Unfortunately, the press seldom follows up once the ambulance doors close. And it may take weeks before we find out what happened afterwards.
That’s what happened with 60-year old Santa Ana resident Virgilio Lemus Garcia, after he was left lying in the street by a hit-and-run driver early in the morning on Sunday, October 13th.
According to KNBC-4, Santa Ana police responded to reports of a man with a bicycle lying in the street at 5:20 am, at the intersection of Main Street and Warner Avenue in Santa Ana.
According to a witness, Garcia was riding his bike on Warner Ave when he was run down by the driver of a blue Honda, who only stopped briefly before hitting the gas.
Other reports indicate Garcia was headed north on Main when he was struck by a driver going west on Warner.
He was hospitalized in grave condition with severe bleeding his brain and throughout his body.
Sadly, Garcia’s niece reported on Facebook the following Wednesday that he had passed away, and was buried last week.
Video from the scene shows his mangled mountain bike near the curb, and the same black cowboy hat he wore in photos lying in the street.
Police are looking for a mid-1990s dark blue Honda Civic sedan with likely front-end damage, including broken head lights and a possible shattered windshield.
They say alcohol may have played a role in the crash, but didn’t explain how.
Garcia death came a little more than two weeks before last week’s fatal Santa Ana hit-and-run, and roughly five and a half miles away.
Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Ana Police at 714/245-8208 or 714/245-8700.
This is at least the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Orange County.
Twenty-two of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs, including ten of the 21 bike riders killed since September 3rd.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Virgilio Lemus Garcia and all his loved ones.
Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up, and his help in tracking down this story.