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.