Tag Archive for North Hills

Update: Bike rider killed in North Hills hit-and-run; victim struck by two drivers, second fled on foot

News is just breaking that a bike rider was killed in LA’s North Hills neighborhood Friday night.

According to KABC-7, the victim was struck by two cars around 8:30 pm at Rayen Street and Woodley Ave in North Hills; the first driver stayed at the scene, while the second reportedly abandoned his car and ran away.

The victim died after being taken to a local hospital.

In a story that hasn’t been posted online yet, KNBC-4 reports the victim was knocked off his or her bike by the first driver before getting hit by the second, who fled on foot.

Judging by the bike lanes visible in the video, the crash appears to have occurred on Woodley Ave just south of Rayen. Video from the scene shows the victim’s mangled bicycle resting on the center yellow line, with the abandoned car blocking both southbound lanes.

No other details or description of the victim are available at this time.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 26th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also 12th bicyclist killed in the City of Los Angeles this year.

Update: The LA Daily News describes the victim as a 56-year old man.

According to the paper, the victim was attempting to turn left onto southbound Woodley against the light when he was struck by a southbound 21-year old driver in a Lexus.

That was confirmed by a witness who left a comment below.

The Lexus driver was attempting to make a U-turn to get back to the victim when the bike rider was run over by the second driver, who fled the scene in his or her car — not on foot as originally reported. Again, that’s confirmed by the commenter below.

The suspect vehicle is described only as a black sedan.

A ghost bike will be placed at the scene Monday night. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818/644-8000.

Update 2: The LA County Medical Examiner has identified the victim as 56-year old Joel Fisher. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joel Fisher and his loved ones.

BOLO Alert: Bike rider critically injured in North Hills hit-and-run last month; LAPD still looking for witnesses

I’ve just received the following press release from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.

Hit and Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Severely Injured

North Hills:

A hit and run traffic collision involving a motor vehicle and bicyclist occurred on Saturday, July 23, 2016, approximately 5:00 a.m. at Parthenia Street west of Woodley Avenue, in the community of North Hills.

The vehicle was traveling westbound Parthenia Street and collided with the bicycle being ridden by James Mours, a 47 year old resident of Mission Hills. The bicyclist sustained major injuries and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to a local hospital for medical treatment. He is still listed in very critical condition.

There is no description of the vehicle or the driver. The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking anyone who may have witnessed the collision.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Officer M. Tucker at (818) 644-8114. The report number is 16 17 13752. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800)-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most key pads) using a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters can also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.

Let’s get the word out and see if we can get some witnesses to come forward.

Best wishes to James Mours for a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Officer Troy Williams for the heads-up.


Nordhoff hit-and-run victim identified; city to offer $50,000 reward

Two weeks after a cyclist was killed in an early morning hit-and-run on Nordhoff Street, we finally know the name of the victim.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the rider who was run down on Nordhoff Street on Friday, June 8th was 76-year old Northridge resident Paul Albert Helfen, who appears to own a number of properties in the Valley.

So let’s get this straight.

At 76, Helfen was healthy enough to be out riding at 2 am — and doing everything right, according to the police. And some coward not only runs him down, but leaves him lying there to die in the street.


Fortunately, this city is taking this one seriously.

Friday morning — two weeks to the day after Helfen was murdered — city and police officials will announce  that the City Council has approved a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the heartless SOB driver of the 2007 – 2012 Nissan Sentra that killed him.

Hit-and-Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Dead $50,000 Reward Offered

Press conference to announce a $50,000 reward motion leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit and run driver who caused the death of a 76-year-old cyclist.

Friday, June 22, 2012, 10:15 A.M.

Los Angeles City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chamber
200 North Spring Street, 3rd Floor, Room 340 Los Angeles, CA 90012

Councilmember Mitchell Englander, Council District 12
Captain Ivan Minsal, Commanding Officer, Valley Traffic Division Detective William F. Bustos, Officer-in-Charge Valley Traffic Detectives Family members of Victim Paul Albert Helfen

To announce a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the hit and run driver who killed 76-year-old Paul Albert Helfen.

