Hit-and-Run Mars Otherwise Low-Key CicLAvia

The cyclist injured in the hit-and-run makes his way across the intersection the driver shot through. The police gave him a ride home. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog.

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.

“A car?”

“A car.”

“Really? A car?”

“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.

  • That is horrible! Any more info on the color or style of car (sedan, Prius, SUV?) I know it happened so quickly, though –

  • Militant Angeleno

    We need to find that motherfucker and lynch him!

  • sahra

    They really didn’t offer anything other than “late model Toyota.” He was in pain. I didn’t push him. The police were there pretty quickly and were checking out the scene as thoroughly as they could, it seemed. There wasn’t any debris left behind. I still can’t believe someone would have plowed through an event like that… there were so many small kids yesterday. Hitting anyone is obviously terrible, but it could have resulted in such carnage…

  • Thanks for letting me know. I am upset that this happened. I’m disappointed in the motorist. The motorist was being selfish and put his interests ahead of everyone else’s.

  • losangelebicycleattorney.com

    My condolences go out to this cyclist. It’s unfair that, during the one time when cyclists should be able to ride with no risk of getting hit by cars, some sociopath has to ruin it for everybody. If he’s injured, hopefully this cyclist has an uninsured motorist policy, which covers you even if you’re on your bike or on foot. It also emphasizes the importance of wearing a helmet-cam, even at (supposedly) car-free events.

  • Joe

    I saw a driver of a late-model extended Jeep Wrangler do the exact same thing, except he didn’t want to scuff up his car, so he carefully got out and ripped the police tape, drove across (a thankfully light at the moment) Wilshire Blvd, stopped, repeated his tape ripping, and drove on, all in front of at least 30 people congregated for some Koreatown event at that very corner. I tried riding after him to take a picture, but he got away pretty quick. I did yell “ASSHOLE” as loud as possible, though…

  • cat ear medicine

    Incidents like this further highlight the absurdity of some drivers portraying themselves as victims of cyclists (in a comments section on another website, a driver said something to the effect of “God help you if you hit one of them [cyclists].” As if they’re the ones who are *really* hurt by car-bike collisions.

  • Nick Doper

    DAMN!! Ciclavia is usually so dense that it’s impossible to cross with a car.

  • Kate Stewart

    When the LA Marathon went through Ktown a couple years ago we witnessed not one, but several middle aged woman drive up on the sidewalk at Serrano and 6th so they could avoid the cones/traffic tape/sawhorses and drive across the street. The drivers in this part of town are out of control. I see people almost get hit daily from moron motorists taking a right on red without stopping first – or just blatantly running red lights.

  • KH

    This happened just behind me. It’s insane that someone would do this.
    Also it was a “green” toyota.
    Glad the cyclist was ok. It could’ve been a child and way worse. Ugh!

  • davistrain

    I once wrote an article about the “Triumph of the Automobile” and listed three human characteristics that car use plays into: Selfishness (I’m more important than anyone else on the road! Outta my way!), Impatience (Wait for a bus or train? Unthinkable!) and Laziness (Walk to a bus stop or train station? Pedal a bicycle? Too much like work!) The @#$% who ran down the cyclist fits the first two and probably the third..

  • Evan G.

    I remember at the April 2011 Ciclavia, there was a car trying to enter the route along 7th Street a few blocks west of the 110 overpass. It was late in the day, and the street wasn’t densely packed, I saw the car inching towards the yellow tape across the intersection of the side street and 7th. It took me and a few other people standing directly in front of their car and shouting “THE ROAD IS CLOSED–YOU HAVE TO TURN AROUND!” before they finally got the idea and went the other way.

    We’ve been lucky that this hasn’t happened before. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

  • Anonymous

    Ktown resident. Don’t get me started on drivers here. The number of unused indicators here is mindblowing.

  • Eric W

    Really MA??!! That seems excessive – how about we just take away their drivers license? Make them one of us.

  • Militant Angeleno

    Get real. Only a pollyanna thinks they can ever be “one of us” if their driver’s license is taken away. More likely, they’ll just drive illegally, and hit more people.

  • Gonewest

    “Hopefully it won’t happen again.”

    The sad reality is that hope is all we have, in such situations.

  • That would only work if you take away their car at the same time. No car means they have to rent a car, but no license means they can’t rent a car.

  • Anonymous

    Wear the helmet cam to enjoy the film of happy, smiling humans. Then, if something bad **does** happen, the camera is already rollin’…