Cyclists who have been calling for fewer vehicles and more safety measures in and around Griffith Park are dealing with the devastating news of yet another fatality. Earlier this month, a 77-year-old cyclist was killed after being struck by a driver who then tried unsuccessfully to leave the scene on foot. He was captured by park rangers after hikers alerted them to his location.
The cyclist had just a quarter of a mile to go on a 67-mile ride to train for a charity AIDS ride in San Francisco. He died before he could be taken to the hospital. The real estate agent was planning to participate in a week-long ride of over 500 miles to raise money for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. This would have been his fifth time on the ride.
Several days after the tragedy, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that the accused driver, who was reportedly under the influence, has been charged with murder. He’s also been charged with a fatal hit-and-run while driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license. The 37-year-old man lost his license after a previous DUI conviction.
Cyclists want fewer vehicles, more protected bike paths in the park
Cyclists and others in the community have been advocating for more bike paths in the 4,200-acre park and barriers to separate vehicles from those on bikes and on foot. They also note that many drivers exceed the speed limits in the park. One safety advocate says, “There’s been talk for years now about shutting down large sections of the park from cars…[and] specifically closing one side of Crystal Springs Drive to cars so there is a pedestrian path.” The cyclist was on that road when he was killed.
Cyclists in and around Los Angeles often have to share the roads with vehicles. While most drivers do everything possible to keep a safe distance from cyclists, too many do not. If you or a loved one has been injured or worse by a drunk, distracted or reckless driver, it’s crucial to seek the justice and compensation you deserve.