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Former sheriff employee killed in H.B. bicycle crash

February 28, 2014

Former sheriff employee killed in H.B. bicycle crash The Orange County RegisterHUNTINGTON BEACH – Officials released the identity Thursday afternoon of the former Orange County Sheriff’s employee who died Wednesday night after he was fatally struck riding a bicycle.

Matthew Liechty, 37, of Huntington Beach was found by officers shortly before 11 p.m. on Edwards Street near Crosswind Drive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Next to Liechty, authorities found debris from a gray 2012 Toyota Camry, which they suspect belonged to the car involved in the accident.

Investigators said they suspect the car was driving south on Edwards before hitting Liechty, who was riding in the bicycle lane on the same side of the street.

A few minutes later, a little more than a mile away from the accident, officers found a damaged car matching the debris found at the scene parked in a Ralphs grocery store parking lot, said police Lt. Mitch O’Brien.

Authorities said a witness identified the car that hit the man.

The man suspected of being the driver, Antonio Magdaleno Jr., 29, of Oxnard, was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence. He was not injured.

Liechty was formerly an entry-level correctional officer with the Orange County Probation in 2008. He left a short while later but returned to the probation department in 2012 before transferring to a non-sworn financial clerical position at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. He left the sheriff’s department last year, said Gail Krause, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Huntington Beach police are continuing to investigate the accident and police are asking anyone with information to contact Investigator Tai Huynh at 714-536-5670 or Investigator Robert Barr at 714-536-5666. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can submit tips through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.

Contact the writer: 714-704-3764 or aduranty@ocregister.com

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