Tag Archives: Hit and Run

Hit and Run & Street Races Lead to Greater Safety Awareness in Burbank Hills

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

On October 10th, a hit and run was reported at Amherst & Kenneth. A family dog was killed after a vehicle, described by witnesses as a black C300 Mercedes with no plates, sped through the otherwise quiet neighborhood.

The dog, a 10-month-old rescue, was killed by what witnesses describe as a speeding motorist who did not stop after the impact, ran through a stop sign, and has since not been back to offer condolences.

According to the dog owner, and Burbank resident, Ingrid Moss, she and her neighbors talk “consistently” about the speeding problem. “There has been so much speeding especially right before/after school and after 9:00 pm. It sounds like at times race cars are driving down our street. My teenager even mentioned that there is just too much speed on our street and she is concerned.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Residents have reached out to city leaders, often suggesting the installation of speed bumps within problem neighborhoods. According to these residents, the city refuses to install speed bumps because the roads don’t meet the proper grade, meaning, the road needs repair work before speed bumps are considered an option. That delves into a deeper problem as the city’s infrastructure is currently up in the air due to budgetary concerns.

In an effort to reach out to the driver of the speeding car, Ingrid Moss had this to say:

“To the woman who was driving the car, please confess that you hit our puppy. We completely

understand that it was an accident and don’t want to press charges if you confess, apologize and learn from this accident.  Losing our dog to someone who just doesn’t seem to care that she killed our puppy makes her death much worse. My kids are having a really hard time understanding why someone would hit our dog and leave the scene, not even say sorry.  It’s hard as an adult to understand why you did not do the responsible thing and stop. Please let us know from your point of view what happened and why you did not stop.

I would also say, slow down and pay attention! Please learn from this accident and do not ever do another hit and run. Hopefully, you won’t, but if you hit another animal or car, be responsible and stay at the scene.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Police Department has issued a statement, saying that the department “makes traffic enforcement and the safety of motorists and pedestrians along our roadways a top priority.” Furthermore, the department states that they have “initiated a ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘letter of the law’ enforcement effort when it comes to reckless driving, exhibition of speed, street racing, or any other driving act which places the safety of the public in danger on or near our roadways.”


If you’d like to read the full statement provided by the Burbank Police Department, you can find it below:

“The Burbank Police Department makes traffic enforcement and the safety of motorists and pedestrians along our roadways a top priority.  As a Department, we field dozens of traffic complaints each month in all areas of the city.  Our dedicated Traffic Bureau, comprised of uniformed motorcycle officers, as well as our Patrol Division, are committed to increasing safety and awareness on our roadways while reducing the number of traffic collisions within the City of Burbank through ongoing education and enforcement.  Efforts have included targeted enforcement at or near high-accident intersections, grant-funded campaigns such as “Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement and DUI checkpoints and focused patrol saturation and enforcement in areas subject to complaints or prone to traffic issues.

Over the past year, the Burbank Police Department has listened to the community’s frustrations and concerns over reckless driving and speeding citywide.  The majority of these concerns have come from residents living along the Burbank hillside.  In response, the Burbank Police Department initiated a “zero tolerance” and “letter of the law” enforcement effort when it comes to reckless driving, exhibition of speed, street racing, or any other driving act which places the safety of the public in danger on or near our roadways.  Examples of this have included numerous vehicle impounds, arrests, and citations issued for these types of flagrantly reckless violations, in addition to other moving and equipment violations.  Impound fees, fines, and administrative expenses associated with these violations can cost a driver and/or registered owner of a vehicle hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  The Burbank Police Department is also committed to seeking successful prosecution against any and all drivers who jeopardize the safety of the public by driving dangerously on our roadways, in violation of the law.  In cases against violators, especially those which involve collisions, police officers rely not only on their own observations but the observations of witnesses and footage from intersection cameras, which often capture overt acts of reckless driving and can be used against violators in court.

The Burbank Police are confident that our ongoing enforcement efforts and education will continue to mitigate the issues of speeding and reckless driving not just on the hillside, but citywide.”

Burbank Man Arrested For Hit And Run DUI

Burbank Police arrested Gregory Martin, age 45 and a Burbank resident, for hit and run DUI after witnesses provided officers with the license plate of a maroon truck that struck a vehicle at Hollywood Way and Chandler Blvd. and then left the scene. The accident occurred at 7:35 p.m. on March 10 when Martin’s 1998 Ford pickup truck struck a vehicle occupied by a man and a woman.

