Richard Hernandez, 67, was killed in a pedestrian accident in South Los Angeles, which officials said, involved a suspected hit and run driver. According to a City News Service report, Hernandez died at the scene after he was struck by two vehicles early morning on May 20 at Main Street and 47th Place. A white 2005-2010 model Honda sedan was traveling north on Main Street when it struck Hernandez, who was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk, LAPD officials said.
Hernandez was then struck by another vehicle traveling south on Main. No description is available for the other vehicle. Both drivers fled the scene. A standing reward of up to $50,000 was authorized by the Los Angeles City Council in 2017 for information that helps officials solve hit and run cases. Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact LAPD at 213-833-3713. The investigation is ongoing.
LA Hit and Run Crashes
Los Angeles has gained notoriety for hit and run crashes. According to Curbed LA, there were more than 100,000 hit and run cases in the city of Los Angeles from 2014 to 2018. Of those 23,698 were felony hit and run cases, meaning that someone was injured in the crash. Fewer than 15,000 drivers were arrested in that four-year time span and only 715 of them on suspicion of felony crimes.
Curbed LA reported that eventually, prosecutors with the District Attorney’s office won convictions in just 169 of the cases investigated by the LAPD. Because a hit-and-run can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony, in less severe crashes, drivers may face lesser charges. However, in deadly crashes, drivers get charged with serious crimes such as murder or vehicular manslaughter.
Accountability in Hit and Run Crashes
While criminal charges may or may not be filed, hit and run drivers can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Families of deceased victims may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. A knowledgeable Los Angeles hit and run lawyer will also be able to advise victims and their families about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault driver has not been found or when the driver is uninsured or underinsured.