[Update: After this article was originally posted, Bryan Hollon answered some questions about the incident for L.A. Weekly via email. You can read his comments at the end of the article.]
[Second update: South Pasadena police announced today (Tuesday, Dec. 23) that a suspect in the hit-and-run is in custody.]
Electronic musician Bryan Hollon, aka Boom Bip, was out walking with his wife, dog and 4-month-old daughter near his home in South Pasadena on Sunday evening, when the entire family was run down in a crosswalk by an SUV, which then fled the scene. Both mother and daughter were hospitalized and the dog was killed. Hollon sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
“An unknown suspect driving a newer model, dark colored sport utility vehicle, turned from westbound Columbia Street to southbound Orange Grove Avenue, hitting the 40 year-old husband, the 30 year-old mother, their 4 month old daughter, who was being held in her mother’s arms, and the family dog,” according to a South Pasadena Police report. “After the collision the driver continued southbound Orange Grove without stopping to render aid or call 9-1-1.”
Hollon told local news reporters that they assumed the driver had seen them in the crosswalk, because the SUV appeared to slow down, before unexpectedly accelerating and hitting the family.
“The car — when it did initially impact us — hit its brakes,” Hollon said to the Pasadena Star News. “It didn’t stop, but it hit its brakes. And then hit the gas again and then it just took off.”
Hollon's wife Ali described the terrifying moment of being knocked off her feet when the vehicle struck her, as she carried their infant daughter in a sling. “We just rolled on the ground and I remember just wrapping my body around her,” she told KTLA News. “It’s almost a miracle that it wasn’t worse.”
Ali suffered a broken nose and cuts on her face; the Hollons' 4-month-old baby suffered minor fractures to her skull. Both were treated at a local hospital and are expected to recover, according to South Pasadena Police Chief Arthur Miller.
The family dog, a 7-year-old Boston terrier named Babell, did not survive the hit-and-run. Despite being rushed to a nearby vet by a good-Samaritan neighbor, Babell died from her injuries.
Police describe the hit-and-run vehicle as a small, dark, late-model SUV, possibly a Toyota, with a completely white front left blinker. They believe the vehicle's bumper and passenger side hood might be dented from where it struck Ali Hollon. No details regarding the driver were released.
Bryan Hollon is urging that driver to turn himself or herself in.
“Just take responsibility for your actions,” he said, according to KTLA. “You're either a monster or a coward by doing this.”
Anyone with information that would assist in finding the vehicle or identifying the driver is urged to contact the South Pasadena Police Department Detective Bureau at (626) 403-7280.
Update at 12:01 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 23: Bryan Hollon responded via email to inquiries from L.A. Weekly regarding the hit-and-run, providing more details about the incident and the extent of his daughter and wife's injuries.
“Ali, my wife, is pretty banged up,” Hollon wrote. “Her nose is broken, large body bruises, sprained ankle and some stitches in her forehead and chin. Our baby has two skull fractures and is under observation but seems to be behaving normally and smiling as I type this. We still have a lot of follow up appointments with doctors to make sure they are OK.”
Hollon and his wife have lived in their South Pasadena neighborhood, just north of the 110 freeway, for two and a half years. “It’s heartbreaking because we love this neighborhood so much, but the traffic and the drivers that go through here are a nightmare,” he wrote. “We live on Columbia and I can honestly say that one in every tenth car that goes by our house is speeding.”
The intersection where the hit-and-run took place, at Columbia Street and Orange Grove Avenue, is particularly dangerous, he says.
“Now here is the crazy part: The night we were hit and our dog was killed, I was getting ready to say to my wife, 'This intersection creeps me out, we should cross on the other side from now on,' but I didn’t say it. This will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
To the driver who fled the scene, he had this to say: “Please take responsibility for your actions. If you could have seen and heard what we went through the second you pulled away you would realize the severity of your actions. To see my baby and wife covered in blood and my dog lying their dying in my arms is something that haunts me every minute of the day. I know you’re scared to come forward because of what could happen to you, but think of what has happened to us. We are broken. The consequences of not coming forward will eat at you for life and karma won’t be nice to you. We can resolve this together and find closure, understanding and let time do the healing.”
Update 2:26 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 23: A 38-year-old woman surrendered to police late Monday night in connection with the hit-and-run and is being held on $50,000 bail. According to police, Tiffani Monique Lowden of Whittier appeared remorseful but declined to comment further until she had spoken to an attorney.
Authorities found her vehicle, a Nissan Rogue, earlier today in West Los Angeles.