NORTH HILLS (CBSLA) — Investigators Wednesday arrested a passenger who was riding in a car which was involved in a violent hit-and-run crash Sunday that killed one man and left at least four other people critically injured. However, the hit-and-run driver, identified as 27-year-old Maritza Joana Lara, remains at large, Los Angeles police report.
Early Sunday morning, a speeding 2016 Lexus sedan carrying five people ran a red light and broadsided a 2005 Nissan Murano in the area of Parthenia Street and Haskell Avenue.
The driver of the Nissan, 48-year-old Francisco Hernandez Rivas, died at the scene.
Security cameras captured footage of the Lexus’ driver, believed to be Lara, walking away from the fiery crash and leaving behind her four passengers, including her younger sister, critically hurt.
Lara remains on the loose. She has a previous DUI conviction and police found open containers in the wreckage and suspect alcohol may have been a factor.
On Wednesday morning, police raided the apartment of Lara’s mother, located at 8070 Langdon Ave., about one mile from the crash site, based on a tip that Lara may be there. However, when they arrived, they instead discovered one of her passengers, police said.
That female passenger had been released from the hospital after being treated for her injuries and was hiding at the apartment because she is wanted on outstanding warrants unrelated to the crash.
She was taken into custody on those warrants. Her name was not immediately released.
Meanwhile, Lara’s sister remains hospitalized in intensive care, Lara’s mother told CBS2.
Lara’s mother claims she has not seen Lara since the crash occurred.
“We’re still looking for her, for leads, people are still calling in giving us information, eventually we’ll get there,” LAPD Det. Lisset Fuentes told reporters. “It’s best for her to turn herself in, but there is a lot of people calling us, so eventually we’ll get her.”
Police believe Rivas was on his way to church the morning he was killed. He leaves behind two teenage children.
Lara is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-1, 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She is known to frequent the North Hills or Van Nuys areas.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the LAPD at 818-644-8029 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7.