Tag Archive for Echo Park

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

Another drunk driving hit-and-run fatality; CD5 candidates duke it out tonight

Two seemingly unrelated items.

First, a cyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Echo Park early Sunday morning. As of the time I’m writing this, no real information has been released.

All we know is that he was a 44 year old man, riding south on Glendale Blvd around 1:45 am, when he was struck by a driver and pinned against a car.

He could have been anyone; commuting after a late shift in a bar or restaurant, or riding home after a night out. He could have been making his way home after Saturday’s C.R.A.N.K. Mob, or just out for a late night ride.

In other words, it could have been any one of us.

Like the recent incident in Orange County, the driver appears to have been intoxicated. And like the driver in that incident, a suspect has been arrested, based on an eye witness who wrote down the license number.

Just another needless death, and another chapter in Southern California’s recent rash of high-profile hit-and-runs. Except this time, it wasn’t a famous athlete, or a beautiful young college student.

Just another dead cyclist, which means we’ll probably never hear another word about it.

With that in mind, I’m going to attend a debate between the candidates for Los Angeles 5th Council District tonight.

We know where David Vahedi stands on the subject of bicycling. Paul Koretz is, so far, has been another matter.

If I learn anything worth repeating, I’ll let you know. And if I get a chance to talk to Koretz or his campaign manager, I’ll invite him once again to contribute his comments about cycling and transportation issues.

Because we’re finally starting to make some progress here in L.A. And this election will go a long way in determining whether that progress continues.

Or whether more cyclists will have to die before we do something about it.


City Attorney candidate Jack Weiss — the council person Vahedi and Koretz are competing to replace — completes Streetsblog’s candidate survey. Green LA Girl comments on bicycling and mean bus drivers. A New York writer complains about the return of the bicycle menace. Ireland announces a new national Policy Framework to encourage cycling. An officer of the LACBC says both cyclists and motorists must obey the law, while a RAGBRAI rider says bicycle courtesy goes both ways. Evidently, baseball season brings out an extreme form of harassing cyclists. And finally, hit-and-runs against cyclists clearly aren’t just a SoCal problem these days.

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