Santa Clarita

Authorities Investigating Hit-and-Run Crash Involving Pickup Owned by LAFD Assistant Chief, Report Says

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Authorities are attempting to speak with a Los Angeles Fire Department assistant chief in connection with a non-injury hit-and-run crash in Santa Clarita, according to a report.

Deputies from the sheriff's Santa Clarita Valley Station responded to the hit-and-run about 10:45 p.m. Sunday night in which a Dodge Ram owned by LAFD Assistant Chief Ellsworth Fortman allegedly crashed into a parked car near the intersection of David Way and Calhaven Drive, according to a LA Times report.

"My backseat was in my front seat and it's scary to think that had I been in the car or had anybody been around the block, someone could've seriously been injured," the owner of the parked car told the Times.

The force of the crash pushed the other vehicle approximately 160 feet, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Public Information Officer Shirley Miller. Witnesses told the Times that Fortman went into his home after the crash and did not come out when LA County Sheriff's Department deputies asked him to.

"Somebody with his high status especially, you know, they lead by example. There's a lot of young men and women that look up to these individuals," a woman with the owner of the car added.

When contacted by phone, Fortman refused to comment, the Times reported.

The LAFD was not immediately available for a statement, but a spokeswoman told the Times that the department is "aware of an alleged off-duty incident and our Professional Standards Division is cooperating with law enforcement. Chief Fortman remains on duty while the investigation is conducted.''

According to The Times, the sheriff's station has not heard from the driver, despite repeated attempts to contact him.

"He has never contacted us to try and figure out where his truck is or give us any explanations,'' Sgt. David Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker did not name Fortman as a suspect in the case.

Fortman is listed as the registered owner of the Dodge Ram involved in the crash.

The incident is under investigation, and no arrests have been made, according to Miller.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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