L.A. Now

Man killed in February hit-and-run in Silver Lake still not identified

Nearly two months after he was struck and killed by two cars in a Silver Lake neighborhood, Los Angeles police and coroner investigators are still trying to piece together a man’s identity.

LAPD Officer Fred Yamamoto said a man who appeared to be in his 40s was walking across Riverside Drive near Riverside Terrace just before 10 p.m. on Feb. 13 when he was hit by a car.

That vehicle was described by witnesses who saw it flee as possibly a black 2011-12 Kia Sedona van, which was damaged on the driver’s side. At least one more car then ran over the victim.

Yamamoto, the lead investigator, said the man died at the scene, not far from Interstate 5 and the Los Angeles River. But he did not have any identification on him. Running his fingerprints and posting details about the incident on Facebook and other social media also failed to turn up leads.

Yamamoto said it's possible the victim was homeless, but it's impossible to say with the dearth of information.

“But we’ve had nothing. No calls,” Yamamoto said. “From speaking to residents in the area, they say there’s a homeless camp nearby, along the riverbed or under bridges. But no one has come forward.”

Yamamoto said speeding traffic has been a problem on that stretch of Riverside Drive. Making the situation more dangerous is that there’s a curve in the road and street lights are spaced out “quite far,” making it dark at night, he said.

“I used to shoot radar there and it is a fast street. People travel at high speed,” Yamamoto said.

Yamamoto said the dead man was wearing blue jeans and a dark jacket. Los Angeles County coroner Lt. David Smith said the victim was a white male, 5 feet 11 inches and 184 pounds. He had a mustache, a beard and brown hair.

Smith said the victim is John Doe No. 41, and that the cause of death was multiple blunt-force, traumatic injuries. But there’s not much more information to go on, he said.

Investigators have not been able to match the man’s identity with that of anyone reported missing, Smith added.

“In the majority of cases, we get fingerprints on file and we’re able to make a match,” Smith said. “Every so often you get someone who has just never been in trouble and there’s nothing.”

Anyone with information on the hit-and-run is asked to call LAPD Central Traffic Division detectives at (213) 833-371, or Yamamoto at (213) 486-0754. On weekends or during nonbusiness hours, calls can be made to (877) 527-3247. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call (800) 222-8477.

hector.becerra@latimes.com

Twitter: @hbecerralatimes

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
84°