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Arrest in fatal hit and run of bicyclist in Encinitas

A suspect has been arrested in a hit and run accident that killed a bicyclist on an Encinitas roadway, officials said Tuesday.

VISTA (CNS) - A Carlsbad man was behind bars Tuesday in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist taking a late-night ride with several friends near Leucadia State Beach last weekend.

Joseph Ricardo Fernandez, 46, came forward Monday to report that he believed he might have been involved in a recent traffic accident in the Encinitas area, sheriff's Sgt. Mark O'Connor said.

Detectives interviewed Fernandez and inspected his Dodge Ram 1500, which matched descriptions -- including front-end damage -- of the northbound vehicle that struck 47-year-old James Swarzman of Encino from behind in the 1200 block of North Coast Highway 101 about 1 a.m. Sunday, according to O'Connor.

The driver did not stop at the scene to offer assistance or speak to authorities.

Swarzman died at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla several hours later.

Fernandez was booked into the Vista Jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. He was being held on $50,000 bail, with arraignment scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Investigations into the fatal crash are ongoing, and additional charges may be filed, the sergeant said.



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