Update: Bike rider dragged onto freeway in hit-and-run; win Schwinn bikes for two this month

Maybe you can figure this one out.

A series of cryptic CHP transmissions suggest that a cyclist — or possibly more than one — was run down by a hit-and-run driver near the L.A. Zoo around 11:30 Sunday. And horrifically, may have been dragged onto the freeway from the collision site on Zoo Drive.

Initial reports indicated that an older tan or white van fled the scene after hitting a security guard while making an illegal turn at the Zoo Drive onramp onto northbound I-5; the guard was reportedly directing traffic from his bicycle.

A few minutes later, however, a report came of a cyclist trapped under a gray Toyota Sienna on the I-5/134 transition. That report indicates the cyclist was hit at the top of the Zoo Drive onramp, then dragged onto the freeway as the van driver fled.

However, there may have been more than one vehicle involved, as the report says the Sienna does not appear to be related to the Zoo Drive traffic collision.

Hopefully, we’ll get more information to clear up the confusion soon.

And hopefully the security guard will bounce back from what sounds like a truly horrifying collision.

Update: Five days later, the story has finally appeared in the local press.

According to the Glendale News-Press, 36-year old L.A. resident Damian Kevitt — not a security guard — was riding west on Zoo Drive when the driver of an older gray Toyota Sienna made a sudden left turn in heavy traffic and struck the rider. 

Kevitt became trapped under the minivan, and was dragged 600 feet — the length of two football fields — as the driver continued south on the 5 Freeway without stopping.

A comment below says the victim ended up in the 2 lane of the freeway, where a motorist undoubtedly saved his life by stopping to protect him as he lay in front of high-speed traffic.

The writer, who identifies himself as a doctor at County Hospital, describes Kevitt’s injuries as the worst non-fatal injuries he’s ever seen. And correctly predicts that he would lose a leg.

The paper confirms Kevitt’s leg was amputated below the knee, and that he suffered a number of broken bones, as well as severe road rash on his chest and back — injuries the commenter described as “bone deep.”

The News-Press says the minivan had a For Sale sign in the rear window, with the partial phone number 213/XXX-0776.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Altadena Station at 626/296-8100.

Best wishes to Damian Kevitt for a fast recovery.

Update 2: A writer claiming to be Kevitt’s uncle posted this on a gun owner’s forum:

Sunday, Feb. 17th my nephew Damian Kevitt was the victim of a hit & run and left for dead on the I-5 Frwy in Griffith Park. He has lost his right leg below the knee and the left is in limbo as to whether it will survive. Both his legs, arms, wrists, and multiple ribs are broken. He has broken and missing teeth and very little skin left. This is the most horrible hit & run I have heard of short of it being fatal. Please help us catch this disgusting person.

I couldn’t agree more. Whoever could do something like this deserves to do serious time.

image001………

Okay, so I’m a little late with this one.

Schwinn is sponsoring a Valentine’s Month contest for bike lovers, in every sense of the term. Just visit Schwinn’s Facebook page before the end of the month — i.e., February 28th — and share your idea of the perfect rendezvous in their new Perfect Rendezvous Sweeps.

You could win a Schwinn Ladies’ Rendezvous and a men’s 4 One One bike, plus movie tickets and a gift card for your favorite restaurant.

Or two men’s or women’s bikes, if that’s more appropriate.

………

That’s one seriously anti-bike animal, as a spooked horse gets loose and trashes a Bassett bike shop, trampling 45 bikes in under a minute. Nearby host families are needed for the San Dimas Stage Race. Exploring Canyon County with the LACBC and the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles. Modesto police are looking for a strong-arm bikejacker. Napa High School students raise funds to continue a school bike club; every student who joins gets a bike, helmet and cleats if needed.

The judge rejects a plea deal in the Colorado horn-honking road rage case because the victims weren’t consulted; link courtesy of Cyclclicious. Fat bikes are taking over winter riding. Iowa considers a three-foot passing law; hopefully, their governor is somewhat more enlightened than ours. Rockford IL plans to convert abandoned railways into bike trails. Even in Fort Worth, roads go on diets and bike lanes go in. A teenage Massachusetts cyclist talks his high school into forming a one-person bicycling team so he can continue to compete. Evidently, biking to work doesn’t pass the national security test when you’re the new White House Chief of Staff. Drunken Florida driver kills cyclist, then sideswipes three cars before hitting a fourth head-on as he tried to flee.

Canadian man busted for riding a gas-powered scooter disguised as an e-bike. Bristol England police are trying to identify a mountain biker who was seriously injured when he came off his bike; this is why you always carry ID when you ride, right? How to get hooked on bicycling. Somehow, a Scottish boy gets his legs trapped in his bike. Confessions of a formerly arrogant Kiwi cyclist. A New Zealand truck driver loses his license for eight months for playing chicken with some unwilling cyclists, in full view of an off-duty cop who evidently failed to do anything about it for 40 km; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up. An Aussie driver runs into a cyclist, then gets out and punches him in the face. A British couple are killed by a pickup in Thailand while riding around the world; they had chronicled their journey on the blog Two on Four Wheels. A look at safe cycling in Kuala Lumpur.

Finally, a new laser GPS design promises to improve safety by projecting directions onto the road in front of you. And an Ohio writer asks why waste money on deer crossing signs when animals can’t read and won’t obey the law anyway?

……..

