Pedestrian Under Manhole Cover Killed By Passing Pickup Truck

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Police Searching for Pickup Truck Driver After Striking/Killing Pedestrian Under Manhole Cover

Police Searching for Pickup Truck Driver After Striking/Killing Pedestrian Under Manhole Cover

Jul 13, 2021

A rare type of pedestrian accident occurred Saturday in Panorama City when a man – underneath a manhole cover in the middle of the street – attempted to lift the heavy object and was suddenly struck by a passing pickup truck.

The pedestrian, identified only as a man in his 20s, was attempting to get out of a tunnel under the street. The force from the collision – with the pickup truck running directly over the manhole cover – caused the man to fall down the tunnel. CBS 2 reported that manhole covers can weigh more than 250 pounds.

The Los Angeles Police Department released a statement confirming that first responders arrived at the scene, but the man succumbed to his injuries. The fatal pedestrian collision happened at around 10:30 a.m. on Parthenia Street.

NBC 4 reported that it was not immediately clear why the man, whose identity is being withheld until his next of kin is notified, was underground. LAPD Officer James Takishita, who is investigating the case, told NBC that the unidentified man might have been homeless and living there.

Security video shows the manhole cover being raised just slightly above the surface of the street. As the truck drives over it, the manhole cover pops up into the air and onto the street. It’s unclear as to whether or not the driver was aware that anyone was under the manhole cover.

Video of the fatal pedestrian collision can be viewed via the LAPD’s Twitter page.

An investigation is ongoing, and police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating the driver of the 2008 to 2012 model white Chevrolet Silverado. The vehicle was last seen going westbound on Parthenia Street. Anyone who may have witnessed or have information regarding this collision is asked to contact one of the following law enforcement officials investigating the incident:

  • Valley Traffic Division Officer Takishita at 818-644-8116
  • Detective Buenaventura at 818-644-8035

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to

The LAPD’s press release notes that, as of 2015, the City Council amended the Los Angeles Administrative Code to create a Hit and Run Reward Program Trust Fund. A reward of up to $50,000 may be available in this specific pedestrian accident to community members who provide information leading to the pickup truck driver’s identification.

The LAPD’s press release also reminded the public that manholes are only to be used by city services to access various maintenance tunnels that are located underground. Furthermore, manhole covers should not be disturbed or moved due to their weight. Attempting to move a manhole cover could cause serious injury or death, the LAPD says.

Pedestrian Accidents in Los Angeles

Pedestrian Accidents in Los Angeles

Every year, more than 100 Angelenos are killed in pedestrian accidents. In 2019, 134 pedestrians were killed on streets throughout Los Angeles County. Unfortunately, as reported, most drivers who hit pedestrians never face criminal charges.

As the media outlet reported, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed 2,996 charges of vehicular manslaughter between 2010 and 2019.

However, in that same time frame, collision data collected by the California Highway Patrol indicates more than 6,730 people actually died in traffic crashes countywide.

That means less than 50% of drivers who kill pedestrians Los Angeles County ever face felony charges (although, as points out, other unknown factors may impact those numbers, such as single-vehicle crashes where the driver is also killed, and the potential for charges to be filed long after the actual pedestrian accident occurs).

But there is another avenue where pedestrian accident victims (or, in the tragic case of a fatality, the victim’s surviving family members) can obtain justice. That avenue is a personal injury civil lawsuit.

By filing a civil lawsuit, pedestrian accident victims can pursue financial compensation for various economic and non-economic losses, such as hospital or medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, emotional trauma, and more.

In pedestrian accidents where a fatality occurs, surviving family members may sue the liable party (either an individual or entity – such as a government, state, or local agency) through a wrongful death civil lawsuit.

Wrongful death suits can help various eligible dependents of the decedent – spouse, child, anyone with a legal interest in the decedent’s property – recover financial compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic losses.

Some common damages recoverable through a wrongful death claim include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of pension or insurance
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of protection
  • Loss of guidance and training
  • The loss of support and companionship
  • Loss of sexual relations
  • Loss of moral support

Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

How Can I File a Pedestrian Accident Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Claim?

Contact the experienced and dedicated team of attorneys at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) today for a free consultation. We’ll listen to the facts of your case, conduct a thorough investigation led by our in-house Chief Investigator – retired LAPD detective Moses Castillo – and develop a precise legal strategy based on our decades of experience and past success to help you recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve.

Founded by a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian, DLG offers personalized, dedicated, professional, and discreet legal representation that always puts the best interests of our client first. We care about each and every client, and take the responsibility of helping you in your hour of need very seriously. Unlike settlement mill firms that may be quick to accept a lowball offer that is not in your best interest, we fight for maximum financial compensation every time.

And with Sam Dordulian’s experience in successfully obtaining over 100 jury trial victories, we prepare every case for court, ensuring you never have to accept a lowball settlement from an at-fault party or insurance company. If the at-fault party refuses a maximum settlement, we simply take the case to trial and prove it before a jury.

With DLG, you get peace of mind knowing that you can focus on what’s most important – your overall physical recovery and well-being – while we handle the stressful details and fight to ensure you receive the financial compensation you deserve. DLG’s added advantages allow injured pedestrian accident victims a complete recovery – physically, emotionally, and financially.

With a 98% success record and history of recovering more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts, DLG is the absolute best choice available when searching for a pedestrian accident attorney in the Los Angeles, California-area.

Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 to learn more about your legal options and how we will fight to ensure you receive the justice you deserve after a pedestrian accident via a maximum financial damages award.

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