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Driver charged with Del Mar hit-and-run to head to trial

San Diego, California, should be a safe place for bicyclists and motorists alike. In a recent case, police were able to apprehend a driver accused of killing a cyclist. The 19-year-old driver accused of causing a deadly bike accident in Del Mar earlier this month may face up to four years in state prison if convicted.

Prosecutors claim the accused struck a cyclist, an 18-year-old grocery store clerk from Escondido, while the cyclist was riding his bike along the road. The victim's body was found at approximately 2 a.m., about an hour after the hit-and-run driver allegedly fled the scene.

After conducting an investigation, police say the driver pulled over in a local neighborhood shortly after the collision to conceal evidence of the accident before driving home. Once he reached his house he parked in his garage to conceal the damage to his truck, but a neighbor noticed and notified authorities. After refusing to cooperate with authorities, the man eventually hedged and said he knew he hit something, but didn't know it was a person.

In light of the evidence presented, and the fact that the driver also has a pending drug charge, the judge set bail at $1 million, claiming the man was an extreme danger to the community. The man faces a charge of hit-and-run causing death and will head into trial later this month.

The victim's family members, who were visibly emotional during the arraignment, want justice for the young man who was taken from them. The driver may also face a civil suit for his role in the man's death, and his negligence and willful failure to help the man he ran down. The family and estate of the man may be able to collect compensation for the loss of the man's life, and possibly even punitive damages.

Source: 10 News, "Man Accused In Crash That Killed Cyclist Pleads Not Guilty," July 11, 2012

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