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Watts hit-and-run: Driver kills 19-year-old, damages multiple cars

A hit-and-run driver is on the loose after killing a young man and slamming into several cars in a Watts neighborhood.
February 4, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A hit-and-run driver is on the loose after killing a young man and slamming into several parked cars in a Watts neighborhood.

The incident happened around 7:20 p.m. Tuesday at 105th Street and Wadsworth Avenue. Investigators say the suspect was traveling at approximately 80-100 mph on a residential street when he hit a dip in the road, went airborne and struck 19-year-old Jerry Arredondo.

Police say the teen, who was in the area to visit a friend, was exiting his vehicle when he was struck. The impact threw him 20 feet into the air, and then he landed 40 feet from the point of impact, according to LAPD Sgt. Hendley Hawkins, adding that Arredondo's car was moved approximately 5 feet upon impact.

The teen was thrown straight into a nearby tree, which split in two. Arredondo was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said the suspect was driving a black 2013 Chevy Camaro. Police say after he struck Arredondo, the suspect continued east on 105th Street, hitting and damaging seven other vehicles. Authorities said the suspect also injured a woman who was parking her car.

The driver and his passenger then abandoned the Camaro and got into a silver BMW - possibly a 5 Series - driven by an unknown person and fled the scene.

"We don't know at this point if he actually made a phone call, how the other vehicle got to the scene so quick, we don't know. However, he was there less than a few minutes," said Hawkins.

Police say the hit-and-run suspect was extremely reckless and showed complete disregard for the safety of those around him.

"When would you ever have a reason to drive 80-100 mph on a residential street? It's just disregard, totally. It's just such an unfortunate accident," said LAPD Sgt. Hindley Hawkins.

Arredondo's friends and family say his life was full of promise and was cut short too quickly.

"He was about to get engaged with his girl, too. They were together, and this just happened all of a sudden," said Bernardo Sandoval, Arredondo's cousin.

Police say the Camaro was a rental car rented by a woman in Los Angeles. Police are following up on that lead, but they are still asking for the public's help to track down the hit-and-run driver.

If you have any information about this case, you're urged to contact Los Angeles police at (877) LAPD-24-7 or (877) 524-3247.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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