Nearly a week after a cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run collision on La Honda Drive in Escondido, police announced the arrest of a man who they believe was behind the wheel.
Kevin Lentz, 36, was pronounced dead when officers arrived to the 1600 block of La Honda Drive on Saturday, Nov. 23, according to Lt. Walters. Lentz leaves behind a wife and infant son, Lawson.
"This is a tragic loss. You have a father and husband who died in this accident and obviously that touches so many different people. Our goal here is to find the person who is responsible for this and bring them to justice for the family," Escondido Police Department Lt. Scott Walters said.
Five days after the crash, EPD brought justice one step closer.
Evidence gathered over the course of the investigation led police to 41-year-old Jamison Connor. At around 9:20 a.m. on Thanksgiving, police took him into custody on weapons, drug and DUI charges stemming from an incident unrelated to Saturday's deadly crash.
Charges stemming from the hit-and-run in Escondido are pending, according to EPD.
Connor was booked into the Vista Detention Facility
In a statement Lentz's wife described her late husband as eager for adventure and always willing to lend a hand.
"Kevin was a father, husband, son, nephew, grandson, friend, avid cyclist and so much more. Kevin had a subtle magnetism that made him many friendships - his beautiful smile, eagerness for adventure, and willingness to lend his expertise and time to anyone who needed it meant that all these relationships will leave a lasting imprint on all who knew him. Memories of him will now be the example his loving family and friends use to paint a vivid picture of the man Kevin was for his young son. We have chosen not to focus on how he was taken, but redirect our energy to cherish the short time that we had with him on this earth. Kevin’s family would like to give our sincere thanks and gratitude for the amazing outpouring of love and support," her statement said.
Celo Pacific Racing Club has opened a college tuition fund for Lawson who just turned 1 (Tax-deductible donations can be made via PayPal to Payment@celopacific.org). Also, money is pouring in to a GoFundMe page created on behalf of the family. The account raised more than $25,000 in less than 10 hours.
Lentz was traveling southbound on La Honda Drive with a group of other bicyclists when he was hit head-on by a car, Walters said.
Lentz's friend Marc Engelhardt, who was in the group, knew something was off when he saw traffic starting to back up and noticed his buddy was no longer on his tail.
"We rode as fast as we could back up the hill. We got therec and it wasn't a scene I ever want to see again," Engelhardt said.
The car missed a second cyclist riding alongside Lentz by just inches, according to witnesses.
"It's frustrating that someone who obviously wasn't thinking about others and taking care of other people took someone out who did," Engelhardt said.
The suspect vehicle fled the scene and was later found abandoned with severe damage on the 600 block of Aster Street, less than a mile away. It was described as a dark-colored Toyota sedan.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision can call EPD Officer Adan Martinez at (760) 839-4465.
No other information was available.
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