If this doesn’t piss you off, maybe it should.
According to the Lucerne Valley Leader, an unidentified man was found dead on the side of the road in eastern San Bernardino County this morning, the victim of an apparent hit-and-run.
The victim was discovered with his bike on the south side of Highway 18 just east of Post Office Road in Lucerne Valley around 8 am; paramedics declared him dead at the scene after arriving about 10 minutes later.
According to the CHP officer investigating the death, it appeared his mountain bike was hit from behind as he rode along the white line on the right side of the highway. His bike showed damage to the rear end, and there was evidence that the driver veered off the road after striking him, then continued without stopping.
The collision most likely occurred sometime during the night, which means the victim could have been lying there for several hours before he was discovered — which could have been the difference between life and dead.
All because some heartless son of a bitch didn’t have the basic human decency to at least stop and call for help before running away like the coward he — or she — is.
As far as I’m concerned, once the driver is found, he or she should face a murder charge on the assumption that the victim might have lived if they hadn’t made a conscious decision to let him die.
This is the 77th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Bernardino County. That compares with 10 in the county for all of last year, and six in 2011.
Update: The Victorville Daily Press identifies the victim as 47-year old Angelo “Andy” Douglas Azzato of Lucerne Valley.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Azzato and all his loved ones.
Update 2: According to the Victorville Daily Press, the CHP reports Azzato was hit by a truck between 5 pm and 10 pm on November 6th, which means his body was on the side of the road for 10 to 15 hours before he was discovered. Authorities are looking for a silver 1999 or 2000 Dodge Ram pickup with damage to the right front bumper and/or headlight assembly.
Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Victorville office at 760-241-1186.