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Cyclist killed by suspected DUI driver in Oceanside

By Michael Chen,


OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - Loved ones are remembering a North County father, struck and killed while biking to work by a suspected DUI driver.

Last Monday, Brandon raced home after taking a written exam for a law enforcement job and shared some news with his dad, Michael Sanchez.

“I just the passed exam. He started crying, and he was really happy for me,” said Brandon.

Less than a day later, there were tears of a different sort. Past 5 p.m., his dad, who was doing work on his car, decided to bike from his Oceanside home to his maintenance job at a Carlsbad church.

Police say just a few blocks from his home, Sanchez, who was headed north on Douglas Drive, was either on the sidewalk or in the bike lane when a car struck him, dragging him some 50 yards.

Sanchez would die at the scene.

“Definitely heartbreaking, tough,” said Brandon.

The driver of the car was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Police say he admitted to having used heroin.

“It was anger … didn’t believe it,” said Brandon,

Brandon calls the 52-year-old Sanchez, a father of 4 grown children and married for more than 30 years, a loving, funny family man who was ecstatic at recently becoming a grandfather.

“Holding the baby a lot, hugging him,” said Brandon.

The life of a new grandfather was cut short by a suspected DUI driver.

“Just selfish. Not only do you jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize everybody around you,” said Brandon.

Brandon says his family, now in search of justice, has a message when it comes to driving under the influence.

"Don't get behind the wheel, be smart. My family was changed forever, because of a choice someone made that was a bad one,” said Brandon.

Police have yet to release the name of the driver.

A police spokesperson says they are awaiting toxicology results before charges are filed.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

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