Paralyzed Man In Wheelchair Hit In Crosswalk

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A man in a wheelchair ended up in the hospital and a suspected hit and run driver in jail, after an accident Monday night at Olive Ave. and Glenoaks Blvd.

Accorlding to Burbank Police, the accident occurred at 8:23 p.m. when the victim, an unidentified Burbank man who is a paraplegic, was crossing Glenoaks on Olive.  The 30 year-old victim, who was in his motorized wheelchair, was in the crosswalk.  The female driver of a white BMW who struck him, was eastbound on Olive, making a left turn onto northbound Glenoaks.

The driver, Irina Sarafyan, 38, of who resides in the Cabrini Villas in Sun Valley,  did not stop, according to police.  A citizen who witnessed the accident chased the suspect’s vehicle until the driver stopped.  She reportedly admitted “hitting something” to officers investigating the accident.

The impact knocked over the wheelchair and dumped the man onto the ground where he sustained abrasions to his right leg, shoulder, hand, and back of his head.  He complained of pain to his entire right side, and was treated at the scene by Burbank Fire Department paramedics before being transported by rescue ambulance to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.

Sarafyan was placed under arrest for felony hit and run, and transported to the Burbank Jail.   She was released on $50,000 bail, and is due to appear in court on March 18.

The Burbank Police Department thanks the citizen who witnessed the accident and called police, according to Sgt. Darin Ryburn.