SAN DIEGO — A senior citizen was left with a life-threatening head injury after a hit-and-run collision in Middletown. Police said the 66-year-old victim was riding a bike near the intersection of India and West Washington streets just before 1:30 p.m. Friday when he was struck by a blue or gray 2005 Dodge Caravan, Georgia license number RRJ7004. The vehicle may have a shattered windshield, according to San Diego police.
Following the collision, the driver of the minivan fled, possibly back toward Interstate 5, police said.
The name of the victim was not disclosed.
“That could be anybody's mom, dad, sibling, cousin, nephew. It really hurts knowing that a human being, his life wasn't valued in a situation like that,” said Sylvie Froncek, Program Director with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
The cyclist appeared to be riding along a designated “bike route” between Middletown and Hillcrest. The street features “sharrows” to emphasize to drivers they must share the entire right lane with cyclists.
“All roads legally have to be shared. A cyclist has the right to take a full lane of traffic so that someone in a motor vehicle has to legally signal to pass them and then come back into that lane just like they would passing anybody else,” explained Froncek.
A witness captured the aftermath of the collision on camera. It showed the alleged driver and a female passenger checking on the cyclist before dislodging the bicycle from underneath their car and leaving the scene.
Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact San Diego Police Communications at 619-531-2000, San Diego Police Traffic Division at 858-495-7813 or CrimeStoppers, where tipsters can remain anonymous, at 888-580-TIPS (8477).
“This is a situation that needs to be recognized as way more than just something that's accidental, “said Froneck. “A human being was hit while riding on a bicycle by a human being in an automobile who chose to continue and not potentially do more to save that human being’s life, help get them out of the way or help them get to a hospital.”
The San Diego Police Department tweeted a video of the aftermath of the incident and asked that the driver "do the right thing" and contact them. Images of the van, suspected driver and passenger can also be seen below.