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Southern California Hit-and-Run Victims’ Families Seek Justice

In a series of tragic incidents across Southern California, multiple families are grappling with the aftermath of deadly hit-and-run crashes as they seek authority’s help in finding those responsible.

Francisco Garcia, 42, became a victim of such an incident in Pacoima when he was struck by several vehicles successively but none stopped to assist. The Los Angeles Police Department revealed footage from the evening of January 12, showing the harrowing moments when Garcia, while crossing the street on the 9800 block of San Fernando Road, was hit by a white pickup truck. The force knocked him down, and as he attempted to rise, he was hit again by a second car, leading to a third impact from another vehicle. The drivers involved did not stop to offer help or call emergency services.

Norma Garcia, sister of the deceased, expressed her anguish over the heartless actions of the drivers and the substantial delay in learning about her brother’s demise, stating the police couldn’t allow her to view the body due to the extent of his injuries. She’s calling for anyone with knowledge about the incident to come forward.

Similarly, Jessica Ramirez is seeking justice for her son, James Ramirez, 20, who remains hospitalized in critical condition as of Saturday night. On December 29, 2023, James was crossing at the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Westmoreland Avenue when he was struck by what looks to be a four-door Dodge Charger, based on surveillance footage. The driver fled the scene immediately after the crash.

Gumercindo Gonzales, 72, faces a dire situation, lying in a hospital with critical injuries after being hit on January 10 while using a crosswalk at Santa Fe Avenue and East Dominguez Street in Carson. A dark gray sedan made a U-turn only to collide with him, and once again, the driver did not stay to provide assistance.

In another sad case on January 18, an elderly man met his demise in a hit-and-run in North Hollywood when a white sedan on Vineland Avenue fatally struck him and continued driving.

These incidents illustrate a disturbing prevalence of hit-and-run fatalities in California. A study, which scrutinized data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2017 to 2021, found that California leads the nation with 10.48% of its 18,137 fatal crashes involving hit-and-runs. This rate surpasses the national average of 6.33%.

The families enduring these tragedies are left in sorrow and uncertainty, united in their plea for information leading to the identification and apprehension of the drivers. They urge witnesses or those with information to assist in their pursuit of closure and justice.

The law enforcement agencies across Southern California are actively investigating these cases and request the public’s assistance in providing any leads. Vigorous efforts are ongoing to bring the perpetrators to account and prevent further senseless losses of life on the roads.