July 13, 2024

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Josh Klinghoffer, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist, sued for wrongful death after fatal Alhambra crash

Josh Klinghoffer, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist, sued for wrongful death after fatal Alhambra crash

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is facing a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit after he hit and killed a man in the Hamra area earlier this year.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by the victim’s daughter, Ashley Sanchez.

The collision occurred on the afternoon of March 18.

The lawsuit said Klinghoffer was driving a black SUV when he failed to see 47-year-old Israel Sanchez crossing the street and struck him. Sanchez later died.

The lawsuit also alleges that Klinghoffer was using a cellphone while driving, with video showing the driver holding an object over the steering wheel. The video also shows a 40-foot-wide grass barrier dividing the road that should have given Klinghoffer enough time to see the pedestrian in the crosswalk, according to the lawsuit.

Israel Sanchez was on his way to the grocery store to buy food to cook for his daughter and her two sons when he was shot.

Klinghoffer has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

“I’m not recovered,” said Ashley Sanchez. “I’m breaking down every day, and it’s hard when you’re a single mom, and you’re trying to be okay and show them you’re okay, but it’s actually eating you alive. I want him to take responsibility. I want awareness. This isn’t the first incident that’s happened at this intersection.”

She described her father as a great chef and a great artist, and said he was “very loving and cheerful.”

“I have one of his paintings here that he did of me a few years ago when I was in school,” she told ABC7 on Wednesday. “He would take me when I was a little girl and make me spaghetti. I have all those memories, the memories he was able to make with his grandchildren.”

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Klinghoffer is currently on tour with Pearl Jam and is scheduled to perform in Madrid on Thursday, July 11.

“The officers didn’t check his phone to see if he was on the phone, they took him at his word,” said Ashley Sanchez’s attorney, Nick Rowley. “Could it be because he’s a guitarist for Pearl Jam, or because he played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers for 10 years? I’m very disappointed with law enforcement here. They didn’t do their job here. This guy should have been arrested. They should have checked his cell phone. We have video evidence that he was playing with a device, and he was driving while distracted. He wasn’t charged. There wasn’t even a warrant out for his arrest.”

“This was a tragic accident,” a statement from Klinghoffer’s attorney said. “Josh immediately stopped his vehicle, called 911, and waited until police and an ambulance arrived. He is fully cooperating with the traffic investigation.”

Rowley hopes police will reopen their investigation after seeing the surveillance video.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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