Kimberly Min Hua Zhu, 23, of Los Angeles was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Alhambra, the Pasadena Star News reports. The incident reportedly occurred on the eastbound 10 Freeway, east of Fremont Avenue, California Highway Patrol officials say.
Zhu had just been involved in an accident after crashing her car into the freeway center divider. She had gotten out of the vehicle, when she was hit by a pickup truck. The driver of the pickup, Honorio Caldera-Cortez, 38, of Baldwin Park, fled the scene and was arrested a little later in his home on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. Zhu was pronounced dead at the scene.
My deepest condolences to Zhu’s family and Kimberly’s friends.
The driver of the pickup who struck Zhu showed a callus disregard for human life in running away from the accident scene and failing to lend aid to the women he hit. California law requires all drivers involved in a car accident – however minor it may be – to stop and exchange information with the other party. The right thing for the driver to do would have been to stop and render aid until helped arrived.
There is no word yet whether alcohol or drugs were involved. It is too early to tell how the accident occurred or whether Caldera-Cortez had enough time to stop before striking Min Hua Zhu. If it is determined that he had time to avoid hitting Min Hua Zhu, then he could be held responsible for the accident and wrongful death. He should face criminal prosecution on vehicular manslaughter charges in addition to the felony hit-and-run charge as well, if determined to be at fault.
Zhu’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney, who will help investigate the incident and pursue the family’s rights to compensation. An experienced auto accident lawyer will also be able to look at other factors that may have caused the accident such as another driver or a dangerous condition on the roadway as well as various possible sources of insurance coverage.