crime

‘Angels Were Watching Me': Rewards Offered to Find Drivers in Jefferson Park Hit-and-Run Crashes

Three hit-and-run collisions, one of which left a man dead, were reported in the last two weeks.

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Authorities are asking for help in finding drivers involved in at least three hit-and-run crashes in the Jefferson Park area, including one that left a man dead.

Police, victims and family members were at a news conference Thursday about the crimes in the community west of downtown Los Angeles. All were reported in the last two weeks.

Detectives have security camera video in all three crimes.

On Jan. 5, a 46-year-old woman was walking her dog on the sidewalk on Fourth Avenue at 30th Street when she was struck by a silver mid-size SUV. The SUV was traveling at high speed when it ran off the road and hit the woman and her dog.

“From what I’ve heard… I flew and landed on the sidewalk facedown,” said Nallely Oregel, who spoke at Thursday's news conference. “Angels were watching me because I’m here. I’m alive.”

Two days later, a 25-year-old man on a scooter was struck from behind by a gray compact car traveling at high speed. That crash was reported on Western Avenue near 29th Street. 

On Jan. 11, a man was walking on the street when he was struck by a Chevy Trailblazer. Luis Alberto Martinez later died at a hospital.

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"We (want) justice -- for my mother-in-law, for our family,'' Jasmen Otero, a relative of Martinez, said at the news conference. "So, if you guys have any information, please call to help us out, to help my mother-in-law from this pain and everything, because it's too much for her."

In all three cases, the drivers left the scene and did not stop to help.

The city of Los Angeles has authorized standing rewards of up to $25,000 for help in solving non-fatal hit- and-run cases, and rewards of up to $50,000 for help in solving fatal hit-and-run cases.

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