Bad enough when one heartless coward flees the scene.
Worse when two drivers smash into a man riding his bike, then leave him to die in the street.
That’s what happened in South El Monte early this morning, as a 47-year old cyclist was killed in a succession of collisions on Rosemead Blvd.
According to KABC-7, Heriberto Ruiz struck from behind by an unknown vehicle near the offramp to the southbound 60 Freeway about 2:53 am. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune places the collision in the 3000 block of Rosemead, which appears to be some distance from the offramp.
That driver fled the scene, leaving Ruiz lying in the roadway where he was struck by a white minivan and possibly one other vehicle; KNBC-4 reports the minivan collided with another vehicle that was stopping at the scene. The driver of the minivan then fled, as well.
Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene.
A satellite view shows an extended, high-speed offramp leading from the freeway; if he was trying to ride south across that, he would have been a sitting duck as motorists sped onto Rosemead.
No word on whether he was using lights at that hour; however, police are usually quick to report if a victim didn’t have lights or reflectors on his bike.
This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 44 and 17, respectively, this time last year.
Update: KNBC-4 reports Ruiz may have been riding home from visiting a friend when he was hit.
A visitor to the scene found a broken Cateye taillight, suggesting that his bike should have been visible from behind.
Anyone with information is urged to call CHP’s East LA office at 323/980-4600.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Heriberto Ruiz and all his friends and family.