KROQ Steps Up for Wounded Hit and Run Victim

6_3_10_vitello.jpgIt may have a smart crosswalk now, but Google maps shows us the intersection that was.

Too often, we focus on the issues that create a crash, and what can be done to prevent them in the future.  However, once a crash has occurred, there are real victims.  Once a crosswalk is installed and there are shiny new lights; there are still maimed victims trying to move on with their lives.  Sometimes they are back on their feet in what seems no time at all.  Other times, it is more of a struggle.

Take Anabelle Ward.  Ward, her daughter, and her dog were sent flying by a hit and run driver crossing the street in studio city in August of 2008.  Ward and her daughter both suffered broken bones.  The dog was killed.

A couple of months later, a press conference was held.  The intersection where she was struck was improved.  Everyone posed for pictures.  Life went on.

But not for Ward.  Nearly two years later, she is without a job, has been evicted a couple of times, still can’t walk, and has lost her car.  Normally, her story would be pushed off the news and forgotten, but this time the story caught the attention of KROQ personality Ralph Garman who witnessed the crash.  After the jump, read about how we can help him, help her.  But first, his description of the crash:

As my wife and I were eating on the outside patio of
Vittello’s restaurant in my neighborhood of Studio City, I casually
watched as a mother and her young daughter crossed Tujunga Blvd.,
walking their two dogs. Out of nowhere, a speeding car came barreling
down the street, and struck them all with a horrifying impact. They
were thrown into the air like rag dolls, bouncing off of the car’s
hood, and the piece of garbage that mowed them down sped off, without
even slowing. Some of us who had seen the accident tried to catch the
driver, while others attempted to comfort Annabelle and her daughter
until paramedics arrived. They both suffered devastating injuries
including shattered legs and pelvises, and one of their dogs was killed

In addition to a series of charity auctions, which you can read about here, Garman has also released her private contact and paypal information for anyone who wants to donate.  You can read all of those details at the end of this column.  Let’s do what we can to help her out, so this story doesn’t end with a new crosswalk and an irrevocably shattered life.

  • Erik G.

    Note to self: Try to avoid the area around Vitello’s in Studio City. There’s some bad karma about.

  • Priscilla

    Thanks D.

  • My heart goes out to this victim…. so sad…. FUCK HIT AND RUN DRIVERS.

  • dudeinho

    they really ought to get a law passed that revokes your license for life if you hit anyone. Hit and run or accident. it’ll tell people be careful, one screw up and you lose your driving privilges for life. Our Laws are too Lax

  • DanaPointer

    dudeinho, I agree 100%, public transport, trains, buses, bike lanes all would improve rapidly too when lot of these speeders would be forced to hurry along without their crutch of 3000lbs of deadly steel cage.

    At minimum after 1st accident there should be 1 year no driving moratorium, after 2nd at fault accident of any kind, take license away for good.

  • UrbanReason

    Like Tom Vanderbilt’s catchphrase – Far too easy to get a license, far too difficult to lose one.

    I completely agree that hit and run drivers should have their license revoked on the first offense. The only issue I see with doing it for ANYONE who hits anyone, is it seems that would only encourage hit and runs – if the consequence is the same for running as it is for stopping. I’d say hit & stop – follow DanaPointer’s rule. Hit & Run, revoked for life plus jail time.

  • Katie

    While I don’t condone hit & run behavior in any way, I agree that we need to exercise caution in the creation of driver penalties. If you take a look at Martha Hijar’s work on pedestrian safety in Mexico, a country that has harsh penalties for drivers who hit pedestrians, you’ll see that the well-intentioned laws have actually led to MORE hit & runs by drivers afraid to face the consequences of their actions.

    I don’t disocunt the importance of pro-pedestrian laws, but when it comes to improving pedestrian safety I believe that other measures (traffic calming, improved vehicle design) are probably more effective.


  • Eric B

    I think a graduated penalty system for collisions is warranted:

    1) Hit and stay –> least severe penalty
    2) Hit and run, but turn in later –> stiff penalty, but not life-ending
    3) Hit and run, and get caught later –> throw the book at ’em, seriously

    Right now we have a problem where hit and run has a less severe penalty than DUI, meaning if you’re drunk and hit someone the best thing to do is run off and sober up. That’s just wrong.

    Leaving the scene of an accident is about the worst thing a driver can do (aside from running someone over in the first place) and the penalty needs to reflect this reality. There is no circumstance that mitigates fleeing after an incident. While it’s true that a harsh penalty for a collision can encourage fleeing, there is no such concern for punishing hit-and-run.

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Councilmember Cedillo Adds Stop Sign In Response To Fatal Hit-and-Run

On September 14, a hit-and-run driver killed 57-year-old Gloria Ortiz. Ms. Ortiz was walking in a crosswalk in the Northeast Los Angeles community of Highland Park. The hit-and-run crime took place at the intersection of Avenue 50 and San Marcos Place, adjacent to Aldama Street Elementary School. According to KTLA5, witnesses stated that the driver […]