Echo Park Pedestrian Killed in Early Morning Hours; Driver Flees
A 60-year-old father of 3 was fatally struck in the early morning hours of December 19 at an Echo Park intersection in a hit-and-run accident. The Los Angeles Police Department is actively looking for the driver, who fled the scene.
The victim was Jose Mario Vaquero, who was apparently catching a bus to his job in El Sereno. He was crossing Sunset Boulevard southbound, west of Douglas Street. The collision tossed Mr. Vaquero into the air, and part of the car’s bumper remained at the scene. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.
LAPD detectives believe Mr. Vaquero may have run into the intersection against a red light to catch the bus. He was struck by a dark blue Honda Accord. It has dark, tinted windows and they also believe that it sustained significant damage to the front end, windshield, and perhaps the undercarriage.
The LAPD has released surveillance video of the vehicle. The city of Los Angeles automatically posts a $50,000 reward for help in the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers.
News reports indicated that roughly 20,000 hit-and-run accidents have been reported annually since 2016.
Leaving the Scene of a Crash Is Against the Law
Although the LAPD is still investigating this accident, some observations can be made about the law in California. It is a felony crime to leave the scene of an accident in which someone has been injured or killed. California law requires that motorists involved in a crash that injures or kills someone to stop immediately and contact the police.
People reading about this horrific incident may be wondering if the family has any recourse against a negligent driver. Close family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit if a death was caused by the negligence of another party.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by a surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, or any minor who lived in the household for six months and was dependent on the decedent for at least half of his or her support.
While wrongful death settlements or jury awards can provide some financial stability to family members who relied on the loved one for financial and emotional support.
It should also be noted that wrongful death cases are brought in civil court. They are completely separate from any criminal charge, penalty, or trial that may take place.
Contact a Southern California Car Accident Lawyer
If you or your loved ones need help in the aftermath of a car accident that has claimed the life of a loved one, let us help. Our track record speaks for itself: We win 99% of the cases we take on and have recovered $350 million for our personal injury clients.
Our first consultation is always free, and comes with no obligation on your part. Call today to speak with a friendly, dedicated Los Angeles car accident attorney.
- Granda, Carlos and ABC7.com staff. Echo Park hit-and-run crash leaves pedestrian dead; driver at large. ABC7.com. December 20, 2019. https://abc7.com/traffic/echo-park-hit-and-run-crash-leaves-pedestrian-dead/5768711/
- Kurzweil, Anthony, Ellina Abovian, Kareen Wynter, and Chris Wolf. 60-Year-Old Father Killed in Echo Park Hit-and-Run Crash; LAPD Looking for Driver. KTLA5. December 19, 2019. https://ktla.com/2019/12/19/driver-sought-in-hit-and-run-crash-that-killed-60-year-old-man-in-echo-park/