This might explain that awful grinding noise from my bottom bracket the other day; Chris at Westwood Helen's says my bike will be back on it's feet in no time.

This might explain that awful grinding noise from my bottom bracket the other day; Chris at Westwood Helen’s says my bike will be back on it’s feet in a few days.

22 comments

  1. TQ says:

    “MULT VEHS STOPPED TO TRY AND ASSIST” That bit of communication right there leaves me a little bit hopeful for the human race.

    Meanwhile, tomorrow’s Police Commission meeting, at which the Board was to receive & file a report of the LAPD’s hastily assembled compilation of hit-and-run data, has been postponed until Feb. 26th, with no indication that the report will be received on that date.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks for the heads-up. Maybe they’re keeping it vague so we won’t show up.

    • Elijah says:

      I am an avid cyclist and a doctor at a, LA County Hospital. I happened to be driving by the site of this accident. I was the first responder on the scene and was there until the victim was taken away by ambulance. This story deserves more coverage. This is the WORST thing I have ever seen in my life on multiple fronts. The victim was cycling with his wife. He was apparently struck by a Toyota Sienna Van. The Van apparently tried to flee but the cyclist was trapped on the vehicle somehow. The motorist dragged the cyclist for what I estimate to be 1/4 mile down a freeway on-ramp and never stopped. The man was finally left in the second lane of the 5 freeway and the Van sped off. One brave motorist stopped her vehicle to shield the victim. This was extremely dangerous. I happened by at that moment. Without being grotesque; I have never seen non-fatal injuries this severe and I work in a county hospital. These injuries were not caused by the collision but by the attempt to flee and the dragging of a body a great distance. Our fellow cyclist was completely stripped of his clothing and suffered bone deep abrasions all over; I am certain he will lose one leg below the knee and the other will be a heroic save if achieved. He was alert and I am hopeful he will survive but he will be profoundly broken of body AND NOT by any accident. My prayers are with him wherever he is. I will never forget the 30 minutes I spent with him. This may have changed my relationship to road riding forever despite my long love affair with cycling. It just takes once and this driver just shattered my trust in drivers. You have no idea how bad these injuries were. No one is covering this !!!

    • Elijah says:

      I agree that this story warrants popular media coverage both to warn cyclist and raise an alarm about how wrong it is to leave a pedestrian or cyclist after hitting them. In this case, had the motorist simply stopped, we are probably talking about a broken clavicle. Instead, the motorist accelerated down a long sweeping freeway on-ramp dragging a person along asphalt and likely running them over with their wheels as well judging from the rubber I saw burned into his body. He was deposited a 1/4 mile from his bike!!!! The driver HAD to know the cyclist was trapped as this would not be a silent event as any driver would know who has run over anything of size in their driving life. The driver simply kept driving while dragging the victim at near freeway speed. They did not even stop when he fell into the center of a lane on the freeway! How callous, how selfish, how heartless, can a person be? I understand at some level why a motorist would flee the scene out of fear when “the damage is already done”. But I cannot understand how a driver could keep driving in this circumstance when they are essentially shredding a person by doing so. If this driver is not convicted of a serious crime then we truly have a justice system that is broken. Attempted murder is almost a fair. I still cannot believe this is not considered news worthy by local media? This goes far beyond even a fatal hit and run. I sincerely hope this motorist is found and brought to justice.

  2. [...] Ted and I believe a bike patrol officer who was directing traffic on Zoo Drive, Los Angeles was hit by a gray, tan or brown van and dragged onto the Ventura Freeway as the driver fled the [...]

  3. Zhu Rou says:

    Wow, this still has not made it into the mainstream news.
    Bikinginla you do a great job of investigating!
    Cheers to you, and hopefully justice will be served in catching this coward.

    • bikinginla says:

      I’ve told a couple of reporters about it; one was already familiar with the story. Unfortunately, with all the cutbacks in media these days, if something happens on the weekend, it didn’t happen as far as they’re concerned.

  4. Zhu Rou says:

    I think you should repost this story or update it, and please don’t combine it with any other stories as it distracts the reader from carefully understanding what just occurred.
    This needs greater exposure so we can catch the coward who hit the cyclist.

    • Dane Evans says:

      Thank you Thank You Thank You Elijah for what you did for my Nephew and lending your voice to this. This has rocked my family and we are trying to use every avenue to bring this criminal to justice. I am the family spokesman for this case and I am trying to get more local news media to cover it.

      Channel 7 News carried this as the lead story last night on the 11:00 news. Link here: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news%2Flocal%2Flos_angeles&id=9007373. To any other news agencies especially Spanish speaking news outlets you may contact me at 805-231-8344 for more info and arranging interviews with the family. A fund will be set up soon for his medical expenses and recovery.

  5. Debbie says:

    Elijah thank you for being there for our nephew. He has a very rough road ahead and we appreciate you being there for him at the scene.

  6. Dane says:

    Elijah I am sure you watched channel 5 news last night. Just as an FYI my sister would like to meet you some day to personally thank you. Not sure if you have a choice to email me through here but if we could exchange contact info for later down the road that would be nice.

  7. Dane Evans says:

    We need to get a hold of Elijah if possible. There is a news conference today at noon and we would like to invite him there. Announcing a 25,000.00 dollar reward for information in this case.

  8. […] Source: http://bikinginla.com/2013/02/18/zoo-bike-security-officer-dragged-onto-freeway-in-hit-and-run-win-s… […]

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