LA Councilman Calls for Standing $50K Reward in Fatal Hit-and-Run Cases

By Jacob Rascon
|  Thursday, Sep 26, 2013  |  Updated 11:53 PM PDT
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Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino proposed a standing reward of $50,000 to capture hit-and-run drivers and called on the governor to sign a bill that will extend the statute of limitations for the deadly crimes. Jacob Rascon reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2013.

Jacob Rascon

Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino proposed a standing reward of $50,000 to capture hit-and-run drivers and called on the governor to sign a bill that will extend the statute of limitations for the deadly crimes. Jacob Rascon reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2013.

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There were an estimated 20,000 hit-and-run crashes in the city of Los Angeles in the past five years, and the collisions were fatal in roughly 1/3 of those cases, a police commission analysis revealed.

The grim statistics come as City Councilman Joe Buscaino announced plans Thursday to ask the City Council to establish a standing $50,000 reward in deadly hit-and-run cases.

Buscaino said he plans to immediately make a motion Friday morning for a $50,000 reward in one case, that of Manuel Ayala, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Sept. 16 in Wilmington.

Detectives said they would have ruled Ayala's case an accident had the driver stopped.

Buscaino is calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 184, which would extend the statue of limitations on hit-and-run collisions from three to six years. He's also asking state legislators to increase penalties for these types of crashes.

"Manuel Ayala is one of 30 people whose life will end this year as a result of the cowardly actions of an irresponsible driver," Buscaino said.

Twenty percent of hit-and-run drivers get caught, but the percentage more than doubles when there are witnesses and other evidence like surveillance video, according to the analysis by the Los Angeles Police Commission on traffic collisions over the past five years.

Detectives said the car that struck Ayala was a gray Toyota Camry and its driver was a woman.

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