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Bicyclist killed in Florence area hit-and-run

Homeless man on bicycle killed in hit-and-run crash in Florence
Homeless man on bicycle killed in hit-and-run crash in Florence 02:32

Police are searched Monday for the driver of a van that hit and killed a bicyclist, dragging him several feet before taking off.

(credit: CBS)

The crash happened at 61st and Wall streets just after 11 p.m. Thursday. According to the LAPD, a man riding a bicycle northbound on Wall entered the intersection and was hit by a white work van, which dragged him for 3 to 4 feet.

The bicyclist died at the scene. His identity is pending confirmation by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

Chris Alcala says he lives in the area, and recognized the bicyclist as a homeless man who was really nice, friendly and regularly picked up cans and bottles. He and a friend's mother had tried to help the man immediately after the crash.

"He was like during his last breaths while we were there and we were just staying calm for him, and making sure, you know, maybe he could take his last breaths in peace," Alcala said.

The van did not stop and drove away from the scene. Because the bicyclist had a stop sign, but the van did not, the collision would not be considered a hit-and-run if the driver had stopped.

The suspect vehicle was described as a white work van, possibly a 1996 to 2022 GMC Savana or Chevrolet Express commercial panel van, with a roof rack and conduit carrier storage tube or box, and may belong to a plumber or construction worker. The LAPD says the van likely has front-end damage.

A $50,000 reward is available for information that leads to the arrest of the hit-and-run driver. Anyone with information about the van or the driver can contact LAPD Officer Alex Guizar at (213) 833-3713 or via email at

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