By Allison Jarrell
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is seeking any witnesses to a hit-and-run incident on Feb. 5 in Laguna Niguel, which left a San Juan Capistrano man severely injured and in a coma.
The incident, which occurred at Ridgeway Avenue and Niguel Road, involved a male bicyclist who was struck by a vehicle. The suspect left the scene prior to the deputies arriving.
According to a Plumfund fundraising page, the man is Steve Schenkenberger, a San Juan Capistrano resident and father of five young boys.
“Steve was riding his mountain bike on Super Bowl Sunday around 8 p.m. on Niguel (and) Ridgeway Avenue when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver,” the post reads. “Thankfully, someone saw what happened and he made it to the ER. Steve has sustained injuries throughout the left side of his body, but the most severe are in his brain. He had emergency surgery the same night where they removed a piece of skull where he had a blood clot, which relieved pressure. He continues to have brain swelling and the medical bills are starting to pile up, quickly.”
A Facebook page titled, “Prayers for Steve Schenkenberger,” shared an update on Feb. 15 that Schenkenberger was taken off of sedation medication but is still in a self-induced coma. As of Feb. 16, the Plumfund medical fund page had raised more than $87,000.
OCSD Lt. Mark Stichter said he could not confirm the man’s identity, only that the victim was an adult male.
After a week of investigation, OCSD located the suspect’s vehicle in Laguna Niguel, as well as a person of interest, who has only been described as an “adult male.” OCSD officials said no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. No further information has been provided.
OCSD investigators are asking any witnesses of the collision to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1.855.TIP.OCCS.
A fundraiser for Schenkenberger is scheduled for Feb. 16 at Blaze Pizza at the Outlets at San Clemente, located at 225 West Avenida Vista Hermosa. The event will run from 5-9 p.m. and 20 percent of all sales will be donated to support Schenkenberger and his family. Guests must mention that they’d like to donate to Steve Schenkenberger at checkout. For more information, follow the “Prayers for Steve Schenkenberger” Facebook page.
To make a donation to the family by check, email firstname.lastname@example.org.