Archive for Hit-and-Run

Update: Man killed riding his bike in early morning Long Beach hit-and-run; 3rd LA County bike rider killed in hit-and-run in 4 days

It’s not an epidemic anymore.

It’s a SoCal pandemic.

According to multiple sources, yet another Southern California bike rider lost his life early Sunday morning.

And yet another heartless coward fled the scene, leaving an innocent victim to die in the street.

The Long Beach Police Department reports the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding south on Orange Ave, north of Del Amo Blvd, when he was run down from behind by a southbound driver around 3:20 am.

Despite the efforts of paramedics, he died at the scene, his body coming to rest in the bike lane he was most likely riding in.

There’s no information about the driver or the suspect vehicle at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Kelsey Myers or Detective Shawn Loughlin of the LBPD Collision Investigation Detail at 562/570-7355.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third fatal bicycling hit-and-run in the county in four days.

Exactly one third of those SoCal bike deaths have involved hit-and-run drivers, including five in less than the last two weeks, and eight in the past two months as more people have begun driving again.

This has got to stop.

Now.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old Long Beach resident Dannon Santiago.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dannon Santiago and his loved ones.

37-year old father killed riding bike in South Los Angeles hit-and-run; once again, public not informed for weeks

Once again, a man has died following a violent hit-and-run while riding his bike in South Los Angeles.

And once again, the LAPD doesn’t seem to think the public needed to know about it.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, 37-year old South LA resident Jorge Guerra was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from the park with his two young children on July 8th.

Fortunately, his two-year old son Nathan and four-year old daughter Madelyn weren’t seriously injured; their father wasn’t so lucky.

Guerra was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, but lapsed into a coma after arriving; he died of organ failure on July 16th.

The LAPD places the crash on northbound Wadsworth Ave north of 88th Street at 8:40 pm, when a speeding driver slammed into the bike they were riding after turning onto the narrow residential street.

The driver continued north on Wadsworth, crashing into several parked cars before stopping just south of Manchester Blvd. He ran off, leaving the damaged car behind.

Police are still looking for the suspect, who hasn’t been identified; unsurprisingly, the car he was driving was stolen. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

Now Guerra’s wife is faced with raising her kids as a grieving single mother while in the middle of a pandemic.

A crowdfunding campaign to help defray Guerra’s funeral expenses has raised just under $6,000, far short of the $25,000 goal.

Unfortunately, like the death of Melvin “Peanut” Frye last month, the LAPD apparently failed to inform the public at the time of the crash — or alert them to a dangerous car thief hiding in their midst. Even though both Los Angeles and California have Yellow Alert systems to get the word out as quickly as possible.

There’s no explanation for why the LAPD continually refuses to use them; evidently, they’d rather wait until the trail goes cold and people have forgotten key details before asking for their help. Which could be one reason why hit-and-run drivers continue to get away with it here.

Even though similar systems have been used successfully in other cities to bring hit-and-run drivers to justice.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. Over half of those deaths in the county have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Guerra and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Mountain biker killed in Escondido hit-and-run; victim hit head-on during group ride

Yet another SoCal bike rider has lost his life to a hit-and-run driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a driver at 11:52 Saturday morning on the 1600 block of La Honda Drive, just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area.

Reports indicated he was headed south on the narrow street with a group of other riders when he was hit head-on by the driver of a dark colored Toyota sedan, who continued without stopping.

The victim, identified only as a 36-year old Vista resident, died at the scene before rescuers could arrive.

Police later found the heavily damaged car abandoned half a mile away, on the 600 block of Aster Street.

They note the victim was wearing a helmet; clearly, it was not enough to save his life.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune absurdly reports that police don’t know if the driver was under the influence. Which is probably true, considering they don’t even know who was behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Adan Martinez of the Escondido Police Department at 760/839-4465.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be just the third in San Diego County.

It’s also the 23rd fatal hit-and-run I’m aware of involving a bike rider since the first of this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz; the former mountain bike racer leaves behind his wife and one-year old son.

The driver reportedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road, after rounding a blind curve.

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $52,000 in just one day.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Lentz and his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Arrests announced in the double South LA hit-and-runs that killed Frederick Frazier, and injured Quatrell Stallings

No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday. 

………

We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.

Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.

Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.

However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.

Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.

From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.

She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.

She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.

According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.

Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.

Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.

The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.

Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.

Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.

“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.

“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.

KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.

“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”

No one does.

There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.

