Photo credit: Wiki Commons
Photo credit: Wiki Commons

A 21-year-old Los Angeles man was charged Tuesday with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving for a crash that killed a bicyclist who was in a marked crosswalk last week in Highland Park.

Alexis Virto was scheduled to be arraigned today in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person.

Virto is accused in last Friday’s death of 33-year-old cyclist Jose Luna, who was struck about 3 a.m. in the 4000 block of North Figueroa Street.

Investigators believe that Virto was driving between 60 mph and 80 mph, and said the impact of the crash severed one of Luna’s legs. He allegedly drove away with the victim on the vehicle’s hood for about 200 yards and later abandoned the car.

Police allege Virto was still intoxicated at the time of his arrest several hours later. He was found sleeping on a bed with his girlfriend at a home about six blocks from the crash scene, police said.

He had injuries consistent with the collision and windshield debris in his hair, said Detective John Menese of the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division.

Police tracked down Virto after receiving a report of an abandoned damaged vehicle, which matched the description of the one seen speeding from the crash scene and also had the victim’s biological matter on it, police said.

Virto has remained behind bars since he was taken into custody last Friday morning.

If convicted as charged, he could face up to six years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

— City News Service 

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