Night of fatal accident still haunts young man


The loud crash. Jumping out the window of his house and running though the dark. Seeing a man’s bloody body crumpled on Woodruff Avenue with a foot barely attached.

A white SUV with a smashed headlight and a broken windshield speeding away. The man’s lips moving, but no sound coming out. Feeling the man’s neck for a pulse, finding it, and then feeling the pulse stop.

But there’s one detail that eludes the 20-year-old Downey resident — the license plate of the car.

The crash that night near the railroad tracks just south of Firestone Boulevard killed Michael Kunkle, a 58-year-old man who was crossing the street. Police never caught the driver of the SUV.

“I wish I would have got the license plate,” Fodor said. “But I was so worried about the guy and getting to him that I just didn’t do it.”

The wheels of justice are still grinding along.

At the behest of Don Knabe, the Los Angeles County board of Supervisors on Tuesday renewed a $10,0o0 reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver of the SUV.

Police don’t have much to go on, said Sgt. Jeff Griffin, a traffic investigator for the Downey Police.

“We have some pieces of the car,” he said. “We were hoping someone would say ‘My neighbor’s car is all banged up.’ Then we could match our pieces to the damaged vehicle.”

Despite the reward, the call still hasn’t come.

As for Fodor, he still has bad dreams about that night.

Kunkle’s family was kind to him and even invited him to the funeral, but he was too shaken up to go.

Though he fears the driver might try to harm him, he still wants to talk about what happened.

“I just really hope they find the driver,” he said.

Anyone with information on the collision is asked to call Downey Police Detective Jeffrey Griffin at 562-904-2339 or Sgt. Daniel Murray 562-904-2342.


[nggallery id=7]


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: