LA Mayor’s Office Employee Fatally Strikes Pedestrian on 170 Freeway

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
June 1, 2022 Updated: June 1, 2022

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—The director of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Crisis Response Team fatally struck a pedestrian on the Hollywood (170) Freeway in North Hollywood, the mayor’s office confirmed on June 1.

The pedestrian, who has not been identified, was struck around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday on the northbound freeway at Victory Boulevard, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Patrick Kimball said.

The victim, a man in his 30s, died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office and the CHP. It was unclear why the man was walking on the freeway.

Los Angeles police confirmed that the vehicle involved was owned by the city and sustained severe damage. Police also confirmed the driver—who was taken to a hospital following the crash—was a city employee.

The driver was identified by the mayor’s office on Wednesday as Joseph Avalos, a Los Angeles Police Department reserve officer who runs the mayor’s Crisis Response Team. Press secretary Harrison Wollman of Garcetti’s office told City News Service that Avalos was discharged from a hospital on Wednesday morning.

The Crisis Response Team trains volunteers to respond to crisis situations, such as shootings, serious traffic accidents, suicides, or killings. According to the unit’s website, the response team volunteers act as a “liaison between crisis survivors and department officials such as police officers and investigators.”

“The [response team] provides immediate comfort, emotional support, and resources to survivors of traumatic events to help those most affected begin their path to recovery,” according to the site.