SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California Highway Patrol is continuing the search for a driver who fatally struck two pedestrians in South Los Angeles Tuesday night before driving off, as the families of those killed grieve.
“He was everything to me,” Paulina Ruiz said. “He said he would never leave me, and he did.”
Ruiz’s father, 47-year-old Felipe Ruiz, died at the scene Tuesday night after being struck by a speeding gray Mercedes sedan on Normandie and 95th Street. Ruiz’s friend and neighbor, 21-year-old Danny Torres, was also struck. He died at the hospital from his injuries.
Paulina said she was cooking cooking dinner for her dad when she asked him to get some soda from a nearby store. Paulina heard the crash and ran out to find her father on the street.
“He had a pulse, and I couldn’t get him to stay with me,” she said.
When California Highway Patrol Investigators arrived on scene, they found the license plate had fallen off the car as a result of the collision and found that care at a home not far from the crime scene — but they said there was no sign of the driver.
CHP said the vehicle is registered to Adolfo Flores, Jr., who they are calling a person of interest in the case.
“I don’t know what to do, I just want them to find that person that hit him,” Paulina said.
Paulina said her father worked hard all his life as a construction worker. He leaves behind a wife, four children and two grandchildren.
“You should have stopped, and maybe things would have been better,” Erick Ruiz, Felipe’s son, said. “We could understand if you stopped and would’ve been there, but he took off and ran and hid like a coward, and you don’t do that. At least turn yourself in so the two families can have comfort.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.
CHP said Flores’ family is cooperating with police. Anyone with information about Flores, or where he might be, is asked to call the CHP West Los Angeles Station at 310-642-3939.