A 60 year old man on a bike was killed early this morning just blocks from the major transit center near downtown San Jose, California. Police ask the public to watch for a full-size late 1980s or early 1990s white pickup truck with front driver side damage near the front fender.
According to witnesses, the driver of the truck jumped the curb on Delmas at Santa Clara Street. The driver then apparently panicked, put the truck in reverse and backed over the man on the bike, running over him a second time. The driver was seen fleeing southbound on Delmas Avenue.
Update: San Jose Police determined this was a homicide. From the SJPD press release:
After follow up investigation it was determined this incident was a homicide and the case was turned over to the Homicide Unit. The investigation lead to the identity of the suspect later identified as 79 year old Ernest Cervantes (booking photo above). Suspect Cervantes was taken into custody on January 21, 2016 in San Jose and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail. The suspect vehicle was also located and recovered. It was also determined that the suspect and the victim were known to each other.
This area is very heavy with pedestrian, bicycle and transit traffic. Even at 5 AM, there’s no excuse for somebody to drive so distracted that he loses control of his vehicle. At least five different bus transit routes were re-routed around the scene of the collision while San Jose police performed their investigation.
Police say this is the third traffic fatality of 2016 in the city of San Jose. The city’s first traffic fatality was a man on a bike who was killed on January 2 just 12 blocks east of this hit-and-run. In spite of recent adoption of Vision Zero policies, a chronically understaffed traffic division leaves the Bay Area’s most populous city unequipped to enforce traffic laws. At any given time during the day, only three or four officers might be available to cover 2,400 centerline miles of local streets.
- NBC Bay Area: San Jose Police Seek White Pickup After Bicyclist Dies in Hit-And-Run, which describes this crash as an “accident.”
- KGO: San Jose Police Investigating Fatal Hit and Run Crash.
- Merc-News: San Jose police search for driver in fatal hit-and-run in downtown.