James Steven Swarzman was riding with two other cyclists about 1 a.m. when the 47-year-old was hit from behind by a truck near North Coast Highway 101 and Jason Street in San Diego County (Encinitas, California). The driver of the truck that hit Swarzman did not stop in this tragic hit-and-run accident.
Swarzman was thrown from his bicycle and, later, airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla where he was pronounced dead three hours after the bicycle accident. He rode bicycles competitively and was on a late-night training ride. The vehicle that reportedly hit Swatzman is described as a Dodge Ram pickup truck, blue or dark colored with front end damage.
Similar Hit and Run Accident
This is the the second accident involving a bicyclist in San Diego County in recent months. In January, Heath Bernstein was the victim in a hit-and-run accident that was similar to this incident. Bernstein was riding his bicycle on Highway 101 in Carlsbad when a dark-colored pickup truck ran him down.
“The truck that hit me came across one empty lane of traffic, across the bike lane taking me out, and then back to the traffic lane. To me that was 100 percent intentional,” Bernstein said. He feels the facts between the two cases point to a possible connection.
An unnamed witness told authorities that the truck driver never slowed down after hitting the bicyclist on the 101. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the driver did not stop because he wanted to hit the bicyclist. The truck’s description in Swarzman’s crash is nearly identical to Bernstein’s hit-and-run accident.
California Hit and Run Law
This is an odd case, as it may be a case of intentional hit-and-run, which could be murder. We don’t have all the facts in yet, but the truck driver behind the hit-and-run, at the very least, is guilty of leaving the scene of a crime.
California vehicle code section 20001. (a) states that “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
When to call a San Diego Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Let’s hope that Mr. Swarzman’s family and Mr. Berstein both seek the advice of an experienced accident attorney who can seek a bicycle accident claim that will lead to compensation. If you, or someone you love, are the victim of a bicycle accident and/or a hit-and-run accident, please call 877-702-7274 to speak to an expert today.
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