$10,000 reward offered for hit-and-run driver


The city of Martinez is also offering a $5,000 reward for information on the driver, bringing the total reward fund to $10,000.

The cyclist, 49-year-old Mark Pendleton, was riding south on McEwan Road near state Highway 4 in unincorporated Contra Costa County between 5:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. when he was hit, California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Yox said.

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition has placed a white "ghost bike" at the spot where Pendleton was killed.

The coalition will also be hosting a moment of remembrance at the Amtrak station in Martinez on Saturday at 11 a.m. Advanced cyclists are then invited to ride the loop Pendleton was on when he was killed.

The ride will follow Carquinez Scenic Drive to the steep climb up McEwen Road and return to Martinez on Franklin Canyon Road.

CHP investigators believe the vehicle that killed Pendleton, possibly a Chevrolet Silverado or similar model pickup truck or sport utility vehicle, crossed over into the southbound lane and hit Pendleton, who was riding close to the west shoulder.

An off-duty fire captain from Crockett found Pendleton just after 6 p.m. and called for medical assistance, but Pendleton died at the scene.

CHP officers handed out flyers Tuesday evening near where the collision occurred, hoping motorists might remember seeing something that could point the CHP in the right direction, Yox said.

Investigators have since been able to start to piece together some information about the crash.

Investigators were able to narrow the time frame of the crash to about a 15-minute period after a motorist driving in the area around 5:20 p.m. the day of the hit-and-run reported seeing a bicyclist who may have been Pendleton. The motorist reported being startled by the rider because he appeared to be riding without lights or reflectors.

Another motorist was driving northbound on McEwan Road around 5:45 p.m. when she noticed a vehicle behind her that may have been a pickup truck or sport utility vehicle.

The woman rounded a corner and was also startled by a bicyclist riding on the shoulder with no lights on his bike. A short time later, she noticed that the truck or SUV was no longer driving behind her, Yox said.

A third motorist said a truck was seen pulled over on the side of the road around the time the collision may have occurred, Yox said.

Debris left at the crash site appears to match a Chevy Silverado or similar model, Yox said.

"Obviously it would look better if the person turned themselves in," Yox said.

If found the driver could face felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges. If there is any evidence that the person was drunk at the time of the crash, the charges could be raised to gross vehicular manslaughter, which carries a stiffer sentence.

Anyone with information about the incident or who has seen a vehicle with recent front-end damage is asked to call (925) 646-4980 or (800) TELL-CHP.

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