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Deadly Father’s Day Hit-and-Run Suspect Caught after Fleeing to Mexico

Widow of hit-and-run victim Francisco Hernandez Rivas being interviewed this morning. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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This morning the LAPD announced details on the capture of hit-and-run suspect Maritza Lara.

Lara's alleged driving under the influence killed Francisco Hernández Rivas. The hit-and-run crime took place around 5:30 a.m. on June 16 - Father's Day - at the intersection of Parthenia Street and Haskell Avenue in the San Fernando Valley community of North Hills.

Chilling surveillance footage shows Lara's car running a red light and slamming into Rivas' car. Lara is seen walking away from the crime scene.

LAPD detectives reported find open beer and liquor containers in Lara's car. LAPD states that Lara was on probation for a previous DUI conviction.

LAPD display at this morning's press conference
LAPD display at this morning's press conference
LAPD display at this morning's press conference

Per LAPD, Lara left four seriously-injured passengers in her car. She walked away and was given a ride home by a good Samaritan. Very soon thereafter, she and her children went to the downtown L.A. Greyhound Station and boarded a bus for Calexico, California. From there she fled into Mexico.

With the cooperation of her passengers, Police were able to track Lara's movements. LAPD worked with the U.S. Marshals and Mexican authorities. Mexican federal police apprehended Lara in Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas, Mexico. Lara, a U.S. Citizen, was soon deported back to the United States, where she is being held on three charges: murder, driving under the influence, and felony hit-and-run. Some of the details of her flight are still the subject of the ongoing LAPD investigation.

At this morning's press event, the victim's grieving widow spoke of Francisco Hernández Rivas as a great man, a caring husband and father who was on his way to church that morning. She expressed her gratitude for the work of LAPD, and stated that she hopes for justice.

This morning's hit-and-run press conference
LAPD's Adolfo Batres speaking at this morning's hit-and-run press conference
This morning's hit-and-run press conference

See additional coverage of this story at the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News, La Opinión, Univision, Telemundo, and KTLA.

L.A.'s epidemic of hit-and-run crimes continue to kill and seriously injure people. Earlier this week, a hit-and-run driver seriously injured a Boyle Heights bicyclist. Last week, one killed a South L.A. pedestrian.

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