But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.

Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog. 

………

Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.

The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.

Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.

She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.

Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.

According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,

They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.

Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.

Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.

Update: Bike rider killed in Fountain Valley hit-and-run

Yet another bike rider has been killed by a heartless coward who fled the scene, this time in Fountain Valley.

According to multiple sources, 41-year old Fountain Valley resident Bihn Ngo was riding a mountain bike north on Brookhurst Street just south of Ellis Ave when he was struck at 12:54 am.

He was reportedly riding in the curb lane when he was struck from behind and thrown 50 to 60 feet into a parked car.

The driver fled north on Brookhurst, and was last seen turning right onto Ellis.

Police are looking for a red 1990s Ford Mustang with damage to the front end. Anyone with information is urged to call the Fountain Valley Police DepartKent at 714/593-4485.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County.

It’s also the second fatal hit-and-run in Fountain Valley in the last three weeks, following the death of popular Orange County runner Juan Garcia; an arrest was made in that case.

Update: According to KTLA-5, 25-year old Huntington Beach resident Justin German was arrested later the same day after a tip from someone who recognized the car. Thanks to Peter for the heads-up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bihn Ngo and his loved ones.

 

Update: Van Nuys bike rider killed in double hit-and-run Wednesday night

Heartbreaking news from Van Nuys, where a woman was left to die by a pair of heartless cowards Wednesday night.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a speeding driver around 11:23 pm at the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Stagg Street, and thrown nearly 120 feet by the force of the impact.

The driver, later identified as 24-year old Van Nuys resident Erik Limon, fled the scene, leaving his victim lying unprotected in the street.

Another driver ran over her as she was lying in the street; that driver also fled without stopping.

The victim, who has been identified only as a woman in her 50s, died at the scene.

Police suspect her bicycle was stuck under Limon’s car as he fled, and disposed of later; as of this writing, it has still not been found.

His car was recovered, and he was arrested at his home around 3:15 Thursday afternoon.

The second driver, reportedly a woman in an older gold Camry, is still at large.

KABC-7 reports the victim was in a crosswalk when she was struck by Limon’s car. However, according to KCBS-2, she may have been riding against traffic.

Anyone who finds a damaged bicycle in the area, or who has other information about the crash, is urged to call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division at 818/644-8000.

There is an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver, or in this case, drivers, in any fatal hit-and-run in the City of LA.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Fourteen of those SoCal deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs, half of those in LA County.

Update: Surveillance video on KNBC-4 shows the victim riding northbound in the southbound lane, where she was struck by the Limon’s car as he turned right. Despite earlier reports, he does not appear to be speeding at the time of the crash.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

 

Update: Long Beach man killed by fleeing driver after crosswalk collision injures 2nd rider

For the second time in three days, an LA County bike rider has been killed by a hit-and-run driver.

And this time, it may have been intentional.

According to multiple sources, two men were either riding or walking their bikes across Long Beach Boulevard in the crosswalk at Bort Street in Long Beach around 1:20 a.m.

Depending on the source, one or both were then struck by the driver of an SUV headed south on Long Beach.

One of the men somehow ended up on the hood of the Ford SUV, and was carried several blocks before being thrown off by the fleeing driver.

He was severely injured, and died at scene after police arrived.

The other rider suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

KTLA-5 reports the driver circled the block once before abandoning his car and fleeing on foot. They also say police believe they know the identity of the driver, but have not yet made an arrest.

That is contradicted by a story in the Press-Telegram, which says authorities have the vehicle, but don’t yet know who was behind the wheel or have a description of the suspect.

KTLA also places the actual site of the wreck several blocks away at the Long Beach Boulevard offramp of the 91 Freeway, saying Bout was where the victim was thrown off and landed in the street.

There is also some dispute over how the victim ended up on the SUV.

Most reports indicate he either landed on the hood as a result of the crash, or jumped onto it in an attempt to stop the driver from getting away.

However, according to KTLA,

The second cyclist then jumped on the driver’s side running board of the SUV, reached into the window and tried to turn off the ignition before the driver took off with the man clinging to the side of the vehicle, a Long Beach police news release stated.

Earlier, Watt said the bicyclist jumped on the hood before police released additional information about the incident.

Either way, the driver had to know the victim was on his vehicle, and made a conscious decision to flee with the victim clinging to his SUV, resulting in the rider’s death.

Which means he should face a charge of vehicular homicide once he’s caught. If not 2nd degree murder.

