Hit-and-Run Bike Crash on Second Street Leaves Community Activist Hospitalized

1_6_10_hirsch.jpgPhoto: Ross Hirsch

 Cyclist Ross Hirsch reports on a hit and run bike crash in the Downtown.

I did not witness the incident, but biked up to it just after the paramedics arrived and were in the process of putting the victim onto a stretcher. He appeared calm and coherent, but told me he couldn’t move. See the attached pix. He said he was "thrown off his bike."

Name: Ed Magos, works for COLA in ITA (Information Technology Agency). I notified his work he may be late today. He was clearly injured, but could talk. Stephen knows him and will notify his family. Unfortunately, the only good news is that he isn’t dead.

He informed he was traveling East on 2nd Street (to work). He said he was not in the R turn lane, but the #2 lane and intended on traveling straight through the intersection. I noticed him on the ground about 50 ft east of the intersection lying in the right hand turn lane.

A female FIDM student (name: Harpreet) standing on the sidewalk immediately adjacent to the incident informed the police that she didn’t actually see the impact, but saw the immediate aftermath. She told the officer the incident occurred at 8:27 a.m. because that’s when she sent a text. She reported it was white Carrerra-like Porsche, license xxxxxxx. African American female, mid-30s, black hair. She reported that the driver pulled over, saw the downed cyclist, stated that someone should call 911, made a u-turn, and proceeded to drive away traveling west on 2nd Street. Harpreet suggested that the driver indicated that she was in a hurry or late for something. She also told the officer that the driver said the sun was in her eyes and didn’t see the cyclist. (I have Harpreet’s phone number for those interested. She was friendly and matter-of-fact–would make a good witness, too.)

Two officers responded, with Officer Marroquin interviewing the witness and taking notes.

Several workers in the office building also saw the aftermath (but not the actual incident)-they were talking to the police. Apparently they were on a conference call and were able to look out the window and see what had taken place.

  • dudeonabike

    Just heard from his employer that they notified his family, and he was taken to Good Sam Hospital. No update on condition though. But the FIDM student/sorta witness said it looked like he could move his arms and legs, so that’s good.

  • Damien, correct me if I’m wrong, but leaving the scene of an accident is a felony, correct?

  • yang

    Wow, talk about no respect for bikers. I’m tired of being a second class citizen. We should revolt, riot!!!!

    Anyways, glad he could move his arms and legs.

  • yang

    she was probably on her cell or texting

  • Just spoke to Ed, he is all right. They are going to release him this afternoon.

    CAT scan, EKG and a battery of tests all indicate that he is whole.

    He was hit from behind, he was yelling for someone to call 911, he looked at the motorist and yelled, she got back in the car and left.

    His family is with him.

  • Great news that he’s okay — thanks for the update Stephen.

    Dancer, unfortunately, unless a hit-and-run results in serious injury, it’s only a misdemeanor under California law, with a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and/or (more likely) a fine up to $1000.

    That’s why we have to pressure our representatives to change the law, because as things now stand, it’s often to a driver’s benefit to flee the scene to try and escape more serious charges. The penalties for hit-and-run should be so severe that no driver would even consider fleeing.

  • The motorist turned herself in. “I think I hit something. I’m not sure what.”

    Detective that I chatted with could not confirm that she was or wasn’t in custody or that she arrested.

    Unfortunately, the LAPD looks at the severity of the injuries and the history of the motorist and the risk of flight.

    This does not bode well for the cycling community or for justice.

    The LAW must change, Hit and Run violations MUST be treated with greater severity!

  • dudeonabike

    This is shameful–and reflects a sad state of affairs on many accounts. One would think that mere moral decency and personal responsibility would compel someone to stay at the scene and do the right thing under these circumstances.

    But unfortunately, as I know from my own hit and run incident–and from hearing stories of many others that contribute here and still others that bike the streets of LA that have been involved in the same, I suppose it’s foolish to think that today’s civil society is, in fact, civilized.

