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San Diego Marine Killed In Hit And Run

USMC Capt. Patrick Klokow was killed by a hit and run driver in San Diego last week, not far from where our family was staying. The story grabbed my attention since I traveled that same road during our vacation. What's got me so incensed about the story is how seemingly callous the man who killed Klokow behaved.

Jose Luis Cifuentes, 58, who confessed to being the driver of the vehicle that struck Klokow's bicycle last Tuesday morning, not only left the Marine to die in the road, he continued to drive his damaged vehicle in the area of the crash the rest of the day.

Klokow, a Santa Clara native and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, was pedaling to the south near state Route 163 about 6 a.m. when Cifuentes's vehicle hit him from behind at high speed. Cifuentes kept driving, leaving the serviceman dying in the roadway, according to investigators.

About four hours later, a motorcycle officer investigating the crash spotted Cifuentes' Mercury Villager traveling along Kearny Villa Road, about a quarter-mile from the scene of the fatality. Police pulled Cifuentes over, took him into custody and impounded the vehicle, which had a smashed windshield and crumpled hood.

A 1999 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Klokow deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, then went to Iraq two months later, serving combat duty until that July. Klokow, a triathlete, had been stationed at MCRD for about two years. He is survived by a wife Anne, a helicopter pilot (USMC)who was serving in Iraq at the time of her husbands death. According to this article they planned to start a family soon.

San Diego area bikers gathered for a memorial ride last weekend, and one rider summed it up, "He could survive Iraq, but he couldn't survive San Diego traffic. This guy spent time under fire and someone hit him and left him to die."

(From KFMB and San Diego Union Tribune (1, 2) accounts


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Comments (9)

They better throw the book ... (Below threshold)

They better throw the book at this guy.

No comments needed, may he ... (Below threshold)

No comments needed, may he Rest in Peace. Survives his duty, killed by Scum at home
I was just doing a google to check on the murderer- er I mean "alleged hit and run Driver" name: Jose Luis Cifuentes and guess what? A famous Mexican artist. Hmmm. This usually means illegal coming up with a name. Now God (ouch did i use that non-secular name?) Forbid I am "profiling anyone"... But it does make any normal, none blinded person go..hmmmm
Time will tell on this one. But leaving the guy to die like that...

I thought about posting an ... (Below threshold)

I thought about posting an "how long will it take" comment but decided against it. Turns out it took little more than an hour for someone to claim that the asshole who did this must be an illegal immigrant (because of course the only people with Spanish sounding names are illegals). If SfConserv had bothered to read the KFMB links in Kevin's post, he would have seen that the asshole is a U.S. citizen. Nice try though, jackass.

God Bless his wife and fami... (Below threshold)

God Bless his wife and family.

Here is another story (local to me) along the same lines, but worse in my opinion…

Link: http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/news/12267833.htm

Photo of car: http://www.charlotte.com/images/charlotte/charlotte/12270/150558653630.jpg

Posted on Sun, Jul. 31, 2005


DWI record worse than known

Oversights left man on road, in U.S. despite 5 charges


Staff Writers

An illegal Mexican immigrant in North Carolina was charged with drunken driving at least five times before a July 16 wreck that killed a Gaston County teacher.
Ramiro Gallegos' driving record is far worse than authorities realized -- five impaired driving charges in five years, including one previous head-on collision.
On Friday, N.C. authorities remained unaware of two out-of-state convictions until informed by an Observer reporter.
Gallegos' history reveals glaring failures in communication, record keeping and enforcement among police, courts and immigration officials.
If the system had worked, Gallegos would likely have been sent back to Mexico in 2002, or jailed for up to two years and given intensive alcohol treatment. Each intervention would have decreased chances that Gallegos would have been on the road -- allegedly drunk again -- as teacher Scott Gardner and his family drove toward Sunset Beach.
"He was just as dangerous as a serial killer ...," says Scott's father, Phil. "What worries me is how many more are out there like him."
Scott's wife, Tina, is in critical condition. The couple's two children survived the crash and are staying with grandparents.
Gallegos, 25, is in the Brunswick County jail charged with murder and DWI. Prosecutors on Monday plan to add habitual drunken driving charges -- a felony he was eligible for more than a year ago.
"Good grief. This is unreal," said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte, who fired off an angry letter to immigration officials after the wreck. "There has got to be a better reporting system. ... This provides a call to action."
Gallegos' friends and family warned him disaster was coming. Strangers called police when he was on the road.
In a previous wreck, in 2002, Gallegos crashed into an SUV in North Myrtle Beach. Another time, he was so drunk he backed into the patrol car that stopped him for driving 25 mph on a 70 mph stretch of Interstate 40.
Authorities had multiple chances to stop the escalating problem with Gallegos.
But Carolinas judges were unaware of out-of-state convictions so they handed out lighter punishment than they would have if they'd known.
Comprehensive driving records aren't collected in a national database. But the information was available if police, prosecutors or courts had phoned other places where they knew Gallegos had lived.
Gallegos had a Michigan driver's license -- and that state had his record of multiple convictions nationwide. But N.C. court officials say they're so underfunded and overwhelmed with cases that phoning other states for driver histories isn't a priority.
Lack of cooperation between police and immigration officials was another obvious problem in Gallegos' case.
Gallegos was eligible for deportation each time he was arrested. He was entered in computers as an illegal alien in 2000. But immigration officials say they received no requests for information about Gallegos.
Many police departments only delve into immigration status if suspects are involved in felonies. Drunken driving is a misdemeanor -- a lower priority for immigration officers. (more to story)

If only we would withdraw o... (Below threshold)

If only we would withdraw our troops from San Diego then all traffic fatalities would stop...

If only we would withdra... (Below threshold)

If only we would withdraw our troops from San Diego then all traffic fatalities would stop...

No, we need to get rid of the immigrants. They cause all the traffic accidents.

mantis said: "No, ... (Below threshold)

mantis said:

"No, we need to get rid of the immigrants. They cause all the traffic accidents."

I'm up for that. When do we start?

"No, we need to get rid of ... (Below threshold)

"No, we need to get rid of the immigrants. They cause ALL the traffic accidents."

Really? Hell, I thought spoiled Americans have a greater tendency to cause accidents. Or even teenagers who care nothing than to speed and "bump" their music. Yes, solely blame the immigrants and not the unqualified drivers in the U.S.

Capt. Klokow was a fellow a... (Below threshold)

Capt. Klokow was a fellow athlete that I trained with. I am sad that this is a thread about illegal immigration and not about the wonderful human being that was killed. The sad part is the driver did not stop to render first aid.

Regardless, a person I know is gone. I think about his joy and love for the sport of triathlon and it saddens me the world is now without his smile.

Sir, I miss you.






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