REDLANDS (CBSLA.com) — Friends of a bicyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver during a police chase in Loma Linda said he was funny, outgoing and loved riding his bike.
Randy Stephensen, 62, of Redlands was riding his bike Friday morning when, authorities said, a man trying to elude police struck and killed him.
Paul Robinson works at Don’s Bicycles, where Stephenson loved to spend his free time. Robinson snapped photos of fellow bike riders as they placed a ghost bike near the spot where Stephenson was killed.
“Doesn’t feel real. We did a memorial ride to where the accident scene was from our shop,” Robinson said. “He was here in the morning, and he was always here working on his bike. He was like part of the crew. We really loved seeing him. He’s funny, outgoing, super nice guy. He’s a customer of ours, but he was more than that.”
The victim was riding along Barton Road when investigators said Eric Tafoya struck him and kept driving until he crashed into a van. The suspect then bailed out of his car and took off on foot.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies later found him hiding in a shed on San Mateo Street and arrested him.
They were trying to arrest the 37-year-old on a warrant from a domestic violence case.
The accident happened right across the street from Loma Linda Medical Center. Paramedics rushed Stephenson to the hospital. But doctors could not save him.
Stephenson is the second bicyclist in his biking group to be killed by a hit-and-run driver this summer.