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Elderly Man Killed After Being Dragged by Van in Los Angeles ID'd

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Elderly Man Killed After Being Dragged by Van in Los Angeles ID'd

Police tape blocks off the crime scene in a file photo. (Andri Tambunan/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

10/26/2023

Updated: 10/26/2023

LOS ANGELES—A 65-year-old bicyclist who was killed when he was dragged by a van for nearly a mile in the southeast Los Angeles area was identified Oct. 26.
Francisco Gonzalez was identified as the victim by the Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner’s office.
Mr. Gonzalez was hit by the vehicle at about 9 a.m. Tuesday as he was crossing near 115th Street and the vehicle was traveling southbound on Broadway. Mr. Gonzalez became lodged onto the undercarriage of the van, which police say then continued southbound, turning down several city streets for approximately one mile until he became dislodged at Broadway and El Segundo Blvd.
Mr. Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police arrested Felipe Avalos, 66, in Compton on Tuesday and booked him on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was being held on $50,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
There were some initial reports that Mr. Gonzalez might have been intentionally struck, but police could not confirm that.
“South Traffic Division detectives located surveillance video that captured the collision and images of the suspect’s vehicle, later identified as an older model Chevy Astro van,” police said in a statement.
“While interviewing witnesses, detectives obtained a possible license plate of the suspect’s vehicle,” police said. “Detectives conducted a series of follow-ups and located the suspect’s van parked in the driveway of a residence in the city of Compton.
“While monitoring the suspect’s van, an older male Hispanic matching the description of the suspect, exited the residence and entered the van,” police said. “South Traffic Division detectives took the suspect into custody without incident.”
“How do you not know you have something under your car?” one witness told KTLA5 at the scene.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call detectives at the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323-421-2500, or the 24-hour tip line 877-LAPD-247. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or use the website.
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