    That’s sad. This woman demonstrated plainly deplorable civil behavior–-in fact criminal behavior. Shit, I had no involvement in causing this incident, but I spent 1/2 my morning attempting to make sure this fellow citizen was ok, his family wouldn’t be unnecessarily worried, and he wouldn’t face unnecessary discipline at work for being a no-show. Who are these &$%# people driving around (in white Porsches and otherwise) in our city?! I’m surprised she turned herself in-–probably only did so because she knew there was a witness that got her license plate and description. Pisses me off.

    Well, on the brighter side, at least I’ve got a good lesson I’ll be able to talk about with my kids at dinnertime tonight. And here’s to hoping Ed can with his wife and his family, too.

  • Vigilante Justice

    What’s the penalty for a U-lock to the rear window?

    If it’s greater than the penalty for a hit and run, the law must change.

  • based on current California law, the driver MIGHT get Misdemeanor hit and run charges not felony charges. The law states: if NO death or permanent serious injury – imprisonment in state prison or in county jail for not more than one year; or by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000; or by both fine and imprisonment

    in other words if you survive and are not maimed there is very little consequences. In fact, your drivers license is NOT suspended whereas if you are caught drunk driving (not even drunk accident) your license is automatically suspended for 3 months. For a misdemeanor hit and run there is no suspension of your license!

    ARE YOU ANGRY YET?!

  • Roadblock,

    I was angry before! It shouldn’t matter if the person was hurt or not: how can you know that if you flee the scene?! So basically, you flee the scene, and if you’re lucky the person isn’t badly hurt and you would only get a misdemeanor, which (again someone correct me if I’m wrong) wouldn’t show up on a background check or be required to divulge in an employment application, so the consequence is very small. You CANNOT know if whomever you hit is seriously injuried if you flee the scene. It should be a felony.

  • ohaijoe

    I am angry, yes.

    Now what can we do to change this?

  • we’re gonna have to march on Sacramento. Literally.

  • skd

    We need to do a ride to a City Council meeting. To many have died, too many have been crippled. This madness has got to stop.

    If this happened to an ethnic group or a religious group, it would be considered genocidal. Why are bicyclists allowed to be treated as disposable people?

  • L.A.P.D. Officer

    Eh, you’re being dramatic. Get off the road*.

    *(Things I’ve actually been told by LAPD)

  • SKD now is your chance to get heard. Patt Morrison is hosting a “Ask the Chief session LIVE at the new LAPD headquarters. Lets roll!!!

    “Ask the Chief” on the Road

    Patt Morrison takes her “Ask the Chief” segment, with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, on the road to the brand new police headquarters downtown on Wednesday, January 13th at 6:30 pm. Join Patt, Chief Beck and community stakeholders for a discussion on the future of the LAPD—and put your own questions directly to the leadership of your city’s police department.

    RSVP to pattmorrison@kpcc.org or on Patt’s Facebook page.

  • DJwheels

    Gotta march on your local legislators office first and convince them to take a bill to Sacramento…then we MARCH.

    Curren Price – Senator – 26th District
    Gil Cedillo – Senator – 22nd District

    Kevin De Leon – Assemblyman – 45th District
    Mike Davis – Assemblyman – 48th District
    Mike Feuer – Assemblyman – 42nd District
    John Perez – Assemblyman – 46th District

  • Park Czar

    Should also point out that Ed is an EHNC Board member. One of the original members who endorsed the CBR.

  • I find it very interesting that a couple of us that were at the so called “SECRET BIKE MEETING” w/ LAPD Officials yesterday discussing this very issue of Cyclist Rights and the way LAPD handles such incidents.

    The timing of this horrible incident is incredible. It really drives home how often this type of accident occurs in the City. Most of the time accidents like this one does not get noticed or reported unless a cyclist is killed.

    Thanks to the quick thinking and activism of cyclist utilizing Blogs, Twitter and Facebook social networks, Accidents like this one WILL NO LONGER GO UN – NOTICED!

    Cyclist must engage NOW by Calling, Writing, Emailing public officials to change CITY, COUNTY AND STATE policy on how these matters are handled. Giving Law Enforcement and our Judicial system some teeth to take a bite of HIT AND RUN offenders, not just a small fine and release!

    What also must change is the CA LAW & Vehicle Code to keep up with the notion that bikes are toys or for recreation purposes!

  • @carlos what’s with the secrecy? aren’t we all in this together?

