Alcohol was a factor in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 77-year-old cyclist in Griffith Park on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The crash was reported around 3:45 p.m. as the cyclist was heading north on Crystal Springs Drive, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The victim was hit by a gray BMW and died at the scene. He has been identified as Andrew Jelmert, an avid cyclist.
The driver got out of the car and fled without helping the cyclist or identifying himself.
Witnesses at the scene helped responding officers locate the driver, who was arrested and convicted of manslaughter. Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash, but did not elaborate.
The suspect was identified Monday as Jairo Martinez, 37. He remains in custody on $617,500 bond, according to booking records.
A makeshift memorial for Jelmert, which includes a ghost bicycle, has been erected near the crash site.
Park visitors and cycling advocates have expressed concerns about cycling safety in the Griffith Park area.
Damian Kevitt was hit by a vehicle while cycling in Griffith Park in 2013. He lost his leg in the accident and now advocates for the safety of cyclists through his organization Streets Are for Everyone.
“We really want to see the cars disappear from Griffith Park and make it a park that people can enjoy, without being afraid of it,” Kevitt told KTLA.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who represents the area where the accident happened, said in a statement that she was devastated to learn of the fatal incident.
“Cycling in this city should never be a life or death calculation, and it’s our job as city leaders to create streets that meet everyone’s needs,” the statement read. “My team and I are already considering Crystal Springs Drive as part of a series of district-wide safety improvements to prevent such tragedies from occurring, and we will continue this work with greater urgency. There’s no time to lose.”
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