Evidently, it was just too much to ask.
I’d been hoping that we could somehow manage to make it through this year without another cyclist getting killed. But Wednesday night, those hopes were dashed in a gruesome hit-and-run in rush hour traffic.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the driver was traveling northbound on Towne Ave in Pomona around 5:30 pm — KCBS-2 lists it as precisely 5:29 — when he struck a male cyclist crossing Towne on 6th Street. The green Dodge or Chrysler SUV then continued without stopping, dragging the victim half a block to his death.
The SUV was last seen traveling east on Mission Blvd, with moderate to major front-end damage.
As usual, the rider has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.
And yes, this should be considered a homicide, regardless of who might have originally been at fault. Had the driver stopped at the scene, the victim may or may not have had a chance. But by heartlessly dragging him down the street, the driver undoubtedly — and knowingly — contributed to his death.
And there should be no question of intent. Dragging someone that far without stopping pretty well indicates that, at best, the driver didn’t give a damn whether the victim lived or died.
Anyone with information is urged to call Pomona police at 909/622-1241.
This is the 22nd confirmed traffic-related bike fatality in Los Angeles County this year, and the 67th in the greater Southern California area. This is also the 5th fatal hit-and-run in L.A. County, and 12th in SoCal.
Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Gabriel Perez of Pomona; according to KNBC-4, he was riding home from work when he was killed, leaving behind a wife and daughter.
KNBC captures the heartrending reaction from Perez’ widow.
“I want to ask that person – why didn’t he help at that moment? Why did he leave?” said Patty Cardenas, Perez’ wife. “Maybe there was a chance my husband still be alive.”
Cardenas is now faced with the challenge of telling her 8-year-old daughter about her husband’s death. So far, she’s isolated her from hearing the news.
“Oh what can I say! What can I say! Tell me!” said Cardenas. “He was loving. Loving to his daughter. Right now I don’t know how I am going to tell her about this!”
My heart and prayers go out to Gabriel Perez and all his family and loved ones.