Cyclist dies after being struck by two vehicles in Boyle Heights*

Screenshot 2013-09-16 at 9A 30-year-old cyclist who was struck by a hit-and-run driver and then run over and dragged down a Boyle Heights  street by a second vehicle died from his injuries this weekend, police said.

Luis Garcia of Bellflower was pronounced dead at the scene after he and two other riders – Mario Lopez, 30,  of  Bellflower and Ulises Melgar, 28 of Los Angeles  – were struck by a Toyota Corolla early Saturday morning as they rode eastbound on Cesar Chavez Avenue  near Mission Road, according to an account by Biking In LA that was verified by Felix Padilla, a detective with the LAPD’s Central Traffic Bureau.  Lopez and Melgar suffered only minor injuries.

After Garcia was knocked to the street, the driver of a second vehicle hit and dragged him a short distance, according to police. The second driver, who did not see Garcia in the street, remained at the scene, Padilla said.

The driver of the first vehicle, 21-year-old Wendy Villegas, drove to her home, where she told her parents she’d been in a collision, and asked them to call police. Villegas, who told police she had been drinking, was booked on one count of vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence, Padilla said.

* Correction: A previous version of this post identified Melgar as being killed at the scene. That’s wrong. It was his riding companion, Garcia, who was the victim.


  1. You may want to check your editing, sorry this happened, at least she turned herself in.

  2. Dang. That’s awful. As a bike commuter, I’d love to have more bike lanes.. even with some road nipples between the bike and auto lanes to alert drivers when they’re drifting.
    RIP dude.

  3. Luis Garcia is the one who passed away. Not Ulises Melgar.


  4. This is awful, so sorry. It’s scary that the rise of texting coincided with the rise in urban cycling, resulting in a whole lot more conflict points. As far as drinking and driving, there is no excuse. Condolences to everyone.

  5. Way too many people getting killed on bicycles lately. This is getting out of hand.

    • Well, there’s a LOT more bicyclists on the road these days…

      • Obviously there are more cyclists and more cars. Still doesn’t take away the fact that the amount of fatalities is already higher this year than last year in LA county. Everyone is in such a hurry and or on the phone, they have no idea whats going on around them. Then, compound that with alcohol and there ya go.

  6. This is by far the number one reason why I don’t bike, if not the ONLY reason.

    As a kid I could not live w/o my bicycle, but as an adult I fear the unthinkable.
    If cars can’t (sometimes) see my car coming down the street, their gonna see cyclists even less 🙁

    • This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • Look Mr guttersnip Mr Garcia was a friend of mind his bike was his transportation to get around. How rude for you to say that it is flat that he died he did not ask it. That girl Wendy Villegas killed him it is her falt so get your story right

    • Agree w Flea, it’s dangerous driving in town, far more than when I was a teen. More peeps = more cars = bigger, faster these days = more distractions, inclu touch screens on dash boards, mounted GPS units, not to mention phones. I drive very, very defensively in L.A. When I ride my bike I take great caution.

  7. Please pray for his family and him, I’m from El Paso TX and a dear friend of the family, our hearts are broken and in unbearable pain.

  8. I also don’t ride here because it’s just too dangerous. This is a city where way too many people drink and drive and then hit and run. It’s almost not safe to even drive at night on weekends.

  9. Bicycling in LA has some startling stats for this year so far:

    “This is the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th in Los Angeles County; that compares to 23 in the county for all of last year. It is also the 12th biking death in the City of Los Angeles, compared to five in each of the last year two years. That’s nearly two-and-a-half times the city’s cycling death toll for 2011 and 2012, with over three months left in the year.”


    • I cringe when I see bike riders ‘doing their thing’ in town — sure, you have a right to ride, yes you can use the whole lane. But I see peeps riding in 2nd St. tunnel from Downtown to Beaudry, and cringe. No clue as to who’s behind them, cruising along at a jog as commuters are trying to get home.

      I cringe seeing peeps w/o helmets, wearing sandals, in flimsy dresses, or even totally outfitted with helmet and proper lights, riding along at a slow pace as if this were a small town with country roads. As if all LA drivers are aware and careful. They aren’t. (Like this is news.)

      This city must be one of the most dangerous places on earth to be riding a bicycle. All I can say is good luck.

      • As an east coaster who rode a lot in cities (commuting to work, errands, etc), I was (and still am) pretty appalled at how cavalier many people ride here. The paths they take (example – sidewalk turn onto the crosswalk to the road) are asking for trouble. In Boston for example, nobody rides on the sidewalk and not regularly through the crosswalks (you’re expected to walk your bike through the crosswalk). There are a lot of bike lanes and you ride generally like you’re a car. It works much safer than here, where many people ride bikes as if they were on a skateboard. That doesn’t seem to be the case in this awful tragedy, but I see bad riding aaalllll the time here.

  10. first of all she only turned herself in because an MTA worker followed her home and took a picture of her license plates. even then she still had the audacity to yell at him and ask what he was doing. 2 of the cyclist chased her to try to get her to stop but she kept going. dragging the body and cycle a short distance. if she would have stopped she could of prevented this guys death because he was then hit by a 2nd vehicle. except that person didn’t see his body lying on the ground and when he realized he stopped immediately.

    so ultimately she didn’t do it out of guilt she did it because she was caught. i have no sympathy for this sorry excuse for a human. because of her my friend was hurt

    and by the way the cyclist’s name was Andy Garcia and he was 21 years old.

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