Officers traced the license plate to Martin and an address on the 200 block of Lincoln Street. When police arrived at the address, they saw the truck parked in the driveway and observed evidence of damage to the front bumper area, according to Sgt. Darin Ryburn of the Burbank Police Department.

Martin exited the house and made statements to the officers to the effect he had been in the area of Hollywood Way and Chandler and involved in an accident, added Ryburn.

Officers noticed Martin displayed objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication and administered a field sobriety test, which Martin did not pass satisfactorily. Martin was arrested on two misdemeanor charges for DUI and hit and run and booked at the Burbank Jail. His vehicle was impounded and bail set at $25,000.


District Attorney Files Charges Against Driver Who Struck Child

The District Attorney filed four charges, including three felonies, against Meagan Booth, age 28 and a Lancaster resident, today, February 26. Booth was arrested for DUI and hit and run after she struck a five-year-old boy crossing Victory Blvd. at Fairview St. with his grandmother on Monday, February 24.

BPD New Police Car -2Booth’s two-year-old child was also in the vehicle at the time of the accident, said Sgt. Darin Ryburn of the Burbank Police Department.

The City Attorney filed a misdemeanor charge for child endangerment and three felony charges related to DUI, DUI with injury and failure of a driver to stop at the scene of an injury accident.

Booth was arrested and booked at the Burbank Jail and her bail was set at $100,000.

The injured five-year-old boy is doing okay, added Ryburn.

Gatto Bill Would Force Hit-and-Run Offenders Off California Roadways

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Burbank) continued his efforts to curb the epidemic of hit-and-run offenses in Southern California, by introducing legislation that increases the penalties for people who leave the scene of an accident.

Gatto’s bill, AB 1532, would expand hit-and-run penalties to include automatic license revocation for motorists who flee the scene of any accident involving another person, even if the victim’s injuries are minor.  Right now, there are few consequences for hit-and-run offenders whose victims are lucky enough to walk away with only minor injuries.  Current law creates serious consequences, including license revocation, for individuals who commit a hit-and-run that results in death or serious bodily injury.

“The only way to know if you hurt someone is to stop.  The only way to get someone medical help is to stop,” said Assemblyman Gatto.  “Allowing drivers who don’t stop to keep their license, adds insult to their victim’s injuries.”

Eric Bruins, Planning and Policy Director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, noted that bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to hit-and-run collisions.  “Stopping and rendering aid after a collision is the most basic duty of a motorist,” said Bruins.  “Failing to do so can be the difference between scrapes and bruises and a serious injury or fatality.  Anyone who flees the scene of an accident has demonstrated in the most cowardly way possible that they do not have the judgment necessary to keep their driving privileges.”

AB 1532 is a continuation of efforts by Assemblyman Gatto to address the epidemic of hit-and-runs in Los Angeles County and across California.  Last year, Gatto authored AB 184, which extended the statute of limitations to prosecute hit-and-run drivers.  The Los Angeles Police Department records 20,000 hit-and-run crashes are recorded annually.  And State data shows that 4,000 hit-and-run incidents a year in Los Angeles lead to injury or death.  2014 has already been a deadly year, as a 24-year-old veterinary student was killed in a hit-and-run in Northridge just last week.

Other hit-and-run victims are continuing the healing process.  Damian Kevitt was struck by a mini-van while on his bicycle and dragged more than a quarter-mile down the Interstate 5 Freeway in Los Angeles last February.  The collision resulted in dozens of broken bones and the amputation of one of Kevitt’s legs.  Kevitt recently announced that he will be finishing the ride he started last year at an event on April 27, 2014 to raise awareness for hit-and-run victims and challenged athletes.   The suspect who hit him remains at large.

“AB 1532 will give victims of hit-and-runs solace, knowing that cowards who drive recklessly, and purposefully avoid responsibility for their actions, are no longer driving the streets,” said Assemblyman Gatto.  “This is a sensible fix to the law that will lead people to think twice before leaving the scene of an accident.”

Gatto’s Hit-and-Run Legislation Signed by Governor

Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s (D-Burbank) bill to address the epidemic of hit-and-run offenses in California was signed into law by Governor Brown today. The legislation, AB 184, provides an additional tool to law-enforcement officers investigating hit-and-run offenses by extending the current three-year statute of limitations for such offenses to six years from the date of the offense.

“AB 184 will allow victims of hit-and-runs and law enforcement to obtain justice from cowards who do everything possible to avoid responsibility for their actions,” said Gatto. “Thousands of hit-and-run victims suffer life-threatening injuries annually. Allowing the perpetrators to avoid prosecution just adds insult to these injuries.”

