A bicyclist was struck and killed in a Van Nuys hit and run accident early morning Nov. 1. According to a City News Service report, the hit-and-run driver was later apprehended and taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence. The incident occurred at the intersection of Haskell Avenue and Stagg Street. Police responded and found the cyclist who was struck from behind and pushed 40 feet.
The driver fled the scene, but was found about a mile away at Woodley Avenue and Saticoy Street. He became combative but officials were able to subdue him and take him into custody. The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of the deceased bicyclist. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
LA County Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2015 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 17 fatalities and 2,098 injuries involving bicycle accidents in the city of Los Angeles. Countywide, 34 people died and 4,158 were injured due to bicycle accidents during the same year. Also, in Los Angeles County, 179 fatalities and 4,527 injuries were reported due to DUI collisions in the year 2015.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report it appears that the motorist was operating his vehicle under the influence, rear-ended the bicyclist and then left the scene of the accident without rendering aid to the victim. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is also against the law to leave the scene of an injury or fatal crash. Motorists are required to stop immediately, remain until officials arrive and provide help to injured victims at the scene.
Justice for Victims’ Families
We are relieved to note that police were able to apprehend the hit-and-run driver in this case. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased accident victims can file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced hit and run lawyer in Los Angeles will also help families understand how their own auto insurance policy might apply in a case where the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured.