Mount Washington Cycling Death Remains Mystery

Jean Carlos Galaviz was charismatic, friendly and never averse to taking risks on his bicycle.

The investigation into the death Jean Carlos Galaviz, 34, , is still "fluid and ongoing" according to an officer from LAPD's Central Traffic Division.

On Wednesday, August 22, Officer David Chung told Patch that there was no evidence that Galaviz was hit by another vehicle before crashing his bicycle, despite a sign posted by the family in the area of the accident seeking information about a "hit and run."

As of Monday, the Mount Washington monument had grown to include an all-white ghost bike commemorating Galaviz's death. However, according to an officer who spoke to Patch and declined to be named, there was still no evidence as of Monday to suggest that Galaviz's death was anything but an accident.

Tami Moreno, who dated Galaviz and was still close to him at the time of his death, said his death remains a mystery to his friends and family.

"I'm getting so many conflicting stories, Moreno said. "Some people say he did get hit. I don't think the papers are right about what happened, about it being a solo fall."

Moreno said Galaviz said was an experienced rider who frequently rode his fixed-gear bicycle through his neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles or up the hills of Mount Washington. However, he was also prone to take risks. In February, he broke his clavicle bone after being struck by a car door while riding through Downtown, Moreno said. He was back on his bike for April's event, which closed Downtown's street for thousands of cyclists.

Though he purchased a helmet after the February crash, Moreno said, he wasn't wearing it on the night he died.

Galaviz was a free-spirit, Moreno said. The kind of man who made new friends, but was closest to his parents. His mother called Jean-Carlos her best friend, Moreno said. The Montebello native met with his dad for lunch on a weekly basis. On the night he died, he was on a late night mission to visit a cousin on Mount Washington.

His care-free spirit also occasionally led him to trouble. He'd only recently gotten his license restored after losing it due to a prior DUI incident.

Moreno said she'd learned from friends that Galaviz had two beers on the night of his death. He also had taken one for the road, which was found at the crash site by police officers.

"He could handle his beer, though. Two beers would be nothing," Moreno said.

For Moreno, therein lies the mystery of her friend's death. Was he the experienced fixed-gear rider who knew both Downtown LA and the hills of Mount Washington like the back of his hand? The one who could stop his fixie on a dime and was back on the road months after a serious injury?

Or was he the risk taker? The daring rider who bought the helmet, but didn't wear it.

"Part of me wonders what happened going down that damn hill," Moreno said.

Funeral Services for Galaviz will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 9 a.m at St. Hilary's Church of Perpetual Adoration, 5465 S. Citronell Ave. Pico Rivera, CA. 90660

