Police Look for Motorist in Fatal North Hills Hit-And-Run

LAPD

27-year-old Maritza Joana Lara

LOS ANGELES (CNS)  Police continue their efforts to find a motorist who walked away from a violent T-bone collision in North Hills that left a man dead and four other people seriously injured, arresting a woman who was apparently one of the passengers.

The crash occurred about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, June 16, when a white Lexus IS200 going north on Haskell Avenue struck a dark-blue Nissan Murano SUV traveling west on Parthenia Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Francisco Hernandez Rivas of North Hills, 48, who was driving the SUV, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Passengers from both vehicles suffered serious injuries and were taken to a hospital.

Investigators with the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division identified the Lexus driver as 27-year-old Maritza Joana Lara of Van Nuys. Video of the crash shows her walking away from the wreckage.

At about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, police went to Lara’s apartment building in Van Nuys and arrested a woman who was wanted on a warrant, LAPD Officer Greg Kraft said. The woman, whose name was not immediately released, was one of the injured passengers from Lara's Lexus, according to reports from the scene.

Lara — who is described as Latino, 5-feet-1 inch tall, 200 pounds with black hair and brown eyes — was last seen headed east on Parthenia Street, police said.

Police believe alcohol might have played a role in the collision and said some empty beer cans were found inside the Lexus.

Anyone with information about the crash or Lara's whereabouts was urged to contact Valley Traffic Division detectives at (818) 644-8035. After hours, calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.

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