We should all be sick of this by now.
Another drunk driver. Another hit-and-run. Another bike rider left to die in a crumpled heap on our streets.
A 2000 Volkswagon GTI driven by 29-year old Oxnard resident Policarpio Diaz was traveling in the bike lane and rear-ended Garcia’s bike. Garcia was thrown off, while Diaz fled the scene with the bicycle still trapped beneath his car.
It’s entirely possible the wide bike lane may have looked like a travel lane in the early morning hour. To a drunk, anyway.
Witnesses aided police in locating Diaz’ car — apparently with the bike still trapped underneath — and they took him into custody a short distance away. Diaz was booked into Ventura County Jail on felony counts of DUI, Hit and Run and Vehicular Manslaughter, as well as two outstanding misdemeanor DUI warrants.
Diaz had two outstanding warrants for DUI, yet he was still allowed to remain on the streets to kill another human being.
Tragedies like this will keep happening as long as our legal system refuses to take drunk driving, hit-and-run and other traffic crimes seriously. Garcia is just the latest in a long string of traffic victims, with no end in sight.
And if that doesn’t piss you off, maybe it should.
This is the 11th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County. It’s also at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Oxnard in the last 38 months.
My deepest sympathy to Gerald Garcia and all his family and friends.
And no thanks to the California DMV and a legal system that continues to value the rights of drunk drivers over the right of the rest of us to simply stay alive.