Thanksgiving Week turned tragic in Los Angeles when a callous hit-and-run driver ran down Lina Andrade, 62, sending her flying 70 feet in a dense residential area of Westlake, then circling back to take a look before fleeing the scene, LAPD says.
“It was a horrible thing, with this driver going back around to the scene slowly to take a look — and witnesses realized it was the same car, they saw the shattered windshield,” says Officer Jeffrey Fischer. But because eyewitnesses who tried to help were so horrified, Fischer says, none got a license plate. Police are scouring Elden Street near Olympic Boulevard for video. A city Victim Assistance program will help send Andrade's body home to Mexico. Fischer tersely explains: “He put his brakes on only after hitting her. She was in a crosswalk. He had to be going fast, right through the stop sign.”
Police are seeking help because the several Westlake residents who ran over to help Lina Andrade — who died later on November 18 at a hospital — were in such disbelief that “No one was able to get the license plate,” Fischer says. It was a dark car, possibly a Mitsubishi or Toyota or Honda.
Andrade's niece, Maria Andrade, is trying to return her aunt's body to her hometown in Mexico. Andrade also leaves an elderly mother, age 92, Fischer says, compounding the tragedy.
Andrade says the perpetrator was protected from being seen by numerous eyewitnesses because it was nearly 6 p.m. on Sunday and dark out, and the driver had tinted windows — which were probably so dark as to be illegal.
“We don't even know if the driver was male or female,” says Fischer. “You're not thinking in those terms, you are thinking 'Oh my God, there is a person on the ground — let me go help,' and you think the driver who hit her is going to stay. But the next time you look up, the car is gone.”
If you can help, please call police at (213) 473-0234.