Victim of deadly hit-and-run crash in San Jose identified

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Authorities have identified the bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run crash in San Jose as a 44-year-old Jesus Plancarte. 

The crash happened at Story Road and South Jackson Avenue around 3:45 p.m. 

Those that live and work near Story and Jackson are devastated, not just that it happened, but that it happened again. As it turns out, Story and Jackson are known trouble spots. San Jose officials have flagged both on a list they call "priority safety corridors."

A witness said a light-colored Chevrolet Suburban ran into a dark Chevrolet Silverado and then struck Plancarte who was crossing the street on his bicycle. He was pinned under the SUV and died as a result of his injuries. 

Police said the suspect fled the scene on foot and remains at large. 

The sound of the crash brought people out of nearby homes and businesses. 

"I heard the noise and then I stand up and look out and saw the two cars turn around," said Tien Le, a witness.

Le said she and other workers at a nearby nail salon saw the suspect's Suburban and the pickup truck spinning around and then stop at the intersection. 

"We heard the hit, you know...very scary. And we feel afraid and we just step out and look at that and we see the guy under the car," said Tram Cole, a witness. 

Police said the driver of the Suburban had been going west on Story Road, hit the truck in the intersection and then the bicyclist. 

Witnesses said they saw the driver get out of the SUV. Le said she saw a man "with no hair" get out of the vehicle and that he ran away. She said he never stopped to check on the victim. 

Police said the other driver in the pickup truck was injured and taken to a hospital to be checked out. 

This is San Jose's 31st fatal collision this year. 

Colin Heyne with San Jose's Department of Transportation said, "We can identify these hot spots and that's what we've done so far. In this case, a fatality occurred in a place that we've already identified as a hot spot."

There are 17 such hot spots transportation official are watching. They account for a disproportionate number of the city's serious and fatal accidents.

A recent study of Story Road recommended changes.

"And some things were recommended like adding an extra leg of the crosswalk at that intersection and in the long term, adding a protected bike lane along that section. Currently, there is no funding for that, but this is how we get funding. We do the studies, we identify the improvements, and we apply for grants," Heyne said. 

This is all part of San Jose's Vision Zero program, which has the goal of eliminating these kinds of traffic fatalities. 

San Jose officials said there is work being done on streets like Monterey, Tully and Mckee. But they recognize the money and the fixes never come quick enough.

"I'm so sorry for the neighborhood and the family of the person who lost their life," said Juan Munoz, owner of nearby restaurant, Mariscos El Rincon. He said he often sees drivers speeding on Story Road and that one of his customers was hit by a vehicle last year in the same area. 

There is a camera in the area of the accident, but it is unclear if it was recording at the time of the crash. Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call 911.