Cyclist killed trying to stop hit-run driver who struck another cyclist

Rob Hayes Image
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The search is on for the driver involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a cyclist, who was trying to stop that driver from fleeing after another cyclist was struck in Long Beach.

The two cyclists, both men, were traveling near Long Beach Boulevard and the 710 Freeway on-ramp around 1 a.m. Monday when one cyclist was struck by a 2000 Ford Expedition, police said.

The driver of the SUV took off, but the second cyclist, a 51-year-old man from Los Angeles who was not hit, jumped on top of the vehicle's hood to try and get the driver to stop. He rode on the driver's side running board and attempted to reach through the window to turn off the ignition, according to police.

That cyclist clung to the vehicle for a half-mile before falling off. He was killed after he struck his head on a curb, police said.

The driver looped around, paused to look at the victim, and then ditched the car in the middle of the road near Long Beach Boulevard and Adams Street. He fled from the scene on foot, authorities said.

The cyclist who was initially hit only suffered minor injuries. Both cyclists are believed to be part of a cycling club. Both were wearing club jackets but no helmets, investigators said.

Police said they know who the suspect is but do not have him in custody yet.

Residents in the area were shocked by the incident. "Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for someone to hit and to run," said Johnny Johnson, who lives nearby.

Long Beach Boulevard was shut down for hours due to the investigation. It has since reopened.

Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is asked to call Long Beach Police Department Collision Investigation Detail Detective Brian Watt at (562) 570-7355.