Last Update: Thursday, May 16, 2013
|Reward is Offered For Information on Fatal Pacoima Hit-And-Run|
|Written by Alex Garcia, Sun Contributing Writer|
|Thursday, 24 May 2012 04:17|
Woman Was Hit By Two Vehicles While Crossing Glenoaks Boulevard
Rosa Maria Valencia holds a picture of her aunt, Virginia Ramirez. Next to her is Omero Valencia, Ramirez' great nephew.
Consuelo Figueroa said she understands drivers may have had trouble seeing her aunt Virginia Ramirez as she crossed Glenoaks Boulevard, at the corner of Mercer Street, in Pacoima on the rainy and foggy morning of March 17, which could have led to two vehicles hitting the 79-yearold and causing her death.
But she can't understand why neither driver stopped to render aid to Ramirez.
"They left her, they didn't give her help," Figueroa said. "I ask them to turn themselves in, to have a heart."
The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously approved a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two hit-and-run drivers who killed Ramirez.
Councilman Richard Alarcon introduced the reward at the request of Los Angeles Police Department detectives, who said they have run out of leads.
Witnesses reported seeing a 35- to 45-year-old Latino driving a 1998-2000 red Nissan Frontier pickup truck that hit Ramirez at about 6:30 a.m. The driver stopped momentarily, police said, and then left the scene.
While Ramirez was on the ground, a 1997-2001 Monte Carlo driven by a 25- to 35-yearold Latina ran over her a second time and left the scene, police said.
"Accidents happen, that's okay," Alarcon said. "But running away from the scene of an accident is a crime and it's not acceptable."
Omero Valencia, Ramirez's great nephew, asked the council to approve the reward motion "to help us bring some closure to the family."
Valencia described his great aunt as dedicated to her religion, going toMass everyday. "She was actually on her way to her church to make her 7 a.m. Mass (when she was struck)," he said.
A devout Catholic, Ramirez always attended early mass at Mary Immaculate Church in Pacoima, according to parish Father Victor Santoyo.
"She often went with friends, but unfortunately that day, she was alone," Santoyo said.
"A lot of people who knew her went to her funeral," he added.
Ramirez's body was returned to her native Jalisco, Mexico for burial.
Det. William Bustos said if found, the drivers could face felony charges for leaving the scene of an accident, and possibly premeditated vehicular homicide, for knowingly leaving Ramirez on the ground and not calling for help.
He noted the drivers perhaps would not have faced any charges had they stayed and called 911, as drivers are required to do at the scene of an accident involving injuries.
"When they left, they made it a major crime," said Bustos, who added he hopes the $50,000 reward prompts people who may know something to come forward.
That's what niece Rosa Maria Valencia, Ramirez's niece, is also hoping.
"The drivers did not help her while she was on the ground," she said. "They hit her and left her there, and they should have helped her."
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call (818) 644-8000.