Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer sued for wrongful death after fatal crash in Alhambra

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is facing charges of manslaughter and negligence for allegedly running over and killing a man in Alhambra earlier this year.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by the victim’s daughter, Ashley Sanchez.

The collision occurred on the afternoon of March 18.

Klinghoffer was driving a black SUV when he failed to see 47-year-old Israel Sanchez crossing the street and struck him, the complaint said. Sanchez later died.

The lawsuit also alleges that Klinghoffer was using a cell phone while driving, as video footage shows the driver holding an object above the steering wheel. Video footage also shows a 40-foot-wide, grassy median dividing the road that should have given Klinghoffer time to see pedestrians in the crosswalk, the lawsuit says.

Israel Sanchez was on his way to the supermarket to buy food for his daughter and her two sons when he was hit.

Klinghoffer has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

“I’m not over it yet,” Ashley Sanchez said. “It’s a daily occurrence that I fall apart, and it’s hard when you’re a single mom, trying to be OK and show them you’re OK, but in reality it’s eating you up. I want him to be held accountable. I want there to be awareness. This is not the first incident that’s happened at that intersection.”

She described her father as a great chef and a great artist. He was “very loving and cheerful.”

“I have one of his paintings here that he did for me a few years ago when I was in school,” she told ABC7 on Wednesday. “He would take me as a little baby and make me spaghetti. I have all those memories, memories of him being able to make with his grandchildren.”

Klinghoffer is currently on tour with the band Pearl Jam and is scheduled to perform in Madrid on Thursday, July 11.

“The police officers don’t check his phone to see if he was on the phone, and they just take his word for it,” said Nick Rowley, Ashley Sanchez’s attorney. “Can it be that he’s the guitarist for Pearl Jam because he played for the Red Hot Chili Peppers for 10 years? I’m really disappointed in law enforcement here. They didn’t do their job here. This guy should have been arrested. They should have checked his cell phone. We have video evidence that shows him playing with a device, driving while distracted. He hasn’t been charged with anything. He didn’t even get a ticket.”

A statement from Klinghoffer’s attorney said: “This was a tragic accident. Following this, Josh immediately stopped, stopped the vehicle, called 911 and waited for police and paramedics to arrive. He is fully cooperating with the traffic investigation.”

Rowley hopes police will reopen the investigation after viewing the surveillance footage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment