Los Angeles authorities are offering a $50,000 reward for help in tracking down a woman suspected of walking away from a crash that left four critically injured and a father of two dead on Father’s Day.
Police say she can be seen walking away from the scene of the accident in North Hills in a video that shows a white Lexus jump a red light and plow into a black SUV, which flips over after hitting a stationary car and rolls into a nearby front yard.
LA police released video footage of the crash in posts on their social media accounts, showing sparks and flames fan out from under the vehicles after the white Lexus runs a red light at speed at an intersection.
They wrote: “Maritza Joana Lara is wanted for a Fatal Hit & Run that killed an innocent man on Father’s Day & critically injured 4 others at the intersection of Parthenia & Haskell. After the collision, she’s seeing on video walking away.”
Maritza Joana Lara is wanted for a Fatal Hit & Run that killed an innocent man on Father’s Day & critically injured 4 others at the intersection of Parthenia & Haskell. After the collision she’s seen on video walking away. Any info contact Valley Traffic Detectives 818-644-8035. pic.twitter.com/3U1am7G9jh
— LAPD Communications Division (@911LAPD) June 19, 2019
The driver of the SUV, Francisco Hernandez Rivas, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said, according to reports.
Rivas was a father of two teenagers, said LAPD Captain Andrew Neiman, according to KTLA.
“That’s going to be a memory they will never forget every Father’s Day,” Neiman said.
Rivas was on his way to church the morning he was killed, authorities believe, according to CBSLA.
The other person inside the SUV also sustained injuries.
The four passengers inside the white Lexus, allegedly driven by Lara, were taken to hospital, reported CBSLA.
One of the passengers in the Lexus was Lara’s 24-year-old sister.
“Looking at the video you can tell she’s just—she’s careless about who’s left behind in the vehicle, ” said Detective Lisset Fuentes with LAPD VTD, reported Fox News.
“She obviously knows them, they’re not strangers to her. She still doesn’t care to render aid to them. So she just walks away.”
Lara reportedly got out of her car and opened a rear passenger door before deciding to flee, according to KTLA.
“We’re assuming she was trying to get some of the passengers out, but they were so injured they can’t get out of the car,” Fuentes said.
Lara had a prior DUI, and police said that there was a “high possibility that alcohol was a factor in this collision as well,” according to local reports.
According to NBCLA empty beer cans and what appeared to be a crack pipe were found inside the Lexus, an LAPD spokesperson said.
Officials ID suspected driver in hit-and-run that killed dad, critically injured 4 others on Father’s Day in North Hills https://t.co/mc8gnLPeWG
— KTLA (@KTLA) June 19, 2019
According to KTLA, authorities have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.
Fuentes urged Lara to turn herself in. “We want to hear what you have to say. There was someone that was killed that day. You walked away.”
— L.A. Daily News (@ladailynews) June 19, 2019
The crash happened at 5:30 in the morning. DUI crashes typically occur between midnight and 6 a.m.
Twenty-nine people die every day in the United States from crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the CDC.
In 2016, almost 3 out of every 10 traffic-related deaths were caused by someone driving under the influence.
In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
“Drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16 percent of motor vehicle crashes,” according to the CDC.