A spree of hit-and-runs recently has left three dead and one other in the hospital. 

Chris Teagardin, 46, and Timothy Schultz, 49, were killed on Jan. 31 in Panorama City after two suspects fleeing police in an allegedly stolen pickup truck crashed into their car that was parked on the side of the road. One of the victims was killed on impact. The other died en route to a hospital. After slamming into the car, both suspects fled on foot but were quickly apprehended. The driver of the car identified as Oscar De la Cruz faces murder charges and is being held without bail. A passenger in the stolen vehicle was also taken into police custody.

Friends and relatives said Teagardin and Schultz were best friends. They had been on an errand to pick up one of their cars and also planned on picking up tacos. Teagardin leaves behind an 18-year-old son and Schultz a 16-year-old daughter.

Teagardin was a coach at Granada Hills Little League — a vigil was held to honor him Wednesday evening on the league’s softball field. A GoFundMe page was created to raise money for his funeral and memorial expenses. According to the description, Teagardin lived with and took care of his legally blind mother who said her “life was destroyed. My son’s life was not over, it was taken from him. He didn’t deserve this.” 

“He was loved by so many,” Teagardin’s sister, Joellen Ammann, told reporters the day after the collision. “He has nieces and nephews and my children that are gonna miss him. He was like the life of our family, and he’s gonna be missed, and it’s never going to be the same without him.

“I don’t understand. It didn’t have to be this way. A stolen truck isn’t worth it. It’s not.”

Schultz also has a GoFundMe page to commemorate his life and ensure his family is supported. The page is set up by Michael Aronson, the president of Crystal Clear Glass and Motion Picture Glass — where Schultz worked.

“He was always there to lend a helping hand, doing so with the biggest of smiles,” Aronson wrote. “You are irreplaceable Timothy. May God bless you to rest in peace.”

Another tragic hit-and-run has left a family in shambles. Peter Escalante, 55, was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run Friday, Feb. 3. Escalante was taking an evening walk, crossing the street at Oxnard Street and Woodman Avenue in Van Nuys when he was struck by a dark-colored vehicle at about 10:15 p.m. The hit-and-run driver didn’t stop and sped away traveling on Oxnard Street. Escalante was pronounced dead at the scene. Escalante’s brother made a tearful appeal to the hit-and-run driver, “Turn yourself in, I know this isn’t easy for you and you must be scared, but you have to answer for what you have done.”  

A reward of up to $50,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information in Escalante’s case that leads to the hit-and-run motorist’s identification, apprehension, or conviction.

Police are also still searching for a hit-and-run driver who critically injured a female pedestrian in the City of San Fernando on Jan. 23. The woman who was initially unidentified was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. The hospital sent the woman’s photo to the media asking for help in identifying her. In the photo, she appeared unconscious. The hospital later confirmed through media outreach efforts, the woman had been identified but they would not release her name due to patient privacy. 

“She is a 35- year-old Hispanic and family members have been notified,” said San Fernando Police Lt. Irwin Rosenberg. “An investigation is underway. The hit-and-run occurred at 9:20 p.m. at Hubbard and Truman. We encourage the hit-and-run suspect to turn themselves in.” 

Rosenberg could not confirm whether she was crossing the street when she was hit. Members of the “unhoused” community told the San Fernando Valley Sun/el Sol they had recognized the woman through the photo released by the hospital and said she had been homeless.    

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. The law requires drivers involved in a collision to pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so, notify emergency services, and remain at the scene to identify themselves.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run incidents can contact the Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8036 or (818) 644-8035. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or go to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org.

Teagardin’s GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-and-memorial-expenses-and-care-for-mom?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_content=undefined&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer&utm_term=undefined.

Schultz’s GoFundMe page is located at https://www.gofundme.com/f/commemorating-timothy-schultz?fbclid=IwAR06U2zeKV8Qjsj1m_d_DPIAVPAZyaDsX1Ove04tKafEC7jKilWJi3x_FOE.

Editor Diana Martinez contributed to this story.