The family of hit-and-run victim Richard Ulloa is seeking the public’s help in identifying the driver of the car that hit him and caused his death.
Ulloa, 39, of Sylmar, was walking and pushing a shopping cart southbound near the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Fox Street on July 2 — “he was collecting recyclable material to add to his income,” according to cousin Sandra Garcia — when he was struck by a passing vehicle at approximately 9:20 p.m. Garcia said Ulloa was walking in the street because the adjoining sidewalk is unpaved.
The unidentified driver of the vehicle did not stop or offer assistance, but instead continued northbound on Laurel Canyon Boulevard.
Ulloa sustained multiple injuries, including severe head trauma, but was delayed in getting to the hospital for treatment.
“When the accident was first reported [on a 9-1-1 call], police were told it was an auto accident rather than a hit-and-run accident,” Garcia said. “The report first went to the CHP. When they realized a person was hit, they notified a special Metro unit located in Van Nuys. There was a 20-minute delay; the police apologized and said if they had known there was as victim they would have responded sooner.”
Ulloa underwent surgery at Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills and was hospitalized until July 10, when he died after being taken off life support. He is survived by four children — Destiny, 15; Amanda, 10; Richard Jr., 8; Antonio, 4.
Ulloa, who did not have life insurance, will be cremated on Friday, Aug. 8.
The vehicle was described as an early 2000 white Honda hatchback, according to witnesses who spoke to LAPD investigators. Video footage of the car speeding away was unable to provide a clear picture of the driver or the auto’s license plate.
“We understand accidents happen. But at least have the decency to stop and make sure the person is okay,” Garcia said. “Not even an animal you leave on the side of the road. There were no skid marks from what we were advised by police. He was just hit and the person drove off.”
Despite a pair of fundraisers at a neighborhood pizza parlor and some donations, Garcia said the family has struggled to cover the cost of a burial. Ulloa did not have life insurance.
“Richard leaves behind four beautiful children who will never see their father again,” Garcia said. “The driver who took Richard’s life still has not come forward to admit his or her mistake. We do not believe this accident was intentional, but the family is asking for answers and will not give up until justice is served.
“That is a busy street, and somebody should have seen something at that time of night. We are now reaching out to the public, asking if anyone has any information regarding this devastating matter.”
Anyone with information about the accident is urged to contact the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7.