The Highland Park area of Los Angeles at 3 a.m. might not be the safest place to ride a bike, as one unfortunate victim found out last month. While trying to cross the street at the intersection of Figueroa Street and Marniom Way, the cyclist was blindsided by a man driving a black Nissan sedan at an estimated speed of 80 miles per hour. Despite the sickening collision, the driver continued on as if nothing had happened, dragging the victim underneath the car for some 500 feet before finally falling in the street, where he was pronounced dead. According to eyewitnesses to the grisly scene, the driver never stopped or even slowed down.
Several hours later the police were able to locate the driver’s abandoned vehicle and tracked him to a nearby house where he was found sprawled on a bed, highly intoxicated. Police say the driver, a 21-year-old man, still had debris from the collision, including bits of broken windshield, in his hair. He was booked on suspicion of drunk driving and could face other serious charges up to and including vehicular homicide or even potentially murder if they conclude he was responsible for the car accident and the cyclist’s death.
Drunk driving is a serious problem in Southern California, but some people still simply don’t get it. These people endanger themselves and every other person on the road every time they get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in some cases too intoxicated to even know what they are doing, as may have been the case in this tragic accident.
Cyclists and drivers should always exercise their best judgment, including avoiding driving during the early morning hours when possible, as other drivers may be more likely to be under the influence. People who are injured by drunk drivers could be entitled to substantial damages and compensation for their losses, including amounts for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and in some cases, even punitive damages. For more information, people may wish to consider contacting a Southern California personal injury attorney.
Source: NBC 4 “Cyclist Dragged 500 Feet in Fatal Hit-Run Crash,” Michael Larkin and Melissa Etezadi, June 26, 2015