Police suspect Claremont woman intentionally struck and killed cyclist
Claremont police arrested Sandra Wickstead, 61, of Claremont for murder after officers determined she intentionally struck a cyclist, Leslie Pray, 54, of Claremont, who died from her injuries.
Ms. Wicksted is currently being held on $2 million bail, according to a release from the Claremont Police Department. The CPD is looking for any witnesses who may have seen Ms. Wicksted’s driving behavior prior to the fatal crash.
Police say a green 1996 Mercury Tracer allegedly driven by Ms. Wicksted struck the bicyclist on Mills Avenue adjacent to Radcliffe Drive around 11:37 a.m. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ms. Pray was traveling north in the bike lane and the suspect was heading south on the opposite side of the street. Tire marks visible on the street make it appear as though the vehicle made a sharp left hand turn directly at the victim. Two liquor bottles were outside the vehicle as were a range of other items including a black purse and woman’s shoes.
The vehicle came to rest in the front yard of a home on the 1900 block of Mills and was also blocking the sidewalk.
Police said that it appears to be a random act and that the driver and bicyclist did not know each other.
Lt. Jason Walters of the Claremont Police Department told the COURIER that moments before the incident, the department received calls from other cyclists and motorists about “erratic driving” from Ms. Wicksted, including trying to run them down.
Lt. Walters also said that Ms. Wicksted was driving southbound on Mills and “went into oncoming traffic” to strike Ms. Pray. He said Ms. Wicksted has had prior contacts with Claremont Police, but could not provide additional details.
Ms. Wicksted was transported to the hospital for her injuries, but after an investigation, police believed she intended to strike the bicyclist and she was arrested.
If you observed this vehicle driving in the area before the collision or have any additional information, please call the Claremont Police Department at 909-399-5411.
Mills Avenue was closed between Base Line Road and Chaparral Drive most of Saturday.
On Sunday morning Claremont Police would not comment further citing the ongoing investigation.
COURIER Photo/Steven Felschundneff