Driver arrested after dragging bicyclist nearly a mile in grisly hit-and-run, LAPD says

SOUTH LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24, 2023 - A police officer monitors the scene where a person was killed in a hit-and-run while another officer tries and secures the tent surrounding the victim at the intersection of Broadway and El Segundo Blvd. in South Los Angeles on October 24, 2023. The motorist was being sought. Officers went to the area of South Broadway and West 117th Street at about 9:15 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The fatally injured person, described only as a male, died at the scene, police said. Information on his identity was not immediately available. The hit-and-run vehicle was described as a white Chevrolet van. According to reports from the scene, the victim was dragged for some distance by the vehicle, and he might have been hit intentionally. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Police officers monitor the scene at Broadway and El Segundo Boulevard in Compton where a bicyclist's body was dislodged from a van after being dragged roughly a mile following a hit-and-run crash in Broadway-Manchester. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A driver accused of running over a bicyclist with his van and dragging him for nearly a mile in a hit-and-run crash in Broadway-Manchester, killing him, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, Los Angeles police said Wednesday morning.

Felipe Avalos, 66, was driving south on Broadway in a white van when he crashed into a bicyclist crossing near 115th Street around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, a collision that forced the bicyclist onto the road, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.

Avalos ran over the bicyclist, who became lodged in the van's undercarriage, and continued to drive south on Broadway, turning several times on side streets for roughly a mile, according to the LAPD.

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Fox 11 News reports the bicyclist's body left a trail of blood, torn clothing and body parts as it was dragged by the van.

The bicyclist finally became dislodged from underneath the van at Broadway and El Segundo Boulevard in Compton, and Avalos drove away without stopping to help the bicyclist, police said. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The victim's identity had not been released by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner as of Wednesday morning.

Investigators with the LAPD's South Traffic Division responded and canvassed the area to speak with witnesses. Police found a surveillance camera that captured the initial collision and images of Avalos' vehicle, an older model Chevrolet Astro, police said. A witness provided a possible license plate number, and investigators confirmed it matched the vehicle that struck the bicyclist.

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Police found Avalos' van parked in a driveway at a home in Compton. While watching the property, police investigators saw a person who fit the description of the driver involved in the fatal crash leave the home and get into the vehicle. Police approached Avalos and took him into custody without any issues, according to the LAPD.

A witness later positively identified him as the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, authorities said.

Avalos was booked into custody on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and is being held on $50,000 bail.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.