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Arleta Hit and Run Accident Kills Bicyclist

bicyclistA bicyclist was killed in Arleta when a car traveling on the wrong side of the road struck his bike and fled the scene. The bicyclist died as a result of the collision, and the hit-and-run driver has since been arrested since the accident.

Suspect found hiding after crash

The motorist was traveling eastbound on the wrong side of Van Nuys at 2:00 a.m. on September 10, when he struck three cars and the bicyclist. According to a report at KTLA, the driver remained at the scene until paramedics arrived and then fled when emergency help arrived. Officers were called to a nearby residence a short time later, where they found the suspect hiding in a back building on the property.

The bicyclist was identified by family members as Eric Garcia, a disabled man in his 50s.  A relative told ABC 7 that Garcia frequently rode his bike at night to collect cans to support himself. Garcia’s bike was completely shattered from the impact of the crash and Garcia died at the scene.

Driving under the influence could be a factor

Officials told local media the driver of the vehicle was a 22-year-old man. His name has not yet been released. Police said there was reason to believe the suspect may have been under the influence of alcohol or another substance at the time of the crash.

Van Nuys was closed for several hours after the crash to allow for a full investigation of the event. The main entrance to Arleta high school, near where the accident occurred, was also closed off for a period of time in the hours following the crash, to shield students from the disturbing aftermath of the crash.

Prevalence of bicycle fatalities

Accidents involving bicycles are an unfortunate event in areas like Los Angeles, where the streets are filled with cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians every day. Approximately two percent of all traffic accident fatalities involve bicyclists, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Most injuries to bicyclists occur to the head, suggesting that wearing a helmet during bicycling could provide a degree of safety for bicyclists driving through the busy traffic of L.A.

The highest number of bicycle fatalities in the year 2013 occurred during the summer and autumn months of June, August and September. The fewest number of fatalities occurred during the winter months of January and February. Fatal accidents peaked between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and around twice as many crashes occurred in urban areas, rather than rural ones. More than one-third of all fatal crashes involving bicycles occurred at intersections.

While any motor vehicle accident can result in serious injuries and even death, bicyclists are particularly vulnerable given their lack of protection. The team at Ellis Law understands how catastrophic the consequences of these accidents can be, and is committed to providing legal advocacy for those who need it most.

For a free case evaluation with a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer at our firm, please call 1-800-INJURED .