It’s not often we hear from Imperial County. And when we do, the news usually isn’t good.
That’s the case today, when an unlicensed driver swerved off the road and struck a group of people who were riding their bikes in El Centro Sunday morning.
The four were riding north on the shoulder of State Route 111, just south of Interstate 8, when they were rear-ended by a 31-year old woman around 7:30 am, killing a 44-year-old man and severely injuring a woman.
Two others suffered minor injuries.
The driver was arrested shortly later after fleeing the scene. Officials said she had been drinking, but was not legally intoxicated, and didn’t have a valid license.
The victims were all reported to be Mexican citizens.
This is at least the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Imperial County.
Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Emeterio Millan of Mexicali, Mexico.
The most seriously injured victim was flown from El Centro to Palm Springs for treatment, while the Mexican consulate was working to help the other victims and get Millan’s body back home to Mexicali.
The driver, a resident of El Centro, is being held on $150,000 bond on felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Emeterio Millan and all his loved ones. And best wishes for a fast and full recovery to all those injured in the crash.