Family of woman dragged, killed in South LA hit-and-run blame lack of street lights

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Family members of a woman killed by a hit-and-run driver in South Los Angeles spoke out Thursday night, saying the crash could have been prevented if there were more working street lights in their neighborhood.

At about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 2, 62-year-old Joan Davis was crossing Central Avenue at 81st Street when she was struck by a white van that continued on, leaving her in the street.

Shortly after, another vehicle struck Davis and dragged her one block, stopped and then dragged her another three blocks to 84th Place.

Davis died, and her family is now asking why so many of the street lights on Central Avenue don't work.

"It would be impossible to see anyone crossing the street. If I walked out in the street right now, somebody would probably run me down. It probably would have helped the driver to see her. It would have helped her to possibly see. It's very dark out here," said family member Larry Hooks.

Hooks held a press conference with other family members, and they announced a $50,000 reward in the incident.

Hooks said they've met with the office of Council Member Curren Price about the lights being out.

"I don't know why they haven't been on it. This seems like this is peanut butter and jelly. Lights should be on. I'm a tax payer. You've got money to fly helicopters around, pay for a SWAT team and all this stuff. We should be able to get lights on in our community," Hooks added.

Another troubling detail about the hit-and-run: A number of cars and pedestrians are seen on surveillance video collected by detectives. Those people failed to help or flag down a passing sheriff's deputy.

"There were several vehicles that actually avoided her... that could have stopped, helped render aid that didn't do so," said Los Angeles Police Department Detective Marino. "There were pedestrians out in the street, eyewitnesses that were out by the taco stand walking. Not one person flagged down the deputies, asked for help -- nobody did anything. This was not one of humanities' finest hours. Somebody should have stepped up and did the right thing."

Anyone with information was urged to contact the LAPD's South Traffic division.
Copyright © 2021 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.