    PS: Damien can you change the title of this to “Hit and Run on 2nd st.”

  • RoadBlock call me 323/221.7400 – I do not want this post to get off the subject of this incident. Lets talk!

  • Spokker

    “If this happened to an ethnic group or a religious group, it would be considered genocidal. Why are bicyclists allowed to be treated as disposable people?”

    Uh, I wouldn’t quite equate it to genocide against cyclists. 41,000 people were killed in automobile accidents in 2007. 30,000 of these were occupants of a vehicle, mostly passenger cars and light trucks. Motorcycle riders represented over 5,000 of deaths.

    About 5,500 were non-occupants, the majority of these pedestrians. About 700 were cyclists.

    The point is that the roads are unsafe, period, not for any one group but all groups. Inattentive driving, cell phones, alcohol, excessive speed, lax laws and more are all factors.

    The punishment for leaving the scene of an accident should be at least 3 years in my humble opinion. Thresholds for getting your license suspended should be lowered so that people lose their licenses for a lot less and a lot longer than they do. Driving is a privilege not a right. Driving should be respected for the insane amount of damage it can do.

  • As for changing the law, my suggestion is that leaving the scene of an accident should result in automatic revocation — not suspension — of driving privileges, and confiscation of the vehicle involved.

    After all, they can seize a car used in a drug crime or for soliciting a prostitute, so why shouldn’t it be taken when it’s used to commit the crime itself?

  • Spokker

    Agreed, bikinginla. Rendering aid in the event of an accident is a responsibility of being a driver, whether you get into an accident with a cyclist, pedestrian or other driver.

    Impounding a car when someone leaves the scene of an accident is way more worthy than impounding a car involved in soliciting some prostitute. Having a taste for whores doesn’t mean you’re an unsafe driver.

  • +100000 bikinginLA

  • Daniel M

    everybody involved, thank you so much, to the person who stayed and reported to the police, the paramedics, the fellow bikers, people who followed up, for being resposible. And all of you in the biking community etc. for rallying behind Ed.
    He’s my brother.
    thank you.

  • jenmoran

    I am all for changing the laws and policies that govern a crime like this. Suing this criminal to the fullest extent would be a memorable consequence for her and perhaps a useful way of proving to policy makers that, even though they haven’t figured out that hitting (and fleeing) is a serious crime worthy of serious conviction, the courts awarding damages see it differently.

  • @dudeonabike great job in getting the word out this morning. things like this would not have been noticed if we didn’t have eye witnesses like yourself on the scene.

  • Captain Ron Marbrey of the Central Traffic Division reported to THE VOICE on the Hit and Run of the cyclist Ed Magos this morning in Downtown LA. Marbrey stated, “The LAPD’s investigation finds the driver of the vehicle 100% at fault, the cyclist was not doing anything wrong. The driver of the vehicle turned herself in to LAPD officials at the Rampart Division this morning at 9:45am. The case will be submitted to the City Attorney for prosecution and the suspect should be process to the full extent of the law, and now beyond the LAPD it is in hands of the City Attorney and the judicial system that will decide the appropriate penalty which is outside the purvey of the LAPD.

    For us this was a great case, thanks to alert witnesses we were able to solve this incident and the person responsible has been identified and was in custody momentary and then released” stated Marbrey.

    We asked for the identity of the driver and Marbrey said he could not release the drivers name at this time. “LAPD is working on a to Press Release regarding this incident on Thursday, January 7th.” stated Marbrey and continued to say “As far as the LAPD is concerned, we feel very good about this case, a lot of Hit and Runs Go unsolved in this case we were able to gather the suspect and get their statement. If people are seriously injured or killed then the immediate action would be to arrest and take the suspect into custody.” said Marbrey.

    I want everyone to understand that as a reporter, I do come across many crime scenes and speak with the lead investigator or supervisor on scene and there are many times that LAPD officials do not give out any details because their investigation is not done and do not want to put the case in jeopardy. Other times they do disclose limited information and still other times they do not release any information. There is not clear pattern of when I can get the info and when I can’t.

