Tour Bus Driver Sought in Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed 85-Year-Old Woman Near Koreatown

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Detectives were asking for the public's help Wednesday in identifying the driver of a tour bus involved in a hit-and-run collision that killed an 85-year-old woman near Koreatown.

Encarnacion Valiente was in a marked crosswalk at Olympic Boulevard and Serrano Avenue in the community of Harvard Heights when she was struck by the bus around 7:23 p.m. Jan. 6, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department.

A number of witnesses ran to help Valiente, but the driver of the bus just kept going, the release stated.

Valiente was taken to a hospital, where she later died of her injuries.

The hardworking immigrant from Guatemala spent 35 years cleaning the home of a prominent family in Beverly Hills before recently retiring, her son Hugo Valiente said.

"She was a good, good, good mom," he said.

Hugo Valiente said his mother's beloved schnauzer Nicolas just sits by the door waiting for her to return.

"Right now, Nicholas is really, really sad," he said.

The suspect's vehicle was described as a white tour bus with black stripes on both sides. The bus also had tinted windows and the word "Morongo" displayed on the bus, the release stated.

Morongo Casino spokesman Michael Fisher told KTLA that the resort does not "own or operate any tour buses."

"We were made aware of this tragic incident from media calls late today which alerted us to a news release issued by LAPD. We have not been contacted by LAPD investigators so we reached out to detectives tonight offering to help in any way we can," Fisher said in an email to the station.

Detectives were asking anyone who was in the area at the time of the crash or who was on a bus coming from the Morongo Casino to contact West Traffic Division detectives at 213-473-0234, Investigator Juan Velasco at 213-473-0238, or the West Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213-473-0222.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

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