Cyclist Dies After Falling Into Path of Car in OC Hit-and-Run Crash

The pedestrian was fatally struck near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue

A cyclist may have fallen from his bike before being killed in a hit-and-run crash in Stanton early Tuesday.

The victim was identified by his girlfriend as 40-year-old Jorge Mauricio Covarrubias of Stanton.

The Covarrubias was fatally struck as he was riding through an alleyway near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue at approximately 4:40 a.m., an Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

It was believed he fell off his bike and into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Lt. Jeff Hallock, with the OC Sheriff's Department said according to witness statements the hit-and-run driver slowed for a short distance after hitting the cyclist before taking off at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was last seen heading southbound on Beach Boulevard towards Katella Avenue.

Witnesses were unable to give a description of the driver but were able to describe the vehicle as a dark-colored SUV.

Grainy surveillance video showed a dark SUV heading southbound after the accident. Officials were canvassing businesses in the area for more possible videos. 

The victim's girlfriend, Brenda Almanza, said Covarrubias was headed to a 7-Eleven to pick up some snacks for the morning. She said he worked at an Olive Garden.

A SigAlert for southbound Beach Boulevard near where the crash occurred was issued and stayed in effect until 10 a.m., according to the sheriff's department.

There were more than 1,000 hit-and-run crashes in unincorporated Orange County in 2012. In each one, someone was either killed or injured, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

"We realize that sometimes these collisions happen very quickly and people panic," Hallock said. "If that was the case in this particular situation we would ask that that person call the sheriff's department."

Anyone with information on Tuesday's case was asked to call investigators at 714-647-7000.

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