52-year old bike rider killed in Anaheim hit-and-run; driver captured following police chase and shooting

An Orange County man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike early Sunday morning. But for once, the driver didn’t get away.

According to the Orange County Register, 52-year old Anaheim resident Encarnacion Salazar Munoz was riding east on Ball Road, just east of Gilbert Street in unincorporated Anaheim, at 5:20 am when he was struck by an SUV headed in the same direction.

He died at the scene.

According to a CHP spokesman, the driver had veered into the the bike lane where Munoz was riding, and fled the scene after striking him.

KCBS-2 reports Anaheim police later spotted the driver, 25-year old Riverside resident Jason Roy Rocha, when they tried to pull him over for an unrelated traffic violation. Rocha fled from the police, losing the officers, until he crashed his Ford Expedition into a fence at the intersection of Seal Beach and Westminster boulevards in Seal Beach.

He reportedly came out of the SUV holding his arm as if he had a weapon; a Seal Beach cop responded by firing his gun, missing Rocha. He was taken into custody on suspicion of hit-and-run and driving under the influence.

Munoz leaves behind a wife and three kids. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay his funeral expenses; so far it has raised just $85 of the $25,000 goal.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, four of which have been hit-and-runs. He is the third person killed while riding in Orange County since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Encarnacion Salazar Munoz and his family. 

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

8 comments

  1. Sounds like the driver may have broken his wrist in the wreck. Cradling a broken wrist looks a lot like a pistol combat stance.

  2. David says:

    There really needs to be a Website of Shame hosting pictures of individuals like Mr. Rocha with a description of what he did.

  3. James says:

    Notice how the bike lanes disappear well before the beginning of the right hand turn lane. Very few cyclists are brave enough to take the right hand turn lane and drivers in this part of the idiocracy react very badly to this. Cyclists tend to hug the curb here or use the sidewalk setting themselves up for a right hook. In theory a cyclist could take the lane – it is described in the DMV handbook – that it not going to happen on a street with a speed limit of 45 and design speed of 55. This sort of unethical, negligent design is a way of telling people to not ride bicycles. Everyday I see curb hugging cyclists on similar streets being passed by drivers making right hand turns with only inches to spare and with equal frequency I see cyclists who are forced onto the sidwalk and crosswalk and then cut off by drivers turning right.

    • I generally agree with what you wrote here, but I don’t think it applies to this crash. Every news source I’ve read said that Mr Muñoz was riding in the bike lane, and driver swerved into the bike lane. That makes this crash is a reminder that we need to keep drunks off the street, and we need more protected bike lanes.

      Regardless of any lessons that can be learned, Mr Muñoz and his family and friends are victims of a senseless tragedy, and my heart goes out to them.

    • quiche says:

      You are absolutely not forced onto the sidewalk or crosswalk. You are forcing pedestrians there to jump out of the way for you and putting pedestrians at great risk. There is no reason you cannot get off and walk your vehicle on the sidewalk. The only people being forced to do very risky things by cyclists, and you are vehicle drivers, are pedestrians.

      • Ralph says:

        It is called evasive action. If you have time it would make sense to move onto the sidewalk and walk. Mostly you don’t have that luxury and in most cases you can’t mount the square sidewalk.

        Your last sentence makes no sense, perhaps you should edit it.

  4. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Munoz.

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