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Hit-and-run in Watts kills dad, leaves daughter in coma

April 23, 2012 |  7:18 am

A father was killed and his daughter was clinging to life after a hit-and-run accident in Watts.

The accident happened shortly before 6 p.m. on Friday at the intersection of Santa Ana Boulevard and Watts Avenue in Watts.

Jose Arriola, 38, and his family were crossing the street in a crosswalk when he and his 7-year-old daughter, Anjelica, were hit by a white Cadillac Escalade.

The driver stopped momentarily but then took off, driving over Jose and his daughter, KTLA-TV reported. Jose died at the hospital.

Anjelica was taken to Long Beach Memorial Hospital, where she remained in a coma in critical condition, the TV station reported.

Erika Arriola, Jose's wife and Anjelica's mother, pleaded for the driver to turn himself in, the TV station said.

"I forgive him. He has his conscience," Erika said. "He's gonna pay for what he did. God is gonna make him pay for what he did."

Speaking of her daughter, she said: "We're gonna come out of this. She's gonna walk out of the hospital with me."

The driver is described as a heavy-set Latino with short hair and a goatee. He was wearing a white T-shirt and a gold chain necklace at the time of the accident.

Authorities say the Escalade is missing the front Cadillac emblem and should have right front-end damage and flaked paint.

Anyone with information is asked to call the California Highway Patrol at (323) 259-2010.


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— Kenneth R. Weiss and KTLA-TV