Authorities are offering a $50,000 reward in their search for the driver who fled the scene after fatally striking a bicyclist in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood of South Los Angeles last month.
Melvin “Peanut” Frye, 57, was riding his bike across the intersection of 103rd & Main streets when he was hit by a Dodge Durango around 9 p.m. on June 27, said Los Angeles police Capt. Jon Pinto.
Investigators released the first images of the black or dark-colored Durango connected to the hit-and-run Wednesday.
“If [the driver] had stopped and rendered aid, we believe that this could have gone a different direction,” Pinto said. “Tragically and unfortunately, the driver of that Dodge Durango decided to continue southbound on Main Street.”
Frye succumbed to his injuries at the scene. But his family says they weren’t notified of his death until more than a week later.
The victim’s sister, Mishy Frye, said she’d be calling local hospitals and checking jail inmate bookings before coroner’s investigators contacted their family July 6 to let them know her brother had been involved in a crash.
“I said, ‘Well what hospital?’ And that’s when he told me that he was pronounced dead at the scene, and I just lost it,” she said.
Melvin Frye was formally laid to rest Tuesday.
His sister says he grew up in the area and was well known by others the neighborhood. He helped a lot of people with work on their bikes and cars, and also worked in painting and construction.
Mishy Frye said people have called her to relay information about the type of car involved, “and then nobody can give the detectives no information.”
“I’m just shocked, because you guys know him,” she said. “Everybody know him in this area. Everyone. It’s not right.”
She believes people in the area have more information, and pleaded with them to not be afraid to contact police.
“I want justice for him, not through you calling me, but call the detectives,” she said. “Holding onto a secret makes you no better than the person that hit him.”
Anyone with information can contact Detective Keith Gonzales at 323-421-2500. Calls outside normal business hours can be directed to 323-421-2577.