This is the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the 12th bicycling death in Long Beach since 2010.

Update: The LA Times has confirmed the details of the KTLA report

According to them, the SUV struck one of the victims at the Long Beach Blvd offramp.

The other rider, who was not hit, jumped on the running board of the SUV, and hit his head on a curb when he was thrown from the vehicle as the driver made a sharp right onto Bort.

The victim has been identified only as a 51-year old man. 

This is a reminder that it’s not worth your life to stop a fleeing driver.

Gather all the details you can — make, model, color, license and a description of the driver — as well as photos or video, if possible. Then get out of the way and let the police deal with it.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 51-year old Los Angeles resident Odie Ervin. He was a popular member of a local lowrider bicycle club

Anyone with information is urged to LBPD Det. Brian Watt at 562/570-7355.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Odie Ervin and all his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson, John McBrearty, and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up. 

 

Update: Man killed walking his bike across the street in South LA hit-and-run

Another human being has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver, for the crime of crossing the street.

According to multiple sources, a man was walking his bike across Broadway at 88th Street at 2:30 am when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

A witness reports seeing the driver of a Chevy Tahoe plow into the victim while speeding up to go through the light after it turned red. Then flee the scene without slowing down.

The victim, identified only as a possibly being in his late 40s, died at the scene.

A street view shows a staggered intersection at 88th, with a red light and crosswalks at each corner. Broadway has two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction, with a wide parking lane, making it a very broad street to cross.

The City of Los Angeles offers an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the driver in a fatal hit-and-run. Information can be provided anonymously at LACrimeStoppers.org.

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth in the City of LA.

Update: The victim has been identified as 57-year old Albert Arnold. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Albert Arnold and all his loved ones.

Update: San Bernardino bike rider killed in early Sunday morning collision; few details currently available

A man was killed riding his bicycle early Sunday morning in San Bernardino.

In a news story that amounted to little more than a retyping of the Coroner’s press release, the San Bernardino Sun reports that 52-year old San Bernardino resident Dennis Joseph Urquijo was hit by a vehicle of some sort around 2:48 am on the 1100 block of 39th Street.

He was pronounced dead just 11 minutes later.

The paper offers no other details, and reports that it’s unclear whether the driver remained at the scene. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, whether the victim had lights on his bike, or whether either party had been drinking at that hour.

A street view shows what appears to be a quiet residential street coming off a T-intersection with Harrison Street.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County. He is also the seventh bike rider killed in the City of San Bernardino in the past five years.

Update: The Sun reports Urquijo was struck from behind while riding west along the curb line on 39th; the driver fled the scene, leaving his victim to die in the street.  

Anyone with information is urged to call the San Bernardino police at 909/384-5791.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dennis Joseph Urquijo and all his loved ones.

 

Update: Pico Rivera bike rider left to die by hit-and-run driver in early morning crash

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a heartless cowardly driver in Los Angeles County.

According to KABC-7, the victim, who the coroner said appeared to be a woman in her 30s, was found by someone passing by the Pico Rivera crime scene shortly after 2 am this morning.

The Whittier Daily News places the wreck on Rosemead Blvd south of Rex Road; photos from the scene show a retaining wall, which would appear to put it at or near the railroad overpass between Rex and Slauson.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she died.

KTLA-5 reports that evidence from the scene suggests she may have been riding on the sidewalk when the car jumped the curb and struck her.

Sheriff’s investigators say there are no apparent witnesses. However, based on debris from the crash site, they’re looking for a dark green Honda Accord, 2003 to 2007, with significant front end damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station at 562/949-2421.

This is the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the seventh in Los Angeles County; nearly half of the deaths in the county have been hit-and-runs.

Given the hour, the driver should be assumed to have been under the influence at the time of the wreck.

Once found, he or she should face a second degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim to die in the street, rather than call for the prompt medical attention that might have saved her life.

Of course, since hit-and-runs are seldom taken seriously in LA County, that’s not likely to happen.

Update: The LA Times reports a suspect was arrested after deputies pulled over a 2005 Honda Accord for several vehicle violations two miles from the crash site, and saw extensive damage to the front end that matched the suspect vehicle. 

Twenty-one-year old Berta Ramirez of Pico Rivera was arrested, and was being held on $50,000 bond.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 45-year old Pico Rivera resident Suzanne Corona. Her accused killer was released on bail a day after the crash. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Suzanne Corona and her loved ones.

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