Girardi | Keese

Hit-and-run suspect turns himself in

Less than 24 hours after a fatal hit-and-run accident in Encino, the driver has reportedly turned himself into police.

The deadly hit-and-run occurred not long after midnight on Oct. 7, when the victim, who was in his 40s, was struck down by a car that did not yield at the scene. After an intense search for both the suspect and the car, which was reported as a black Cadillac Escalade, the driver turned himself into local police.

According to authorities, the investigation showed that the driver did try to avoid hitting the pedestrian, and left skid marks in the road.

Even though the driver turned himself in, he is likely to be charged with felony hit-and-run. It is possible, though, those charges would have been much less - or probably close to nothing - had he stopped to render aid and to explain what happened to officers.

"Had that driver stopped, and everything was in order, we would have done our investigation of this tragic, tragic incident where somebody lost his life, but then, potentially, that driver would have been allowed to leave," said a detective associated with the case.

This incident highlighted an ongoing string of hit-and-runs in Los Angeles, with 10 alone occurring in the last 30 days, and prompted a Los Angeles government official to release this statement:

"While the City of Los Angeles is taking immediate action to address this ongoing problem, I call upon the state legislature to stiffen the penalties for hit and run crimes, making them equivalent in seriousness to DUI offenses."

After surrendering alongside his lawyer, the 26-year-old suspect was booked and is currently being held on $50,000 bail.

The family of the man who was killed in this hit-and-run accident will want justice for their loved one. Criminal charges are not the only means by which this can be accomplished. A wrongful death lawsuit may also be filed in civil court against the driver for his negligent behavior that resulted in their relative's death.

ABC 7, "Encino fatal hit-and-run crash: Suspect surrenders to police" Darsha Phillips and Leo Stallworth, Oct. 07, 2013

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