Bicyclist hit by car in Central Fresno has died

FRESNO, Calif.

Family members tell Action News Ernest Perez had six grandchildren and loved to ride his bike. Wednesday night, Perez was doing just that when he collided with a car at Blackstone and Cornell in Central Fresno.

Jason Musser of the Collision Reconstruction Unit said, "At this time, sobriety appears to be a factor. We don't know what levels he had. We're still waiting toxicology report." Perez's death could have been prevented if he hadn't ran a stop sign at this intersection.

Investigators say bicyclists need to adhere to the same rules, which apply to drivers. Sgt. Bruce Owen of the Fresno Police Department said, "Meaning you can't ride on the sidewalk, you can't go against traffic; you can't an intersection against a red light."

Just hours before Perez was hit, Fresno Police conducted an operation to enforce those very same laws. They wrote 163 citations in hopes of bringing last year's fatality numbers down.

In 2010, there were a total of 24 fatal crashes in Fresno, half of which involved a pedestrian or bicyclist. So far, this year the numbers stand at 12 fatal crashes. Four of them have involved a pedestrian or bicyclist.

But, many people are still ignoring the message. "Look right there, jaywalkers. All day." Augie Rubio owns a tattoo shop at the corner of Blackstone and Cornell. He witnessed the aftermath of Wednesday's crash--and says it's something he'll never forget.

"The first thing i walked out. I seen a guy right in the middle of the street, just horrific," Augie Rubio of Fresno said.

"We're doing one operation a month until we can get these numbers down as far as the bicycle, pedestrian fatalities."

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