18-month-old boy sitting in stroller killed in North Hills hit-and-run crash

A man kneels in front of a memorial
A man kneels in front of a memorial for an 18-month-old boy who was killed Sunday after a hit-and-run crash sent an SUV careening onto a sidewalk and into his stroller in North Hills.

An 18-month-old boy sitting in a stroller next to his grandfather’s tamale stand was killed Sunday after an SUV crashed onto a sidewalk in the North Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Paramedics were called to the 15500 block of west Nordhoff Street at 7:35 a.m. Sunday after a car ran up onto the sidewalk and struck a toddler and a woman, officials from the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Alfredo Morales told Univision-TV that he had set up his tamale stand Sunday morning near Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church like he had for the past 20 years.


“I had him right next to me,“ said Morales, the boy’s grandfather.

That’s when a silver Honda CRV traveling west on Nordhoff Street tried to turn left onto Langdon Avenue and collided with a gray Toyota Camry traveling east on Nordhoff. The driver of the CRV accelerated instead of braking after the collision and drove up onto the sidewalk, striking the child and the woman, LAPD Det. Lisset Fuentes said.

The driver of the CRV, who was not identified, stayed at the scene until paramedics arrived, authorities said.

The driver of the Camry did not stop, Fuentes said. Police have classified the crash as a hit-and-run, she said.

The boy was taken to a local hospital, where he died. Coroner’s officials identified the child as Gerardo Sebastian Chavez Morales of North Hills.

The woman, who was not related to the child, was admitted to a hospital in serious condition, LAFD officials said.


Later Sunday, a motorist surrendered to the Valley Traffic Division Station, LAPD officials said, but it was determined that the driver was not involved in the North Hills crash, City News Service reported.

There is no indication that either driver was under the influence or speeding, Fuentes said, adding that “the investigation is still fluid, so things might change.”

A GoFundMe page set up by the child’s family identified the boy as Sebastian Chavez Morales and describes him as “an amazing, sweet, and caring boy who truly brightened the lives of his family and those around him everyday.”

A makeshift memorial at the crash site in front of the church was adorned with flowers, candles and toys hours after the crash, according to video from KTLA-TV. The boy’s mother, Ana Morales, said, “It’s a pain that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. ... No amount of money will bring back my baby.”