Second Cyclist Killed in Two Days; Police Seek Pickup Truck Driver Who Fled Scene

posted: September 15th, 2012 05:02 pm | 8Comments

UPDATED with victim’s name.

A female bicyclist was killed after a hit-and-run accident at 9:47 a.m. today on Newport Coast Drive between Ocean Vista and Vista Ridge drives, police said in a news release.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that a female bicyclist was riding northbound on Newport Coast Drive when she was struck from behind by a black pickup truck,” the release said. “The driver of the truck fled the scene without stopping to render aid and continued northbound on Newport Coast Drive.”

The bicyclist, a 57-year-old Irvine woman, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died from her injuries, the statement said.

The Orange County Coroner’s Office tonight identified the victim as Catherine Ritz. A coroner’s press release states that she died at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo at 1:40 p.m.

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the driver of the truck, which was described as a black full-sized pickup, possibly a 2001 to 2004 Toyota Tacoma. The truck has “significant damage to the right front area of the vehicle,” the statement said.

Anyone with information should call Traffic Investigator Eric Little at (949) 644-3746.

The incident is the second fatal crash where a truck struck a female cyclist in two days in Newport Beach.

Sarah Leaf, 29, was killed when a truck making a right turn from East Coast Highway onto Bayside Drive struck her and drove over her. The investigation into the cause of that crash continues, and no arrest has been made. Read our earlier stories here and here.

Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said the crashes were “a very tragic two days in Newport Beach.”

8 Responses to “Second Cyclist Killed in Two Days; Police Seek Pickup Truck Driver Who Fled Scene”


Fernando Maldonado

September 15th, 2012

I want this SOB to turn him/herself in and explain what happened. Texting? Drunk? Stoned? This is insanity!

It is insanity

September 15th, 2012

Yes Fernando it is crazy. Crazy to think it is safe to ride a bike on a street with a speed limit over 30mph. Even more crazy to think people will stop texting, eating, talking, or speeding. Welcome to reality it won't ever happen. Hell they can't even keep people from drinking and driving let alone the stuff people on cdm today want.


September 16th, 2012

This person was an amazing doctor who's calling was to save lives! To think that she was struck and left to die makes me sick to my stomach! I hope the person responsibe gets caught ASAP and is punished! She would have stoppped to render aid if anyone was in this situation so to think this happened to her is devastating! She did not deserve to be left that way !


September 16th, 2012

Tomorrow is a meeting at the main library in Newport Beach, I believe it is at 4 or 4:30. All concerned Newport Beach residents should be there showing their concern for the safety of cyclists in their city and that this should not be ignored any longer.


September 17th, 2012

Meeting is at 430 tomorrow at the NB central library


September 17th, 2012

It's so ridiculous for anybody driving a big truck and to hit a cyclist on a broad daylight, more so by not stopping to attend the injured person. How would you want that on your conscience? I ride my bike along this neighborhood 3-4x a week and it's kinda scary. I happened to witness the ambulance took off with the patient when I was riding my bike from the other side of the street going down towards PCH that morning. I thought that it was just a minor accident, but only to find out that it was a hit & run fatality after reading the BCI Alert news. I was also shocked to hear about Sarah's accident that occurred the previous day. Our deepest condolences to both Cathy and Sarah's family, from your brothers and sisters of BCI.


September 18th, 2012

This 4 lane superhighway offers the potential for speeds that are not tolerable for the general cycling public and its design should never have been approved. It needs more curves to lower speeds. Big money doesn't care about cyclists, and it's unlikely things will change much.

David Huntsman

September 18th, 2012

mp, Newport Coast Drive is actually a 6-lane road, three in each direction plus the bike lane. Worse, the lane closest to the bike lane seems to be the narrowest of them.

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