The MOG August 27, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Moreno, what happened was your departed friend lost control of his bike, going down hill, most likely at a high rate of speed. I want to be sensitive with my comments, because I know the pain is fresh. I lost a dear friend last June, and boy, I sure do miss him. You say JC wouldn't be affected by a couple of beers, and that wouldn't be a problem. Alcohol was a factor, and no matter how much you think you aren't impaired by a couple of brews, that fact is it does matter. Even if just a little bit. Be honest, was a little pot invoved, you think. Maybe? If you say definitely not, Okay. The fact is that marajuana can impair a driver, despite the popular myth to the contrary. From my personal experiance, I've seen far too many competent riders on the road, seemingly pocessed of the notion that they are invisable. They same thing with down hill skate boarders. Oblivious to the dangers of traveling at lethal speeds, because, afterall, they've done it a trillion times. Not realizing that the trillionth and 1 time is when they fall. Who dies in drowning accidents? Experianced divers and swimmers. Who dies on Mountain Climbs? Experianced hikers. It's the skydiver who has made 100's of jumps that ends up losing thier life that one, tragic time. One time is all it takes. Recently I rode my bike from the top of Debb's Park, all the way down to the bottom, on Via Marisol. I crashed at the very bottom, as I breaked to slow down. This is such a sad story. May the deceased soul find peace.
Marino August 27, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Did he habe brakes? The location of the accident, a steep hill followed by a sharp turn, fits perfectly the scenario of a solo accident. I've seen many fixies crash going downhill. A hit and run would be more probable if he was going uphill, then he would be slow and he could have been rear ended by a speeding car.
susan August 28, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I am sorry this happened, my condolences. I would like to ask people to think twice before riding a fixey. They are dangerous and hard to control in tight situations.
Monty Washington August 29, 2012 at 08:50 AM
Yep, I don't think most of the kids riding fixies around today really know how dangerous they are, or they'd at least never get on one helmet-less. A high price to pay to be 'cool'. Ride a single freewheeler with brakes- please.
dbroo August 29, 2012 at 10:47 PM
It's a wonder more people are not dead when you consider how irresponsible bike riders are in my Mt. Washington neighborhood. These people ride up and down Isabel st. without any regard for safety or laws. They wouldn't stop at a stop sign to save their lives. That is why I am not surprised at the death of the gentleman on the 19th of Aug. Until these riders discontinue their selfish behevior more stories like this one is simply a news cycle away.Who will be next,'cause this man's death is surely not going to affect the riders going through my neighborhood. Perhaps we should have cameras to help deter some of this awful behavior. May God have mercey on his family in their time of pain.
dbroo August 29, 2012 at 10:49 PM
What is a fixie?????????
Shawn Richardson August 29, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Xrystola August 31, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Update: The corner found significant evidence that he was in fact hit by a car. Anyone with any information please contact the police. We have to bring justice to JC and find the person(s) responsible for this hit & run death.
jolly jane September 01, 2012 at 01:54 AM
anyone who has anything negative to say, WELL FU!!! were u there? where u even with him b4 the accident? do u even know this person or any of his family personally? while we are all assuming things around here, im gonna assume that the answer is no so who the hell do u think u are making statements like hes on pot or he had too much to drink?? last time i checked, he had 2 beers b4 he left AND more people die from peanuts than pot!! xrystola, im sorry u and ur family have to process this negativity on top of it all. it is no ones place to pass judgement, especially here and some people are just complete idiots. karma is a biotch so dont let these comments get to u!! MOG, u can shove ur so called "sentisitivity" up ur no no!! and dbroo, ur a moron!! may god have mercy on u!!! why dont u cry to the right people like ur innocent city or LAPD about it then!! they know people are dying on this corner and yet they do nothing just like u!!
The MOG September 01, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Actually, don't want to argue. The body isn't even in the grave, yet. BTW, didn't offer any "this is what happened theory." I don't know anything but what I've read, and what common sense says. I read that the accident happened @4AM, Sunday...after a Saturday night with friends...a "couple" of beers, any pot involved? I don't know, I'm surmising, and it's not too unreasonable. I may be wrong, but then again, I'm not saying JC was high when he rode his bike that night. I don't know. I only make the point that beer, even a couple, and weed, can impair a driver. It isn't hard to imagine, especially where a fixed gear bike was involved, and considering the road, and the speed involved. If someone confessed to the hit & run, I missed it in the follow up story. Good thing he called the mom. It's open and shut then. I'm sorry...
The MOG September 01, 2012 at 02:43 AM
OMG! THIS IS'NT TIME TO ARGUE! I NEVER SAID THE DECEASED WAS HIGH>I ASKED IF HE WERE>GET YOUR PANTIES OUT OF A BUNCH & GET IT RIGHT! Good! Also, I won't back down from my statement, a couple of beers is enough to impair. If a cop pulls you over, and tests for impairment even after 1 beer, you will test over the limit. Is it too much to ask that a cyclist ride sober? Especially on a fixed gear bike, riding down a dark, steep street, that is notoriously dangerous? It's called responcible driving. I'm not saying that JC was not responcible, but I know few riders who would drive under those conditions, and feel safe. The LAPD say it was an accident. A terrible, horrible accident. Wait...a person above says the hit&run driver confessed to the mom, & you say the coronor found evidence of the crime. So, I guess I'll read about it in the Updated Article on this story. I'm not a negative person, and I'm sorry I offended you. I meant no harm, my condolences to the family, and may JC Rest In Peace.
jolly jane September 01, 2012 at 03:22 AM