    Marbrey stated “We do want to work with the cycling community and want to give out information that is accurate and complete as we can make it and don’t give mixed messages when we have multiple people telling you information when only have is accurate. On a case such as this one when many people went to the police station to ask for information, we were not ready to release any at the time. We have no problem at all sharing the information, we just want to make sure it is accurate, and want to make sure the people who give it know what they are talking about and it is given at the appropriate time.

    We want to folks who came out to Central Station today understand that we are not at liberty to give that info out.” stated Marbrey then continued to say “Again we are working on protocols, we have nothing to hide just making sure it is accurate and one voice is the best way to help with the accuracy of a situation instead of having many such as our Central Division, Media Relations and everyone else putting out conflicting information that exacerbates the problem.” said Marbrey.

    We asked Marbrey why do so many of hit and runs go under the radar he stated, “Half of the collisions in the City of Los Angeles are Hit and Runs. The LAPD CENTRAL BUREAU alone had 4,615 Hit and Runs in 2009. LAPD realizes that it is a serious problem and these numbers show it. It is impossible for our department to hold press conferences for each hit and run that occurs. Investigations take a lot of time and due to the sheer volume and limited resources. Many times hit and runs go unsolved because of limited information on scene or lack of witnesses.” said Marbrey.

    On Tuesday, January 5th, a small group of cyclist (Stephen Box, Enci Box, Alex Thompson, Ron Durgin, Glen Bailey and myself) had a meeting with LAPD Office of Operations to start dialog between Cyclist and LAPD to address both policy and training issues and concerns of the cycling community. Our first meeting went well and is a step in the right direction. There are many hurdles to cross on both fronts (LAPD and CYCLIST).

    One of the topics of discussions was how LAPD treats incidents such as this one. During this meeting Stephen Box was adamant that incidents that occur between a vehicle and a bicycle should be treated first as a crime scene and not just a traffic accident.

  • Way to go Ross! Thanks for the update Carlos.

  • “During this meeting Stephen Box was adamant that incidents that occur between a vehicle and a bicycle should be treated first as a crime scene and not just a traffic accident.”

    Only if there is enough evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed. This should go for pedestrians too.

  • “For a misdemeanor hit and run there is no suspension of your license!”

    The California Driver Handbook says: http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf

    “DMV will revoke your license if
    you are convicted of hit-and-run
    driving or reckless driving which
    results in injury.”

    It doesn’t differentiate between injury and serious injury. Anybody know how this plays out in real life? This woman should definitely lose her license.

    How do we make sure she gets convicted of a hit and run?

  • roadblock

    @spokker wow that’s news to me. great news!

  • Monica M

    I just wanted to say thank you to Ross, Damien, Stephen, Harpreet, and all the biking community who have stood by Ed and who had a hand in taking care of him in this incident. I am his sister and reading this article and learning of those who have so generously given of themselves to help a stranger has brought me to tears. We are so grateful to you and the support you have given our brother. He was fortunate that you were there when you were. Thank you for your kindness and concern for the rights of bikers.

  • Eric_Howard

    As I bike commuter who used to ride through that corner every day, I applaud the people who came to the aid of the cyclist and presumably motivated the woman driver to turn herself in. Stephen, Roadblock, Carlos, Ross, and everyone else, I appreciate what you are doing.

  • HERE IS THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM LAPD

    FELONY HIT AND RUN IN CENTRAL AREA
    On January 6, 2010, at approximately 8:25 a.m. thirty-seven-year-old xxx, a resident of Los Angeles was driving her 2007 Porsche Caynan eastbound on 2ns Street in the number two lane, when she collided with the rear of xxx riding his bicycle eastbound in the number two lane of 2nd Street.

    According to witnesses xxx got out of her vehicle and stated the sun was in her eyes. She checked on the condition of xxx, asked a witness to call 911, re-entered her vehicle and fled the scene. xxx was transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital and treated for chest and back pain.

    Approximately one-hour later xxx went to Rampart Station to report the incident. xxx was not under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and she is a license driver with insurance. Due to xxx fulfilling the requirement of20001 (a) VC she was not arrested for hit and run.
    This case will be presented to the City Attorney’s Office for review.

  • Call me an attorney, fine, but it seems pretty plain that she failed to comply with the requirements of CVC 20001–which also requires that she comply with 20003. Who wrote that bologna press release–Ms. Everett herself??

