Co-founder of Tacos Delta in Silver Lake dies after being hit by driver while crossing street

"She had a heart of gold and that's where it hurts," said her son.

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Thursday, June 1, 2023
Co-founder of popular LA taco shop died after being hit by driver
Maria Valdivia, who co-founded Tacos Delta in Silver Lake, was hit while she was walking in a crosswalk in Echo Park, just two miles away from her restaurant.

SILVER LAKE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles grandmother who co-founded a popular Silver Lake taco shop died after being hit by a driver as she was crossing the street.

Maria Valdivia, 74, was hit last week while she was walking in a crosswalk in Echo Park, just two miles away from her restaurant Tacos Delta.

She died the day she was supposed to travel to her hometown in Mexico.

"It's a tragic loss for us," said her daughter Elizabeth Rodriguez. "We can't believe it. We're still in disbelief. She's truly missed. My mother was a very happy person, outgoing, she was very humble."

Valdivia was set to visit her hometown of Jalisco for a vacation. Her family remembers her as a woman who made the world a better place.

"We're still in disbelief that these things happen and she will be terribly missed by the community of Silver Lake," said her son Osbaldo Valdivia. "She had a heart of gold and that's where it hurts because she was taken from us too soon and she had big plans."

Valdivia opened Tacos Delta in 1981 with her husband and mother-in-law.

Throughout more than 40 years in business, they've gained loyal customers who were always treated like family, even the hungry teenagers who would come by.

"They would need a taco or they didn't have enough money to buy their food, she was like, 'Give it to them, I know what hunger is. I know, I suffered when I was little,'" said Rodriguez about her mother.

Valdivia was also known to provide food for those in need.

"Even for homeless people, they would ask for food and she would not even think about it twice," said her son.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the fatal collision is ongoing.