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Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer reportedly killed Californian Israel Sanchez in a car accident

Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is reportedly facing a wrongful death lawsuit after being accused of running over and killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk earlier this year.

Klinghoffer, 44, was allegedly driving a black GMC Yukon when he fatally struck 47-year-old Israel Sanchez on March 18, according to a complaint obtained by the LA Times.

The lawsuit filed by the victim's daughter, Ashley Sanchez, in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges that the guitarist “threw and/or dragged” her father “across the pavement” upon impact, causing “his father to sustain blunt force trauma to the head and remain on the pavement until medical transport arrived.”

Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after being accused of running over and killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk in March. Getty Images

A video of the alleged accident obtained by TMZ shows the black SUV turning left at the intersection of West Main Street and Meridian Avenue in Alhambra, California – a neighborhood of Los Angeles – and then hitting Sanchez.

After hitting the 47-year-old, the driver of the SUV was seen stopping, walking toward the body, turning around and quickly walking back to the car.

Sanchez was admitted to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena – about three miles from the scene of the accident – ​​at 5:28 p.m., where he later succumbed to his injuries.

“Video of the incident shows that defendant Josh Adam Klinghoffer did not brake or slow down until after fatally striking Israel Sanchez, indicating that defendant was likely distracted while driving,” the lawsuit states.

“This horrific outcome was predictable and demonstrates a willful disregard for the rights and safety of others.”

A video of the alleged accident shows the black SUV turning left at the intersection of West Main Street and Meridian Avenue in Alhambra, California, and then hitting Sanchez. YouTube/ FOX 11 Los Angeles
The lawsuit alleges that the guitarist “threw and/or dragged her father across the asphalt” upon impact, causing “his father to suffer blunt force trauma to the head and remain lying on the asphalt until an ambulance arrived.” YouTube/FOX 11 Los Angeles

According to Fox11, Sanchez was on his way to the grocery store when he was hit.

Klinghoffer's lawyer Andrew Brettler told TMZ that it was “purely a tragic accident.”

“After Josh hit this pedestrian in the intersection, he immediately pulled over, stopped the car, called 911 and waited for the police and ambulance to arrive,” Brettler said.

Flea (L) and Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers attend a game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California on June 25, 2010. Getty Images
(LR) Flea, Chad Smith, Anthony Kiedis and Josh Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. FilmMagic

The rock guitarist's lawyer said his client “obviously” cooperated with police during the traffic investigation.

The lawsuit alleges that police have not made or have not yet made any arrests in this case.

“My father was known as a great cook, the most talented of his family, the greatest grandfather, always full of love and joy,” Ashley Sanchez said in a statement to People.

“His smile was so contagious. His life was taken by the carelessness of someone who wasn't paying attention to where he was going.”

According to the indictment, 44-year-old Klinghoffer was allegedly behind the wheel of a black GMC Yukon when he fatally struck 47-year-old Israel Sanchez on March 18. AP

Klinghoffer is charged with negligence and wrongful death.

Ashley Sanchez told People she is seeking a jury trial and damages for her father's funeral, burial and medical expenses, legal fees and pain and suffering, as well as the loss of her father's “love, companionship, comfort, care, support, protection, affection, companionship and moral support.”

The lawsuit did not specify the amount the victim's daughter was seeking.

(LR) Inductees Cliff Martinez, Anthony Kiedis, Jack Irons, Chad Smith, Michael Balzary aka Flea and Josh Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers accept their award onstage during the 27th Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony at Public Hall on April 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. WireImage

Klinghoffer is a touring guitarist with Pearl Jam on their 2024 tour, which began on May 4 in Vancouver, Canada and ends on November 23 in Sydney, Australia.

The LA-born rocker is best known for his time with the Red Hot Chili Peppers from 2009 to 2019, where he replaced guitarist and former Ataxia bandmate John Frusciante during his second exit from the alternative rock-funk group.

In 2012, Klinghoffer and the band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, making him the youngest inductee at age 32.

During his time with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he recorded two studio albums: I'm with You (2011) and The Getaway (2016).

After Frusciante rejoined the band in 2019, Klinghoffer toured and recorded with Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop and Jane's Addiction.

Anna Harden

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