Man Arrested in Connection with Hit-and-Run That Killed Beloved Teacher

A 28-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left a beloved school teacher dead in Santa Clarita, authorities said.

Lucas James Guidroz turned himself in to authorities early Friday morning, shortly after officers found his vehicle in Canyon Country, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Guidroz is accused of driving off after fatally striking Roderick Bennett, of Valencia, who was riding his bicycle on Placerita Canyon Road, just east of the 14 Freeway, Wednesday after school.

"Just to leave and not doing anything... it's completely inhumane," said one of Bennett's friends. 

The 53-year-old was a well-regarded math teacher and band director at Arroyo Seco Junior High School in Valencia.

"He was the kind of teacher that would open his doors at lunchtime," said Mike Kuhlman, the assistant superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District. "The kids would come in and have a jam session.. loving to hang out with Mr. Bennett."

Guidroz was booked at the Los Angeles County Santa Clarita Sheriff Station and is facing felony charges in connection with the fatal collision. 

Authorities had previously released surveillance image of the suspected vehicle, a late-model, dark gray Lexus sedan with damage, on social media. 

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Newhall CHP Office at 661-294-5540.

Contact Us