Police seeking driver in bicyclist’s death

A driver fled the scene after striking a bicyclist in Richmond early Wednesday morning. Police are asking witnesses to come forward.

The incident happened at 1:30 a.m., making it difficult to find a suspect as many residents were not awake to witness it.

The victim was identified by Richmond police as Juan Godinez Garcia, a 28-year-old native of Guatemala. He was found dead at the 33rd Street and Barrett Avenue intersection in Richmond, said Richmond Police Lt. Bisa French:

“This bicyclist was traveling across the intersection, so the person who was driving that hit him may not have even seen him, but it becomes a crime once they flee the scene.”

No witness reports were made about the incident, but police are trying to find other ways to catch the driver.

Police are looking for paint transfers on the bicycle and potentially on other vehicles.

Bicycle activist Brain Drayton posted about the incident to Facebook in the hopes of encouraging someone to come forward with a lead on the case.

A traffic database managed by the California Highway Patrol lists Barrett Avenue as one of the most dangerous streets in Richmond. The avenue is just below McDonald Avenue and Cutting Boulevard on the list.

Drayton and many other activists have called for better safety measures for bicyclists in Richmond.

“The cars go between 35 and 45 miles an hour down (Barrett) and you are talking multiple lanes in either direction and with the right of way straight through residential neighborhoods.”

The city recently passed a plan to create bike lanes.