SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department revealed that a fatal traffic collision occurred on Sunday, October 15 at around 7:03 p.m. after receiving a radio call for service involving a bicyclist at the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).
Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the SMPD indicated to Canyon News that officers found the bicyclist on the roadway suffering from significant trauma, later dying from injuries sustained. Lt. Rodriguez indicated that the Department will not be releasing the name of the victim at this time. The vehicle involved in the incident initially fled the scene, but later returned. The driver was not injured during the incident.
SMPD’s Major Accident Response Team arrived on the scene to conduct a preliminary investigation that revealed the bicyclist was riding his bicycle northbound along PCH. The involved driver was travelling northbound along PCH and struck the bicyclist from the rear.
The driver is cooperating with the investigation and there are no preliminary indications the driver was impaired. SMPD Traffic Investigators will be conducting a thorough investigation into the incident and the circumstances surrounding the driver fleeing the scene.
When Canyon News asked Lt. Rodriguez about rather the driver could face charges, he responded, “Yes, Traffic Investigators will be reviewing and presenting their findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for review.”
Carrie Wick, and her friend Kinya Claiborne who were both eyewitnesses at the scene of the incident, spoke to Canyon News via phone about what they saw. They were traveling southbound on PCH at around 7 p.m., when Claiborne spotted something in the northbound lane of the road and screamed. She informed Wick to do a U-turn and that’s when they found the victim lying in the road. Wick and Claiborne were first to be on the scene, and upon realizing the victim was unresponsive called 9-1-1 for assistance.
Wick informed Canyon News that the victim had a huge backpack and tattoos over his body, and that 3 males perhaps in their teens or early 20s chased the driver who struck the victim and drove away from the scene. The three males followed the driver honking the horn, in an attempt to get the driver to stop. They also took pictures of the vehicle (which was reported as a White BMW) and later contacted the police as they were “afraid” once arriving at the driver’s home. Both witnesses praised the 3 gentlemen who were responsible for helping authorities locate the driver who fled the scene.
Both Claiborne and Wick revealed that other vehicles pulled over to the side of the road because of the debris in the roadway. Claiborne revealed it took about 10 minutes before firefighters first arrived on the scene to treat the victim. She revealed after attempting to revive the victim, a sheet was placed over the victim to cover the body.
Police later arrived on the scene and asked witnesses if they saw the driver of the vehicle collide with the victim. Claiborne and Wick indicated that authorities dismissed from taking their statement after they revealed they did not see the actual collision take place. Wick revealed that the victim’s leg was badly injured and blood was covered over the victim’s face, calling the crime scene “horrific and gruesome.”
Claiborne informed Canyon News that a young couple who was near the region saw the victim and his bicycle fly into the air after being struck. The victim has been identified as 23 year-old Kazumasa Nozaki.
The case is under investigation, and authorities are looking to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident transpire. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Investigator Pace or Olson at (310) 458-8954; or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.