Officials announced Wednesday that a $50,000 reward is being offered for
information leading to the arrest of a man suspected of killing a father
of two in a
hit-and-run accident in July.
According to authorities, the accident occurred in Koreatown at the intersection
of Beverly Boulevard and Normandie Avenue. The driver of a Ford F-150
pickup truck allegedly ran a red light at the intersection, struck a Toyota
Camry and then collided with a BMW X3 before running off the road and
striking three pedestrians waiting at a bus stop.
One of the pedestrians was killed in the accident, a 45-year-old father
of two. The two other pedestrians, a 46-year-old woman and a 34-year-old
man, were hospitalized with critical injuries.
Thus far, an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department has yielded
no arrests. The Los Angeles City Council approved the reward and announced
it in a 10am news conference at City Hall on Wednesday; the victim's
family hopes it will yield information that leads to the suspect's arrest.
According to reports, the suspect was identified at the scene by witnesses,
who said he got out of the pickup truck and fled after striking the pedestrians.
Investigators have said that the 38-year-old suspect is from El Salvador
and entered the United States illegally.
Photographs of the suspect were displayed at Wednesday's news conference
discussing the reward and are also displayed online.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
In California, it is a felony to leave the scene of a traffic accident
that has caused another's death. These cases are typically referred
to as "hit-and-run" accidents. Even if the accident was entirely
unintentional or was not your fault, you may face criminal charges if
you are involved and do not remain at the scene to exchange information
with the other parties involved and render aid (if you can). Of course,
being taken from the scene in an ambulance would not be considered fleeing,
but running away on foot or driving away may be seen as intentionally
leaving the scene.
According to California Vehicle Code §20001, drivers are required
to remain at the scene of any auto accident that causes property damage
or injury. You must immediately stop your vehicle, provide identifying
information to other involved parties and to law enforcement that arrives
at the scene, and provide reasonable assistance to anyone who was injured
in the collision. You are also required to contact your local police department
or California Highway Patrol regarding the accident. Calling 911 is the
easiest way to report an injury accident and will get emergency personnel
on the scene if anyone was seriously injured.
Drivers are required to comply with Vehicle Code §20001 regardless
of who is at fault in the collision and no matter the severity of injuries.
If a collision causes property damage alone, and the owner of the property
cannot be located, the driver should leave his or her information at the
scene for the property owner to find.
A conviction for felony hit-and-run causing death or permanent, serious
bodily injury may result in a sentence that includes up to 2, 3 or 4 years
in state prison, restitution and a fine of up to $10,000. In extreme cases,
such as a driver who has multiple prior DUI convictions or a case involving
extreme disregard for the safety of others, a driver could even face
manslaughter or second degree
murder charges and much harsher penalties.
Are you looking for additional insight regarding hit-and-run charges or
any criminal matter?
Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners for a confidential review of your case.