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Bicyclist killed in North Hills hit-and-run crash

June 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A search is under way for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a bicyclist in North Hills Friday morning.

The incident happened at about 2 a.m. at Nordhoff Street and Gaviota Avenue. Authorities say the victim was traveling eastbound on Nordhoff Street when he was struck by a vehicle going the same direction. The impact sent the rider flying off the street and into some bushes off the road.

"As how this accident occurred, we don't know if the driver was impaired or distracted or if there was some other reason for this. Right now, we're handling this as a traffic accident," said Capt. Ivan Minsal with the Los Angeles Police Department.

No one was able to catch the license plate number, but the impact did do extensive damage to the vehicle, and the debris could help investigators figure out exactly what kind of car was involved.

Police are looking for a dark, mid-sized SUV, possibly a Chevy Tahoe or Ford Explorer, with tinted windows, chrome rims and front-end damage, mostly to the right side. Officials also said they have bits and pieces of the car's hood, the windshield and possibly the roof-rack to aid them in their search.

The identity of the victim was not released. Police described him only as a Hispanic man in his 60s. Authorities said the bicyclist was doing everything he should have been doing to be safe.

"He had the helmet on, a reflective vest, had a forward-facing clear light on the front of the bicycle, the reflectors. He had all the right tools. He was doing the right thing. He was riding close to the curb," described Minsal.

Witnesses told police the driver did not stop after striking the bicyclist, continuing eastbound on Nordoff Street, which was shut down for hours around the crash scene for police investigation. The street has since reopened.

If you have any information that could help investigators track down the driver, you're urged to call (877) LAPD-24-7 or (877) 527-32-47.

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