Police: Drunk driver killed cyclist in Christmas Eve hit-and-run

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Dec. 28—A 67-year-year-old bicyclist was struck by a drunk driver and killed Friday, leading to the driver's arrest, the Cobb County Police Department said Tuesday.

According to police, Kennesaw resident Arturo Vela Mantilla was riding a bicycle westbound on Barrett Parkway at Crater Lake Drive, near Barrett's intersection with Cobb Parkway, shortly after midnight Friday.

Mantilla was struck from behind by a car, ejecting him from the bike. According to police, Mantilla had been riding in the right lane with a headlight and taillight attached to the bike. He was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Elmer Josue Santizo-Gomez, 24, of Kennesaw, was driving the 2006 Honda Civic that hit Mantilla, police said Tuesday. The suspect left the scene without stopping to report the crash or render aid. A witness provided information to responding officers.

Santizo-Gomez was located at his home in Kennesaw, police said. He was arrested at 3 a.m. Friday, according to jail records, and charged with first degree vehicular homicide, hit-and-run, driving under the influence of alcohol and improper passing of a bicyclist.

Santizo-Gomez was booked into the Cobb County jail Friday and remains there, per jail records. He is not eligible for bond.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call investigators at (770) 499-3987.

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