Walking along Wilshire in the early afternoon yesterday was a surprisingly pleasant experience. I tend not to ride my bike along Wilshire too often, both because of the poor condition of the road and the hectic feeling of the traffic. It is noisy and the drivers are sometimes unpredictable — people pull over suddenly to park, cross lanes to turn abruptly in front of you, or speed unnecessarily — making it feel more like you’re trapped in a game of Frogger than anything.
On Sunday, however, the sounds of wheels whirring, bike bells ringing, kids giggling, and the occasional disco track emanating from someone’s speakers provided a wonderfully soothing soundtrack for a stroll along the iconic street.
Until, that is, I came upon the scene of a hit-and-run.
“What happened?” I asked a bystander.
“He was hit by a car.” I was told.
“Really? A car?”
It didn’t make sense.
The streets were closed off.
Where would a car come from?
Funny you should ask.
Apparently the driver of a late model Toyota didn’t feel like going around CicLAvia, so they shot through the intersection at Windsor Blvd, cut across Wilshire, mowed down a male cyclist, and kept going.
Friends of the cyclist tried chasing the car down, but were unable to catch up to it.
The cyclist’s bike was a bit messed up and he was shaken and complaining of back pain — he had hit the ground pretty hard, he said. But, he was very relieved that no one else got hurt. This CicLAvia was a very tiny-kid-heavy event and the incident could have been much, much worse.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t give me any other information on the car other than the sense it was a late model Toyota whose passenger side he managed to scrape up pretty good.
Calls to a few of the surrounding businesses to ask about potential security video footage of the incident unfortunately yielded no leads, meaning eyewitnesses are the best source of information. If you happened to see the event or know of a driver of a Toyota with a very scratched up passenger side, please give the West Traffic Division a call at 213-473-0222.
UPDATE courtesy of CicLAvia: “The victim did go to the hospital later that day. He has three fractured vertebrae. Plus his bike is a mess. If anyone saw anything near the Mid-Wilshire Hub incident area, please call LAPD’s West Traffic Division at 213-473-0222.“