15-year-old skateboarder declared brain dead after Echo Park hit-and-run

Friends of Christian Donis  sit by his sidewalk memorial

A passerby speaks to friends of Christian Donis as they sat by his sidewalk memorial

ECHO PARK —   Christian Donis, the 15-year-old skateboarder who was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Friday night, has been declared brain dead, hospital officials said today, according to KTLA and other news sites.

Donis and his 13-year-old cousin, Adam, were struck on Friday night at about 10 p.m. as they were crossing Alvarado Street at Montrose Street. Christian Donis was thrown or dragged about 75-feet by the northbound vehicle, according to a police officer.  Adam Donis suffered minor injuries. Police said they have arrested the suspected driver who fled the scene.

The Donis cousins had been skateboarding in the playground of the Sandra Cisneros Learning Academy near the crash site when they left to go home a few blocks away, said Juan Garcia, one of the friends who was skateboarding with the cousins that night.  Garcia and another skateboarder, Erlin Rivera, remained in the playground for a while before they too left only to come upon an ambulance on Alvarado. “That’s when we knew something went wrong,” said Garcia, 15, tonight as he and Rivera sat next to a sidewalk memorial for their friend.

Christian Donis was far from an accomplished skater. “He was clumsy,” said Rivera, 15. “He would fall a lot.” But he loved to skate, favored Toy Machine boards and posted skating photos on his Instagram account.

Christian Donis was also remembered as an easy-going friend who never got mad and had no trouble sharing meals. “He was chill,” Garcia said.

Memorial for Christian Donis who was an Echo Park  hit-and-run victim 6-4-2015 10-26-08 PM

An online fund has been set up to defray the funeral costs for Christian Donis (left)

alvarado and montrose map

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  1. I hope they really got the person responsible for this because I saw everything that happened n it will be a long time before I can forget what i saw that tragic night n I send my condolences to his family n I hope that adam is doing ok as well because he is also very young n having to experience something very tragic I cant even imagine. Rest in peace Christian

  2. I’m so sorry for this family’s loss.

  3. Es una calle muy teafical donde la verda sunset y alvarado pasan de maciados accidentes hay veces ke los conductores no respetan el pase peatonal ke sr podria hacer al respecto la verdad estamos muy consternados px esta teajedia ke acaba de pasar en la noche del viernes alas 10:00 pm. Nesecitamos mas policias para ke les den tiket ha estos conductores. Ke no respetan los semaforos. La verda esto ha mi me preicupa demaciado.px la seguridad de nuestros hijos ha la saluda de la escuela SANDRA CISNEROS CAMINO NUEVO. KE EN PAZ DESCANSE CHISTIAN. DONIS !!!! R,I ,P

  4. Carsmakepeoplestupid

    Slow down these streets! Bring back red light cameras! Road diets EVERYWHERE! Exactly what will happen AGAIN when Rowena’s bike lane is ripped out so that folks can drive 55 mph! Self-entitled car drivers. Drunk. Texting. Fat. Lazy.

    • We aren’t hear anything more about the driver? Not even how police found him? Not even any booking charges? And maybe specifically, not even whether he was found drunk, or maybe he was fleeing the scene of another crime, or…? This story has left people speculating about the driver and thus how and why this happened, rather than giving us some information.

      • I heard via another news outlet that they caught him when he showed up at a police station in the valley and tried to file a report claiming HE had been the victim of a hit and run. I hope they add some charges for that lie.

    • Red light cameras CAUSE accidents, they don’t prevent them.

  5. My condolences to the family for their loss.

    The only question that I have is why was the kid on the street and not in the park or sidewalk atleast?

    The problem here is the same as many other recent skateboarding accidents that I’ve seen. They are recklessly skating right in the middle of the street and don’t care about their surroundings. It wasn’t like that back in the 80’s, kids were taught back then to steer clear of cars and traffic. Parents and the city need to teach these kids and teens the right way to use a skateboarder.

    By the way bringing back red light cameras won’t help anyone except the owner who’s renting them to the city. Look at the UK, streets full of camera and more crime than ever.

    • They were walking back from the park, not skating apparently.

      Sometimes you have to cross streets to get where you’re going….have you never walked in a city?

    • And why weren’t they being driven around by their parents? And why weren’t they wearing body armor? And why were they out in the city in the first place and not the suburbs?

      Finally: why do you think that blaming the victims absolves the collective guilt you know you feel about this?


    These crimes will perpetuate so long as everyone continues to push for widened streets that move automobiles as fast as possible from red light to red light. LADOT takes out cross walks, refuses to put in signals, refuses to do ANYTHING that slows drivers down.

    • Shoot, LADOT? Nah man, try half the city council. Just look at how hard they are shilling to keep Hyperion a 55 mph zone. How all the important streets around train stations are cauldrons of widened lanes for speeding single occupant cars. We won’t stop building like this in LA until we can buy or blackmail the current elite out of office.

  7. We are never going to find this HIT AND RUN loser unless we start installing cameras all over this city. I used to be very apposed to surveillance, but in fact we really need them to solve serious crimes and I have nothing to hide so ask your city leader to start installing these cameras to catch these criminals!!!

  8. Whether the driver was driving normal or fast speeds, or distracted by texting, we don’t know. He most likely did not see the children and accidentally hit them as they jay walked. The most humane thing to do is to stop and attempt to provide assistance.

    The driver panicked and left and tried to cover it up, he dug himself into more trouble.

    All of this is an unfortunate accident for the victims and their families, the life of the driver and his family. It is a tragedy for all.

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