Update: Cyclist killed in Huntington Beach hit-and-run; arrest made in nearby Seal Beach

A bad month for SoCal cyclists just got that much worse when a cyclist was killed in a Huntington Beach hit-and-run late this morning.

According to the Orange County Register, the collision occurred around 11:40 Friday morning on northbound PCH between Seapoint Street and Warner Avenue. The rider, who has been identified only as an adult male, was pronounced dead at the scene.

No details on how the crash occurred are available at this time. However, a commenter on the Register story says they heard the impact, and turned to see the rider flying through the air and skidding over 100 feet, suggesting a high speed hit-from behind collision.

Satellite photos show a long stretch of roadway with only limited access, while the street view reveals a marked shoulder next to a four lane highway, with a 60 mph speed limit. It’s possible the driver may have drifted onto the shoulder, or the cyclist could have been forced into the traffic lane by a parked car or some other obstruction.

But we won’t know until additional information becomes available.

The good news — if there can be good news in a story like this — is that a suspect was arrested about an hour later in nearby Seal Beach.

According to KTLA-5, a man lost control of a 2011 Hyundai and crashed on Westminster Blvd between Bolsa Chica and Seal Beach Blvds. Police investigating the collision discovered the car matched the description of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run, and took the driver into custody.

However, KCBS-2 says police were following the suspect by helicopter, and arrested the driver when he ran off the road.

This is the 27th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Orange County. The cyclist was also the sixth SoCal rider killed by hit-and-run since the first of the year, and the seventh to die this month.

My prayers for the victim, and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Lois, David Huntsman and Weshigh for the heads-up.

Update: KTLA-5 has identified the victim as 63-year old Roger Michael Lippman of Huntington Beach, listed as a rider in last year’s Palm Desert and Stagecoach Centuries

KNBC-4 confirms that the driver hit Lippman from behind; aerial video shows Lippman’s body covered by a tarp on the right shoulder next to his crumpled bike. The web version of the story shows the bloodied face of the suspect driver, while the embedded video shows the crumpled front end and shattered windshield of the car he was driving, which was registered to a 59-year old Anaheim woman.

Meanwhile, the Times identifies the driver as 27-year old Joel Alexander Murphy of Mission Viejo. A comment from reliable source TQ reports that Murphy has been booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and violating probation for prior drug offenses, including DUI, dating back to 2005.

And yet, despite all that, he was still behind the wheel.

I’ve also seen unconfirmed reports that Murphy was racing another vehicle at speeds up to 80 mph when he ran off the road and murdered hit Lippman. 

Hopefully, this will be the last time he’s ever allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

46 comments

  1. fucking hell – tragic and horrifying. the ‘hit from behind’ is my biggest fear. there’s just no room for error, and the cyclist loses.

  2. TQ says:

    Drunken Joel Alexander Murphy of Mission Viejo was arrested by the HBPD and so far has been charged with fleeing the scene, DUI resulting in great bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and violation of probation because (oh surprise) of prior drug offenses, including DUI.

    The court must be tired of his many, many appearances, beginning in 2005. That summer, he was arrested for buying alcohol with fake ID, and for Christmas, Santa brought him his very first DUI.

    I’ll be really surprised if the OCDA doesn’t file a charge of murder.

  3. roadblock says:

    there is a precedent for a DUI driver to get a murder charge. From what I understand after the first DUI the driver is to sign a statement acknowledging that they are committing murder if they get behind the wheel drunk

    • Biker395 says:

      That is correct. It’s called a Watson warning, and can be used to infer the intent necessary for a charge of second degree murder … which should have been filed in this case.

  4. Pat Baker says:

    Drivers impaired by any substance, alcohol or drugs are endangering others…pedestrians, cyclists other motorists. The OC district atty must proceed against these people. Even though I realize addiction is a medical problem, when it costs other people their lives and injures even more people, there must be prosecution!!! Innocent people MUST be protected!!!!!

    • My husband has been hit from behind by cars two times since 4/11. He has suffered permanent injuries due to the accidents and also vivid memories of the accidents. He is victim of the how “the system works”, the impact that his love, compassion, health benefits of bicycling have been greatly affected due to the number of accidents & increasing deaths. So he isn’t comfortable to continue “road bicycling” with impaired drivers are endangering others without regard to what their actions will have. These people need to be prosecuted & held accountable and taken off the streets so the innocent lives are protected! It’s time for a movement to CHANGE the laws, barriers to protect the bicyclists, etc. Now is the time for biking advocacy groups, bicycle clubs, concerned citizens, county & state gov’t to take action to unite to be the driving force for immediate change to make it happen!!

