SHERMAN OAKS—Richard Mortiz, 52, a resident of Van Nuys, has been identified as the victim in a fatal hit-and-run that occurred on Saturday, May 28. Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division are investigating the incident and are seeking the public’s help in identifying a street racer who was involved.
According to a statement by the LAPD, at around 12:30 a.m., a driver of a Tesla Sedan – later identified as Mortiz – encountered a BMW sedan and engaged in a high-speed race, traveling westbound on Victory Boulevard, east of White Oak Avenue. Mortiz lost control of the Tesla near Victory Boulevard and Encino Avenue, running off the roadway and colliding with a light pole and a tree.
The driver of the BMW sedan stopped, but did not get out of the vehicle to inspect the aftermath. The suspect sped off from the incident.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene and pronounced Mortiz dead at the scene.
An investigation into the incident and the identification of the suspect is still underway by LAPD Valley Traffic detectives.
The BMW sedan is described as a 2011-2015 M3/M5 and is believed to be dark purple or blue. It is lowered, with modified exhaust and a built-in spoiler. The suspect is sought for engaging in speed racing and a felony hit-and-run.
Anyone who may have witnessed or have information regarding this collision is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Detective Barragan at (818)-644-8028 or Detective Davis at (818) 644-8032.