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LAPD seeks driver in hit-and-run that left pedestrian dead in Van Nuys

A blue Dodge Ram whose driver is suspected of a fatal hit-and-run accident.
Police are seeking the driver of a blue Dodge Ram in connection with the first of two recent fatal hit-and-runs in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Police Department)
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Authorities have identified the victim of a Friday-night hit-and-run as Peter Escalante of Van Nuys.

Escalante, 55, died Friday after being struck while walking along Oxnard Street in Van Nuys. It was the second fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles in two weeks.

A “dark vehicle,” as described by Los Angeles police, struck Escalante at about 10:15 p.m. The driver sped west on Oxnard Street.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics pronounced Escalante dead at the scene. The L.A. County Coroner’s office confirmed his identity Saturday night.

Investigators also are seeking the driver involved in the death of 32-year-old Kyle Ray of Los Angeles.

On Jan. 23 at around 7:25 p.m., Ray “was possibly in medical distress and passed out in the westbound number two lane of 6th Street, west of Bonnie Brae,” the department stated. Investigators said a blue Dodge Ram truck traveling west on 6th Street ran over Ray and dragged him 20 feet. The 2007 to 2013 Dodge Ram had custom lights and rims, and the bed was equipped with a rack.

Video of that crash can be seen on YouTube (LAPD Central Traffic), Twitter (@LAPDCTD24) and Instagram (@LAPD_CTD_24).

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Police said the law requires drivers involved in a collision to pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so, notify emergency services and remain at the scene to identify themselves.

A reward of up to $50,000 is available to community members who provide information leading to the identification, apprehension or conviction of a hit-and-run driver.

Anyone with information about the Friday incident can contact the Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8036 or (818) 644-8035. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or go to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org.

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