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Four Critically Injured in Fatal North Hills Hit and Run Crash

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Four Critically Injured in Fatal North Hills Hit and Run Crash

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Francisco Hernandez Rivas, 48, a father of two, was killed and four others were critically injured in a Father's Day hit-and-run crash in North Hills, which officials said, involved suspected a drunk driver. According to a report, the fatal crash occurred when a sedan was speeding north on Haskell Avenue before running a red light at Parthenia Street and slamming into the driver's side of an SUV. Rivas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Involvement of Alcohol

Maritza Joana Lara of Van Nuys has been identified by police as the driver of the sedan and is seen on the surveillance video walking away from the scene without trying to help any of the victims. Lara, 27, reportedly has a prior DUI conviction and has not been seen since the incident. The critically injured victims include four passengers in the white 2016 Lexus IS 250 that Lara was driving.

Police said all were in serious but stable condition. Officials said there was "obvious evidence" that there was drinking going on in the Lexus. Footage shows empty beer cans in the vehicle. Police are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit-and-run driver. Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD at 818-644-8035.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Francisco Rivas who lost him on Father's Day. We wish the critically injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery as well.

Laws and Liability Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver who caused the crash may have been under the influence and left the scene without exchanging information or rendering aid to those who were injured, including her passengers. One of the passengers was reportedly a pregnant woman. Leaving the scene of an injury or fatal crash is illegal under California law.

In such cases where wrongdoing is involved, at-fault drivers can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families that have lost a loved one can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation as well. An experienced Los Angeles hit and run lawyer will be able to help injured victims and families better understand their legal rights and options and secure maximum compensation for their losses.

Brian Chase is managing partner and senior trial attorney at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys


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