Los Angeles 2013
Breaking news — Two cyclists injured, one killed by second driver in drunken
early morning hit-and-run
I’ve just gotten word from the LAPD that a bike rider was killed, and two others
injured in a hit-and-run early this morning.
Or rather, the victim most likely died because the driver failed to stop at the
scene as required by law and basic human decency.
According to the press release, 28-year old Los Angeles resident Ulises
Melgar, 30-year old Mario Lopez of Bellflower and 21-year old Bell Flower
resident Luis Garcia were riding east on Cesar Chavez Avenue at Mission
Road with two other bicyclists at approximately 2:45 am Saturday.
They were rear-ended by an eastbound 2013 Toyota Corolla driven by 21-year
old Wendy Villegas, knocking all three off their bikes and into the street.
Villegas fled the scene, leaving her victims lying in the street. She drove to her
home, where she told her parents she’d been in a collision, and asked them to
call the police.
Unfortunately, it was too late.
Just moments after Villegas ran away, 21-year old Jimmy Marroquin was
driving east on Cesar Chavez in a 1994 Nissan Quest. He didn’t see Garcia
lying in the roadway and struck him with his SUV, dragging his body a short
Had Villegas stayed at the scene, she could have directed other drivers around
the people lying in the street until they could move or help could arrive. Ot at
the very least, Marroquin would have been more likely to see the collision and
drive more carefully around it.
Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene. Whether he could have survived
the initial collision if he hadn’t been struck a second time is a matter of
However, the other two victims only suffered minor injuries, which suggests that
his injuries might have been survivable. Lopez was treated by paramedics at
the scene, while Melgar was taken to the ER at USC Medical Center.
Meanwhile, Villegas confessed to police that she had been drinking and left the
scene of the collision. She was booked for hit-and-run resulting in injury or
death (CVC 20001(a)) and vehicular manslaughter while under the influence
(Penal Code 191.5).
In other words, police investigators are blaming her for Garcia’s death.
The collision is still under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to
contact Central Traffic Detective M. Kaden at (213) 972-1837 or Officer R.
Cortez at (213) 972-1846; or call the Central Traffic Division’s Watch
Commander at (213) 972-1853 during the weekend or off hours.
This is the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th in
Los Angeles County; that compares to 23 in the county for all of last year. It is
also the 12th biking death in the City of Los Angeles, compared to five in each
of the last year two years.
That’s nearly two-and-a-half times the city’s cycling death toll for 2011 and
2012, with over three months left in the year.
And horrifyingly, nine of those 12 deaths have been hit-and-runs.
My prayers and deepest sympathy for Luis Garcia and his loved ones.
Thanks to LAPD Central Traffic bike liaison Sgt. Laszlo Sandor for the heads-
September 14, 2013 6 Replies
Posted 09.16.13 by DEVILZ_NIGHT