Tag Archive for Valley Glen

Update: Valley Glen man dragged, killed by hit-and-run driver; 4th LA County bike death in 4 days, 15th SoCal rider killed in 25 days

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.

Update — Valley Glen hit-and-run victim reportedly died of his injuries last night

I’ve just received word that David Alexander Granados, the 18-year old bike rider critically injured by a hit-and-run driver last Sunday, has died as a result of his injuries.

Both the Reddit site, as well as a commenter on this site, report that he passed away last night, surrounded by family and friends. Both sources have proven to be reliable throughout this breaking story.

You can read the full story here, if you haven’t already.

This is the 13th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second to die as the result of a hit-and-run. Alarmingly, eight of those deaths have occurred in Los Angeles County, compared to just one this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Granados and all his family and loved ones.

Update: The media discovered this story today, with new stories by North Hollywood Patch and Rudabeh Shahbazi for KABC-7, including a brief interview with yours truly.

A couple brief corrections — the victim’s full name is David Alexander Granados, not David Alexander as I had previously reported, and he died around 5:30 pm Tuesday when he was taken off life support, rather than Thursday night, as I had been told. 

Patch reports that the driver was traveling at 50 to 60 mph when he ran the red light and hit Granados, throwing his body as far as 200 feet by some estimates. A friend who witnessed the collision says Granados had the right of way, and looked both ways before crossing the street. 

In other words, he did everything right. And died anyway.

To say I’m heartbroken over someone I never knew, and now never will, is putting it mildly.

A memorial fund has been established in his name. And anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8063. 

Update: LAPD confirms 18-year old cyclist was critically injured in Valley Glen hit-and-run

I’ve just received confirmation from the LAPD that a cyclist was injured in a hit-and-run in Valley Glen.

An 18-year old bike rider, identified as David Alexander of Van Nuys, was riding south on Bellaire Ave at Oxnard Street around 5:30 pm on Sunday when he attempted to cross Oxnard in the crosswalk on the northbound side of the street. A driver traveling west in the left lane on Oxnard ran the red light, striking Alexander.

According to a report on Reddit, he was thrown over 100 feet by the force of the collision.

Various witnesses described the vehicle as a Silver 2000-02 Mecerdes ML SUV. The driver was described as an overweight white or Armenian male in his 50s, with either gray hair or bald head.

The Reddit report, written by someone who identifies himself as a neighbor of the victim, indicates that Alexander is on life support with little or no brain activity.

If you have any information on this case, contact Det. Tucker at LAPD Valley Traffic, 818/644-8000.

My prayers go out to David Alexander and all his family and loved ones.

Update: Earlier information indicated that the vehicle might have been a Silver Range Rover; however, that is no longer under consideration.

Update 2: I’ve just received the following press release from the LAPD:

Hit and Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Seriously Injured

VALLEY VILLAGE:   On March 24, 2013, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a serious injury traffic collision occurred at the intersection of Oxnard Street and Bellaire Avenue in the Valley Village area of the San Fernando Valley.

The victim, an 18 year old male resident of Van Nuys, was riding his bicycle southbound in the east crosswalk when he was struck by a vehicle traveling west on Oxnard Street.  The bicyclist sustained major injuries and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to Holy Cross Hospital for medical treatment.

The vehicle is described as an older model, light colored, possible silver/grey, Mercedes Benz ML class Sport Utility Vehicle.  The driver of the vehicle is described as an older male.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Officer M. Tucker at (818) 644-8063.   The report number is DR #13 15 08298.  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.

Update 3: The Reddit site, as well as a commenter below, reports that David Alexander passed away last night, surrounded by family and friends. Both have proven to be reliable throughout this breaking story. 

This is the 13th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second to die as the result of a hit-and-run. Alarmingly, eight of those deaths have occurred in Los Angeles County, compared to just one this time last year.

Update 4: North Hollywood Patch and KABC-7 both report the victim’s full name is David Alexander Granatos, not David Alexander, as I reported. And his death came around 5:30 pm Tuesday, not Thursday.