A Year After Near Fatal Hit-and-Run, La Tuna Canyon Unveils Safety Improvements

A bicyclist left seriously injured in a hit-and-run along La Tuna Canyon in Sun Valley last year spoke at the unveiling of new safety improvements to the street Friday.

The speed limit has been lowered, new signs have been posted and lines painted along the roads to better distinguish lanes and a roughly 1.5-mile stretch of La Tuna Canyon has been reengineered, officials said. Pedestrians, horseback riders and cyclists can travel in the specially designated lane that's also been improved.

The road changes were celebrated with an unveiling attended by local officials and the man who nearly died when he was struck while cycling along that same street on Dec. 9, 2017.

Keith Jackson, who was struck while cycling along La Tuna Canyon in Sun Valley on Dec. 9, 2017, is seen being hospitalized after the near fatal crash in this undated image provided to KTLA by his family.

Keith Jackson, who was struck while cycling along La Tuna Canyon in Sun Valley on Dec. 9, 2017, is seen being hospitalized after the near fatal crash in this undated image provided to KTLA by his family.

"I flew like 50 feet in the air and my head rolled back. I passed out. My son turned me over and revived me," Keith Jackson said Friday. "I’m thankful to be here."

Then-52-year-old Jackson was riding his bicycle eastbound along La Tuna Canyon, just west of the 210 Freeway, when he was hit by a newer model black Mazda CX5 also traveling eastbound, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The driver who then fled the scene has still not been found.

Following the near deadly crash, Jackson was hospitalized and underwent a lengthy recovery process.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez worked with local street safety advocacy groups and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to make the repairs.

"It is challenging — when you have a street that's clearly not safe — to come into a neighborhood and have a tough conversation about what to do to take better care of each other," said Seleta Reynolds, general manager of LADOT.

"Hopefully, with the action done here, it'll improve streets everywhere and make it a better place for everybody," Jackson told reporters at the unveiling.