By Mary O’Keefe
The driver of an SUV that struck and killed Joo Lee, 49, of Montrose has not been found almost two weeks after the tragedy. On Tuesday Supervisor Michael Antonovich announced that the Board of Supervisors has approved his motion to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit-and run driver. On the same day the Glendale City Council also approved a reward in the amount of $10,000.
The accident occurred on Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. in the 3000 block of Montrose Avenue. Joo Lee and his wife were taking their usual walk around the neighborhood. Lee was walking across the wide avenue to get his daughter Suzie from a friend’s house. When a driver stopped to let him pass the driver of the SUV drove around the stopped vehicle and struck Lee.
“He was thrown about 70 feet,” said Sgt. Dennis Smith.
Smith added that the SUV appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver struck the victim. Both the car that stopped and the SUV continued westbound on Montrose Avenue.
“We would like to speak with that driver [that stopped allowing Lee to cross],” Smith added.
One week later on Jan. 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Glendale police and volunteers handed out flyers asking for the public’s help. Many drivers that stopped had heard of the accident but none had seen anything.
“The kids just speed down this street,” said a resident that lives on Montrose Avenue. “We need speed bumps.”
That was a suggestion made by Lee’s wife Kyoung.
“We need speed bumps or lights. It is so dark here,” she said.
The family is trying to come to terms with what has happened.
“I want the [hit and run] driver to call the police. In honor of my father and because we are a Christian family I forgive [him or her]. But turn yourself in,” Suzie said.
Anyone with information concerning the accident can contact the Glendale police through CrimeStoppers at (818) 507-7867 or the Glendale police department at (818) 548-4840. Any information is valuable to officers and can be considered confidential.
Witnesses are urged to call Investigator Bill Frommling at (818) 548-3132 or (818) 548-4840 (after hours). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the toll free number 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or send a tip via text by: 1-Text ‘TIPLA’ plus your message’ to CRIMES (274637); 2- Upon reception of a tipster’s first incoming message, the system will auto-reply with a confirmation containing their unique Tip ID. 3-To submit follow-up information, the tipster simply replies. Nothing else is needed. All calls, texts or emails received are encrypted; no one can capture the caller’s location, identification, or phone number.
A Lee Memorial has been established for the family. Checks can be made out to Joo Lee Memorial and mailed to Crescenta Valley Weekly; P.O. Box 12269; La Crescenta, CA 91224 or dropped off at the newspaper office at 3800 La Crescenta Ave. #101; La Crescenta.