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Santa Monica Police Looking for Witnesses in Fatal Crash Involving Bicyclist
By Jorge Casuso
October 17, 2017 -- Police are looking for witnesses in a crash that killed a bicyclist riding along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Santa Monica Sunday evening.
The collision took place at around 7 p.m. at the 200 block of PCH, according to police. The cyclist died at he scene.
It is the second fatal crash involving a bicyclist near that location since 2012 and comes less than two months after a pedestrian was killed crossing the busy highway in Santa Monica ("Pedestrian Killed Crossing PCH in Santa Monica," August 23, 2017).
Officers responding to a radio call for service found the bicyclist on the roadway "suffering from significant trauma," said Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the Police Department spokesman.
The motorist involved in the collision fled the area but later returned to the scene, he said. The driver was not injured.
A preliminary investigation by SMPD's Major Accident Response Team found that both the bicyclist and the driver were traveling northbound along PCH when the victim was struck from the rear, Rodriguez said.
"The driver of the vehicle is cooperating with the investigation and there have been no preliminary indications the driver was impaired," he said.
Traffic Investigators are determining the circumstances that led to the collision and why the driver fled the scene.
The accident comes a little more than five years after Erin Galligan, an avid 30-year-old cyclist, was also struck and killed on the 200 block of PCH by a hit-and-run driver.
Galligan, who was traveling southbound, also died at the scene of the collision that took place on July 10, 2012.
Police data show that pedestrians and bicyclists account for approximately two-thirds of all severe injuries and fatalities sustained in traffic accidents in Santa Monica ("The Statistics Behind Santa Monica's Pedestrian Deaths," May 11, 2017).
Bicyclists are involved in 10 percent of all traffic collisions and account for 20 percent of those who sustain serious injuries.
Last year, there were 119 collisions involving bicycles and vehicles in Santa Monica, up from 111 collisions in 2015, police statistics show.
There were 132 such collisions in 2013 and 138 in 2014.
"Many Santa Monica residents continue to feel unsure on a bicycle," police wrote in a report presented to the City Council on May 9.
The investigation into Sunday's fatal collision is ongoing and investigators are interested in speaking with anyone who was in the area at the time of the collision.
Anyone with additional information should call Investigator Pace or Olson at (310) 458-8954 or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.
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