Fatal Hit-and-Run in Whittier During Police Pursuit

Kevin Vargas, 24, has been charged with one count of murder, four counts of assault on a peace officer, and one count of fleeing a peace officer’s vehicle resulting in a fatal hit-and-run, reports the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

On February 18, Vargas allegedly sped away from a police officer conducting a routine traffic stop in Whittier forcing the officer to pursue him. During the pursuit Vargas crashed into an SUV driven by Isaias Rodrigues Cruz, 61, near Wardman Street and Pickering Avenue. Cruz later died from injuries sustained by the collision.

In an unrelated case Vargas has also been charged with fleeing a police officer’s vehicle, reckless driving, and two misdemeanor DUIs. 

If convicted Vargas faces 27 years to life in state prison. His bail has been set at over $2.4 million and his arraignment was held on Thursday, February 21 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Bellflower Branch.