Bicyclist struck by car in critical condition

September 23, 2010 6:29:51 PM PDT
A 53-year-old man was critically injured on Wednesday when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in a San Rafael crosswalk, police said.

The bicyclist was riding south on a sidewalk on Grand Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. when he abruptly turned left into a crosswalk where Grand Avenue curves and becomes Francisco Boulevard, San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.

He was struck by a 1991 Toyota Corolla and landed on the hood of the car, Rohrbacher said. The Toyota continued for about 200 hundred feet before the bicyclist fell off the car, Rohrbacher said.

The driver of the Toyota, 31-year-old Vilma Leticia Santos Diaz, of San Rafael, fled the scene of the accident, police said.

A witness followed her car to an apartment complex at 95 Medway Road, where Diaz ran inside, Rohrbacher said. The witness provided a description of the car and driver, and Diaz was arrested at her apartment shortly before 4:30 p.m., according to the Marin County jail booking log.

Diaz was booked for felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor driving without a license. There also is a no-bail Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold on Diaz.

The bicyclist, whose name has not been released, violated the state's vehicle code by failing to yield to traffic when entering a crosswalk or highway, Rohrbacher said.

"He just turned into the crosswalk and she was unable to avoid hitting him, but she is obliged to remain at the scene of an accident," Rohrbacher said this morning.

Police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in the collision, Rohrbacher said.


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