Driver sought in hit-and-run that killed 79-year-old man in Long Beach

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Thursday, January 10, 2019
A photo sample of a cargo van Long Beach police are looking for is pictured above.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities are searching for the driver of a cargo van who fled the scene of a fatal hit-and-run crash in Long Beach.

The crash happened around 7:50 p.m. Monday near South Street and Paramount Boulevard. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a pedestrian's body on Paramount Boulevard. He was determined dead by Long Beach Fire Department officials.

The investigation revealed that the pedestrian was trying to cross westbound on South Street at Paramount in a marked crosswalk with a green walk light. At the same time he was trying to cross, a cargo van traveled westbound on South Street and tried to turn northbound on Paramount.

When the suspect tried to turn, the pedestrian was hit. The driver ended up dragging the victim under the van for about 900 feet northbound on Paramount. The suspect then fled the scene with no attempt to stop and help the person or call police.

A short time later, a second driver did not see the pedestrian in time and tried to swerve, but struck the person. The driver of a 2004 GMC Yukon stayed at the scene and cooperated with authorities.

The pedestrian was later identified as 79-year-old Elias Sanchez, of Long Beach.

The cargo van was described as a 70s or 80s model Chevy or Ford white cargo utility van. It has a ladder on the rear door with green writing on the back of the vehicle. The ladder is similar to one seen on the back of RV trailers.

Anyone with more information is urged to call Detective Sirilo Garcia at (562) 570-7355.