City employee suffers severe injuries crossing Silver Lake street *

Officers conduct investigation on Silver Lake Boulevard

A city employee suffered severe injuries this morning after being struck by a vehicle near the Silver Lake Dog Park.

Sgt.  Kevin Custard with the LAPD Central Traffic Bureau said the victim was hit near Silver Lake Boulevard and Fanning Street at about 8:20 a.m. The incident is still being investigated but Custard said it was not a hit-and-run.  “There has been no determination of fault,” he said.

* Update on Tuesday @ 8 am:  An earlier report based on information from officers at the scene said the victim had died from his injuries.  But that was not the case, said Detective Michael Kaden with the Central Traffic Bureau. The victim remained in critical condition late Monday afternoon, Kaden said.

The Recreation and Parks worker was  hit struck after he got out of his city truck and walked across Silver Lake Boulevard by a car traveling northbound. The driver of the car, who was traveling about 25 miles per hour, said he did not see the man because the sun obscured his vision, Kaden said.



  1. This surprises me because I find most people drive way slower than they need to on Silver Lake Blvd, as if they’ve never driven on a curvy slightly down hill road before.

    • Interesting. I feel the complete opposite.

      • I’m with you, hbhb. I was just there on Saturday and couldn’t believe how fast people whip around that curve, considering the likelyhood that someone is crossing the street with their pet.

    • Considering the amount of pedestrians and dogs nearby, I’d say quite the opposite… it’s a blind curve and that crosswalk really warrants a stop sign or traffic signal.

    • I have to disagree. During rush hour, drivers are going pretty fast on Silverlake Blvd. north & south.

    • It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve driven on a curvy slightly-downhill road before – if you can’t see around the corner, you need to go slowly enough that you can stop for an unexpected pedestrian, or skunk, or fallen tree. (Hopefully most drivers will be annoyed at the possibility of hitting one of those three things.)

      • This would have never happened had he been driving my new Audi. You see, it stops itself when obstacles enter my POV. Why don’t all you people drive better cars?

    • Yeah, no. I often liken this stretch of Silver Lake Blvd. to a miniature highway. People are constantly flying down that hill — and, not to mention, the blind spots in the area that affect cars trying to turn onto Silver Lake makes this one of the more dangerous areas to drive in. I avoid it like the plague.

    • I live on Silver Lake Blvd, and not only are there very few appropriate places to cross the street, but people drive. like. maniacs. I am honked and cursed at 2-3 times a week just because I dared to slow down to pull into my own driveway. The speed limit should be 25, and the city should install speed humps at various points. In addition, they need to install the bumps that separate the bike lane so that drivers, in their quest to cut around turning cars on the right, can stop terrorizing cyclists. Enough. You’re not that important. Slow down. Or better yet, stop using this neighborhood as a cut-through.

    • Say Wahat????

    • Indeed I drive slower that the posted limit along this stretch of SLB … all around the lake in fact. I can’t believe the limit is posted as high as it is (I think it’s 40 or 45 — really should be 30 tops!). This stretch of SLB is always crowded with vehicle, pedestrian and pet traffic. So sorry to hear of this tragic accident.

    • I live in Silverlake as well, and run the reservoir, and drive Silverlake blvd daily. Im sorry for the family’s loss and unfortunately it perhaps couldve been avoided if people who aren’t familiar with the area would stop using it as a cut through or realize that it is neighborhood. I have almost witnessed two pedestrian accidents because people are driving recklessly. The city should put speed bumps or at least a blinking light with a pedestrian crossing sign. Also there should be a light where the unlit cross walk between Red lion and CHA CHA lounge currently exist. Lulu, I have lived here for 8 years and I totally disagree with you.

  2. I have to admit, I’m a total jay walker. But even I stay clear of that corner. People come flying around that turn heading south on SLB and it’s a complete blind spot coming down that dip in the road. Not pointing blame on anyone, just making an observation, but I’ve always been surprised at how drivers treat SLB like a racetrack. People fly down like the road is on fire.

    • While it is safer to cross either at the marked crosswalks near the bottom of the incline or up at Duane Street, it’s worth noting that anyone crossing from the corners of the streets that intersect with Silver Lake Boulevard between those two points is, in effect, crossing at an unmarked crosswalk and therefore not jaywalking.

