News is breaking today that 18-year old Angel Bojorquez was killed early this morning in Rancho Santa Fe in North San Diego County.
He was riding his bike home from work around midnight last night when a driver drifted off the road and hit his bike from behind as he rode on the shoulder of Villa de la Valle just south of Paseo Delicias. Bojorquez reportedly died on impact as the driver fled the scene; his body was discovered by the private Rancho Sante Fe Patrol around 2 am.
He reportedly commuted to work by bike from his home in Escondido to his job as a grocery clerk at the Albertsons store in Del Mar on a daily basis. According to a CHP spokesperson, he was wearing a reflective vest and should have been easily visible to the driver.
Whether he could have been saved if the driver had stayed at the scene and called 911 will never be known.
Personally, I think any driver who runs away without calling for help should be charged with felony homicide if there was any chance his or her victim could have survived with medical attention.
This is the 30th cycling-related fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Diego County. It is also the second fatal hit-and-run involving a bike rider in San Diego County, and the seventh in Southern California since the start of the year.
My prayers and deepest sympathy for Angel Bojorquez and all his family and loved ones.
Update: As usual, later reports offer more detail on Friday’s tragedy.
According to the Union-Tribune, Angel Bojorquez usually drove into work with his 23-year old brother, who also worked at the same store. However, when they were unable to coordinate their schedules, Angel made the 20-mile ride to work on his mountain bike.
A sheriff’s deputy spoke with him around 12:45 am; his body was found next to his badly mangled bike two miles away and a little over an hour later, about 4 miles from the store.
CHP Officer Chris Parent speculated that the driver may not have stopped because he or she was drunk, given the early morning hour. While he didn’t have lights on his bike, Bojorquez was wearing a reflective vest that police said should have made him very visible to the driver that killed him, and that there could be little doubt the driver knew he hit someone; his brother says he didn’t own a helmet.
A native of Lancaster, Angel Bojorquez was living in Escondido with his aunt, uncle and brother; he’d been working at the Albertsons approximately two months, and had recently been promoted to cashier.
San Diego’s 10News says there was little evidence found at the scene, and no known witnesses.
Meanwhile, NBC 7 San Diego quotes his cousin calling for the driver to turn him or herself in.
“Why live with a guilty conscious (sic) like the rest of your life? You’re already gonna be guilty enough, just ‘fess up and let us know. Help us heal,” Bojorquez’s cousin Yarlenny Ramirez pleaded. “You’re gonna live your whole life knowing that you’ve killed someone; might as well let us know who you are.”
The station also reports that police are looking for suspects, and that a memorial fund has been established.
CHP said the suspect’s car likely has damage to the right front headlight. Anyone with information is being asked to contact CHP at (858) 637-3800.
Meanwhile, the family is in the process of setting up a memorial fund for Bojorquez at Wells Fargo Bank. They told NBC 7 San Diego they’re hoping to fly Bojorquez’s body to Ensenada, Mexico, where he can be buried next to his mother.