Tow truck driver injured in violent hit-and-run crash in East Hollywood makes video plea to suspect

EAST HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A tow truck driver who was critically injured in a hit-and-run collision in East Hollywood last month issued a video plea for the suspect to surrender.

Gustavo Ventura was in the process of towing a vehicle on Virgil Avenue, just south of Clinton Street, about 8 p.m. Feb. 6 when a red sedan traveling southbound on Virgil Avenue struck him and launched him into the air, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Ventura landed in the bed of his tow truck. Detectives determined, based on the 18-foot bed of the tow truck and video of the incident, that he traveled about 30 to 35 feet before coming to rest.

"To the driver that struck me and kept going, all I ask of you ... do the right thing, turn yourself in,'' Ventura said in a video posted on the LAPD Central Traffic Division's YouTube channel. "You've drastically changed my life.''

He said he thanks God for his life and forgives whoever hit him, but asked them to do the right thing and turn themselves in.

"Don't think about it, don't try to fight it, just turn yourself in,'' he said. "You've drastically changed my life. Not only did it affect me, but it's affecting my children as well."

Ventura's family is raising money online for his recovery. They say due to his injuries, he will not be able to walk for six months or work for at least a year.

A reward of up to $25,000 is available from the city of Los Angeles for information that helps police solve a non-fatal hit-and-run. Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the LAPD Central Traffic Division at 213-833-3713; 877-LAPD-247; or Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-TIPS.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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