LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The woman who died after falling from a swerving car on the 210 Freeway and getting hit by oncoming traffic was identified Friday, and police said they were seeking the man believed to be the car’s driver.
Maria Josefina Jimenez, 22, died after witnesses said she fell from a wildly careening car early Thursday morning in Sylmar, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
A driver stopped to try to help Jimenez, but she was hit multiple times even as the car in which she had traveled drove away, police said.
Los Angeles police believe 26-year-old Ricardo “Rick” Jimenez, who is not related to the victim, was driving the car on the freeway when Maria Jimenez, who goes by “Josie,” fell from the vehicle and was killed.
The pair had had an argument at a tattoo parlor just before the incident, according to an LAPD news release issued Friday afternoon.
“We have multiple sources who have come forward, putting Rick and Josie at a local tattoo parlor before midnight, with Rick causing a disturbance and berating Josie in front of others,” Lt. Paul Vernon said in the release. “We know Rick was driving Josie’s red Toyota Corolla when the two left the parlor.”
A girlfriend of the victim’s had been at the tattoo parlor with the Rick Jimenez and Josie Jimenez but left after an argument between the two escalated, police said.
LAPD released a photo of the victim and of her red car, now missing.
Josie Jimenez, a resident of L.A.’s Westlake neighborhood, was identified by family members through her tattoos, police said.
Rick Jimenez is 5 foot 10 inches tall and has several tattoos, include “HUSTLER” tattooed on his neck and “WEST COAST” on his right forearm, police said.
Investigators believe he abandoned Josie Jimenez’s red Toyota, which has license 6NED426 and is still being sought by police.
Rick Jimenez is believed to be driving a black, two-door Honda Civic with chromed rims, license 6RJG807, according to police. He lives on Kraft Street in North Hollywood and is thought to still be in the L.A. area, police said.
Josie Jimenez’s estranged husband is not believed to be involved in her death, police said.