A suspected drunk driver was charged with murder in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 77-year-old bicyclist during a fundraiser ride in Griffith Park, authorities announced Wednesday.
The cyclist, Andrew Jelmert, was making his way north on Crystal Springs Drive on April 16 when he was struck by a gray BMW. He died at the scene.
The driver, 37-year-old Jairo Martínez, got out of the car and ran away. He was ultimately found and arrested by officers, authorities said.
Martínez now faces one felony count each of murder and hit-and-run driving resulting in death to another person, as well as one misdemeanor count of driving when privilege was suspended or revoked for DUI conviction after a prior offense, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“My heart goes out to everyone who grieves for the senseless loss of cyclist Andrew Jelmert,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Drunken drivers threaten the safety of us all. They must be held accountable and their victims given the trauma-informed services they will need to become survivors.”
The fatal collision raised concerns about bike safety in the Griffith Park area.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who represents the area, said she was already considering Crystal Springs Drive as part of a series of safety improvements across her district.
“Cycling in this City should never be a life or death calculation, and it is our job as City leaders to create streets that serve the needs of everyone,” Raman said in a statement.
The hit-and-run collision remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and no further details were available.