Newly released video shows end of deadly high-speed chase in South LA

Jory Rand Image
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Newly-released video shows end of deadly chase in South LA
The LAPD has released footage of a dangerous high-pursuit that left a bicyclist dead.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department has released footage of a dangerous high-speed pursuit from April that left an innocent bicyclist dead.

Video shows a fleeing SUV driver speed through an intersection in a South L.A. neighborhood and hit a bicyclist who was crossing the street.

The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Germaine Smith, eventually crashed and the vehicle ended up on its roof. Smith died a few days after the violent crash.

The chase started the morning of April 24 when a woman tracked her stolen electronic device to a gold Chevrolet Suburban.

Smith led police on a brief chase starting in the area of 48th Street and Central Avenue, according to the LAPD.

In dashcam video, Smith is seen emerging from the vehicle after the collision and taking off on foot. He was soon taken into custody and then charged with murder, vehicular manslaughter, felony evading and felony hit-and-run.

The bicyclist was identified as 46-year-old Jose David Monsalve Rojas. His family said he arrived to the U.S. just seven months ago from Colombia to make money for his children. A GoFundMe page has been established to help pay for his funeral expenses.

The impact of the collision that killed him was so strong that it threw him more than 100 feet through the air, striking a parked car with such force that it crushed the windshield and roof.

Smith was taken to a hospital complaining of back pain. He was initially cleared the next day and released into police custody, but never made it off hospital grounds before falling ill. He was re-admitted to the hospital and wound up dying five days later.

An official cause of death is not yet known. A coroner will decide whether it was from the crash or whether something happened in police custody.