Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Man riding wheelchair in traffic lane killed by hit-and-run driver in Alhambra

December 1, 2009 | 10:32 pm
A man riding his motorized wheelchair in a traffic lane on a freeway underpass in Alhambra was struck and killed today by a hit-and-run driver, police said.

The victim, 78, was "hit with substantial impact from behind" and dragged about 20 feet by the vehicle about 1:20 p.m. in the Sixth Street tunnel below the 10 Freeway, said Sgt. Brandon Black of the Alhambra Police Department.

Black described the tunnel as dark and cavernous.

"It's understandable how something like this could have happened. Traffic lanes weren't designed for motorized wheelchairs," he said. "The only problem is it becomes a crime once they leave the scene of the accident."

Paramedics responded to several 911 calls, but there was nothing they could do.

"He was clearly dead," Black said of the victim, whose name was not released.

Alhambra police are seeking the public's help in finding the driver. The vehicle is believed to have minor to moderate damage on the passenger's side.

Investigators are awaiting evidence to be analyzed before they can determine the color and type of vehicle that may have struck the man, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (626) 570-5151.

-- Robert J. Lopez