Yet another heartless coward has left an innocent victim to die in the street.
Just because the victim was riding his bike to work, like he did every morning.
According to a press release from the Fullerton Police Department, a 67-year old man was riding his bike west on Chapman Ave approaching Ladera Vista Dr when he was rear-ended by an unknown driver around 5:07 Thursday morning.
He was thrown into a planter on the north side of the street, suffering significant injuries; his bicycle was found a short distance away.
He was taken to a local trauma center, where he was pronounced dead. Family members identified the victim as Elfego Andrade.
A witness followed a green 1999 Ford F-250 pickup that was missing a tire and traveling on the rim, though it wasn’t clear if the driver was responsible for the hit-and-run.
He abandoned his truck nearly four miles away near Delphine Place and Jacaranda Place, and fled on foot. He is described as a Hispanic man approximately 5’8” tall, with a stocky build and wearing all black clothing.
Andrade was described as a great-grandfather, who had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary. He was riding his bike to his job in Fullerton when he was killed.
KNBC-4 reports he and his wife were planning to retire to Mexico, which will now never happen, thanks to a killer driver.
A crowdfunding page described him like this.
“He was a very happy man with the most humble heart. He was hard working and always did what he could for his family,” the fundraising page read. “We are heart broken for our believed husband, father, grandfather, father in law to leave us too soon.”
At the time of this writing, the crowdfunding campaign to help defray funeral expenses has raised just over $900 of the $15,000 goal.
Anyone with information is urged to call Fullerton Police Accident Investigator J. Manes at 714/738-6812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is at least the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the twelfth that I’m aware of in Orange County.
Nineteen of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.
Update: The driver was arrested at the Fullerton police station late Thursday afternoon.
Twenty-one-year old Anaheim resident Jonathan Ocampo was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run. He was being held on a half-million dollar bond.
There’s no word on whether Ocampo was in fact driving the F-250 pickup followed by the witness.
It’s possible that Ocampo did the right thing, heeding calls to turn himself in. Or he may have simply given himself enough time to sober up before taking responsibility for his actions.
My deepest prayers and sympathy for Elfego Andrade and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.