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Echo Park Residents Want Something Done After String Of Fatal Hit-And-Run Crashes

ECHO PARK (CBSLA) — Security video from Feb. 24 shows the final moments of Morena Alvarado Lopez's life.

Seconds after the footage was recorded, the 58-year-old and her 71-year-old husband Juan Behena were struck by a vehicle as they crossed Sunset Boulevard near White Knoll. Behena was severely injured, but survived. The driver stopped for a few moments and then kept going.

Police have offered a $50,000 reward to help find the suspected driver.

That early morning crash is just one of several hit-and-runs in the Echo Park area that have police alarmed and looking for solutions.

"There's been a lot of accidents," Isaac Hernandez, who lives in the neighborhood, said.

His house is just a few yards from the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Douglas Street — the scene of two fatal hit-and-run crashes in the past several months.

"Living so close, you get to feel it too, because people leave memorials and what not and you get to see the human aspect of it," he said.

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Jose Vaquero, 60, died there as he crossed Sunset against the light as he tried to catch a bus.

Security video shows Vaquero crossing the street. Seconds later, the suspect is seen driving off.

A 61-year-old woman also died at the intersection after she was struck by the driver of a stolen car who left the scene. That driver was later arrested.

"People just don't realize that they can't go that fast when you round the corner, because you can't see anything when you come around that corner," Hernandez said.

The co-owners of Parado salon at the corner of Sunset and Douglas said they've seen more police patrols since the fatalities.

"They have realized that something is going on here," Everado Vargas said.

Police say stopping these deaths is just a matter of drivers slowing down.

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