Detectives released new surveillance video Tuesday in their search for the driver who fled the scene of a crash that left a 15-year-old boy in critical condition last week in the Historic South-Central neighborhood of South Los Angeles.
Roberto Diaz had just stopped at a store to buy a soda and was biking through a crosswalk when a car ran a stop sign and hit him on Maple Avenue, near East 37th Street, the night of Aug. 6, according to L.A. police investigators.
The sedan dragged the teen’s body a few blocks before he became dislodged about 1,500 feet away, near the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Diaz has been slowly recovering but remained in an intensive care unit Tuesday, with more surgeries planned for Wednesday, said Detective Moses Castillo.
“He is talking now, but it’s very labor-intensive for him to carry conversations,” Castillo said.
Diaz has already been through five surgeries since the crash. His mother Belen Garcia said she hasn’t been able to sleep or eat since the crash.
“The most painful thing is watching him suffer,” she told KTLA in Spanish, adding that her son is been on morphine to help with the pain.
Garcia pleaded with anyone who knows who hit her son to come forward and turn that person in.
“Don’t be their accomplice, because the day they get the person responsible, anyone who helped him will have to pay for acts that weren’t their fault,” Garcia said. “It’s not fair for anyone to suffer the consequences of something they didn’t do.”
The car that struck Diaz stopped briefly when followed by witnesses but eventually left the scene.
Police describe the vehicle as a 2007 or 2008, dark-blue Honda Accord or Civic with tinted windows. The sedan is believed to have sustained extensive damage to its front end.
The video released by detectives Tuesday shows another car, a dark-colored SUV, being sought in connection with the crash.
The SUV was heading east on 35th Street when it stopped at Maple Avenue to avoid colliding with the suspect Honda. Moments later, the sedan hit Diaz, officials said.
Investigators are now looking to interview that motorist in hopes they can provide some leads.
Anyone with information on either driver can contact LAPD’s Central Traffic Division detectives at 213-833-3713.
KTLA’s Cindy Von Quednow contributed to this report.