KTLA’s Cindy Von Quednow contributed to this story.
It’s with a heavy heart that we report that one of our former Panther track athletes passed away in a horrible hit and run car crash last night here in Highland Park. Jesse Felix Zuniga will be missed by his family, friends and the Panther community. #RestInPower pic.twitter.com/5KiFHkC5tD— FHS Panthers Track (@FHSPantherTrack) May 5, 2019
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.Police on Monday continued searching for two people who fled the scene of a crash in Highland Park that left two brothers dead over the weekend as a $50,000 reward was announced for information that might help solve the case. The fatal collision took place around 1 a.m. Sunday in the area of Pollard Street and San Pascual Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Benigno Felix Zuniga, 25, and Jesse Felix Zuniga, 19, were headed westbound on Pollard when their white Ford Fusion was struck by a speeding Chevy Silverado truck traveling north on San Pascual, police said. Witnesses estimated the pickup truck was traveling about 70 to 90 mph at the time of the crash; the impact pushed the victims’ car into three or four parked vehicles. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. Surveillance footage released by LAPD showed two people exiting the truck after the collision and leaving the scene without rendering aid to the victims. Witnesses described the two as Hispanic men in their 20s, police said. The hit-and-run vehicle was abandoned at the scene. Police have found and interviewed the owners of the truck driven by the suspects, but determined the owners were not using the vehicle at the time of the crash, Detective Juan Campos told KTLA. The truck is shared by a family, and investigators are working on interviewing anyone who drives it. “They seemed shocked that this vehicle was involved in an accident,” Campos said of the owners. “It didn’t appear that they were obviously lying. They had no idea who had the car at the time of the collision.” The brothers were returning home from Paramount and the crash happened just outside their apartment, according to the victims’ devastated girlfriends. “He was my best friend,” Marisol Salazar told KTLA through tears. “Please help us find the people who did this, it’s not fair.” Jesse was a graduate of Franklin High School in Highland Park, where he competed in track and field, the team said in tweet announcing his death. Benigno was a recent business graduate of Cal State Northridge, according to a GoFundMe account set up for the victims. “Jesse and Benigno will be dearly missed by his family and friends,” the fundraising page stated. The victims’ cousin urged the wanted men to turn themselves in to police. “How can you even sleep at night? Honestly, I just don’t know. I mean, look at the parents, look at the family members. We’re all in pain,” said the woman, who identified herself only as Natty. The city of Los Angeles announced a $50,000 reward for information in the case. Anyone with information about the hit-and-run crash is asked to call LAPD at 800-222-8477.