say! What can I say! Tell me!” said Cardenas. “He was loving. Loving to his daughter. Right now I don’t know how I am going to tell her about this!”

My heart and prayers go out to Gabriel Perez and all his family and loved ones.

6 comments

  1. Opus the Poet says:

    When I see stuff like this I wonder about how well we are screening drivers for psych problems. I know that when you get a CHL in TX you have to pass a basic psych test to catch the real nutcases, but the irony is that if someone wants to kill a motor vehicle is 200 times more deadly than a handgun used by a trained (but not expert) marksman. I took my last DL test more than 20 years ago and I know there was nothing on the test to weed out any crazies back then… And the ironic thing is you have a right to own and carry a firearm codified in the Constitution, but there isn’t and never has been a right to use WMD as transportation.

  2. What’s the betting that this guy has had alcohol problems in the past? About the only people who drag people down the road and then take off are people who are driving while drunk.

    • bikinginla says:

      I wouldn’t want to take that bet. I suspect most hit-and-runs result from people who want to sober up before they get caught.

  3. John says:

    Unfortunately, this was not the only bicycle fatality this week. There was another hit-and-run that killed a 47-year-old father of three in Lake Forest earlier this week.

    http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-lake-forest-hit-run,0,3086242.story

  4. Opus the Poet says:

    I saw in the Feed this afternoon that they caught the driver still in the bloody vehicle, drunk. he will be arraigned and assessed bail on Monday.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks Opus. Haven’t had the chance to check the news yet today, so I really appreciate the heads-up. I can always use a little good news like that.

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