A pedestrian was hit and killed near Koreatown in Los Angeles this weekend. Authorities are still searching for the hit and run driver.
Pedestrian fatalities have increased across the country in recent years despite declining numbers of car accident deaths. The decrease in car accident deaths has been linked to the increasing safety of modern vehicles and the aggressive enforcement of seat-belt and drunk driving laws.
Unfortunately, pedestrians do not have any of the protection that vehicle passengers have and often suffer catastrophic injuries when they are hit by a car. The increase in pedestrian deaths has also been linked to the proliferation of smartphones in recent years. Despite the ban on texting and driving in California, many local drivers are involved in pedestrian accidents because they are distracted by their handheld devices.
The Koreatown accident happened shortly before 11:30 p.m. last Saturday at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Norton Avenue. The deceased 42-year-old pedestrian was waiting for takeout at a Koreatown restaurant when he ran across the street to check his lottery tickets. Several vehicles stopped for the man, who was not in a crosswalk, but ABC Los Angeles reports that a black SUV passed the waiting cars and struck the pedestrian.
The SUV did not stop after the accident is believed to have front-end damage as well as a missing side-mirror.
"Coward, complete coward, and I hope that whoever is responsible has the conscience and guilt to come forward and not have to be hunted down," the victim's sister told reporters.
Source: KABC-TV Los Angeles, "Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run crash near Koreatown," Darsha Philips and Leanne Suter, July 15, 2012