33-year-old man struck, killed in hit-and-run while walking in South L.A.; LAPD seeking 3 men

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Police are searching for three men in connection with a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles that left a man 33-year-old man dead earlier this week, authorities said Friday.

Surveillance footage released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows a green pickup truck run a red light just before the fatal collision Wednesday in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood.

Ronal Merdio Villatoro appears in a photo provided to KTLA by his family. He was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 2021.
Ronal Merdio Villatoro appears in a photo provided to KTLA by his family. He was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 2021.

Around noon, the truck was speeding westbound along East 88th place when it ran the light and then hit another vehicle driving northbound on South Main Street, according to LAPD.

The impact from that crash caused the truck to then collide with a pedestrian who was crossing northbound along Main Street and walking within a marked crosswalk, police said.

The victim has been identified by his brother as Ronal Merdio Villatoro. He was walking to a mechanic’s shop to pick up his truck at the time, according to his brother, Eddie Merida Villatoro.

The three men inside the truck ran from the scene, leaving the victim to die from his wounds, according to police. LAPD has released photos of the three men identified as suspects.

“They killed my brother, and they’re walking away,” Villatoro told KTLA Friday.

The family plans to raise money to get Villatoro’s remains back to their home country of Guatemala, his brother said. The story will be updated with information on any future fundraisers.

Three men authorities believe were involved in a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles that left a man dead Feb. 24, 2021, appear in this photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department two days after the crash.
Three men authorities believe were involved in a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles that left a man dead Feb. 24, 2021, appear in this photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department two days after the crash.

Meanwhile, authorities are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects, as part of a city-run program that started in 2015.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family cover funeral expenses.

Anyone with information can reach Detective Daniel Ramirez or Detective Ryan Moreno of South Traffic Division at 323-421-2500. During non-business hours, or on weekends, callers can dial 877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). 

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or visit lacrimestoppers.org. Tips can also be submitted by visiting lapdonline.org and clicking “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu, or downloading the “P3 Tips” mobile app and selecting L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as the local program. 

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