Family of Willowbrook Hit and Run Victims: “They Don't Give Us Much Hope”

Anjelica Arreola, 8, is in a coma after a hit and run that killed her father. On Friday, Anjelica's aunt called for enhanced safety at the incident site, near the girl's school

Friends and loved ones gathered Friday night in the Willowbrook area to remember the two victims of a hit-and-run accident that occurred a week ago.

Jose Arreola, 38, was killed. His 7-year-old daughter, Anjelica, was critically injured.

Arreola and his family were crossing the street on April 20 at the intersection of Santa Ana Boulevard and Watts Avenue when he and his daughter were struck by a white Cadillac Escalade.

They were in a crosswalk near Anjelica's school, Ritter Elementary. On Friday night, the girl's aunt, Ana Soto, led a rally in front of the school.

"The purpose is pretty much to make the school safe," Soto said. "The place where it happened, there was no speed bumps, no stop sign, and it's right in front of the school."

Anjelica Arreola remained in a coma Friday night. Doctors initially did not expect her to survive, and then expressed optimism this week. The girl however later took another turn for the worse.

"Her brain started swelling up again," Soto said, adding that family members are hopeful Anjelica will come out of the coma.


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"We're hoping she opens her eyes and is able to recognize us at least," Soto said. "They don't give us much hope."

The California Highway Patrol has asked for the public’s help in finding the hit-and-run driver.
Authorities are looking for a heavy-set Latino man whom witnesses said had short hair and a goatee. He was wearing a white T-shirt and a gold chain necklace.

Investigators believe the Cadillac Escalade that he was driving sustained damage to the right front of the vehicle.

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