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Driver booked on murder charge in cyclist's death

July 12, 2009 |  7:32 pm

A Canyon Country man was arrested on suspicion of murder, hit-and-run, and driving under the influence after his pickup truck allegedly hit three bicyclists in the Angeles National Forest, killing one of them, authorities said.

Joseph Novotny, 43, of Stevenson Ranch was struck on Bouquet Canyon Road while riding with the Santa Clarita Velo club, California Highway Patrol Officer Jose Nunez said. The two other cyclists suffered serious injuries and were taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

Marco Valencia, 20, was arrested about 90 minutes after the 10:46 a.m. collision and remained jailed today in lieu of $1.1-million bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  

The CHP also reported that a 27-year-old Tujunga man was killed a few minutes after midnight today in a collision on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena. Roben Amerkhanian was driving west on the freeway near Fair Oaks Avenue when another car struck his 2007 Honda, the CHP said. The second driver was hospitalized.

-- David Zahniser