•Visuals will include a photograph of Mr. Helfen.

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles City Council has approved a $50,000 reward for anyone who will come forward with information that will help LAPD Valley Traffic Division Detectives solve a case of a fatal hit-and-run collision.

On Friday, June 8, 2012, at approximately 2:00 A.M., Valley Traffic officers responded to investigate a traffic collision involving a bicyclist near Nordhoff Street and Gaviota Avenue in the community of North Hills. The investigation revealed that Mr. Paul Albert Helfen, 76-years-of-age, was riding his bicycle eastbound on the south side of Nordhoff Street when he was struck from behind by a vehicle. Mr. Helfen died at the scene as a result of suffering serious injuries during the collision.

The investigation has revealed that the possible hit and run vehicle is a 2007 through 2012 Nissan Sentra. The hit and run driver fled without stopping to render aid to Mr. Helfen or to identify himself or herself in accordance with the law.

Anyone with information about this incident or the whereabouts of the driver or hit and run vehicle, are asked to contact Valley Traffic Detectives at (818) 644-8000 or (877) LAPD 24-7.

7870 Nollan Place
Panorama City, CA 91402

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 818-644-8000

This is the highest reward I’m aware of for the hit-and-run of a Southern California cyclist.

Maybe it will be enough to bring Helfen’s killer to justice.

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Paul Helfen.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg and Sam Ebnet for the heads-up.

Cyclist killed in early morning North Hills hit-and-run; BOLO for dark blue SUV with front end damage

This is not the news any of us wanted to wake up to.

Numerous sources are reporting that a cyclist was killed early Friday in a North Hills hit-and-run, when a rider was hit from behind  on Nordhoff Street near Gaviota Avenue.

According to a release from the LAPD, the rider was riding eastbound near the curb when his bike was hit, throwing him onto the street and into a raised planter box in the Auto Zone parking lot; a witness report says he bounced off the SUV’s windshield.

According to both KABC-7 and KCBV-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was doing everything right when he was hit.

“This bicyclist did all the right things. Unfortunately, this accident occurred. I mean, he had a helmet on, the reflective vest, the bike headlights. He was an avid bicyclist. He had all the right things on,” said Capt. Ivan Minsal with the Los Angeles Police Department.

The avid bicyclist remark appears to stem from the fact that the victim was wearing bike shorts and appeared to be riding for exercise or recreation, despite the late hour.

Descriptions of the victim vary. The L.A. Times describes him only as a 53-year old male, while KABC-7 says he was a Hispanic man in his 50s or 60s; the LAPD release describes him as a whit male in his late 60s or early 70s.

Police are looking for a dark colored, possibly dark blue, Chevy Blazer or similar mid-size SUV with front end damage, most likely with a broken windshield.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Valley Traffic Detectives, Detective II James Deaton #24252 at 818 644-8035 or Detective III William Bustos #25029 at 818 644-8021 during normal business hours.

Police also note that you don’t have to reveal your identity.

After-hours calls may be directed to a 24-hours, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log onto WWW.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” Tipsters may remain anonymous.

At least in this area, Nordhoff is essentially a six lane, high-speed throughway that encourages motorists to drive far above the speed limit, particularly in the late night hours when light traffic essentially allows drivers to go as fast as they want.

The new L.A. bike plan calls for bike lanes on Nordhoff, though I don’t find it on the five-year implementation plan. Hopefully, it will include a road diet to slow traffic speeds; otherwise, a simple line of paint wouldn’t do a damn thing to stop a driver who couldn’t seem to see a cyclist lit up like a Christmas tree.

And keep an eye out for an SUV that matches the description. Anyone who could do something like this and then heartlessly run away like the coward he or she is belongs behind bars.

This is the 23rd cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in Los Angeles County; it’s the first bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles in 2012. This is also the fourth bike-related fatal hit-and-run in the seven county SoCal region this year.

My prayers and sympathy for the victim and his loved ones.

Thanks to LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas for the heads-up.

Update: The LAPD has identified the victim as 76-year old Northridge resident Paul Albert Helfen; a $50,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of his killer.

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