Bicyclist Riding Along Hwy 101 In Encinitas Struck, Killed

Authorities: James Steven Swarzman Hit, Killed By Pickup Truck Early Sunday Morning

A man riding a bicycle in Encinitas was struck and killed early Sunday morning by a hit-and-run driver, according to authorities.

James Steven Swarzman, 47, of Encino, was riding with two other cyclists about 1 a.m. when he was hit from behind near North Coast Highway 101 and Jason Street, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Swarzman was thrown from his bicycle. He airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and was pronounced dead three hours later.

It's the second hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist in that area in recent months, and a witness told authorities the truck's driver never slowed down.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department investigators are looking into the possibility that the driver did not stop because he wanted to hit the bicyclist.

"When I hear about this one, number one, it sickens me because someone actually lost their life," said Heath Bernstein.

In January, Bernstein was the victim in a hit-and-run that is similar to Sunday's incident.

Bernstein was riding his bicycle on Highway 101 in Carlsbad when a dark-colored pickup truck ran him down.

"The truck that hit me came across one empty lane of traffic, across the bike lane taking me out, and then back to the traffic lane. To me that was 100 percent intentional," Bernstein told 10News Reporter Kevin Roy.

Bernstein said the facts between the two cases points to a possible connection.

10News learned Swarzman rode competitively and was on a late-night training ride for the upcoming season.

The vehicle linked to the crash is described as a newer model Dodge Ram pickup truck, blue or dark colored with obvious front end damage, probably to the headlights.

10News learned the truck's description in Sunday's crash is nearly identical to Bernstein's hit-and-run case.

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