Suspect in fatal hit-run is arrested
Los Angeles police have arrested a suspect in the hitand-run death of a bicyclist in Highland Park, authorities said.
“A citizen came out and identified this individual,” said LAPD Officer Jack Richter.
The collision occurred about 3 a.m. Friday as the bicyclist rode in a marked crosswalk at North Figueroa Street and Marmion Way, police said. Investigators told KTLA the driver appeared to be traveling faster than 80 mph when he struck the cyclist.
The victim was dragged more than 400 feet, authorities said.
Within hours police had put out a call for help from the public: Anyone who had seen a dark-colored sedan with major front-end damage, including a missing bumper, was urged to call authorities.
A tip came in that led to an arrest on Friday, Richter said.
The county coroner said the victim was a 33-year-old man. His identity would be released after his family was notified.
The collision occurred on a stretch of Figueroa that city officials had long targeted for bicycle lanes until last summer, when Councilman Gil Cedillo announced he was stopping the project because of concerns over losing a vehicle lane.
Cedillo was concerned that change would affect response times for emergency vehicles — a longtime issue in Los Angeles.
On Figueroa, a Times review of accident data from 2002 to 2012 found 68 car-versus-bicycle collisions between Avenue 26 and York Boulevard — three of them resulting in severe injuries. The data show that 153 incidents took place between cars and pedestrians during the same period, including nine that resulted in death.
Hit-and-run collisions involving bicyclists in Los Angeles County surged 42% from 2002 to 2012, according to a Times analysis of California Highway Patrol crash data. That increase came as the overall number of hitand-runs involving cars, cyclists and pedestrians dropped by 30%. From 2002 to 2012, the most recent data available, more than 5,600 cyclists were injured and at least 36 died in crashes in which drivers fled.
“I am sickened by the deadly hit-and-run this morning in Highland Park and want to remind the media and all residents that there is a standing reward for all hit-and-run crimes in Los Angeles,” Councilman Joe Buscaino said Friday before the arrest. “Our city has an epidemic of hit-and-runs, and the only way we can change this is to speak up.”
The Los Angeles Police Department closed one in five hit-and-run cases from 2008 to 2012, according to data the department reported last year to the Board of Police Commissioners. Less than half those cases were closed through an arrest.
LAPD OFFICERS at Figueroa Street and Marmion Way, where a bicyclist was fatally struck by a car.