Jul 30, 2014
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Second Female Bicyclist Killed; Driver Flees Scene

Catherine Ritz, 57, of Irvine was hit by a pickup truck Saturday on Newport Coast Drive. It was the second bicycle fatality in Newport Beach in two days.

Second Female Bicyclist Killed; Driver Flees Scene Second Female Bicyclist Killed; Driver Flees Scene

A female bicyclist was killed Saturday following a hit-and-run collision on Newport Coast Drive, marking the city's second bicyclist fatality in two days, Newport Beach police reported.

Catherine Ritz, 57, of Irvine was struck at about 9:45 a.m. on Newport Coast Drive, between Ocean Vista Drive and Vista Ridge Drive, according to police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe. Ritz was transported in critical condition to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo. She was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1:40 p.m. from injuries she suffered in the accident.

Police say the preliminary investigation shows Ritz was riding northbound on Newport Coast Drive when she was struck from behind by a black pickup truck.

"The driver of the truck fled the scene without stopping to render aid and continued northbound on Newport Coast Drive," Lowe said.

Police are still looking for the suspect's vehicle, which is described as a black full-sized pickup truck, possibly 2001-2004 Toyota Tacoma, with significant damage to the right front area of the vehicle.

An investigation into the hit-and-run is continuing at this time. The Newport Beach Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the driver of the vehicle. Anyone with information regarding the fatal collision should call Traffic Investigator Eric Little at 949-644-3746 or email at elittle@nbpd.org.

Saturday's fatal hit-and-run is the second bicyclist fatality in two days in Newport Beach. Resident Sarah Leaf, 29, was killed Friday about 10:40 a.m. when she was hit by a truck on Pacific Coast Highway and Bayside Drive.

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