      • Jordan says:

        Perhaps now is the time to stop riding bikes along the busy highway of PCH. The guy who hit him was in the wrong obviously. Aside from that, our roads are not made to handle all these cyclists and GROUPS of them that seem to have no situational awareness. I drove by this accident about a minute after it happened and saw his body, i felt terrible but at the same time i don’t understand why people put their own life at stake by riding a bicycle on a 60mph highway.

        • bikinginla says:

          Jordan, as long as everyone obeys the law and drives or rides safely, there’s no reason cars and bikes can’t share PCH or any other road.

          Saying that bikes don’t belong there is just another way of saying drivers are incapable of driving safely. And I hope we all know that’s not true.

  5. Christine Drover says:

    Roger was an amazing and talented man. Those who were lucky enough to know him will miss him dearly !!!!

    • Jeffrey says:

      Can we pay respect to Mr. Lippman? When are his services?

      • carol wimbish says:

        His beautiful soulmate of 40yrs Cheryl is so destroyed she can’t plan anything. Please everyone keep her in your thoughts and prayers..

        • Jeff Fylling says:

          Carol, how can we help – we can do something…….anything….

          • bikinginla says:

            One thing you can do is contact the Orange County D.A.’s office; I’m told they’re trying to reach out to Roger’s friends and family to aid in the prosecution and prepare Vicitim’s Impact Statements to present to the judge.

          • Deborah Krusz says:

            Please send me information or roger lippman obituary. I can’t seen to find out anything about his obituary. Anyone with information please forward. Thank you Debbie Krusz

        • Deborah Krusz says:

          Carol. I knew Roger In his earlier years. I would love to talk with his soul mate. Could you please give her my
          Phone number 252-648-1721. Please.

        • Deborah Krusz says:

          Carol. I’m a friend of Roger from the early 70’s. Before he moved CA. I’ve been trying to get information concerning his funeral and obituary. If you have information could you please forward it to me please. My email is waterwitch1952@aol.com. Or Facebook Deborah Krus. I would really appreciate anything at this point. Thanks. Deborah Piner Krusz

        • Deborah Krusz says:

          Hi Carol I’m a friend of Roger Lippman. We were friends when he lived on the east coast. I have been trying to teach his soulmate. I want to speak to her so bad. If you could please forward my phone number 252-648-1721. Thanks so much for your help. Debbie Piner Krusz

        • Carol, I’m trying to reach Roger Lippman soul mate. Please forward my number 252-648-1721. Thanks Debbie Krusz

        • Carol please give Cheryl my name Debbie Krusz and phone number 252-648-1721 and have her to
          Please call me. Please

      • Deborah Krusz says:

        Have you see Roger Lippman obituary? If so could you please tell me who I can get it. Thanks. Debbie Krusz

      • Deborah krusz says:

        Can someone please give me some information on Roger. How can I get up with his life long mate?

    • Deborah Krusz says:

      If you knew Roger would you please call me 252-648-1721. Please

    • Deborah Krusz says:

      Yes I’m trying to get information on a friend of mine Name Roger Lippman. I can’t find his obituary or no one to talk to. I know he had a soul mate but I don’t know her name. Will you please help me. Thanks Debbie Krusz

  6. yagibear says:

    This senseless act must stop! So many innocent people are dying from impaired drivers. My father-in-law was a victim in the North Hills one. Still looking for that person.

  7. Timo says:

    This disgusts me, I am almost without words. I drove by the sence right after it happened and it broke my heart. I have no sorrow for those who choose to drive impaired. Whether from any substance (alcohol or drugs) or texting or using thier cellphones it is murder in my opinion.

  8. barbara schreiber says:

    an the city put some kind of barriedso the bikelane is potecedfrom cars.or move bikelane on to beach paking lot .pch is a dangeres stretch of road .my deepest symarty to the family of mr lippman

  9. Allison Seesemann says:

    My husband & Roger rode the Tour de Palm Desert together just a few months ago. The sadness is overwhelming to loose such a wonderful intelligent man, and Roger was indeed that, to such a senseless lack of decency and respect for other living beings. It could have been anyone’s son or husband. The sick individual who was behind the wheel should NEVER be allowed on our streets again.

