Dear God, not again.
For the fourth time in four days, someone riding a bicycle has been killed on the deadly streets of Los Angeles County.
This time, it was hit-and-run. And should be considered murder, but probably won’t be.
According to multiple sources, the victim was found lying in the street at Van Nuys Blvd and Calvert Street in the Valley Glen neighborhood of Los Angeles around 11:40 pm last night, after being struck by a driver three-quarters of a mile away at Van Nuys and Burbank Blvd.
Or maybe he was found a third of a mile away at Van Nuys and Hatteras.
Which is the problem with news outlets mindlessly parroting police reports that too often contain major mistakes. Because the description of this crash doesn’t make any sense.
According to all three reports posted online, the victim was rear-ended by the driver while riding south on Van Nuys at Burbank Blvd, and dragged under the vehicle for multiple blocks.
Except both locations where the victim’s body was alternately described as being found at Calvert, or coming dislodged from beneath the vehicle at Hatteras, are north of the reported impact point, making it impossible to have been rear-ended while riding south.
It also seems extremely unlikely that the victim, described only as a homeless Hispanic man in his 40s, could have been found at Calvert after being dislodged at Hatteras. It’s possible he could have staggered nearly half a mile after being dragged by the fleeing driver, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
It’s also possible that the victim and the motorist were actually traveling north on Van Nuys, which would fit with where the victim’s body was dislodged, but would not explain the multiple locations.
Either way, the cops are now searching for a murderous coward in a red Toyota Camry or Corolla, who fled multiple block while dragging the victim’s body beneath their vehicle.
And if that’s not murder, I don’t know what is.
This is at least the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also at least the eighth time a person was been killed riding a bicycle in Los Angeles since the start of the year.
Seventeen of those SoCal bicyclists have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.
And he was the 15th person killed riding a bike in Southern California in the past 25 days.
Update: Now it makes a little more sense.
KABC-7 is reporting that the victim was actually struck by the driver at Van Nuys Boulevard at Delano Street.
The driver then continued south on Van Nuys, dragging the victim’s body nearly a mile to Van Nuys and Burbank. They made a U-turn at Burbank, dislodging the victim, before traveling north on Van Nuys then fleeing east on Hatteras.
Which means the victim, who died at the scene, was likely found at Van Nuys and Burbank.
The station also describes the suspect vehicle as an older model, light-colored sedan.
Update 2: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Trino Lopez, who police said was homeless.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Trino Lopez and his loved ones.