A bicyclist was struck and killed by a car Wednesday afternoon on Placerita Canyon Road, just east of the 14 Freeway.
The cyclist was identified as 53-year-old Rod Bennett of Valencia, the band director and math teacher at Arroyo Seco Junior High School.
“Rod Bennett was a beloved teacher, mentor and friend to so many at Arroyo Seco,” said Principal Rhondi Durand in a statement.
According to Bennett’s LinkedIn page, he has been with the Hart District since 1999. He received his bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and obtained a master’s degree from UCLA in 1988. An avid cyclist, he also played marimbas in a combo that performs restaurants around Valencia.
Durand said Arroyo Seco’s Showcase production, scheduled for Thursday, has been canceled.
She said crisis counselors and personnel from the district office will be on campus throughout the day Thursday to assist students and staff.
The California Highway Patrol is asking for help in locating the motorist, who fled the scene of the crash.
The suspect vehicle is described as a dark gray Mazda 3 with a roof rack and a cracked windshield.
The car was last seen headed east on Placerita Canyon Road at a high rate of speed.
Anyone with information is urged to call 911 immediately. Callers may remain anonymous.
Supervising Fire Department dispatcher Eddie Pickett said the victim was not transported to the hospital. The crash was reported at 4:39 p.m.
Perry Smith of Hometownstation.com contributed to this story.