Pedestrian Killed in Encino Hit-and-Run Crash

Shattered glass was scattered in the San Fernando Valley intersection where a man in his 50s was struck and killed

By Toni Guinyard and Jonathan Lloyd
|  Monday, Oct 7, 2013  |  Updated 5:55 PM PDT
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A man in his 50s is struck and killed Monday morning at an Encino intersection. Toni Guinyard reports for Today in LA on Monday Oct. 7, 2013.

Khalid Shabazz

A man in his 50s is struck and killed Monday morning at an Encino intersection. Toni Guinyard reports for Today in LA on Monday Oct. 7, 2013.

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A suspect in a deadly hit-and-run crash surrendered to police, hours after allegedly striking a pedestrian early Monday on Ventura Boulevard in Encino.

The victim was walking on the street near Gaviota Avenue at about 12:15 a.m.
Initial reports from witnesses indicated the vehicle was a black Cadillac Escalade, but Los Angeles police said later Monday that the vehicle is a black 2007-2014 GMC Yukon Denali.

The suspect's name was not immediately released Sunday afternoon.

Witnesses were speaking with police, Bustos said. The vehicle likely has a damaged grille and right headlight. Shattered glass and other parts of the vehicle were left at the intersection.

The pedestrian was not in a crosswalk, according to investigators.

"Had that driver stopped, and everything was in order, we would have done our investigation of this tragic incident where somebody lost his life, but then potentially that driver would have been allowed to leave," said Los Angeles Police Department detective Bill Bustos. "Now, that is not the case. We're looking for a felony driver. Somebody who chose to leave, and leaving somebody behind who was injured severely and subsequently lost his life."

The coroner identified the victim as a 48-year-old man. More details regarding the victim's identity were not immediately available.

The fatal crash comes just more than one month after two fatal hit-and-run crashes on the same day in the San Fernando Valley. The first involved a 35-year-old pedestrian at Fairway Avenue and Ventura Boulevard. Two hours later, a man was struck and killed as he entered his vehicle at a valet stand on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Last month, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino introduced a motion for a standing $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of drivers in deadly hit-and-run crashes. Buscaino's proposal now goes to a committee hearing.

Buscaino released a statement Monday morning about the Encino case.

"We must do everything we can to change the culture of driver apathy in Los Angeles, where motorists continue to display a lack of responsibility and concern, leaving a human being out in the street to die," he said in the statement.

An analysis by the Los Angeles Police Commission found there have been about 20,000 hit-and-run crashes in Los Angeles over the past five years.

A bill that would extend the current three-year statute of limitations for hit-and-run offenses to six years from the date of the offense is awaiting the governor's signature. AB184 passed the Assembly by a 68-0 vote and Senate by a vote of 37-0.

Gov. Jerry Brown has until midnight Sunday to sign or veto the bill or it will automatically become law, according to a spokesperson for Assemblyman Mike Gatto's office.

Call 818-644-8000 with information about the Encino hit-and-run case. 

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