LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Family, friends, activists and street vendors alike joined Saturday for a vigil in South Los Angeles, held in remembrance of Jose Rangel, the street vendor who was tragically killed when he was struck by a stolen Amazon truck on Thursday.
Rangel, 67, was working on East 47th Place and South Main Street at around 2:15 p.m. when the driver of the stolen vehicle, taken from nearly a mile away, was fleeing from the scene of the crime. As the stolen truck fled from law enforcement, it jumped the curb of a sidewalk and crashed into a building where Rangel was standing. Two other people were also hit in the incident.
The suspect, now identified as 37-year-old Cristian Ramos Sanchez, was immediately taken into custody, despite attempting to flee from the area on foot. He is being held on several charges.
Now, Rangel's family is left without their husband, father and grandfather.
Dozens of people were on hand for the candlelight vigil, where they remembered what many described as a local fixture, as he had worked in the area for years.
Rangel's wife, Sonia, was unable to speak amidst the tears on Saturday, but their son, Pablo spoke with CBS reporters following the vigil, where he voiced his passionate opinion that not only Amazon, but other trucking companies should have better safety procedures and policies in place to prevent further incidents like this from happening.
"I'm still waiting on and trying to figure out exactly what happened how it happened," Pablo said. "Policies should have been in place to avoid stuff like this and we're definitely going to find out how it happened, and how it can be avoided in the future and not happen to anybody else."
Included in the large crowd, was Rangel's street vendor community. A group that considers themselves to be a family just like any other - familiar with the hard-work, struggles and danger their job presents.
"This sheds light on what they endure and the dangers. Our main goal is for them to have brick and mortars," said Edin Enamorato, a street vendor activist who joined the remembrance on Saturday. "They loved this man. They loved Jose. He would sell tools and clothes, kids toys. ... A lot of people couldn't even get their sentences done without bursting into tears."
City Councilman De Mille Price also attended the vigil, where he spoke to the crowd and promised he would get to work on a few things in order to try and increase safety for street vendors, starting with slowing down traffic in the area.
He also noted that his office would be helping the Rangel family with any expenses following the tragedy.
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