LA officials are offering a $50,000 reward to find a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed 42-year-old Jeremy Chavarria as he was crossing the street with his family in South Los Angeles.
According to a KTLA news report, the collision occurred on the night of Feb. 26 as Chavarria, his wife, and their 2-year-old son were walking in a marked crosswalk to get to church in the area of 84th and Hoover Street.
But a driver sped into the crossing, causing the fatal and tragic accident.
Cars were stopped to let the family pass when an “impatient” driver went around traffic from the northbound to southbound lanes at a high rate of speed, LAPD officials said. Chavarria quickly pushed his wife and young son out of the way before being struck by the vehicle and bearing the brunt of the impact. Officials said they were struck by his presence of mind as Chavarria managed to shove his wife out of harm’s way and get his son out of the way by “tossing him back over toward the sidewalk.”
Blatant Disregard for Safety
The driver fled the scene north on Hoover, leaving the victim in the street. The family was transported to an area hospital. Chavarria died from his injuries. Police found surveillance video of the hit-and-run vehicle, described as a light-colored grey or gold sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima. The vehicle was missing its right front hubcap at the time of the collision. A driver description was not available.
Police said the family was being guided to cross the street by a crossing guard from the church who was wearing a bright yellow vest and carrying a stop sign. There were also bright yellow lights flashing. The driver disregarded all these safety measures, city officials said. Chavarria’s family and city officials urge anyone who has information about the driver to come forward. A reward of up to $50,000 is available to anyone who provides information leading to the driver’s identification, arrest, and conviction.
Justice for Victims
In such cases, injured victims or their families would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney who will stay abreast of the official investigation and protect their legal rights and best interests. At-fault motorists can be held liable for injuries and damages caused.
However, when the hit-and-run driver hasn’t been apprehended or identified, victims may still be able to seek compensation through the uninsured motorist clause of their auto insurance policies. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help victims or families better understand how their own auto insurance policy might apply to a hit-and-run crash where the driver has not been identified or in a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.