Nov 12, 2021
An off-duty deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was involved in a car accident that took the life of a 12-year-old boy and injured his 19-year-old sister, police have confirmed. The fatal car crash took place in South Gate on November 3 at approximately 4 p.m. at the intersection of San Juan Avenue and Firestone Boulevard.
Isaiah Suarez Rodriguez was killed and his sister, Alexa, was seriously injured in the motor vehicle collision. The off-duty sheriff’s deputy was not identified. In total, the South Gate Police Department confirmed that three adults and one juvenile were transported to local hospitals following the deadly car accident.
The young boy was reportedly rushed to a local hospital where he later died. His sister, who suffered a concussion, broken bones, and lacerations, was released from the hospital a few days after the crash.
Isaiah Rodriguez was reportedly sitting in the passenger side of the vehicle when it was T-boned by the off-duty sheriff’s pickup truck.
The fatal car accident is currently under investigation by the South Gate Police Department. A local KTLA 5 report noted that speeding was “believed to be a factor” in the crash. KTLA also reported that aerial video taken the day of the T-bone car accident showed the victims’ overturned vehicle having come to a stop several feet from the point of impact with the deputy’s pickup truck.
“Our hearts go out those injured in the crash, as well as the family and loved ones of the deceased. This case is currently being investigated by South Gate Police Department and until their investigation is completed, we are unable to offer further comment,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a public statement.
A GofundMe Page was established by the family of Isaiah Rodriguez. The page noted that the boy’s mother, Betsabe (Betsa) Suarez, found the emotional toll of losing her son “devastating.”
“Like many people, she is a single mom struggling to make ends meet but always making sure her kids had everything they need. The emotional toll has been devastating. With your help, we are hoping to relieve some of her financial burden,” the page read.
KTLA also reported that area neighbors are “calling for action to be taken to make the streets safer in the area.”
According to area resident Fernando Rodriguez, whom KTLA confirmed has lived in the neighborhood since 1977, Firestone Avenue has been “dangerous … since I can remember.” In an interview with KTLA, he “encouraged drivers to operate their vehicles safely.”
“It takes for somebody to die to get the attention we got,” Rodriguez said.
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