Fatal Traffic Collision Investigation

December 20, 2001


Los Angeles: On December 19, 2001, at approximately 4:30 p.m., a fatal traffic collision occurred in the intersection of Flower Street and 37th Street. A 1993 Ford Escort, which was travelling southbound on Flower Street, collided with a 2001 Ford F-150 pick-up truck, which was travelling eastbound on 37th street. The intersection is controlled by tri-light signals, which were found to be operating properly at the time of the collision. Unfortunately, no witnesses remained at the scene upon the investigating officers’ arrival, and it’s unclear which vehicle ran the red light.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the Escort, which was being driven by a 25-year-old female Black, collided into the left front fender of the truck causing it to roll over on its right side. The driver of the truck, Heriberto Gomez, 38 years of age, a resident of Azusa, who was not wearing a seatbelt, became partially ejected through the driver’s side window. As a result, Gomez sustained massive head trauma and was killed instantly.
Paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene, and transported the driver of the Escort to California Hospital for lacerations to the back of the head and body pain. Fortunately, a one-year-old boy who was riding in the Escort was not injured because he was secured in a child safety seat. 28-year-old male Hispanic passenger in the truck was transported to USC Medical Center for body pain.
Although the preliminary investigation found no evidence to indicate that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision, blood tests from the Coroner’s Office are pending.
South Traffic Detectives are requesting that any witnesses to the collision to contact Detective Kathryn Henderson, South Traffic Division at 323-290-6064 during business hours. On Weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.