Witnesses of hit and run help CHP track down suspected driver

Paramedics assist a 69-year-old man who was hit while riding his bicycle at Montecito Road and Main Street. Witnesses said the driver who hit him left the scene. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
Paramedics assist a 69-year-old man who was hit while riding his bicycle at Montecito Road and Main Street. Witnesses said the driver who hit him left the scene. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Update, 8 p.m., Monday:

A 31-year-old Ramona male turned himself in to California Highway patrol at the sheriff's Ramona station around 5:30 p.m. Monday for allegedly hitting a cyclist earlier in the day, said CHP Officer Joe Nielsen.

Witnesses to the accident provided CHP with the license plate number of the vehicle they said hit the cyclist. Nielsen said that enabled him to track down the driver and leave him messages.

Around 1:05 p.m. Monday, James Swift, 69, of Ramona was riding an adult tricycle southbound on Montecito Road and was beginning  to cross Main Street on a green light when the driver of a brownish-gold 2002 GMC Yukon Denali, also on Montecito Road, turned right onto Main and hit the trike, causing Swift to topple over, according to reports.

The driver turned himself in to CHP at the sheriff’s Ramona station and charges of hit and run and driving without a license were filed, said Nielsen on Monday evening. His name could not be released as charges were pending, the CHP officer said.

Swift was transported by ambulance to Palomar Medical Center. Nielsen said Swift was confused at the scene and is a prior stroke victim.

Original story:

Law enforcement officials are looking for the driver of a brownish-gold Suburban vehicle that witnesses say took off after hitting a man on a bicycle at Montecito Road and Main Street around 1:05 p.m. Monday.

A 69-year-old Ramona man riding an adult three-wheel cycle was taken by ambulance to Palomar Medical Center, said CHP Officer Joe Nielsen, who did not know the victim’s  condition.

According to a witness, the cyclist was southbound on Montecito Road and beginning to cross Main Street on a green light when the driver of the Suburban, also on Montecito Road, turned right onto Main and hit the bike, causing the man to topple over.

The driver stopped, picked up the man, put him in the bike seat and said “sorry,” said witness Maxwell White. White said the man ran back to his vehicle “and took off as fast as he can.”

Witnesses gave CHP a license plate number.

White said he did not know the cyclist, but “he rides his bike around town all the time.”

Nielsen said the driver is described as an Hispanic male in his twenties.

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Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
   
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