Woman Dead, Man Injured in Echo Park Hit-and-Run Crash; Driver Sought

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Authorities are searching for a driver who fled after striking a man and a woman in Echo Park early Monday, leaving one of them dead.

The incident happened on Sunset Boulevard and White Knoll Drive just before 1 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Morena Del Carmen Alvarado-Lopez appears in a photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department on Feb. 24, 2020.
Morena Del Carmen Alvarado-Lopez appears in a photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department on Feb. 24, 2020.

Morena Del Carmen Alvarado-Lopez, 58, was walking north on Sunset Boulevard near White Knoll Drive with a 71-year-old male companion when a dark-colored vehicle struck them, dragging the pair about 50 feet before they were “dislodged,”  LAPD said in a statement.

Police earlier described the victims as a husband and wife who had just left the nearby Club Bahia.

Surveillance video shows what appeared to be a sedan traveling on the mostly empty street followed behind by two figures tumbling on the ground. The driver apparently stops for about 10 seconds before taking off.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the couple to the hospital.

Alvarado-Lopez was pronounced dead at 2:55 a.m., according to LAPD. The man, whose name was not released, suffered injuries that were severe but not life-threatening, police said.

They were not on a crosswalk when the crash happened, and the driver likely wouldn’t have been arrested had he or she stayed and helped the pair, Detective Juan Campos told KTLA. He described the scene as “carnage.”

“The break lights come on after the impact and the driver stops,” Campos said. “Obviously they know they hit somebody and I believe they know what they hit.”

A man who was working at Club Bahia said he walked outside after the crash. He said he and others blocked traffic, called 911 and waited for police to arrive.

“It was a bloody mess,” the man, who did not want to be identified, said.

Police are seeking tips from anyone in the area who may have seen a dark vehicle with front-end damage.

People with information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case could be eligible for a $50,000 reward made available by the L.A. City Council for hit-and-run crashes, Campos said.

LAPD’s Central Traffic division can be reached at 213-833-3746.

KTLA’s Cindy Von Quednow contributed to this story. 

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