LAPD Seeks Hit-and-Run Driver Who Left 57-Year-Old Woman for Dead in Silver Lake (Warning: Graphic Video)
Cindy Von Quednow, Ellina Abovian, and Kacey Montoya
A woman who was found dead behind a trash can in Silver Lake Wednesday morning was the victim of a hit-and-run crash that was captured on surveillance video, and now LAPD officials are looking for the driver of a tan sedan.
The crash occurred about 6 a.m. in the 1800 block of Hyperion Avenue, and the body was discovered in the hours after that.
Firefighters who responded to the scene called Los Angeles Police Department officials because the way the body was positioned among debris made it seem like it might have been moved, Detective Campos told KTLA.
The victim was later identified by LAPD and family members as 57-year-old Christina Garcia, a wife and mother of three grown children.
Her relatives said she was on the same morning walk she’s been taking for 15 years, stopping at times to collect cans to help pay her daughters’ college tuition, when she was fatally struck.
“This is her routine every morning,” Garcia’s eldest child, Edwin Aleman, said. “She wakes up at 5 in the morning…unfortunately, this is one of those days where she didn’t make it home.”
The sudden loss has been hard for the close-knit family, Aleman said.
“My dad has a heart condition,” he told KTLA. “We didn’t really want to tell him, especially because they were married for 38 years. They’ve known each other since they were children.”
But still, Edwin’s brother Cristian Aleman said, the family wasn’t “moping around” because “she always told us, ‘Don’t cry. Be always happy.’ And we’ll see each other later on.”
Police canvassed the area for witnesses, and eventually found surveillance video that caught the crash. The video shows a four-door sedan lose control along Hyperion Avenue, go across northbound lanes, hit a parking sign, trash cans and the victim, who had been standing on the sidewalk.
The vehicle continued east before crashing into two buildings. Garcia appears to be pinned between the building and the vehicle, the video shows. The driver, a man, then gets out of the car and inspects the damage before getting back in and driving off.
Campos said it is unclear whether the driver knew he had hit the woman.
The driver left the scene, but he left behind his driver-side mirror. Police believe the car is a 2010 to 2012 Toyota Corolla.
“This is a straight accident. All the person had to do was stop and call the police,” Campos said. “Now that someone is dead, this is a felony hit-and-run.”
The victim’s son said he understood why someone might flee, but the driver should do the right thing and come forward.
“I know it’s scary, especially when you hit something or someone, and the first thing you come up with is maybe panic and you just want to flee the scene,” Edwin said. “It’s understandable, but I want him to find it in his heart to hopefully come forward.”
A $50,000 reward is attached to information leading to an arrest in the case.
Anyone with information can submit a tip anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or LACrimeStoppers.org.
KTLA’s Jennifer Thang and Erika Martin contributed to this story.