Authorities Search For Suspect Behind East L.A. Fatal Hit and Run

By City News Service

Authorities Friday searched for a Cudahy man suspected in a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured two people at a bus stop in East Los Angeles.

Pedro Velasquez, in his mid-40s, allegedly drove a white GMC Yukon that injured the two victims about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday at Atlantic and Whittier boulevards, the California Highway Patrol reported.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, California Highway Patrol officials released the suspect’s photo and appealed for public help in finding him.

The Yukon had been going east on Whittier at an “unknown high rate of speed” and went through the intersection in the wrong direction, CHP Officer Geard Diaz said.

A 31-year-old woman, identified in news reports as Sara Lopez, was walking east on the sidewalk when she was struck. The Yukon then continued onto the sidewalk, hit a Metro bus stop shelter, and ran over a 56-year-old man from  Valley Center who was identified in news reports as Santiago Perez. He ended up under the SUV, and Los Angeles County firefighters had to lift the vehicle up to get him out. Both victims had major injuries, Diaz said.

The motorist got out of the SUV and ran away. According to witnesses, he was carrying a child or infant in his arms.

In an interview with CBS2, Velazquez’s wife, her face pixilated, said her husband was not drunk but had fallen asleep at the wheel while driving home from work. He fled because he is undocumented and unlicensed, she told the station.

Investigators spoke with the suspect when he called home while they were at the residence interviewing his wife, CHP Sgt. Bill Preciado told reporters at the news conference.

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November 14, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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