Andrew Jelmert, 77, was killed in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles Griffith Park when he was struck by a vehicle whose driver fled the scene. According to news reports, Jelmert was participating for the fifth year in the AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride on the afternoon of April 16 when the fatal crash occurred.
Fatal DUI Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident
Jelmert was riding northbound on Crystal Springs Drive when he was hit by a gray BMW sedan that was also going north. Police say Jelmert fell onto the roadway, where he suffered blunt force trauma. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect abandoned the vehicle and ran from the scene, but was found and arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter by park rangers, LAPD officials said.
Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this fatal crash. Police identified the driver as 37-year-old Jairo Martinez who now faces one felony count each of murder and hit-and-run driving resulting in death to another person, as well as one misdemeanor count of driving when the privilege was suspended or revoked for DUI conviction after a prior offense. The investigation is still ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Andrew Jelmert for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We are relieved that police have a suspect in custody.
Justice for Victims’ Families
Based on this news report, it appears that the sedan driver may have been under the influence when he struck and fatally injured the bicyclist who was participating in the charity bike ride. It is against California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is also against the law to leave the scene of an injury or fatal crash.
California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) requires motorists to stop immediately at the crash scene, remain at the scene, and cooperate with the authorities. The law also requires drivers to exchange pertinent information with other parties and most importantly render aid to the injured victims.
In such cases, families of deceased victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles hit-and-run lawyer who will remain on top of the investigation and ensure their legal rights and best interests are protected. A knowledgeable Los Angeles car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims’ families about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to a hit-and-run crash or in a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.