Note: Because of the time spent writing this piece, there will be no Morning Links today; we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.
A hit-and-run alert system doesn’t do a damn bit of good if the police won’t use it.
That was the case last month, when a man was killed while riding his bike in a South LA hit-and-run.
Yet no information about the crash was released until a press conference was finally held yesterday morning.
The LAPD reports 57-year old Melvin “Peanut” Frye was killed when he was struck by a driver around 9:05 pm on June 27th, nearly one month ago.
Frye was run down by an unknown motorist as he was crossing Main Street at 103rd Street in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood; he was riding west across Main while the driver was headed south.
He died at he scene.
The driver kept going, without stopping or identifying themself as required by law. Authorities are looking for a black or dark-colored Dodge Durango; no description was given for the driver.
No announcement appears to have been made at the time.
Then again, Frye’s family wasn’t even notified until more than a week later, after frantically calling hospitals and checking jail bookings before they were finally contacted by the coroner’s office.
The press conference was held to request the public’s help in solving the crime. The city offers a standing $50,000 award for information leading to an arrest and conviction for any fatal hit-and-run, regardless of whether the reward has been announced by the police.
According to KTLA-5, the victim’s sister is urging witnesses to come forward.
Mishy Frye said people have called her to relay information about the type of car involved, “and then nobody can give the detectives no information.”
“I’m just shocked, because you guys know him,” she said. “Everybody know him in this area. Everyone. It’s not right…”
“I want justice for him, not through you calling me, but call the detectives,” she said. “Holding onto a secret makes you no better than the person that hit him.”
In addition to LA’s citywide hit-and-run alert system, California has approved a statewide Yellow Alert system to notify the public in the event of a hit-and-run. Both are intended to alert the public as quickly as possible to watch for the suspect vehicle in the event of a hit-and-run, and encourage witnesses to come forward while the event is still fresh in their minds.
Not a month later.
Had the police released information about the crash at the time, along with announcing the standing reward, someone might have come forward by now.
And maybe Frye’s family could have been spared the pain of not knowing what had happened to him for ten long days after the crash. Let alone knowing that the heartless coward who killed him is still out there.
Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Keith Gonzales at 323/421-2500, or 323/421-2577 after normal business hours.
This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.
Half of those deaths in LA County have been hit-and-runs.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Melvin “Peanut” Frye and all his loved ones.