      • Will, even if that’s technically legal, it’s very dangerous and unwise. Distracted drivers are a huge problem in LA, but so are distracted and reckless pedestrians. Everyone needs to take extra precautions because virtually everyone: drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, are distracted.
        How often do you see cyclists riding at night in dark clothing and no lights/reflectors? Pedestrians running across the street in dark and dangerous stretches? Evidently the diver that sadly hit this person was not speeding. Everyone please be careful!

  3. Very sad, but not at all surprising given how people drive on Silver Lake Blvd.

  4. I’m not sure what alternate reality features cars driving slowly down this road. I am a user of the dog park and I loathe having to park across the street and cross. That being said, I don’t fear being struck as I am very alert and quick on my feet.

  5. Looks like SLB is closed by the dog park for police investigation which doesn’t bode well for the fate of the victim.

  6. That is a horribly placed crosswalk blind to the always speeding cars headed south down SL Blvd. Extremely dangerous for the pedestrians and for the cars who stop for them, risking being slammed by the oblivious, texting driver behind them. What an awful thing to happen.

  7. I use that intersection on a daily basis with my dogs. There are two problems. First is the inattention by drivers – many of them are on mobile phones and not paying attention. The second is the no left-turn from Duane in the mornings, which is ignored by nearly every driver who comes down that street. They become almost panicked to get through that intersection, so that a copy won’t see them making the illegal turn, so they’ll do anything to make it happen quickly – even if they have to narrowly miss pedestrians, their dogs and their children. I had a driver literally bump me a few days ago – on purpose – because he was angry that I was in ‘his’ intersection.

    It looks like the city employee was crossing from the corner of Fanning or Easterly Terrace. Crossing from either of those cross streets is extremely dangerous, as north bound traffic just won’t see you until it’s too late. And, yes, when the traffic is running smoothly, those cars treat Silver Lake Blvd as a speedway. Throw in a latte in one hand, a mobile phone or makeup in another … a tragedy. Even though it’s legal to cross the boulevard from the corner of those intersecting streets, I think signs should go up that tell pedestrians to use either crosswalk to the north and south. And then, eventually, something has to be done about freeway traffic using Silver Lake Blvd as an extension of the 2 or the 101. Next time, let’s discuss the failed plan in the 80s/90s to do something about that traffic (hint: the funds for the project were attached to the Clinton healthcare bill).

    • Agreed! I lived on Easterly Terrace for 5 years. I lived 3 doors down from Silver Lake Blvd.

      People FLY!!!!! Through there.

      Yea, he made a bad call and underestimated the speed of the oncoming car.

      Terrible tragedy!

      I was there after it happened today, very somber.

  8. SilverLake Resident

    I walk my dog around the lake at least 4-5 times a week, not to mention that I drive through this on my daily commute. There is a big problem with the traffic and absolute disregard for the pedestrians and cyclists by the motorists. People need to go hands-free with their calls in the car and absolutely NO TEXTING. Last week for example I watched a motorcyclist go around the bend past the dog park heading downhill toward the recreation center, he was driving with no hands and when I looked closer to figure out what was happening, I realized that he was taking a selfie. No hands, on a motorcycle, in traffic, speeding, going around a blind turn. Where are the cops to regulate this wreckless driving!?

  9. This is so sad. I saw the police cars and tape this morning on my way to work. I live just a block away and am always so nervous at this intersection– both driving and walking. It is blind and I have always wondered why it is there in the first place, or rather why it doesn’t have those blinking lights like most high traffic crosswalks. Hopefully this will be a lesson to us all to slow down and be extra careful while crossing, and hopefully the city will use it as an example for the need of more attention to this crosswalk. I feel sorry for both the driver and the man’s family. My thoughts are with both of them.

  10. I agree with someone above the says drivers are not paying attention, but I think that pedestrians really need to be way more alert when crossing. Next time you sit at a light or wherever you can watch pedestrians, see how many are looking around their surroundings, into the lane next to the car that has stopped them, possibly some car is careening down that lane right for them and most peds wont’ even look around.
    I feel that unless you are really disabled etc, causing to not be able to move at a reasonable clip, it’s almost impossible to get hit by a car in a crosswalk, as long as that car does not come from some out of control situation, spinout, flip etc.