    CVC 20001: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d10/vc20001.htm
    CVC 2003: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d10/vc20003.htm

  • Colin Bogart

    Well I’m NOT an attorney and I read the VC. It’s clear that you cannot leave the scene of the crash. Otherwise, it’s called “hit and run”. Even the press release says she “fled the scene”. What? Time to put pressure on the City Attorney?

  • “Due to Everett fulfilling the requirement of20001 (a) VC she was not arrested for hit and run.”

    lol what

  • roadblock

    once again… cops are just letting shit ride. Thanks LAPD!

  • I will be interested to see how the DA proceeds.

  • DJwheels

    Seriously, what the eff? Typos, contradictory statements…..c’mon, LAPD.

  • Greg

    Where did you get this “press release” Carlos? Did you write it yourself?

  • Greg,
    No, I did not write it – As I stated earlier, I received it from the LAPD.

    I understand everyone’s frustration on the handling of this HIT AND RUN. I too am upset and disappointed.
    The bottom line is that LAPD released their findings; I can not change this or influence these findings.

    I am just reporting what was released – I am trying to relay information to you all. Most of the time everyone is complaining that no information is gets released. I am building a relationship with the LAPD and you fellow cyclist to get you the facts from the people who make these decisions. As you all know it is not being covered by the media in general.

    THE VOICE NEWSPAPER and LA.STREETSBLOG and Midnight Ridazz are the ones staying on top of this with the help of many of you in the cycling community.

    In my opinion; Cyclist should now concentrate their efforts to lobby the LA County District Attorney and / or City Attorney to prosecute this as a crime! PERIOD! Lobby state, county and city politicians to revise and upgrade the current laws to reflect the ever changing transportation issues. And to stop treating bikes as toys or recreational use.

    It is just too bad that other media outlets besides this blog are covering this.

    I have received several calls and emails from many of you, which is great to see that you are reading and are being active on this issue.

    I will continue on my end to release and update you, my fellow Cyclist and LAPD to bridge the communication gap with concerns from both sides.

  • Greg

    The LAPD denies that they released this press release. It doesn’t show up on lapdonline. This might be what will actually happen in this case, but that doesn’t mean that this is a press release.

  • I could certainly envision a situation where in the interest of getting information out timely misinformation was provided and/or internal procedures may not have been followed. Perhaps here, however, this misinformation, if it turns out to be as such, in the form of a *press release* or unofficial statement, works to a certain benefit. More on that later.

    I, too, would like to avoid putting out any misinformation, but I can say with what seems to be a high level of certainty that LAPD has classified this as a “felony hit and run.” I’ve also been informed that there is a police report (which I have not seen confirmed anywhere that there was one), and that it has not been assigned to a detective yet (too soon, noting incident occurred on 1.6).

  • Driver walks . . .

    In case you haven’t heard, LAPD presented the case (which they claim to have booked as a “felony hit and run”) to the DA and the City Atty–both rejected any prosecution concluding that they would never get a conviction and citing the “minor” personal injuries and property damages. Thus, this driver will face NO criminal action whatsoever–she walks. It’s as if it never happened (criminally).

    Civilly, both she and her insurance company have informed of “no coverage” on the date of the incident.

  • la rider

    Sue for the car and her home if she is not renting. This is a 5 figure case easily. Do it soon before she moves posessions out of her name.

    I think we need to ban together and form some sort of political group with a unified voice.

  • Greg

    “Civilly, both she and her insurance company have informed of “no coverage” on the date of the incident.”

    What do you mean there? She wan’t insured on the date of the incident? If so, can’t the LAPD cite for that and remove her license as well as impound her car?

    Having googled her info when that info was still posted up there, it seems that her design shop in Beverly Hills wasn’t doing too well and closed down. She probably doesn’t have much money and was leasing the porsche.

    Also, Damien, WTF? Carlos’ post #36 has been changed to redact the lady’s name but there is no mention that it is edited. This makes me not want to use this site. Sure, redact the info, delete posts, but do it in a transparent manner.

  • Apologies Greg, in the full article about the press release the redaction and reason why are given. The LAPD released the info prematurely and didn’t want the name released, so in respect to their wishes and due process, I removed it.

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