A man has been arrested and another person is in custody after a deadly hit-and-run allegedly involving a mother and her son.
According to LAPD officials, calls of the collision originally came out to police at 5:20 p.m. Sunday evening at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Burlington Avenue in L.A.’s Westlake neighborhood.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the driver was heading east on Wilshire when his vehicle jumped the curb, struck a traffic light and eventually collided with two pedestrians.
One of the pedestrians, who was not identified by police, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other pedestrian, a woman in her late 50s, was transported to a hospital in critical condition, law enforcement officials said.
The two pedestrians were reportedly a mother and her son, according to witnesses of the crash.
Authorities could not confirm if the two victims were related.
After the collision, the driver of the vehicle, a 31-year-old man, fled the scene. He was apprehended by a nearby patrol officer, police said.
Another person has been taken into custody but not arrested, LAPD confirmed.
Video from the scene captured by KTLA shows a wrecked black sedan on the sidewalk, with debris from the crash strewn across the intersection.
The initial cause of the crash is unknown.
Grieving family prays for justice in fatal hit-and-run in South L.A.
The grief-stricken family of a 37-year-old man struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his motorcycle home in South Los Angeles last month is calling for justice.
Miguel Urias, a husband and father of a young daughter and son, had just left his mother’s home on Nov. 7 when the tragic collision occurred as he was going westbound on Manchester Avenue near San Pedro Street.
“It’s been hard,” the victim’s widow, Diana Roman Saenz, said unable to hold back tears. “We have two kids. I have a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old and they still think it’s a dream.”
Surveillance footage captured the moment a car cut the 37-year-old off, sending him flying into the road where he was run over. The driver at fault did not stop, identify themselves or attempt to render aid.
Urias succumbed to his injuries later that night in the hospital.
“It’s just senseless that these people are not careful, and they just did that to him,” Saenz told KTLA’s Carlos Saucedo.
Flowers and candles now mark the spot where the crash occurred.
“He was an amazing guy, hard worker,” Saenz said. “He loves his family and kids. He was coming home from his mom’s house because he went to go visit her. He was a funny guy. He always had you laughing and he was always a light to everyone. Everyone remembered him.”
Authorities with the Los Angeles Police Department have been investigating the deadly hit-and-run, but do not yet have an exact description of the vehicle.
The family’s attorney, Matt Zar, hopes that releasing the surveillance footage will help find the driver.
“It’s either a black or green Charger, most likely a black one, with a female, 20-30s,” Zar told KTLA. “The license plate starts with an 8 and ends in a 234. We have little bits of information that hopefully someone out there can help us put together.”
In the meantime, a GoFundMe has been organized to help support the family during this tragedy.
“Get this person off the streets because it’s not fair that he died and they’re just out there,” Saenz pleaded.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD.
California High-Speed Rail awarded $3B by Biden Administration; largest grant in its history
The California High-Speed Rail has received its biggest boost from the federal government yet, being awarded more than $3 billion in grant funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The announcement was made Tuesday and was confirmed by California Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
“California takes great pride in our ambitious status as the leading edge of high-speed rail in America,” Pelosi said on X, previously Twitter. “With $3 billion in new federal funding, we take an important leap closer to making high-speed rail a reality in California.”
The grant is the largest chunk of federal funding the California High-Speed Rail Authority has been awarded since the state’s most ambitious public transportation project was approved by voters in 2008.
Construction work has been chugging along steadily in the Central Valley, as crews construct the first portion of the California High-Speed Rail, which is being referred to as the “initial operating segment.” The initial operating segment will connect Merced to Bakersfield along a 171-mile electrified track when it begins service sometime around 2030.
The federal grant funding is expected to be used to help complete this initial segment of the system, as well as help pay for the high-speed electric trainsets that will one day complete a full 500-mile journey between the Bay Area and the greater Los Angeles area.
The High-Speed Rail Authority expects that portion of the system, identified as “Phase 1,” to begin operation sometime in the 2030s. Eventually, the Authority plans to expand the system to more than 800 miles between Sacramento and San Diego as part of “Phase 2.”
Momentum for the high-speed rail has been building in recent months, with several major infrastructure projects completed in the Central Valley. Earlier this year, the Biden Administration awarded the High-Speed Rail Authority a $200 million grant, which was one of the largest pieces of federal funding support awarded to the project in its history.
Despite opposition from some Republicans in Congress, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has been the benefactor of two major supporters of clean energy and passenger rail.
Earlier in October, California Governor Gavin Newsom wrote a letter to President Joe Biden, thanking him for his continued support of California’s clean energy initiatives and urged him to approve the federal grant application to help complete the initial operating segment.
Biden has previously shown support for California high-speed rail, restoring a nearly $1 billion grant to the High-Speed Rail Authority in 2021 that had been blocked by the Trump Administration.
Perhaps the most well-known supporter of passenger rail, Biden has long advocated for Amtrak funding and was a regular rider during his time in the Senate, earning him the nickname “Amtrak Joe.”
Federal support for America’s passenger rail systems was a key component of the president’s landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
CAHSR officials have said some of the money from this grant could also be used to complete geotechnical work required to begin tunnelling through the mountains in Southern California, which would need to be completed to make the Bay Area to L.A. a reality. That portion of the system will be among the most expensive and challenging endeavors the project will face.
The Biden Administration began Tuesday by doling out massive amounts of grant funding to public transportation projects across the country, including a similar electric high-speed rail project in Southern California.
Brightline West will connect Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga along the the 15 Freeway corridor. That project was awarded about $3 billion in grant funding, but is a private endeavor and is expected to cost about $12 billion, with the rest of the cost privately financed.
As of August 2023, the California High-Speed Rail says it has completed 43 structures, started work on 32 more and completed 53 miles of guideway. Work is beginning to expand from the current 119 miles of active construction to the full 171 of double-track electrified rail that will comprise the initial operating segment.
High-Speed Rail officials say almost all of the major environmental reviews throughout the system have been completed, with the main outlier being the segment between Palmdale and Burbank. Officials expect to have that completed in the coming months, with the Anaheim segment to receive clearance around 2025.
COVID fraudster stole $2.8M, gets 3.5 years in prison
A Riverside County woman was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for scamming more than $2.8 million in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
Sasha Lizette Jimenez, 26, was sentenced to 41 months in prison and will have to pay $2.3 million in restitution, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in a press release.
She pleaded guilty in May to a count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud after she “admitted that she fraudulently obtained UI benefits from the EDD, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits intended for individuals who were unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release said.
Jimenez and her confederates stole identities from people who were dead, lived outside California or were otherwise ineligible for those benefits.
While $2.8 million was issued to these fake beneficiaries, Jimenez withdrew about $2.3 million, resulting in the restitution amount she must repay, prosecutors said.
Jimenez also participated in a separate check fraud scam with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Meshach Samuels, though he also joined her in the unemployment fraud. He was sentenced in October to 90 months in federal prison.
Anyone with information about allegations of fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
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