Police are searching for a driver who struck and killed a bicyclist later identified as 46-year-old Blake Finley. According to a KTLA news report, the owner of a white 2010 Toyota Tacoma was making a delivery in the 900 block of Wilshire Boulevard when he was approached by someone who asked him for a ride the morning of Jan. 16. Police said when the pickup owner refused, the person got into the vehicle, locked himself in and took off at a high speed. The owner who had climbed on the bed of the truck in an attempt to stop the thief, jumped off fearing for his life, officials said.
Horrific Hit and Run
The perpetrator kept going driving onto Seventh Street where he was speeding and driving on the opposite side of the road, police said. Just as he approached Olive Street, he slammed into a bicyclist at a high speed. The bicyclist landed on the hood of the truck, and the driver kept going eastbound. The victim fell off the truck near Hill Street, roughly 150 feet from where he was initially struck. Even though witnesses called for help, paramedics could not save the bicyclist’s life. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The suspect driver crashed into two other vehicles before he abandoned the truck and fled. Video surveillance captured him taking off in a blue hooded sweatshirt and putting on a white one. He was also wearing black pants, was barefoot and may have suffered a head injury as the result of ramming into the vehicles after striking Finley, officials said. Finley’s family is asking the suspect to come forward and take responsibility. His daughter, Koi, said her dad was on his way to meet friends when he was killed. Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD at 213-833-3713.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Blake Finley for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Justice for Victims
Based on this news report, the driver was committing a crime, to begin with by stealing the pickup truck and driving off in it. He continued to drive dangerously posing a real danger to others on the roadway. In addition, leaving the scene of an injury or fatal crash is a felony crime under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a). We certainly hope the driver is apprehended and brought to justice.
In such cases, families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. When a driver has not been apprehended, families may be able to seek compensation through the uninsured motorist clause of their own auto insurance policy. An experienced Los Angeles hit and run lawyer will be able to guide victims and their families through what can be a complex legal process and help them secure maximum compensation for their losses.