CHP seeks driver of vehicle that fatally struck man walking on Glendale (2) Freeway then fled scene
Law enforcement officials with the California Highway Patrol’s Altadena office are seeking information that might lead them to the driver of the truck or SUV that fatally struck a man walking on the northbound Glendale (2) Freeway near La Cañada Flintridge the night of June 1.
The victim was identified as 24-year-old Jake Linus Peters of Tujunga, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Investigators said the vehicle that allegedly struck Peters was described by witnesses as a black Ford F-150 or an SUV. Its driver took off after striking the man on the freeway, near Stancrest Drive.
The victim was described by witnesses as a “pedestrian” at the time of the collision.
“He was riding a motorcycle, but he was not on it at the time,” Sgt. Becky Lynch said Friday, adding that Peters was seen by witnesses at around 9:30 p.m. walking eastbound on the freeway. “He was struck by an unknown vehicle and he sustained fatal injuries.”
One witness, a Montrose resident who asked her name be withheld out of respect for the victim’s family, said she was driving home from Eagle Rock at 9:45 p.m. when she noticed a motorcycle parked on the left shoulder of the freeway, near the center divider, about 1 mile south from the turnoff for the Foothill (210) Freeway.
A CHP car was parked in front of it, as if an officer were investigating the abandoned vehicle, the woman reported. A moment later, about 700 to 1,000 feet from the parked motorcycle, the witness saw an SUV and a sedan ahead of her in the number 3 and 4 lanes, respectively. Both vehicles slammed on their brakes, she recalled.
“When I saw them stop I thought there must be something in the road, because I saw the SUV go over something,” she said Tuesday. “At first, I thought it was a carpet. Then I saw his hands and realized, oh my God, it’s a person.”
The SUV — which the woman said was light colored, not black — and the sedan pulled over to the side of the road, so she began to pull over and dialed 911. As she did that, she noticed the SUV pull back onto the freeway and take off at a high rate of speed.
Later, at home, the woman alerted local residents on Facebook to avoid driving in that area. Others responded on the social media site they’d seen Peters moments before, apparently attempting to cross lanes of traffic on foot.
Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner’s office, confirmed the victim’s identity and said an autopsy determined Peters died from multiple blunt force injuries. Winter said the incident has been ruled an accident.
The truck or SUV involved in the incident sustained front-end damage, witnesses said.
Anyone who may have information is asked to call (626) 296-8100.
Sara Cardine, firstname.lastname@example.org