Griffith Park

Charity Bike Ride Participant Remembered at Griffith Park Ghost Bike Memorial

A 77-year-old man who was part of the AIDS/LifeCycle's SoCal Day on the Ride was struck and killed Saturday in Los Angeles' Griffith Park.

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A 77-year-old bicyclist was remembered Monday night at the site of the hit-and-run crash where he was killed during a weekend charity bike ride in Los Angeles' Griffith Park.

Cyclists placed a white ghost bike in memory of 77-year-old Andrew Jelmert the location alongside candles and other items.

The crash was reported at about 4 p.m. Saturday on Crystal Springs Drive on the east end of the park. Jelmert was identified by organizers of the AIDS/LifeCycle as a participant in its charity ride.

In a Facebook post, the organization said Jelmert was a five-time participant in the event.

Mourners at the site of a memorial for 77-year-old Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park Monday April 18, 2022.

"We are heartbroken to share the news that a cyclist participating in AIDS/LifeCycle's SoCal Day on the Ride lost their life after being struck by a vehicle yesterday," organizers posted on Facebook Sunday.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of a driver who was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter. Police said the driver got out of a BMW after the crash and left the scene with out providing aid or identifying himself.

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"Alcohol was a factor in this collision," the LAPD said in a statement.

"This is a senseless tragedy, and our hearts go out to everyone who is affected,'' Joe Hollendoner, MSW, incoming CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said in a statement. "We revere each and every participant on AIDS/LifeCycle, who dedicate their time, energy, passion, and power to lift up a cause close to their hearts. We mourn with our community.''

Jelmert was riding his bicycle northbound when he was struck by the BMW, which also was northbound. Jelmert fell onto the road, police said, and died at the scene.

Video from the scene appeared to show the heavily damaged BMW sedan missing at least one wheel.

"We would like to remind everybody when involved in a traffic crash to stop and check on the other parties, make sure they are not injured, call 9-1-1 if they need medical attention, and to exchange information," police said in a statement. "Don’t convert a traffic crash into a crime."

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