PALMDALE – A 73-year-old man was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Palmdale Wednesday afternoon, and investigators are looking for the driver who abandoned the vehicle after the collision, authorities said.
The deadly collision happened around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, on 20th Street East near the intersection of Avenue R-4 in Palmdale, according to Detective Brent Bunch of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
“The preliminary facts of this investigation indicate the pedestrian was on 20th Street East crossing from the east sidewalk to the west sidewalk,” Bunch stated. “The vehicle was driving northbound on 20th Street East and collided into the pedestrian.”
The vehicle, a 1991 Ford Ranger pickup, continued northbound on 20th Street East and collided into another vehicle, according to Bunch.
“Both vehicles fled that collision also,” Bunch stated. “The vehicle that hit the pedestrian was abandoned in the neighborhood west of 20th Street East where it was recovered.”
Witnesses directed deputies to the truck’s location near Maureen Street and Avenue R-1, according to a Palmdale Sheriff Station crime broadcast.
The vehicle involved in the second collision returned to the scene, Bunch added.
The pedestrian, a 73-year-old Palmdale resident, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, according to Bunch. His name has not yet been released pending next of kin notification, coroner’s officials said Wednesday night.
“It is unknown if drugs or alcohol was a factor,” Bunch stated.
Traffic was diverted from 20th Street East, between Avenue R and Avenue R-4, until approximately 6 p.m. to allow for the investigation.
Authorities are still looking for the Ford Ranger pickup truck’s driver, Palmdale Sheriff’s Station officials said Wednesday night.
Anyone with information should contact the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 661-272-2400.
UPDATED 9-25-15: The deceased pedestrian has been identified as 73-year-old Alfonso Arias Flores of Palmdale, according to coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.
UPDATED 10-6-15: Hakop Karanfelian, 33, turned himself in and was arrested Sept. 24 in connection with the hit-and-run crash, according to local media reports. Karanfelian was charged on Sept. 28 with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor hit and run driving resulting in property damage, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 19, Santiago said. Karanfelian is currently out of custody on bond, according to LASD inmate records.