A bicyclist was airlifted from a field in Ramona Wednesday after being struck by a vehicle with a stolen license plate in a suspected hit-and-run crash.
The California Highway Patrol said a black 2019 Ford Edge was traveling northbound on State Route 67 just north of Dye Road. It was using a California license plate that read 8KPJ239.
CHP Officer Travis Garrow said officers tracked down the license plate number and discovered it was registered to a rental car that was not the 2019 Ford Edge.
"It's a terrible situation," Garrow said. "We don't have a lot of leads."
Officers reported the suspect could still be driving around in the Ford Edge, but they had no way of knowing if the driver was still using the stolen plate.
The car traveled onto the shoulder, directly into the path of a 53-year-old woman riding her bike, CHP said. The reason the Edge drifted is still under investigation.
The two collided at around 6:15 a.m., and the woman was ejected from her bike and landed on the roadway, according to CHP.
The bicycle became lodged in the front grille of the Edge as the driver continued on SR-67 northbound.
CHP said the driver of the Ford Edge fled the scene and was last seen heading southbound on San Vicente Road near Hanson Lane.
A bystander car tried chasing down the suspect driving the vehicle, but lost track of it as it drove recklessly through the streets, Garrow confirmed.
The bicyclist's injuries were considered major. Medics placed the bicyclist into an air ambulance, which rushed to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.
"It's bad. She will be lucky to survive. She is definitely fighting for her life right now," Garrow added.
A nurse who pulled over to offer help called the scene traumatic, but said she was encouraged by the amount of people who also stopped.
"Those are the type of people that I want to commend and tell thank you for helping someone you don't even know," Tamara Swesey said.
Swesey said by the time she got out of her car, there were already good Samaritans helping the victim, talking to police and directing traffic.
She hopes the suspect will do the right thing and turn themselves in.
"I don't know what they're going through or what's going on in their life but have a heart. Yes, you made a mistake but you need to own up to your mistakes," she said.
If you have any information regarding this collision, please call CHP El Cajon Area at (619) 401-2000.
No other information was available.
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