look, this clearly needs to be more about who hit JC, not, what was JC doing. u dont even know JC's BAC so u cant assume he was impaired at this point. and yes, what u said came off offensive. u clearly are looking for an argument as to what happened so why dont u go finish playing detective on the corner of the accident and then we'll talk.
The MOG September 01, 2012 at 03:46 AM
You don't think JC could ever lose control of his bike??? Even a fixed gear bike, @4AM, after a couple, no doubt physically tired(unless he was super human), going down hill on a dark, steep and dangerous street? My point is those are dangerous riding conditions, booze adds to the danger without a doubt. Of course you have doubts. You loved your friend, and that anger and frustration is normal. It's called The Grieving Process. In the end there is Acceptance, but in the beginning, there's Anger, Denial, etc. I'm confident the Hit & Run Driver responcible will be brought to justice. Someone knows something that is key to the mystery. What are the police saying? Has anyone talked to the nieghbors?
jolly jane September 01, 2012 at 02:41 PM
why are u so bent on making this JC's fault when some sole-less asshole hit him and then didnt have the balls to stay and help him?? u found the worse in us all when u began to assume u know whats going on. ur opinion is obviously unwanted here. please stop posting. JC's family doesnt need ur help, if thats what ur calling it.
The MOG September 01, 2012 at 03:35 PM
JollyJane, GET A GRIP! I NEVER SAID THIS WAS JC's FAULT! DO YOU KNOW WHAT AN ACCIDENT IS? AN ACCIDENT IS AN ACCIDENT! NO ONE IS AT FAULT! I'm a member of the public, asking questions. I'm not out to "help", the family, but the family should want people asking questions, no? When a person dies, especially under mysterious details, family aren't afraid to asks questions. This is the comment section in a local NewsBlog, not a Condolence Book at a Mortuary.@JoolyJane, if you are a CLOSE friend of the deceased, or family friend, or just someone casually aquainted with the people involved, I DIDN'T INSULT ANYONE, OR MAKE ANY UNREASONABLE STATEMENTS, OR INAPPROPRIATE INQUIRY! Sorry, you want to make me the bad guy. I didn't write the story. I commented on it. You have a problem with the details of the story? That JC had a couple of brews before he attempted that dangerous early pre-dawn ride? And another for the road? That the police say there is NO EVIDENCE OF A HIT AND RUN? Sorry you're offended Jolly, but I have the right to comment. And I WAS careful with my words, at such a tragic time. So, stop trying to make me the bad guy, huh? Believe me, this tragic death strikes home in ways you'll never know. My prayers and thoughts are certainly with the family. I hope they find peace, and that the truth about all this comes out. Finally, YOU seem to have a lot of info. the public doesn't. I assume LAPD is still investigating. So, I look forward to the follow-up Updated Story.
The MOG September 02, 2012 at 11:56 PM
hey man, come on and cool it. I merely commented on the article...you got a problem with the facts as reported? Take it up with the author. Consider that we're the only ones commenting right now. Peeps are probably afraid they'll be attacked by the victem's (grieving, well- meaning) friends if they speculate on this tragic incident. That's not good. You don't help your cause by taking it out on me. A story like this can die quick from the public mind. Then you'll never find out what happened. A guy was found burnt to death not too long ago, on Ave.60. Obvious murder. The cops? They said accidental, and that was that. My best friend was found dead in his van. The cops said ODed. Even though my friend didn't do drugs, and no drugs found at the scene. This kind of thing scares me. That's why I commented on the story. But hey, I didn't write it. David Fonseca did. Those are his words, not mind. I'm glad you know about grief. I lost a fiance when I was a young man. She was hit by a semi on Foothill. I mourne the wrong way for 5 years. Again, sorry to offend, and my sincerest, deepest sympathies. I lost my Grand Dad 2 years ago, & I still cry. I know how it can be. I wish you the profoudest luck in bringing JC's killer to justice. From your posts I have no doubt the person can be caught. You have to keep it alive, though. Organize a protest, speak at Nieghborhood Councils, something-anything. You can trash on me if you want. Over & out...
El Guapo September 03, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Spoke to detectives and separately JC's dad and this unfortunately was clearly a definite accident. He lost control of his bike, hit a curb, "indo'd" and then hit an iron pipe that was lodged in the wall/hillside that broke his neck. The evidence is overwhelmingly clear, according to LAPD investigators. I know JC's parents are mourning and upset, and believe there was a phone call or at least alleging so but it didn't happen this way. At three or four in the morning riding down that dark hill on anything, in a car or even walking down it requires stamina and balance. It's tragic and I'm sorry for their loss. This was not a hit and run as his parents claim.
El Guapo September 03, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Spoke to detectives and separately JC's dad and this unfortunately was clearly a definite accident. He lost control of his bike, hit a curb, "indo'd" and then hit an iron pipe that was lodged in the wall/hillside that broke his neck. The evidence is overwhelmingly clear, according to LAPD investigators. I know JC's parents are mourning and upset, and believe there was a phone call or at least alleging so but it didn't happen this way. At three or four in the morning riding down that dark hill on anything, in a car or even walking down it requires stamina and balance. It's tragic and I'm sorry for their loss. This was not a hit and run as his parents claim.
pprez September 05, 2012 at 12:07 AM
On behalf of the deceased's family I would like to ask you all to stop speculating. This tragedy was more than just an accident. JC did not have a broken neck, his bike was not damaged. Witnesses saw his bike standing on the side of the road. This incident is still under investigation so please stop. Out of respect for the family, please don't post to this blog. All of the comments are causing more stress to an already terrible situation.
Monty Washington September 05, 2012 at 12:49 AM
You should let the reporter who posted it know what the facts are, then- he should clarify the report, which if what you claim is true, is erroneous.


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