Josh Klinghoffer, Former Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist, Sued for Wrongful Death

Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer was sued for wrongful death Wednesday for allegedly running over and killing a pedestrian in Alhambra, Calif., near Los Angeles.

According to the lawsuit, which was accompanied by video and still photography of the accident from the suing attorneys, on March 18 of this year Klinghoffer was allegedly on his phone while making a left turn and striking Israel Sanchez, 47, causing blunt-force trauma to the head. A photograph taken from the video seems to show that the driver is holding a cell phone, although it is unclear; Sanchez died of his injuries hours later.

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The lawsuit states that no arrest was made in the incident.

While identifying information is unclear in the video, Klinghoffer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, told TMZ, “It was a tragic accident. After Josh struck this pedestrian in the intersection, he immediately pulled over, stopped the car, called 911 and waited until police and the ambulance arrived. Obviously, he’s cooperating with the police throughout the traffic investigation. This was purely a tragic accident.” Brettler and reps for Klinghoffer did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for further comment; a Pearl Jam rep had no comment.

The vehicle is seen stopping after the accident and waiting while police arrive.

“Mr. Klinghoffer should be arrested and prosecuted for homicide. We have a video of him on his cell phone at the time he hit and killed Israel Sanchez, a loving father, in a crosswalk,” said attorney Nick Rowley in a statement. “Israel Sanchez was on his way to the grocery store to make soup for his family and never came home. He did everything right, looking for oncoming traffic and abiding by pedestrian signage, but tragically Mr. Klinghoffer, in a rush and on his phone, hit him fatally from behind with a large SUV. The loss and grief that the Sanchez family now faces is immense. We will not stop until there is accountability and justice for Mr. Sanchez and his family.”

Klinghoffer was the Chili Peppers’ guitarist from 2009 through 2019 and has also toured with Jane’s Addiction and Pearl Jam; he is currently on tour with the latter group.

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