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Hit-and-Run Car Accident in Riverside Proves Fatal


Rigoberto Morales-Reyes, 50, was killed in a Riverside car accident, which officials say, involved a hit-and-run driver. According to a news report in The Desert Sun, the hit-and-run crash occurred on Harrison Street near Avenue 50 in Coachella, the evening of January 2, 2012. Morales-Reyes was transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. The vehicle that struck Morales-Reyes fled the scene.

The hit-and-run vehicle was described as a light-colored four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry, which was last seen traveling north on Grapefruit Boulevard from Harrison Street. The vehicle also sustained damage to its front headlights, hood and grill. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 760-836-3215 or Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP and refer to case Y120020042 to leave an anonymous tip.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Rigoberto Morales-Reyes following this tragic hit-and-run car accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 11 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Coachella. In Riverside County as a whole, pedestrian accidents claimed 39 lives and caused 370 injuries, during the same year.

Leaving the Scene of a Crash

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Toyota Camry not only struck and critically injured the victim, but also left him lying on the roadway. Appalling! California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”

Holding Wrongdoers Accountable

I trust officials will soon find this hit-and-run driver and bring him or her to justice. If you have any information at all, please visit our web site at to offer an anonymous tip and become eligible to receive a $1,000 reward. This web site is a part of our effort to partner with the community and help authorities hold these hit-and-run drivers accountable.

It would be in the best interests of victims’ families to seek the counsel of an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. A skilled car accident attorney will also advise families about how their own car insurance policy might apply to a hit-and-run crash where the driver is not found, or, in a case where the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured.

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