Children Watched Grandmother Get Hit by Car, and the Driver Has Not Been Found

Children Watched Grandmother Get Hit by Car, and the Driver Has Not Been Found

News Staff

Authorities Tuesday continued their search for the hit-and-run driver responsible for fatally injuring a woman who was walking her grandchildren home from school in La Mirada last month.

Maria Chavarria, 68, died at a hospital after being struck from behind about 1:15 p.m. Feb. 20 in the 14800 block of Escalona Road.

“It’s not fair he gets to wake up every single day and live life like nothing happened. And we can’t do that. We can’t pretend she’s still here,” the victim’s daughter, Jeannette, said at a news conference.

Chavarria’s grandchildren, a boy and girl who attend nearby Escalona Elementary School, suffered minor injuries. The La Mirada woman’s husband said the family lives nearby.

Although the grandchildren suffered minor injuries, they had to stay with their severely injured grandmother until help could arrive.

“This left two children injured and on the street alone with their grandmother who was dying,” Capt. James Tatreau said.

Authorities publicized a $5,000 reward offered by the city for help in solving the case.

“The driver of the 2015-2017 dark gray Toyota Camry never stopped to help this grandmother or her grandchildren,” sheriff’s Deputy Trina Schrader said. “The victim’s family is devastated and asking for your help.”

Witnesses said the driver was a man, and it appeared he was distracted with a cellphone when the crash occurred.

“I haven’t lived a day since February 20th, because this is not living,” Jeannette said.

The family said the children ask about their grandmother every day.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.