Another weekend, another drunken hit-and-run, another ghost bike

This has to be the worst weekend for L.A.-area cyclists in recent memory.

On the heels of yesterday’s twin shootings comes word of yet another cyclist killed by an intoxicated hit-and-run driver.

Joseph Novotny of Stevenson Ranch was riding on Bouquet Canyon Road with a group of other riders Saturday morning. A pickup truck driving in the opposite direction crossed over the double yellow line and struck three cyclists, then continued on his way without stopping. Novotny was killed, and four other riders were injured, two seriously.

A 20-year old driver from Saugus was arrested about 90 minutes later, and is currently being held on suspicion of murder, hit-and-run and driving under the influence, with a bail of $1.1 million, according to the Times. (As a rule, I try not to name suspects because tempers tend to run high after something like this. Including mine.)

This comes just two weeks after another local rider was killed, and his son injured, in yet another alleged drunken hit-and-run incident on PCH in Malibu.

The simple fact is, there are far too many drunk drivers on the road, and far too many drivers willing to flee the scene after killing or injuring another human being. And far too many innocent lives shattered forever.

If you have a solution to this problem, I’d like to know.

Because frankly, I’m at a loss here.


Evidently, this was a bad weekend cyclists all around the country. Locally, a rider took a bad fall on a century ride over the weekend. A rider in Harlem was knocked off his bike and killed after a blow to the head. A Toledo rider was struck by a car, then spit on and beaten by the occupants — less than a week after another rider died of injuries he sustained when a 15-year old boy stole his bike. Finally, a little good news as a pro bono attorney fights for a group of riders who rolled a stop on a charity ride.

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