UPDATE 14 July 2022: A second rider has also died at the finish of an AIDS/Lifecycle ride in Los Angeles. News article HERE.
A cyclist was struck and killed on Saturday by a BMW sedan less than a mile from the finish line of a 67-mile group ride in Los Angeles, according to city police.
The victim, Andrew Jelmert, a was participating in the 2022 AIDS/Lifecycle Day on the Ride training event, an amateur group ride that precedes the annual AIDS/LifeCycle charity ride.
The tragedy occured at 15:49 as Jelmert was finishing his ride, when a BMW moving in the same direction struck him from behind, knocking him to the ground where he suffered severe blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.
After the crash, a male approximately 30 years-old ran from the BMW, which lost a wheel and sustained heavy damage. Police immediately started a manhunt and caught the suspect in Griffith Park, where he was arrested.
One event participant told WEHO Times the driver passed him at 80mph in a 25mph zone just before the crash, “A BMW raced by me at a speed of at least 80 mph ( in a 25) totally out of control! I have NEVER seen anyone drive that fast in the park going by the pony ride area with all those people around. He was out of control and I felt he might kill somebody. I proceeded another half mile and saw a line of cars stopped and people gathered and that BMW hit one of our riders and his head injuries were so bad, he didn’t make it. It was the most horrifying experience I have witnessed!”
The AIDS/LifeCycle organizers released a statement on Sunday, “We are utterly heartbroken to inform you that yesterday afternoon Andrew Jelmert, who since 2014 has ridden in AIDS/LifeCycle five times, was struck and killed by a vehicle not far from the finish line of the SoCal Day on the Ride in Los Angeles.”
AIDS/LifeCycle is a 7 day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, co-produced by and benefiting San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. The event raises awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic and funds services such as HIV testing, prevention, care, and much more.
Photos: LA ABC7