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A man participating in the "SoCal Day on the Ride" organized by the AIDS/LifeCycle was killed in a hit and run accident in Griffith Park Saturday.
Andrew Jelmert, 77, was riding northbound in the 4400 block of Crystal Springs Drive around 3:49 p.m. Saturday when he was struck by a BMW also traveling northbound. Lt. M. McCommas of the Central Traffic Division of the Los Angeles Police Department said the impact sent Jelmert to the road, where he suffered blunt force trauma that resulted in his death at the scene. The driver fled the scene, but was apprehended a short time later and taken into custody by police.
A fellow rider in the event was quoted in the WeHo Times saying the alleged driver had passed him moments earlier going at least 80 mph on the street in a 25 mph zone. A short distance later he came upon a group of riders who had surrounded Jelmert.
"This is a senseless tragedy, and our hearts go out to everyone who is affected," Joe Hollendoner, incoming CEO of the LALGBT Center which sponsored the event, 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."
"He was dedicated to AIDS/LifeCycle, cared deeply about helping others and had raised more than $22,000 to support the AIDS and HIV-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center," the statement continued. "We are mourning his passing and extend our deepest condolences to his husband, family, and friends."
The annual "SoCal Day on the Ride" begins in Griffith Park overlooking downtown Los Angeles, then exits the park and tours 67 miles around the city before returning to the historic park. Jelmert was a short distance from the finish line when he was struck and killed.
The suspected fled attempted to flee the scene but was located and arrested. He remains in custody.