Another bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.
LA’s KNBC-4 broke the news late last night that a bike rider had been taken to a hospital in critical condition following a hit-and-run collision in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.
Sadly, the station confirmed this morning that the victim, identified only as a 58-year old man, has died.
According to the news report, he was riding on the 100 block of North Crescent Heights Blvd, between Beverly Blvd and First Street, around 9 pm Tuesday night when he was rear-ended by the driver of a red Ford SUV, who fled the scene.
He was struck with enough force to throw his body 75 feet, landing near the driveway at 109 N Crescent Heights, where he was struck by another vehicle; that driver stopped and cooperated with police.
It’s likely the SUV driver was exceeding the 35 mph speed limit to strike the victim with that much force.
Screen grab from KNBC report
His bike, a blue road bike with green handlebar tape, lay mangled on the side of the road. A red tail light is visible on the seat post.
The driver of the SUV fled on foot after crashing into a parked car a block away, leaving her wrecked car behind. Initial reports indicated the driver was a woman, but police were unable to confirm that.
The station reports both the victim and the driver of the SUV were westbound; however, it appears they were actually traveling south, since it’s a north-south street.
Crescent Heights is afour-lane street, mostly residential, with commercial buildings on the major cross streets. The right lane is a mixed traffic and parking lane; at that hour, it’s likely there would have been numerous parked cars, pushing him into the left lane to avoid the zone.
Police say the second driver won’t face any charges.
It’s impossible to know which of the vehicles struck the fatal blow. However, the driver of the SUV should face a homicide charge, since she — or he — made the decision to flee the scene, and leaving the victim unprotected to be struck by another car.
This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in LA County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.
Update: KNBC has updated their report to say the driver was a woman, but police have no other description at this time.
Update 2: The Beverly Press reports the victim is a 59-year old Santa Monica resident, but still has not been publicly identified.
According to the paper, he was headed west on 1st Street and ran a stop sign to cross Crescent Heights, as well as ignoring a right-turn only sign; if the driver had stopped, she might have been released without charges.
Instead the driver, who was operating a rental car, is wanted for felony hit-and-run. Police are trying to identify who had rented the SUV.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.