Empire Grade Hit & Run

Santa Cruz: Be on the lookout for a maroon Nissan or Infinity with a missing headlight and other front end damage.

Santa Cruz resident Zachary Parke, age 25, was found dead early Wednesday morning on Empire Grade Road near the UC Santa Cruz Campus.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Zachary was riding his bicycle downhill on Empire Grade near Heller Drive when he was hit by a car traveling the same direction and left for dead. Evidence at the scene suggests he was hit by the driver of a maroon Nissan or Infiniti. Anybody with information on this collision are asked to call the CHP at (831) 622-0511.



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A cyclist on Empire Grade saw clothing and debris on the road Wednesday morning, found Parke’s body nearby and called police. Empire Grade has wide bike lanes and a 40 MPH speed limit at this location, but speeding well in excess of the limit is routine.

Zach got around Santa Cruz by bicycle and worked as a bicycle messenger for Clutch Couriers. This is the second cyclist fatality in Santa Cruz for 2011.

My sincere condolences to Zachary Parke’s family and his friends. More news about this in video from KION.

Remember, watch for a maroon Nissan with front end damage.

6 Comments

  • June 9, 2011 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Very sad for his family and friends and for Zachary himself. That he was run down from behind makes it so much worse. Maybe he would have lived if the car had stopped and tried to help. We’ll never know. But I do know that the driver who killed him needs to be caught.

  • Jessi Hance
    June 9, 2011 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Awful. My heartfelt condolences to all Zachary’s loved ones.

    I had a friend who was killed cycling down Empire Grade, but the truck driver who hit him didn’t run, at least. That’s the part that I think makes it so much worse, the running. I can understand the driver’s panic, but for goodness’ sake, I’d hope more drivers could fight the impulse to flee.

  • June 9, 2011 - 9:16 pm | Permalink

    sigh. i’m sorry to hear this. i hope the driver will be found and prosecuted and found guilty of atrocious acts of humanity. how awful. 

    i noticed you said second one for SC. very very sad.

  • June 9, 2011 - 9:16 pm | Permalink

    sigh. i’m sorry to hear this. i hope the driver will be found and prosecuted and found guilty of atrocious acts of humanity. how awful. 

    i noticed you said second one for SC. very very sad.

  • June 9, 2011 - 9:16 pm | Permalink

    sigh. i’m sorry to hear this. i hope the driver will be found and prosecuted and found guilty of atrocious acts of humanity. how awful. 

    i noticed you said second one for SC. very very sad.

  • June 9, 2011 - 9:16 pm | Permalink

    sigh. i’m sorry to hear this. i hope the driver will be found and prosecuted and found guilty of atrocious acts of humanity. how awful. 

    i noticed you said second one for SC. very very sad.

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