Highland Park hit-and-run victim dies; police find vehicle but not driver


A sidewalk memorial has been created near the crash scene on Figueroa

HIGHLAND PARK —  Irma Yolanda Espinoza-Lugo, the woman struck by a hit-and-run driver on Figueroa Street last Friday night, has died of her injuries. Meanwhile, police said they have recovered the vehicle involved in the fatal crash but the driver remains at large.

Espinoza-Lugo, 51, died on Sunday, said Detective Michael Kaden with the LAPD Central Traffic Division. Espinoza-Lugo was walking across Figueroa Street in a crosswalk near Avenue 55 shortly before 10 p.m. when she was struck by a northbound Mitsubishi Lancer. The driver of the vehicle momentarily pulled over to the curb to remove the car’s license plates before fleeing the scene, witnesses told CBS2. Kaden said the vehicle was recovered without license plates but would not identify the location, saying only that it was far from the crash scene.

Police are close to verifying the identity of the driver, Kaden said.  The suspect would face manslaughter and felony hit-and-run charges, he said.

Espinoza-Lugo had cared for patients at the  Highland Park Guest Home for nearly 20 years, according to information posted on a fundraising website.

“Yolanda Lugo was a loving, caring and giving soul not only as a mother but also as a wife, sister, aunt and a friend to everybody,” said a description on the website. “It really breaks my heart to even write this because she was the best person I knew.”

The fatal hit-and-run comes as many Highland Park residents and activists have been putting pressure on Councilman Gil Cedillo to slow traffic and increase safety on Figueroa. In June, police arrested a suspect in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a cyclist on Figueroa near Marmion Way.

Anyone with information on the Espinoza-Lugo case is asked to call Kaden at (213) 486-0750, or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at (213) 486-8344.

RIP Yolanda

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  1. Rest in Peace.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of this woman’s death. I hope Cedillo will look seriously at the increasing amount of pedestrian accidents and create a safer corridor on Figueroa. RIP Yolanda.

  3. Carsmakepeoplestupid

    It’s on Cedillo’s head. Figueroa could have been made a safe street. How does he sleep?

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