  11. …….get a public transportation system and get the cars off the street !

    • This city is enormous. Any sort of practical public transportation system would cost trillions of dollars.

      • But why must people drive like shit?

      • Not really – the bus system already gives very good coverage of the metro area. (According to the Brookings institute, 96% of the people in the LA metro area, which includes Orange County, and I think also Ventura county, but not sure, live within half a mile of a bus stop.) What is lacking is speed and frequency. If every bus that currently comes once an hour came every five minutes, and if the buses had dedicated lanes so that they never got cut off by cars, bikes, pedestrians, congestion, or construction, then the only advantage cars have would be the ability to go 70 mph on the freeways, and to drop you off at a destination (if there’s parking there) as opposed to three blocks away.

        That means that all we have to do is increase the operating budget for the Metro bus system by a factor of 10 or 20, and maybe make some one-time capital expenses to buy extra buses and re-stripe some lanes. Sure, that’s expensive, but it’s not trillions of dollars. It could easily be paid for by the savings of all the people that no longer have to own private cars and buy their own private gasoline, and by a fee charged to drivers that want to use express lanes.

        Of course, that would be a huge lifestyle shift for a lot of the population of the city, which makes this politically unfeasible. But again, it’s not trillions of dollars.

        • @Kenny : I think Johan said “practical”. It’s impractical to think that we have space to create dedicated bus lanes for the entire set of bus routes.
          a) we don’t have the space b) it would be tremendously expensive to re-stripe all that roadway c) people don’t like riding the bus.
          ain’t gonna happen.

    • Echo Park resident

      This is really unrealistic. Lots of people need their cars to commute to their jobs — and those jobs aren’t always near where individuals can afford to live.

      What really needs to be done (and what’s realistic to do) is install more hazard signs and a flashing crosswalk on SLB. Maybe even a speed trap there even now an again might curb the reckless drivers.

    • great idea – I will do this as soon as I finish sh*tting this unicorn.

    • Please the car drivers would be up in arms if the MTA proposed turning one lane on every major thoroughfare in each direction into a bus lane. Solutions like these paired with the expanding rail system could really change commuters’ behaviour. Also, build very densely around transit stops and along major arterials. But every time this is proposed NIMBYs raise their ignorant to proper land use heads. The City must become bullish like V was on proper planning and transit projects and just ignore the idiots who want to treat LA like it still only has 2 million people.

  12. It’s very sad news that this person died from the injuries inflicted from this incident. I ride a scooter and, it’s legal for scooters to “lane split” between cars… which I do (very carefully). It’s been my experience that over HALF of the drivers in this town TEXT WHILE DRIVING! If you ever want to witness it, just stand on any corner (especially on Sunset Blvd) and observe as cars come to a stop… all the heads looking down at their lap. I would not be surprised if the murderer in this incident was texting. Using a phone while driving needs to be banned, period. The most sickening thing is that most of the communication over a phone/text is stupid drivel about nothing!

  13. its so important to walk the extra 1/2 block and use the crosswalk at Duane (which has a stoplight).
    I would never trust crossing any other part of that stretch of SLB. Both because of inattentive drivers and the fact thats its an almost blind corner.
    terrible for everyone involved.

  14. Is there any more information on the Parks and Recreation employee who died? Was he one of the guys that takes care of the grounds?

  15. Carlos Alexander Nunez

    I use to work there a few years ago…. Do we have an ID on the Recreation and Parks employee? More than likely I knew him/her…. Sombering news..:-(

  16. I lived at the top of Duane st at the corner of Apex for ten years. The tide of commuters coming up and over the hill started at 6am and wouldn’t let up until after 10, with everyone making a left onto SLB to avoid traffic on Glendale Blvd. There were accidents almost daily in that area around the park with speeding commuters being at fault the vast majority of the time. The city tried to curb some of this with the turn restrictions in the morning, even posting motorcyle and bike cops there every day for three months issuing citations. (they must have made a fortune, they gave out so many). Now that enforcement has waned, commuters are back to their old ways.
    It would suck to have speed bumps installed there but that is the only reliable way to discourage speeding and reduce through traffic by commuters. If it makes the park area safer, especially with all the kids and dogs there, I say do it. Speed bumps to the north by the crosswalk near the meadow, again by the light at Duane, and south at the crosswalk by the basketball courts.
    The worst part of this is complaints are ignored until someone gets killed – some guy just trying to do his job – and that is the only catalyst that instigates change.

