The director of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Crisis Response Team fatally struck a pedestrian along the 170 Freeway in North Hollywood while driving a city-owned vehicle late Tuesday, a spokesman confirmed.
The crash was reported about 10:30 p.m. on the northbound 170 near Victory Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The pedestrian was fatally struck and has not been identified.
Law enforcement officials initially said it may have been an LAPD vehicle that struck the pedestrian, but later indicated that wasn’t the case.
Joseph Avalos was driving a city-owned vehicle when the crash occurred, and he stayed at the scene, spokesman Harrison Wollman told KTLA Wednesday.
He was hospitalized after the incident but was later released.
A SigAlert was issued after the crash, but the roadway reopened shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday.
No further details about the incident have been released.
The Mayor’s Crisis Response Team was created in 1992 at the behest of an LAPD captain. It is described as a volunteer organization and operates out of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety, according to its website. “CRT’s mission is to support crisis survivors on the worst day of their lives,” the website reads.
Avalos is featured in a video on the team’s about page.
Avalos is also a reserve officer with the LAPD and has held his position in the mayor’s office for more than seven years, the Los Angeles Times reported.
During an unrelated news conference Wednesday, Garcetti said he did not know the details about the crash and did not want to comment without knowing what exactly occurred.
“It sounds like a tragedy, and maybe an unavoidable one,” Garcetti said. “Our heart goes out to the family of the deceased and to anybody who was involved.”
He added that Avalos has “given so much to this city,” and that he is an “incredible human being.”
“He’s the person who rolls out — and his team — in tragedies. From shootings, to accidents, to everything else. There is no stronger angel in our city of angels than him,” Garcetti said. “We’ve been wrapping our arms around him to try to comfort him as well.”