LUCERNE VALLEY — A bicyclist was found dead on the side of the road Thursday morning after apparently being struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.

“Most likely it happened sometime in the night,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Grieve.

The victim was identified as Angelo “Andy” Douglas Azzato, a 47-year-old transient of Lucerne Valley.

According to Grieve, a call was made at 7:59 a.m. of a man down on the side of the road on the south side of Highway 18 just east of Post Office Road in Lucerne Valley. Paramedics arrived at about 8:10 a.m. and pronounced Azzato dead at the scene. Grieve arrived at 8:35 a.m. and began processing the scene.

“It appears he was struck from behind,” Grieve said. “There was damage to the rear of his bike.”

Azzato was riding his mountain bike most likely near the white line on the south side of the two-lane highway when the incident occurred, Grieve said. His body was partially obscured by desert foliage.

Grieve said tire marks just south of the incident indicate the driver of the vehicle briefly veered onto the dirt portion of the highway following the collision, but it appeared the driver did not come to a complete stop following the collision.

San Bernardino County Deputy Coroner David Van Norman also arrived on the scene to process Azzato’s body and begin an investigation.

Authorities are calling on the public’s assistance to notify Azzato’s next of kin. Anyone with information can call the Coroner’s office at 909-387-2978.

Peter Day, Staff Writer