UC Merced student killed in hit-and-run, officials say

Local News

MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Officials have identified the cyclist who was struck and killed in a hit-and-run that took place on Monday night, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

Brian Chuc, 22 of Los Angeles, was killed after Michael Harris, 62 of Santa Paula, allegedly struck him with his vehicle on Bellevue Road near Utah Street just west of UC Merced, officials said.

The Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs at UC Merced, Charles Nies, said in a press release that Chuc was “an active member in our university community,” and that faculty member said Chuac’s “inquisitive nature could elevate the conversation in class for everyone.”

Photo of Michael Harris provided by the California Highway Patrol

According to CHP, the incident took place around 8:00 p.m. and when first-responders arrived, Chuch was pronounced dead at the scene.

Around three hours later, investigators say CHP Merced received a call from Harris saying that he had hit a deer while driving.

Harris was arrested by officers and booked into the Merced County jail after CHP officers arrived at his location and found what they call “significant damage” on his vehicle.

Officials say Harris faces charges of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

UC Merced says a virtual moment of silence will be held for Chuc at noon on July 16 and has invited members of the community to join via Zoom.

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