    • I live a few blocks from here and as soon as we saw the police tape today we thought someone was struck by a car crossing the street. It sucks that it’s true. Yes the main problem is that most of the traffic, ESPECIALLY at rush hour weekdays, is cutting through our neighborhood to get to their homes or jobs – in a neighborhood far far away that is accessed by connecting to the 5 or 101. Since apparently there isn’t much to be done about reducing that cut-through traffic, the solution should be reduced speeds, speed bumps, and lights at that ridiculously placed crosswalk at Van Pelt Place. Until that happens, we should all be crossing at the light at Duane St. Since the city isn’t looking out for your a**, you should.

    • Apparently, the city is not allowed to install speed bumps on streets that have a significant slope to them (like Silver Lake), and they’re also not allowed to install speed bumps on streets that are designated as “arterial” (also, like Silver Lake). Thus, speed bumps are unfortunately illegal here, unless some very drastic changes are made.

  17. people drive differently when it’s not their neighborhood. very sad.

  18. I personally know this man and he is still alive – in critical condition but still alive. Please correct your post and keep him and his family in your prayers.

  19. Very sad but not surprised in the least. Walk around the reservoir daily and people whip around that blind corner like maniacs. Seen so many close calls at the crosswalk at bottom of the hill, including with people with kids in strollers, and have seen numerous rear-end collisions as people slam on breaks to avoid people. It’s just the nature of LA, it is what it is. “I’m in a hurry and that’s what’s important in the universe”

  20. Certainly the car was going faster than 25mph. More road diets. More bike lanes. More signalized crosswalks. Slow down traffic. If you want to speed go find a freeway. We’re taking back our city!

  21. I am a friend of the victim. I have to say this is so senseless & could have been avoided. To the driver, when you get out you still have your loved ones to go home too. But not his father not his daughters not his brother not his nephews. Not any of us who love him who no longer have him in our lives. I hope your conscience gets you. God & you know that you were not driving 25mph.
    What we would give to have him back. Just one more hello, one more hug one more kiss one more laughte. You have forever taken that away from ud

    • I sympathize for your loss, Seetha. But, let’s just say that you were a friend of the driver instead, and trust that the driver wasn’t at fault. Wouldn’t you think your driver friend will be devastated in this? It’s so easy to point blame but re-read the article. From what I see, the deceased should not have been there and that the driver was doing 25mph. I know it’s hard for you to be impartial in this but your comment clearly puts blame at the driver, which I think it is misdirected. I live in that area and I can tell you that when it is busy, anyone can be at fault if not being careful.

      • Please do not take away from what Seetha is saying. Considering his injures and subsequent death this driver could not have been going 25mph. Read the above comments, do you not see that this area is a problem and DRIVERS are the issue?? They are not slowing down when they should, or paying attention as they should. It is sad for the driver sure but we LOST our friend, brother, uncle and the driver still comes home to his family and friends. Pedestrians have the right of way and this person has to reconcile with God and ultimately answer to him regarding the truth. Our friend is gone, please have some respect.,

        • Apparently, you are stuck with the idea that the driver was speeding. So be it. I live in the area and I know the dangers of that section. There is high volume of traffic by vehicles and pedestrians alike. Drivers are NOT only the issue. It’s careless pedestrians who are overconfident and feel that they are too good to use the crosswalks. It’s unfortunate that most people here think the driver was heading southbound. I challenge you to drive northbound SLB around 8:20AM. You will realize that it is almost impossible to speed. First, you encounter the crosswalk on Van Pelt where there is no traffic light. Even if there is no pedestrian crossing, you are forced to slow down and be cautious as you make to first turn going uphill. I can assure you that the fastest speed one can do is 30mph around that S-curve. And, yes the sun will be completely in your eyes as you make the second turn. I feel that the driver, too, is a victim in this caused by a careless pedestrian. But as you say, God only knows.

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