The Governor’s decision comes just days after yet another deadly week of hit-and-runs in California, including four hit-and-run victims in Gatto’s District. Two hit-and-runs last week in Glendale, left a 75 year old woman, a 59 year old woman, and a 73 year old woman in critical condition. Bookending the Glendale incidents were two fatal hit-and-runs. Last Friday, a 22 year old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Hollywood and on Monday a hit-and-run left a 48-year old man dead in Encino. The hit-and-run epidemic is also spreading to other regions of the state. In the Sacramento region, a 55-year-old motorcyclist was killed on October 1 in a hit-and-run in Orangevale. And hit-and-runs in Oakland, Santa Rosa, Redwood City, and Atherton have left two Bay Area residents dead, and several more seriously injured, all since the beginning of October.

In addition to the recent deaths, many older hit-and-runs around the state remain unsolved, even after months of investigation. Damian Kevitt was struck by a mini-van while on his bicycle in February and dragged more than a quarter-mile down the Interstate 5 freeway in Los Angeles. The collision resulted in dozens of broken bones and the amputation of one of Kevitt’s legs. Kevitt recently began learning how to pedal a bicycle with his new prosthetic leg, while the suspect who hit him remains at large.

“It’s hard for us to encourage people to bike and walk, when our streets are treated like the Wild West,” said Eric Bruins, Planning & Policy Director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. “The LA County Bicycle Coalition commends Assemblyman Gatto for bringing attention to this issue and giving hit-and-run victims hope that their perpetrators might be brought to justice once identified.”

Currently, motorists who flee the scene of an accident can simply “run out the clock” and avoid all criminal liability for seriously injuring or even killing another individual in a hit-and-run. AB 184 provides a significant boost to law-enforcement officers investigating hit-and-run offenses. The Legislature has passed similar changes to statutes of limitations for crimes with hard-to-identify perpetrators, like clergy abuse.

“Hit-and-run offenders cannot be allowed to escape their actions without consequence,” said Gatto. “And hit-and-run victims deserve justice. I hope this law will help some of them to find it.”

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2014.

Police Identify Victim, Driver in Fatal Hit & Run Accident

Nissan Minivan Hit and Run Vehicle

Did you see this mini van on Weds. Nov. 9, around 5 p.m. near Olive Ave. and Sunset Canyon Dr.? (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Police Department released the name of the pedestrian who was killed in a traffic accident on November 9, at the intersection of Olive Ave. and Sunset Canyon Dr.   He is Damaso Garcia, 67, of Burbank.

Police also released the name of the driver in the accident.  He is 74 year-old Zaven Papazyan of Burbank.   He has not been arrested or charged regarding the accident.  The investigation is still on-going.

Investigators are trying to determine exactly what happened in the accident.   If you witnessed it, or saw the vehicle being driven just before or immediately after the 5:04 p.m. accident, call Det. Paul Orlowski or Det. Sam Anderson in the Police Traffic Bureau at (818) 238-3100.

The original story ran on November 9, 2011:

Pedestrian Struck By Hit & Run Driver Dies From Injuries  

A pedestrian who was struck and seriously injured by a driver who fled the scene of the accident on Olive Ave. near Sunset Canyon Dr.  on Wednesday, has died from his injuries.

According to the Burbank Police Department, the victim, a 67 year-old Burbank man, was crossing Olive Ave. at 5:04 p.m., when he was struck by a white minivan that was eastbound on Olive.  The man was transported to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his injuries.  The victim’s name has not yet been released.

The minivan driver did not stop and render aid to the victim.  Instead, the vehicle continued heading east on Olive onto Country Club Dr.  An intensive search by police  on the ground, and in the air with the police air unit, was conducted.  However, officers were unable to locate the suspect vehicle at that time.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday, the police department received a phone call from a man who said his father had been involved in the collision.  Officers responded to a home in the 1800 block of Ayers Way which is near the accident scene, and contacted the driver.  The man, whose identify has not been released by police,  was interviewed by investigators, but was not arrested.  According to a police department spokesman, alcohol was not a factor in the accident.  The decision has not been made yet whether to arrest the driver, or follow the complaint route and file the case with the district attorney’s office.   The man’s vehicle, a 2005 Nissan Quest, was impounded as evidence and removed from the garage of the home at appoximately 11 p.m.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident, or saw the vehicle being driven just before or after the accident, is asked to contact Det. Paul Orlowski or Det. Sam Anderson in the Traffic Bureau at (818) 2383100.