Hit & Run Suspect Identified

July 3, 2009 7:01:54 PM PDT
Just moments ago the Fresno County Coroner's Office told Action News they are looking for the family of 39 year old Leon Zarate. He was the bicyclist killed in a hit and run accident on Wednesday night.C.H.P. officers say the suspected driver is on the run and the passengers carjacking story may not be the truth.

This black BMW being fished out of a canal on Wednesday night was involved in a fatal accident with a passerby on a bicycle.

Axel Reyes, California Highway Patrol said, "The impact between the cyclist and the vehicle caused fatal injuries to the cyclist which landed in the canal."

Officers discovered the cyclist's body on Thursday but the man they believe was driving the car, 37 year old John Robert Lipe hasn't been seen since. The C.H.P. questioned Lipe's wife who is not a suspect but is the only witness to the accident.

According to investigators Lipe's wife said the two were at Golddigger's Exotic Dance Club just before the accident, she claims they were carjacked in the parking lot.

Axel Reyes, California Highway Patrol said, "There was mention of that carjacking or how that plays and we're not even sure if that is true or not."

Action News spoke with management at Golddigger's who said there was nothing out of the ordinary when the couple left the club. Golddigger's president Jim Light said he's saddened by the accident and released this statement saying quote.

"Although we are not directly involved, we wish to cooperate with law enforcement in any way possible to help in the arrest and prosecution of the person at fault."

Officers said John Robert Lipe is wanted for questioning, for a very serious offense.

Axel Reyes, California Highway Patrol said, "Obviously if you're involved in an accident and you flee the scene it is a hit and run and obviously considering the severity of the injuries it is considered a felony hit and run at this point."

Detectives believe Lipe is driving a white 2007 4x4 GMC pickup. They said it is a 4-door vehicle with chrome wheels. License plate number 8l73768

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the California Highway Patrol.

      MORE LOCAL NEWS | TWEET@ABC30 | FREE ABC30 WIDGET
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
Breaking News E-Mail Alerts | Text Message Alerts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More News on abc30.com
California/State | National/World | Weather | Entertainment | Business | Politics | Sports | Health Watch | Consumer Watch | Mr. Food |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments