A California Highway Patrol cruiser. Photo via CHP

A Ramona man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly fleeing after the SUV he was driving struck and seriously injured a bicyclist in his East County hometown.

California Highway Patrol officers took Chase E. Richard, 34, into custody Tuesday afternoon in the 16000 block of Swartz Canyon Road. That’s about six miles from the site of the crash, CHP public affairs Officer Jeff Christy said

The arrest came hours after authorities announced they had recovered a vehicle in connection with the case.

The victim, a 53-year-old woman, was peddling northbound on the right shoulder of state Route 67 around 6:15 a.m. last Wednesday when an SUV drifted to the right and struck her, according to the CHP.

The cyclist, who was thrown onto the roadway, was airlifted to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and remains hospitalized, CHP Officer Jeff Christy said.

The SUV driver continued northbound in the vehicle, described as a 2019 Ford Edge. It was last seen heading southbound on San Vicente Road near Hanson Lane.

“A citizens’ supplied tip led CHP investigators to locate the possible location of the suspect vehicle,” Christy said. “CHP investigators were able to observe a vehicle matching the vehicle description that exhibited damage consistent with the events surrounding the collision.”

Investigators found the vehicle partially hidden in a garage at a residence in the San Diego Country Estates neighborhood, located in the southeast portion of Ramona. They seized the vehicle Monday after obtaining a warrant, Christy said.

Anyone with information about the crash or the driver was asked to call the El Cajon CHP at 619-401-2000.

Updated 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019

–City News Service

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