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Anaheim Cyclist Dies as Hit-Run Toll Grows : Crime: County records its fourth such fatal accident in three weeks.

September 06, 1999|SCOTT MARTELLE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 40-year-old bicyclist died Saturday evening after an unidentified motorist struck him from behind and drove off, Fullerton police said.

The incident was the fourth fatal hit-and-run in Orange County in less than three weeks and the second involving a bicyclist.

The latest incident occurred about 8 p.m. Saturday as Isaac Sanchez, 40, of Anaheim was riding his bicycle south in the 600 block of South Brookhurst Street, between Valencia Drive and Orangethorpe Avenue, investigators said.

A vehicle struck Sanchez's bicycle, sending him sliding under another car parked against the right-hand curb. Sanchez was taken to Martin Luther Hospital in Anaheim, where he was pronounced dead from massive internal injuries, according to the Orange County coroner's office.

Fullerton Police Sgt. Bob Richardson said Sanchez had neither lights nor reflectors on his bicycle, even though he was riding after sunset.

Richardson said investigators had found no witnesses to the incident, and do not know the make of the vehicle involved or in what direction the driver fled. He asked that anyone with information about the incident call the Fullerton Police Department at (714) 738-6715, or accident investigator Bill Regan at (714) 738-6812.

Two weeks ago, Isidro Calderon Hernandez, 26, of Buena Park was arrested after alleging striking bicyclist John Lee La Bord, 18, of Anaheim, then driving nearly 15 miles with the victim's body jammed into his broken windshield before dumping the body along a tollway median near the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

Hernandez, also a suspect in a a hit-and-run in May in which a bicyclist suffered minor injuries, was charged with murder and felony hit-and-run in connection with La Bord's death.

Two days before La Bord was killed, a 55-year-old Garden Grove man died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver at Katella Avenue and Gilbert Street at the border of Anaheim and Garden Grove. A 54-year-old Santa Ana man was arrested a short time later by police officers acting on a description provided by witnesses.

Last week, a hit-and-run driver struck and killed Salvador Hurtado, 20, of Santa Ana as he worked as a flagman on a construction project on the Santa Ana Freeway. Police are seeking a teal Chevrolet Malibu or Beretta in connection with that predawn incident.

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