Tag Archive for Arleta

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2020

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Arleta bike rider killed by suspected wrong-way DUI hit-and-run driver

Sometimes there’s nothing a bike rider can do to avoid a wreck as a car come hurtling towards him.

And sometimes, the details of a wreck just make you want to scream.

According to multiple sources, a disabled 51-year old man was riding his bike west on Van Nuys Blvd just below Beachy Avenue in Arleta around 2 am Wednesday, when he somehow became involved in a multi-car crash caused by a suspected stoned driver on the wrong side of the road.

Police suspect the 22-year old driver was under the influence of marijuana when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and apparently hit the victim head-on as he rode in a bike lane, either before or after smashing into as many as four parked cars.

KABC-7 reports he was hit with enough force to shatter his bike into multiple pieces; a photo from the scene shows the handlebars broken off his bike with a single shoe resting nearby.

He came to rest in front of Arleta High School, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver briefly remained at the scene before running off on foot. KABC-7 reports he was arrested around 4 am when police found him hiding in a back property near his home about a mile away after someone reported a prowler.

He was not identified by authorities; however KABC-7 reported that family members at the scene identified him as Eric Garcia. They said he rode his bike at night to support himself by collecting cans.

To compound the tragedy, he became disabled after being hit by a car when he was in junior high school.

School officials closed the main entrance to the school and directed students away from the crash scene to shield them from the tragedy.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st in LA County.

Update: In an update that is not yet online, KNBC-4 reports that the victim may have been hit by one or more of the parked cars as they spun out into the street following the impact, and that the driver had both marijuana and alcohol in his car.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Eric Garcia and all his family.

Thanks to Ed Ryder and Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

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