Yet another SoCal bike rider has been killed by a heartless coward, who left his victim to die in the street.
This time, in an early morning crash in LA’s Koreatown neighborhood.
According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim was riding to work with his brother around 3:20 am today when they were both run down from behind on westbound Olympic Blvd, east of Mariposa Ave.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene. His brother was treated for minor injuries.
However, a crowdfunding campaign set up by the victim’s coworkers identifies him only as Leonidas, who died in front of his brother Wilder.
Police are looking for the driver of a white Jeep Cherokee, who fled west on Olympic.
The bizarre sequence of events began when the driver was parked on the north curb of Olympic Blvd. As they pulled away, the victim of an unrelated vehicle theft jumped on his hood, believing the driver had something to do with the earlier crime.
The driver sped off with the other man still clinging to his hood, before he fell off into the street.
Security cam video posted by KTLA-5 appears to show the crash occurring as the driver was attempting to get away from the man, which may have distracted him.
Both victims appear to jump up and chase after the driver in the immediate aftermath of the crash; there’s no word on when the victim succumbed to his injuries, or what caused his death.
Reflectors can be seen on their bikes, but they don’t appear to have had lights in the nighttime darkness. There’s also some confusion over whether the driver’s SUV was stolen, or whether he may have been involved in nearby tagging.
The crowdfunding campaign to send the victim’s body back home to Guatemala has raised over $9,400 of the $10,000 goal.
There is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles. Anyone with information is urged to call West Traffic Detectives at 213/473-0234.
This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the seventh in the City of Los Angeles.
Twelve of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.
Update: A late report from KNBC-4 says the brothers were just four blocks from their jobs at a Koreatown bakery, where Leonidas worked as a pastry chef, when they were killed.
Update 2: The victim has been identified as 39-year old Leonidas Accip Serech. The driver has not been publicly identified.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Leonidas Accip Serech and his loved ones.