KCBS-2 reports that yet another cyclist has been killed in a Southern California hit-and-run.
According to the station, 25-year old Michael Vega was riding west on Foothill Blvd near Ramona Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga around 6:40 pm Tuesday, when he was run down from behind by a white truck, which fled the scene.
A fire captain reports the impact was hard enough to knock Vega out of his shoes. The station also notes that Vega was wearing a helmet, but the force of impact was too great for it to be of benefit.
And yet a police spokesperson suggests that unless the driver was drunk — which will probably never be determined, since he fled the scene — it will amount to nothing more than a simple traffic accident.
Thanks for having our back, dude.
Hint to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department — killing another human being with a motor vehicle is a serious matter. Or at least, it should be.
Whether or not the driver was drunk.
KCBS reports the witnesses tried to comfort Vega where they found him crumpled in the gutter; he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Police are looking for a white work truck with a ladder or lumber rack in the back. Anyone with information should contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department’s Rancho Cucamonga station at 800/477-2800.
Vega is the 49th cyclist to die on Southern California streets this year, excluding gunshot victims, and the eighth in San Bernardino County.
This is also the third cycling death in Rancho Cucamonga — a frighteningly high total for a city of less than 168,000 — and the second fatal hit-and-run involving a cyclist in that city in just the last two months.
My prayers and deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones.
Update: Michael of CLR Effect offers his thoughts, which are always insightful and always worth reading, including this:
Almost as troubling is the initial reaction from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. I don’t normally like to knock law enforcement, they are only charged with enforcing existing laws, not making them, not prosecuting them. But tied into the process of enforcement is the act of interpretation. When a department spokesperson says “unless the driver is intoxicated, nothing other than having a traffic accident taken is going to come out of this” has to leave me wondering what ever happened to the serve and protect code (granted that is the LAPD motto, but have always believed it should apply to all in the public service sector).
Update 2: The Press-Enterprise says Vega was a resident of Norco, and died at the hospital less than an hour after being hit.
Update 3: KCBS offers a good follow-up on their original story, noting a ghost bike has already been installed, and that Vega worked at the Apple Store in Victoria Gardens.
He was on his way to his girlfriend’s home when he was killed; his mother thanked those who comforted her son as he lay dying, and said she saw a double rainbow that night, taking a picture of it at the same time he passed away.
Update 4: An arrest has been made in this case.