A man was in custody and facing a possible vehicular manslaughter charge Monday in an alleged hit-and-run that fatally injured a man involved in a charity bicycle ride in Griffith Park over the weekend.
The fatal injury occurred about 3:50 p.m. Saturday at 4400 Crystal Springs Drive, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.
Andrew Jelmert, 77, died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office and the LAPD.
“After the collision, the driver exited the vehicle and fled the location without rendering aid or identifying himself. Witnesses at the scene assisted the police in locating the driver, who was subsequently arrested and booked,” police said in a statement. “Alcohol was a factor in this collision.”
Jairo Martinez, 37, was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, and he was being held on $616,000 bail, police said.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that a cyclist participating in AIDS/LifeCycle’s SoCal Day on the Ride lost their life after being struck by a vehicle yesterday,” organizers of AIDS/LifeCycle posted on Facebook Sunday.
Jelmert was a five-time participant in the event and a member of the team Different Spokes, the organizers said.
“This is a senseless tragedy, and our hearts go out to everyone who is affected,” said Joe Hollendoner, incoming CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “We revere each and every participant on AIDS/LifeCycle, who dedicate their time, energy, passion and power to lift up a cause close to their hearts. We mourn with our community.”
According to LAPD Lt. M. McCommas of the Central Traffic Division, Jelmert was riding his bicycle northbound when he was struck by a vehicle that was also northbound.
The cyclist fell onto the roadway, where he suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene, McCommas said.
The suspect got out of his vehicle and ran from the scene, but he was found and arrested by park rangers, McCommas said.