LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Authorities are looking for a driver who fled after hitting and killing a bicyclist in the Arleta neighborhood Sunday night.
A man, later identified by his family as 36-year-old Jesus Urbina, was struck by a Mercedes sedan while biking on Branford Street, west of Arleta Avenue, at approximately 7 p.m., Los Angeles police report.
Urbina was struck while cross Branford Street, police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
His wife told CBSLA that Urbina was bringing water to his homeless friends when he was hit.
She and one of their two young sons were present at a growing memorial placed at the scene of the accident Monday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, we’re all kind of in a situation that’s not the best right now and each day he tried to make it better for us, even if it was just a little bit,” said Urbina’s friend Erin Lee.
Family and friends who stopped by the memorial described Urbina as a loving dad who hit a rough patch and was recently living on the streets.
“I can’t believe it. Out of everybody out here, he was the best one of the bunch and they had to take him,” said Nsir Mia who has known Urbina, whose friends nicknamed Gallo, for ten years.
“He would always come and help me. You know he was one of my best friends,” he said.
Urbina had just spent time with his six and nine-year-old sons when he was riding his bike back with the jugs of water. He was crossing the street on his bike when the light-colored Mercedes allegedly hit him and took off.
“That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil,” said Mia.
People who loved Urbina are hoping that the driver who hit him will have the heart to turn themselves in.
“Please come forward. I mean you only have one person to answer to and that’s yourself,” Lee said.
Investigators did not immediately disclose if there was any surveillance video of the collision.
A reward of up to $25,000 is available for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with suspect information should call detectives at 818-644-8022.