July 12th, 2024

Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist sued for wrongful death in alleged fatal collision

By Jaimie Ding, The Associated Press on July 10, 2024.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is being sued for wrongful death and negligence after allegedly hitting and killing a pedestrian earlier this year.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Ashley Sanchez, the daughter of 47-year-old Israel Sanchez, who died after being hit while walking in a crosswalk in Alhambra, east of Los Angeles.

The collision happened the afternoon of March 18, when plaintiffs allege Klinghoffer was driving a black SUV with no license plates and turned left at an intersection with a marked crosswalk.

Video from the plaintiffs shows a black car hitting a man, who was Israel Sanchez, during the turn before pulling over. The footage was obtained from a neighbor’s Ring camera. Israel Sanchez suffered blunt force trauma to the head and died from his injuries a few hours later at the hospital, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also alleges Klinghoffer was using a cellphone while driving, as video footage shows the driver holding an object above the steering wheel. Video also shows a 40-foot-wide grassy median dividing the road that should have given Klinghoffer time to see pedestrians in the crosswalk, the lawsuit said.

“My dad was known for being a great chef, the most talented of his family, the greatest grandpa always full of love and joy,” Ashley Sanchez said in a news release. “His smile was so infectious. His life was taken by a careless act of a person who didn’t bother to look where he was driving.”

Klinghoffer is currently on tour with the band Pearl Jam. He could not be reached for comment.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Nick Rowley, called the incident a “reckless homicide” that law enforcement has failed to properly investigate.

“They never charged the guy or even wrote him a ticket for blowing through the crosswalk and killing someone,” Rowley said. “This is a horrific injustice.”

Alhambra police spokesperson Sgt. Brian Chung said the case was still active and could not comment further.

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