Man Charged in Hit-and-Run on Bicyclist in Griffith Park

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A motorist who allegedly struck and killed a bicyclist involved in a charity ride in Griffith Park has been charged with murder, prosecutors announced today.

Jairo Martinez, 37, faces one felony count each of murder and hit-and-run driving resulting in death to another person, as well as one misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended or revoked license for a DUI conviction after a prior offense, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Arraignment was expected Wednesday in the downtown Criminal Justice Center. Martinez allegedly struck 77-year-old Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park at about 3:50 p.m. Saturday and then attempted to flee the scene but was captured soon after, prosecutors said.

Jelmert died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

``My heart goes out to everyone who grieves for the senseless loss of cyclist Andrew Jelmert,'' District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.

``Drunken drivers threaten the safety of us all. They must be held accountable and their victims given the trauma-informed services they will need to become survivors.''

Police said witnesses at the scene assisted officers in locating the driver, who was subsequently arrested and booked.

``Alcohol was a factor in this collision,'' according to the LAPD.

``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 of AIDS/LifeCycle posted on Facebook Sunday.

Jelmert was a five-time participant in the event and a member of the team Different Spokes, the organizers said.

According to LAPD Lt. M. McCommas of the Central Traffic Division, Jelmert fell after the crash onto the roadway, where he suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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