Police Seeking Hit-and-Run Motorist in Pedestrian Fatality

Bicycle or bike road sign with selective focus & police car with activated siren lights in blurred plan. A police patrol supervises the road reserved for cyclists or bicyclers.

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Detectives today were hoping that a reward of up to $50,000 will develop clues that will help them find the hit-and-run motorist responsible for fatally injuring a man who was crossing a street in the South Los Angeles area with his wife and 2-year-old son.

Jemmy Chavarria, 42, was injured about 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 26 at 84th and Hoover streets, and he died at a hospital, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office and the Los Angeles Police Department.

``A family of three was crossing eastbound 84th Street and Hoover Street in a marked crosswalk guided by a crossing guard,'' an LAPD statement said.

``As both northbound and southbound traffic stopped for the family to cross, a gray sedan driving at a high rate of speed traveling northbound on Hoover Street went into oncoming southbound lanes, and as it was going to strike the family of three, the father saved his 2-year-old son by tossing him out of the path of the oncoming suspect vehicle,'' police said.

The suspect sped off northbound on Hoover Street. The car was described as an older-model Nissan Altima. Chavarria's wife and son were taken to a hospital in stable condition, police said.

Authorities held a news conference Thursday morning near the crash scene to seek the public's help in finding the motorist.

``Today I'm asking you -- if you saw the car or you know the person who killed my husband, please contact the police,'' Angelica Chavarria said at the news conference. ``If you're watching, and you're responsible, turn yourself in.''

A standing reward of up to $50,000 has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information that helps solve a fatal hit and run.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call LAPD South Traffic Division Detective Moreno or Officer Guzman, at 323-421-2500, or the South Traffic Division watch commander at 323-421-2570. Tipsters may also call 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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