Dramatic video shows fiery North Hills hit-and-run crash; driver still at large

NORTH HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dramatic video released Tuesday shows a fiery North Hills hit-and-run crash that left a father dead on Father's Day over the weekend.

The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for a woman identified as 27-year-old Maritza Lara.

Police say she was behind the wheel of a white Lexus early Sunday when she ran a red light and struck another car. The crash killed 48-year-old Francisco Rivas, the driver in the other car, and left four passengers in the Lexus in critical condition.

Rivas' children are now without a father.

"You can imagine how it's Father's Day, their dad is no longer here," said LAPD Det. Lisset Fuentes. "He was just driving on Parthenia, I believe he was on his way to church, so just an innocent person that got killed."

The crash was reported just before 6 a.m. in the area of Haskell Avenue and Parthenia Street.

A photo of Lara, as well as video of the crash, was released on Tuesday. The suspect is seen opening the back door of her smoking car, then walking away from the scene.

One of the four passengers that the suspect left severely injured in her car was her own sister.

Detectives found numerous open cans of beer in the crashed Lexus and say alcohol may have been a factor in the wreck. Investigators said speed was a factor in the crash.

Detectives say Lara frequents the Van Nuys, Panorama City and Langdon areas.

The LAPD is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to her arrest and conviction. Anyone with information on the suspect is urged to call police.
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