Hit-and-run driver killed in Hancock Park crash that sends debris into sleeping baby's crib

HANCOCK PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The driver of a pickup truck was killed when he slammed into another vehicle in Hancock Park after striking a pedestrian early Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The first collision happened about 12:45 a.m. at the intersection of Normandie Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A witness told the fleeing driver to stop and return to check on the victim.

The driver, a man in his 50s, then got back into his truck and sped away, investigators said. About 2 miles from the initial scene, the suspect struck a blue Ford Bronco and a light pole and was ejected from his vehicle.

"Part of the undercarriage, or the suspension of one of the vehicles, was the part that dislodged and went through the window" of a nearby home, striking a crib in which a baby was sleeping, said LAPD Officer Juan Velasco. The child was uninjured.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not immediately identified. The pedestrian and the driver of the Bronco were each transported to a hospital in stable condition, according to police.

The Bronco driver spoke with Eyewitness News about the terrifying ordeal.

"When I looked right, he was going so fast but he hit me before I could take my foot off the gas pedal," Ryan Lindberg said. "The car hit me and I just remember being on top of a retaining wall and in a tree."

Lindberg had broken ribs and vertebrae. He also described watching the other driver die at the scene.

"I heard some girl say, 'He's stopped breathing.' Then I walked over there and I saw the guy who hit me take his last breath," he said.

Lindberg works as a mechanic and had customized the vintage 1970 Bronco for Marsha Mouton, who learned of the wreck Wednesday morning. She was saddened by the loss of the truck but is relieved her friend is OK.

An empty beer can was found in the suspect's truck, investigators said, but it was unclear if he was under the influence at the time of the incident.

Residents in the neighborhood said that violent crashes such as this one happen all too often and the city needs to do something.
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