Hit-and-run driver sentenced to jail for striking bicyclist

RIVERSIDE – An unlicensed driver who plowed into a bicyclist at a Riverside intersection then fled the scene, leaving the critically injured victim in the roadway, was sentenced today to nine months in jail and three years probation.

Alvin Lennon Johnson, 32, of Riverside, was arrested in September after causing the hit-and-run collision at the intersection of Buchanan Street and Magnolia Avenue.

On Feb. 6, Johnson pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run resulting in injury and misdemeanor driving without a license. In exchange for the defendant’s plea, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez agreed to dismiss a sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegation against him.

Along with the jail time and probation, Hernandez ordered Johnson to pay $5,700 in restitution to the victim, whose identity was not disclosed.

According to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, around 9 p.m. Sept. 26, Johnson was headed eastbound on Magnolia in his 2012 Toyota Camry when he slammed into a bicyclist going south on Buchanan, in the middle of a crosswalk.

”The Camry stopped for a few seconds, then drove away from the scene,” Showalter said. ”The 53-year-old male bicyclist was seriously injured as a result of the collision.”

Witnesses followed Johnson for a half-mile to the area of Magnolia and Pierce Street, where the defendant pulled into a parking lot, Showalter said.

He said officers were notified where to find Johnson and arrived moments later, taking him into custody without incident.

According to court records, the defendant has prior misdemeanor convictions for spousal abuse and possession of marijuana, as well as multiple traffic-related convictions.

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