Vikki Vargas, Kevin Dahlgren
A bicyclist was killed Friday in a hit-and-run on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. A short time later, the suspect crashed his car in Seal Beach and was taken into custody. Vikki Vargas reports from Seal Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 22, 2012.
A bicyclist riding along the coast in Huntington Beach was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, and police arrested a suspect who a short time later crashed his car in Seal Beach.
The male cyclist, 63-year-old Roger Michael Lippman of Huntington Beach, was hit from behind as he rode north along Pacific Coast Highway next to Bolsa Chica Wetlands in an area known as "The Flats" (map).
Lippman's mangled blue road bicycle could be seen in aerial video next to his body, which was covered in a yellow sheet on the side of the scenic roadway.
Lippman was struck at 11:40 a.m. on a stretch between Seapoint Street and Warner Avenue, south of the entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. Both the cyclist and vehicle were headed northbound, police said.
Authorities immediately notified nearby law enforcement agencies they were searching for a gray Hyundai hatchback, after witnesses said they saw such a car flee the scene with windshield damage.
Shortly after the hit-and-run in Huntington Beach, a car matching that description veered off the road and collided with a fence surrounding the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, on Westminster Boulevard at Kitts Highway. That crash occurred just a few miles to the north of the initial fatal crash.
The driver, who had a bloodied face, was taken in handcuffs to a Huntington Beach patrol car, as shown at right below. He was identified as Joel Alexander Murphy, 27, of Mission Viejo.
Murphy was later arrested and is being held at the Huntington Beach jail on suspicion of felony hit and run, felony driving under the influence, felony vehicular manslaughter and for violating his probation, according to a press release from the police department.
The car, which was still being examined by investigators at 5 p.m., is registered to a 59-year-old Anaheim woman. It's not clear yet what her relationship to Murphy is.
Police cautioned that the investigation was still evolving.
Anyone who witnessed the incident was urged to call Office Fulton at 714-536-5670.
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