Police Seek Hit and Run Driver Who Left Bicyclist Critically Injured in Ocean Beach

katie connerThe family of Katie Conner is pleading for a hit-and-run driver to come forward after Conner was struck on October 12th, critically injured, and left for dead on the side of the road at the intersection of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and West Point Loma Boulevard in Ocean Beach.

Katie’s injuries were severe, having suffered serious head trauma. Katie has thankfully survived after multiple surgeries but she is still in the Intensive Care Unit. Of her surgeries, Katie has had doctors operate on her brain and perform a tracheotomy. Katie’s parents have flown in from Baltimore to help care for her.

San Diego Police say a driver in a white pickup truck with a camper shell failed to stop after running Katie over Sunday October 12th as Katie rode her bicycle home.

While the family hopes the driver will ultimately be held accountable, what they want most is for Katie to fully recover.

Katie had recently moved to California and was excited to join our growing bike movement and had found a cause to support with Team Cretins AIDS/LifeCycle, a bicycling group that plans to ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds to help bring an end to AIDS and raise awareness towards HIV prevention.

Katie’s recovery will be a long one and there will be extraordinary expenses exceeding health insurance and family resources according to a fundraising page Katie’s family has set up  to help assist the family and Katie’s during this difficult time. A fundraiser is also scheduled for November 1 at the Ocean Beach Pizza Port where 20 percent of Pizza Port’s profits that day will be donated to help Katie’s family.

San Diego police say the incident is under investigation but have not released any further information. If you know anything, please contact the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.

Earlier this year California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed three bills that would have improved safety for people riding bicycles and other road users. Governor Brown vetoed these bills in the final hours before the deadline of the legislative session. These bills all passed the legislature unanimously or with few no votes. Two of the bills would have increased penalties for convictions and one would have made it easier to catch hit-and-run drivers. The California Bicycle Coalition’s Capitol Year in Review explains the governors veto reasons and the reluctance of the legislature to override gubernatorial vetoes.

Team Cretins early this morning updated Katie’s status in a Facebook post stating:

“After being struck down in a hit-and-run accident and spending the last 7 days in the ICU undergoing several surgeries and procedures, we have good news! This morning Katie opened her eyes and followed commands! She gave her family a huge thumbs up when asked! She also followed the sound of her Mothers voice and looked towards her! The family is very grateful for everyone’s positive thoughts and prayers. Keep it up:) and Go Katie Go!”

Again if you have any information please contact San Diego Police. Our sympathy and hopes for a speedy recovery are with Katie and her Family.

Update: The U-T has a writeup about the crash.