A $20,000 reward in the hit and run fatal traffic collision that claimed the life of 15-year-old Desiree Lawson was announced Monday, with a personal appeal made on the steps of the local sheriff’s station urging whoever has information about the case to come forward.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a recommendation a month ago calling for the posting of a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of a suspect or suspects responsible for the fatal hit-and-run.
On Monday morning, however, representatives of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Los Angeles County and the city of Santa Clarita made it personal.
“We’re here today to announce a $20,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible for the hit and run death of a 15-year-old child named Desiree Lawson,” Captain Roosevelt Johnson of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said.
On Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, deputies were dispatched to the area of 27000 block of Sierra Highway about 8:40 p.m. due to the report of a person being in the road.
“When they got there,” Johnson said. “They came across the victim, Lawson, who was lying in the street. She was transported to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
Rosalind Wayman, who is field deputy to Supervisor Kathryn Barger, calling the incident a “heinous crime” told reporters: “This loss has really shaken the community and Supervisor Barger is committed to bringing those responsible to justice.”
Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth described the incident as “nothing worse for a parent than to lose a child.”
“A hit and run is one of the most cowardly acts that someone could perpetrate,” he said. “Particularly, when you leave a young teenager lying on the street, on Sierra Highway.
“We applaud both our sheriff’s department and the (Los Angeles County) Board of Supervisors for taking a leadership role in offering this reward.
“Now it’s up to you in the community,” Smyth said. “So, please, if you know anything about this incident, there are multiple ways to report it.
Traffic investigator Deputy Mark Cramer told reporters that he interviewed two witnesses.
“They both described a certain type of vehicle,” he said. “But we’re looking for that exact vehicle. We don’t have a plate. We just need to find the vehicle.”
Cramer is looking for a late 80’s or early 90’s four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord or Pontiac Trans Am with a low front end.
“It could be in someone’s garage,” he said.
The sought vehicle has been described as tan, gold, or dark-colored. The sedan has a lower front end and may have possible damage to the front end or hood.
Cramer described traffic on the night of the crash as light, with “no rain whatsoever” and described Sierra Highway as a “straight thoroughfare which was very dark at the time, so it was very hard for this driver to see Miss Lawson crossing the street.”
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