51-year-old pastor severely injured in South L.A. hit-and-run; Prius driver sought

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Detectives on Monday asked for the public’s help to identify a driver who was involved in a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles over the weekend that left a 51–year-old father and pastor severely injured.

The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for this light green Toyota Prius in connection with a hit-and-run crash on Feb. 21, 2021. (LAPD)
The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for this light green Toyota Prius in connection with a hit-and-run crash on Feb. 21, 2021. (LAPD)

A video of the hit-and-run that happened around 10:51 a.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of E. 49th St. was released by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division. The video shows what appears to be a light green Toyota Prius driving down a residential street and suddenly striking a man who was crossing the street.

The car continued on and did not stop to render aid.

The victim, who family identified to KTLA as Juan Beltran, lived nearby. He is a father of six and local pastor. He was taken to a hospital by the Los Angeles Fire Department and was listed in critical condition, police said.

Juan Beltran is seen in a family photo.
Juan Beltran is seen in a family photo.

“I feel very, very bad. Very upset,” Blanca Cervantes, the victim’s wife, told KTLA. “I try to be very strong for my children, but the situation is very difficult.”

The car involved in the crash is believed to be a 2004-2009 Prius with likely heavy damage to the front windshield, police reported.

The investigation is ongoing. 

A reward of up to $25,000 is available to anyone who can provide information leading to the driver’s identification, arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer C. LaFleur, Central Traffic Division Detectives, at 213-833-3713. Anonymous callers can contact L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit lacrimestoppers.org.  

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