Update: LA cyclist killed in multiple car Beverly Grove hit-and-run

Another bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

LA’s KNBC-4 broke the news late last night that a bike rider had been taken to a hospital in critical condition following a hit-and-run collision in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.

Sadly, the station confirmed this morning that the victim, identified only as a 58-year old man, has died.

According to the news report, he was riding on the 100 block of North Crescent Heights Blvd, between Beverly Blvd and First Street, around 9 pm Tuesday night when he was rear-ended by the driver of a red Ford SUV, who fled the scene.

He was struck with enough force to throw his body 75 feet, landing near the driveway at 109 N Crescent Heights, where he was struck by another vehicle; that driver stopped and cooperated with police.

It’s likely the SUV driver was exceeding the 35 mph speed limit to strike the victim with that much force.

Screen grab from KNBC report

Screen grab from KNBC report

His bike, a blue road bike with green handlebar tape, lay mangled on the side of the road. A red tail light is visible on the seat post.

The driver of the SUV fled on foot after crashing into a parked car a block away, leaving her wrecked car behind. Initial reports indicated the driver was a woman, but police were unable to confirm that.

The station reports both the victim and the driver of the SUV were westbound; however, it appears they were actually traveling south, since it’s a north-south street.

Crescent Heights is afour-lane street,  mostly residential, with commercial buildings on the major cross streets. The right lane is a mixed traffic and parking lane; at that hour, it’s likely there would have been numerous parked cars, pushing him into the left lane to avoid the zone.

Police say the second driver won’t face any charges.

It’s impossible to know which of the vehicles struck the fatal blow. However, the driver of the SUV should face a homicide charge, since she — or he — made the decision to flee the scene, and leaving the victim unprotected to be struck by another car.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in LA County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: KNBC has updated their report to say the driver was a woman, but police have no other description at this time.

Update 2: The Beverly Press reports the victim is a 59-year old Santa Monica resident, but still has not been publicly identified.

According to the paper, he was headed west on 1st Street and ran a stop sign to cross Crescent Heights, as well as ignoring a right-turn only sign; if the driver had stopped, she might have been released without charges. 

Instead the driver, who was operating a rental car, is wanted for felony hit-and-run. Police are trying to identify who had rented the SUV. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

 

6 comments

  1. Brian Nilsen says:

    I work in this area, in the same building as Paul Koretz’ office, in fact. There are essentially no bike lanes anywhere nearby – there are some on San Vicente and new ones on Fairfax north of Melrose, but that’s it for the entire area.

    I’m guessing Koretz won’t have much to say about this.

  2. Joshua Cohen says:

    So tragic – that neighborhood is more than ripe for bike infrastructure. Crescent Heights and West Third would both be perfect streets for road diets. They have no turn lanes, are arterials surrounded by residential and commercial neighborhoods, have heavy bike and foot traffic, and have constant dart-out situations. I suspect a road diet with a bike lane would have saved this poor person’s life.

  3. Ben says:

    The report and the video say he was west on 1st and went straight thru crescent heights on a right turn only leading to the initial impact

  4. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of the victim.

  5. keith says:

    I prefer other north/south streets nearby for commuting than Crescent Heights. Gosh can’t imagine hitting someone & then just driving away like nothing happened. And then somehow being able to just go about your daily routines. Should be easy enough to track the driver down since they left their car behind. I’d think police would offer to do that.

    Perhaps its a bit more understandable if the cyclist was trying to get across Crescent Heights via 1st St. as incorrectly reported by KNBC, those kind of crossings can be tricky/scary in traffic.

  6. Karen says:

    How awful.

    I wonder if he was doing an Idaho stop (yield) and if he thought he’d be safe but wasn’t due to the speed of the SUV.

    I don’t like how the officer quoted in th Beverly Press says the cyclist was “at fault” despite also acknowledging the SUV’s speed was a factor.

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