Hit-and-run Driver Michael Harris Arrested for Killing 22-Year-Old Bicyclist Brian Chuc in Merced County
MERCED COUNTY, CA (July 15, 2021) – A bicyclist died and police arrested Michael Harris after hit-and-run crash in Merced County Monday evening, July 12.
The victim is 22-year-old UC Merced student Brian Chuc. Investigators say his bicycle was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by 64-year-old Harris.
The fatal crash happened around 7:58 p.m. on Bellevue Avenue near Utah Street, not far from El Captain Highway School. According to the California Highway Patrol, the bicyclist traveled westbound on Bellevue approaching Utah. At the same time, Harris drove in the same direction.
Investigators say Harris struck Chuc from behind. After that, Chuc landed on the front of Harris’ vehicle, went over the roof and was thrown into the roadway.
The CHP says Harris then drove away without stopping. Officials located his license plate at the scene. As a result, authorities tracked him down in Bakersfield. Investigators say he told them he had hit a deer. However, Harris was booked into the Merced County Jail on manslaughter and fatal hit-and-run charges.
Harris is the lead pastor at Santa Paula Freewill Church in Ventura County, according to the church’s website.
Chuc died at the scene.
No other information is available at this time.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Brian Chuc.
Turn to The Law Offices of Daniel Kim for expert legal guidance if you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident caused by a hit-and-run driver. We have dedicated wrongful death lawyers who will work with you through every stage of the legal process. Above all, our goal involves getting you full and fair compensation and holding the at-fault party accountable. Call (800) 895-7199to schedule a free consultation. You can also request a copy of the police report from this accident.