Alarcon, Council, Offer Reward for Driver in Hit and Run Death of Maria Pena

Carlos Garcia, the victim's husband, pleads for information about his wife's killer at today's City Council meeting. Councilman Richard Alarcón, LAPD Captain Ivan Minsal , and community members look on. Photo: Becca Doten

On Friday, February 11, Maria Pena and three children were crossing Mercer Street in the Valley when a gray pickup truck slammed in to the family and sped off.  Pena and the three children, ages 2, 3, and 5, were left bleeding, sprawled out on the street.  Meanwhile,  the driver sped off, comfortable in his truck, and has yet to be brought to justice.  All four victims were rushed to the hospital, where Pena passed away.  The children escaped with minor injuries.  For more information on the crash, read the Daily News story covering the crash .

Earlier today, the City Council stepped in to the fray.  A resolution authored by Richard Alarcón, created a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the identification, arrest and conviction of the driver.  The motion was introduced and unanimously approved during the City Council meeting this morning.

Too often, crashes are dismissed as mere accidents, and the press tries to explain the guilty party’s actions instead of understanding the grieving of the victim’s family.  That was not the case today.  Alarcón, who is no stranger to grief caused by unsafe driving, made an emotional appeal for someone to come forward at a press conference.

“Because of this senseless act of hit-and-run violence, a husband struggles daily to explain to his children what happened to their mother and a family is grieving the loss of their sister,” the Councilman said,  “We know that someone has information on this crime and it is my hope that this $50,000 reward will be the push needed for someone to come forward and do the right thing – and to help bring closure to a family that has suffered such a great loss.”

Anyone with information about this crash or the whereabouts of the driver or car is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8000 or call the 24-hour LAPD tip line at 877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).