Panorama City

Man Under Street Killed When Driver Strikes Manhole Cover

Surveillance video of the incident shows the manhole cover bouncing over the hole with notable force, then flying up into the street.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Police were searching for the driver of a truck who ran over a manhole cover in Panorama City on Saturday that happened to be pushed up by a man who was killed as he tried to get out of a tunnel under the street.

It wasn't immediately clear why the man, described in his 20s, was underground. LAPD Officer James Takishita, who is investigating the case, said the unidentified man might have been homeless and living there.

A spokesperson from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, when asked if it is common for homeless individuals, or any non-county-employee, to be found in underground tunnels, said "LA County Stormwater Maintenance teams have not encountered this issue."

A spokesperson for the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works said that the matter was a County issue, rather than a City issue.

The incident happened Saturday around 10:30 a.m. on Parthenia Street.

The pick-up truck was described as a 2008 to 2012 year white Chevrolet Silverado pick-up.

The person driving has not been identified by police, but Takishita said it was likely the driver did not see the manhole cover moving when they drove over it, and may have had no idea he or she hit someone.

Surveillance video shows the metal plate cover, still mostly over the manhole, bouncing over the hole with notable force, then flying into the street.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run should contact Valley Traffic Division Officer Takishita at (818)-644-8116 or Detective Buenaventura at (818) 644-8035, the LAPD said.

A $50,000 reward for information was put out hoping for information leading to the driver. Anyone with information about the hit-and-run should contact Valley Traffic Division Officer Takishita at (818)-644-8116 or Detective Buenaventura at (818) 644-8035, the LAPD said.

Contact Us