Beloved Teacher Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash in Santa Clarita

Authorities identified a Santa Clarita school teacher Thursday who died from a hit-and-run crash while riding his bicycle.

The crash was reported about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday on Placerita Canyon Road, just east of the 14 Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Roderick Bennett, 53, of Valencia died at the scene, coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.

He had been riding on the far right of the eastbound lane of Placerita Canyon Road when his bike was struck from behind by a car that continued eastbound, the CHP said.

The car was a late-model, dark gray Lexus sedan with right front-end damage, including a cracked windshield, according to the CHP, which posted a surveillance image of the vehicle on social media.

Bennett was a well-regarded math teacher and band director at Arroyo Seco Junior High School in Valencia.

Counselors were made available to students and staff at the school, which will hold its last day of classes for the school year one week from today.

Anyone who spots the Lexus was urged to call 911 or the CHP's Newhall office at (661) 294-5540.

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