A man who allegedly stole an Amazon truck during a delivery in South Los Angeles Thursday and fatally struck a street vendor after losing control of the vehicle has been identified.
Cristian Ramos Sanchez, 37, of Los Angeles, was arrested after the ordeal, which began about 2 p.m.
An Amazon driver was making a delivery along the 4100 block of Woodlawn Avenue when Sanchez allegedly entered the unsecured truck, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was able to start the engine and drive away from the area.
The Amazon driver then alerted authorities of the theft.
About 10 minutes later, Sanchez was driving the truck on Main Street, passing 47th Place when police said he lost control.
“Sanchez crashed into a parked vehicle which pushed that vehicle south into additional parked vehicles, causing an accordion-style crash,” LAPD said in a news release Friday.
Sanchez then somehow drove the truck onto the sidewalk and struck three men before crashing into a building in the area.
Two of the pedestrians suffered minor injuries and refused medical treatment, but the third was “immediately killed by the truck,” police said.
Family members at the scene identified the victim as 67-year-old Jose Rangel, who worked as a food vendor.
Sanchez got out of the truck and ran away, but was followed by community members who called police.
An LAPD helicopter responded and found the suspect in the area of 51st Street and Broadway, where he was taken into custody.
Sanchez was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. His bail was set at $85,000 and he is set to be arraigned on Feb. 22.
Detective Juan Campos said a camera inside the truck offered some insight into the crash. He indicated Sanchez was likely distracted by something in the truck, as his eyes were not on the roadway.
Video from the scene showed the Amazon truck and two other vehicles sustained major damage, and debris was strewn on the ground while officials investigated.
The victim’s son, Pablo Rangel, said he flew to Los Angeles from Houston as soon as he heard that his father had been killed after being struck by a vehicle.
“As I speak to the detectives and everything, I am just baffled at what someone’s ambition can do to somebody else’s life,” Rangel said.