A $50,000 reward was announced Tuesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a hit-and-run driver who fatally struck a woman in the San Fernando Valley.
Family members of the victim, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian announced the award at 10 a.m. at LA’s City Hall.
“If my sister was sick or ill and she didn’t have very long to live we could have accepted that, but something tragic like this, we don’t have closure,” the victim’s sister said, Gloria Gallaza.
Melva Chapman, 57, was killed while legally crossing Saticoy Street at Lemp Avenue the evening of Feb. 27 when a truck ran her down. She was on her way home from work and had just gotten off the bus. The collision threw her body 25 to 30 yards from the intersection. Chapman died from her injuries at the crash scene.
The driver sped away from the scene without attempting to check on Chapman, officials said in a news release.
The driver’s vehicle was described as a white 2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck with visible damage to the front left portion of the SUV.
Last year, officials announced a crackdown on the “epidemic” of hit-and-run crashes in the Los Angeles area.
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According to LA City Councilman Mitchell Englander, the city’s annual 20,000 hit-and-run crashes make up 48 percent of total accidents in the city, the highest proportion in the nation.
“A lot of mothers like me might be suffering the same thing, I hope they do put something on those streets, signs or something,” her mother said, Evangelina Esquivel.
Investigators hoped the reward would prompt someone with information to come forward.
They asked anyone with information to call 818-644-8000.