Sometimes I just want to scream.
This time, it’s the victim of a Victorville hit-and-run who died on Friday, two days after he was run down by a heartless coward and left for dead on the side of the road.
According to the High Desert Daily Press, 27-year old Alabama resident David Epperson was walking his bike on the east side of Ridgecrest Road south of Pebble Beach Drive in Spring Valley Lake, just east of Victorville, around 10:30 pm last Wednesday. A northbound SUV reportedly drifted off the road, striking Epperson and driving off without stopping.
He was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in critical condition, where he died on Friday.
Judging by the street view photos, there does not appear to be a shoulder or paved sidewalk alongside the roadway, suggesting that Epperson may have been forced to walk in the street. And suggesting that poor road design may have played a part in his death, as well.
Authorities are looking for an early 1990s Ford SUV with possible front-end damage. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Victorville office of the CHP at 760/241-1186 or 800/78-CRIME (782-7463).
This is the 26th cycling fatality in Southern California since the start of the year, and the fourth in San Bernardino County — and the second rider to die of injuries suffered in San Bernardino County last Wednesday. Epperson is also the 5th cyclist to killed by a hit-and-run driver this year.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Epperson and his loved ones.
Update: According to the High Desert Daily Press, CHP investigators have arrested a suspect in the death of David Epperson.
An anonymous tip directed officers to a home in Victorville, where they found the damaged car and arrested 26-year old Jason Thomas Scott.
The paper reports that Scott was allegedly drunk at the time of the collision, and has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony hit-and-run. He’s currently being held on $250,000.
Scott has a history of arrests for DUI, disorderly conduct and assault with a deadly weapon. Yet once again, it wasn’t enough to keep him off the roads, and once again, an innocent person pays the price.
It will be interesting to see how authorities make their case that Scott was intoxicated at the time of the collision, since a full week had passed between the wreck and his arrest — more than enough time for any intoxicants to leave his system, or to argue that any substances remaining in his system were taken after the collision.
Unless he has confessed to being under the influence, or they have witnesses who can attest that he was drinking heavily or taking drugs, the intoxication enhancement seem to be very difficult — if not impossible — to prove.