An Echo Park woman was driving home on Sunset Boulevard early Monday at about 1:30 a.m. when she saw a man stumble across the traffic lanes in the middle of the block near Echo Park Avenue. But another motorist heading westbound on Sunset apparently did not see the same pedestrian. “The car hit the guy – he popped up into the air,” said the woman who pulled over and called 911. The driver of the dark car who struck the pedestrian fled the scene but the woman stayed behind with the injured man, waving off other oncoming cars until paramedics arrived to transport the injured pedestrian to the hospital. While paramedics were quick to respond to the scene, police have yet to conduct an investigation more than 24 hours after the hit-and-run took place. “Is this normal?” asked the woman.
In fact, officials with the LAPD Central Traffic Bureau said they never received a report of the hit-and-run to investigate. But the Los Angeles Fire Department did dispatch paramedics to the scene in response to a 911 call and transported an apparent traffic accident victim to County USC Hospital, said LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey. He did not have details about the man’s injuries. Police had not shown up to the scene by the time paramedics had left, he said.
Why does the fire department have a record of the incident but not LAPD traffic investigators? A detective with the LAPD Central Traffic Bureau is trying to find out, saying she this morning that she was going to start by checking first with the fire department.
The Echo Park woman who witnessed the accident and called 911 said police called back as she waited with the injured man, who was conscious but had suffered a gash to the head and a twisted leg. The woman said she later called the LAPD Central Traffic Bureau and provided some details during a brief conversation with an officer who answered the phone. But it was far from an investigation. The woman said she is eager to find out the condition of the injured man, who she described as a male Latino in his early 20s.
“I really want to know if that guy is okay,” she said.