The biker whose video-recorded car-kicking antics went viral pleaded no contest Tuesday to one felony count of hit and run driving resulting in injury to another person.
Andrew Flanigan, a 45-year-old stage technician who lives in Arleta, appeared Tuesday in San Fernando Superior Court where he entered his plea.
“Flanigan pleaded no contest today to one felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person and was sentenced to three years’ probation and 45 days’ community service,” said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Flanigan was arrested in January by California Highway Patrol investigators on the strength of the warrant issued for his arrest in January.
Prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged him with a total of three criminal offenses Jan. 10, including: hit-and-run driving causing injury; assault with a deadly weapon, “to wit,” a knife; and reckless driving on a highway causing bodily injury after having a prior conviction, D.A.’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said Wednesday.
The original road rage allegation stemmed from a June 21, 2017, incident that took place about 5:45 a.m. on the southbound lanes of Highway 14, near Newhall Avenue.
A motorist in a Nissan was traveling southbound on the highway in the carpool lane, according to a 2017 interview with CHP Officer Josh Greengard.
At the same time, a motorcyclist operating a “Harley Davidson type” of motorcycle was also traveling southbound, also inside the carpool lane, to the left of the Nissan.
A third motorist, driving a Cadillac Escalade pickup truck, was traveling on the southbound lanes of Highway 14 in the lane next to the carpool lane.
The motorcyclist and Nissan driver “engaged in an altercation within the HOV lane on southbound SR-14, at Newhall Avenue,” Greengard said at the time.
“From the road rage incident, the Nissan (driver) lost control of the vehicle where it collided into the center divider. After hitting the divider, the Nissan was deflected into southbound traffic No. 2 lane (next to the carpool lane) and broadsided the Cadillac, which caused it to overturn,” he said.
The driver of the Cadillac suffered moderate injuries from the crash and was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital while the motorcyclist fled the scene.
The Cadillac driver, Carlos Benavidez, was 75 at the time of the crash and, despite some aches and pains, has recovered from injuries suffered in the crash, according to daughter-in-law, Kris Benavidez.
“He’s doing well,” Kris Benavidez told The Signal in January. “But, he still has some residual effects. Overall it could have been much worse.”
“He had cuts and lacerations to his head and hands, and some injuries to his leg and knee,” she said.
The Benavidez family, she said, learned from CHP investigators in July that they had identified a suspect in the kicking incident.
“We are very grateful to the CHP for their thorough and exhaustive investigation,” Benavidez said.
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