    • Deborah krusz says:

      Allison can you please give me information on Roger Lippman. I’ve been trying to find his obituary but I have no luck. Your help would be greatly appreciated

  10. wes oishi says:

    We are a society that allows people to text and talk on the phone. We don’t take driving seriously anymore. It’s sad that anyone loses their life like this. In Velo Club La Grange, there have been six deaths, the majority of which occurred from around 1993.

  11. david grant says:

    What a buddy, what a talent, what a giving and kind person — Roger Lippman was the best kind of human being. Compassionate, resourceful, and like a lot of people — and my four legged creatures — I loved him too Cheryl.

  12. rox says:

    I too drove by just after the accident. I was mortified at the sight & felt the blood drain from my face as my 2 young children asked what was wrong. I have no compassion for the driver of the car – he should be charged with murder. However, it seems like an awfully big risk cycling next to cars going so fast (60 mph) in such a narrow lane and in a large group. Even if everyone is following the rules… even a responsible driver could simply sneeze at wrong time and accidentalky hit a cyclist with no malice intended. Personally, I would not feel safe.

  13. Deborah Krusz says:

    We all have lost a beautiful human being. Life won’t be the same. His life over. My heart broken. Roger Lippman was a kind, loving man and didn’t deserve to die in that manner. God Bless His Soul. I hope to see him again one day on the other side. RIP my dear friend. You will be missed

  14. Deborah Krusz says:

    We all have lost a beautiful human being. How this could happen to Roger is unbelievable He has been on a bike his whe life. Riding was a passion of his. Something he surely enjoyed. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known him. He was my friend. His life taken and mine will never be the same. Rest In Peace Roger. Love you forever. Debbie Piner Krusz

  15. Harlene says:

    I did not know Mr. Lippman but I am planning to attend the pre-trial on October 3rd in honor of the victim of this senseless murder. Is there anyone I can sit with?

    • Jeffrey says:

      MADD should have an Advocate there for the preliminary hearing. I will call to confirm.

    • Deborah Krusz says:

      Did you attend the trial of Lippman?

      • Jeff says:

        Here is the result……..
        Breaking news: Joel Alexander Murphy gets serious jail time in DUI hit-and-run death of Roger Lippman

        I’ve just gotten word that Joel Alexander Murphy has been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for the drunken, high-speed hit-and-run collision that took the life of Orange County cyclist Roger Lippman.

        Lippman was riding north on PCH along the Bolsa Chica Wetlands last June when he was run down from behind by a car driven by Murphy; a witness reported seeing his body flying over 100 feet through the air following the impact.

        Instead of stopping, Murphy continued on until he had second collision a few miles away, crashing into the fence surrounding the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. He was arrested at the scene, and booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and violating probation for prior drug offenses, including DUI, dating back to 2005.

        Last month Murphy changed his plea to guilty, reportedly without a deal in place.

        On Friday, he was sentenced to 10 years in state prison on one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, along with an additional five years for fleeing the scene. The terms are to be served consecutively, with the five-year sentence specifically excluding any eligibility for parole.

        Which means that we can expect Murphy to be off the streets for at least the next 10 years at the bare minimum.

        It doesn’t bring Lippman back.

        But for once, a killer driver gets more than just a slap on the wrist.

        Meanwhile, my source reminds me that the Orange County DA’s office still has not filed charges against Becki Lee James in the allegedly drunken death of cyclist Kenneth Prevatte just a month later and a few miles up the road, despite receiving a final report from the Huntington Beach Police Department over six months ago.

        Which makes me wonder what exactly they’re waiting for.

        • Jeff says:

          Actually this is the same info I sent over to BikinginLA via an email alert from the Orange County District Attorneys office. 15 years max is still not enough punishment in my eyes – especially since the guy who killed Dr. Kit Campion only received 5 years……

  16. Brenda Gustin says:

    Can we have more of a police presence on our highways. They can write speeding tickets and generate needed revenue while sending a message that wreckless driving will come at a price. The wrong people are paying that price with their lives, while we get stuck with the tax bill to continue to run a circus of a court system

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