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North County family appeals for witnesses in bike crash mystery

North County family appeals for witnesses in bike crash mystery
Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 21:30:04-05

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - A North County family is on a mission to find answers, five days after a retired firefighter was critically injured during a bike ride in Carlsbad.

“He loves riding his bike. It's his passion,” said Brigid Burgan.

On Friday afternoon, retired Los Angeles firefighter John Burgan was just miles from finishing one of his long bike rides when he was discovered by passing motorists along El Camino Real, just south of Hosp Way.

"I don't know what could be more difficult,” said a tearful Brigid.

For loved ones like his daughter-in-law, Brigid, the shock was hard to absorb, as was the extent of the 74-year-old's injuries.

He was in coma with internal injuries, and fractures all around his skull, in his face, all the ribs on his right side, and his right femur. Brigid says the severity and location of his injuries point to one conclusion.

"Multiple doctors and nurses indicated this is indicative of a hit-and-run crash,” said Brigid.

John, an avid cyclist, has been riding for nearly five decades.

During his normal route along El Camino Real, he would turn left on Hosp Way to head toward his Oceanside home, so his family believes he was making his way to the turn lane when he was struck.

John was found in the middle of the road. His bike didn't suffer major damage, which could point to a theory.

“That he was sideswiped by the front of a vehicle and mirror of the vehicle,” said Brigid.

Family members created a video appealing for witnesses and posted it on Youtube.

“We want to know who did this. They left him in the middle of the road like roadkill … We want justice for him,” said Brigid.

Burgan remains in critical condition. Carlsbad police say their investigation is ongoing, and they haven't determined yet if it was a hit and run. If you have information on the case, you’re asked to contact Officer Adam Bentley at 760-931-2288 or